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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
William

John 3:16 and Man’s Ability to Choose God

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by R.C. Sproul

 

It is ironic that in the same chapter, indeed in the same context, in which our Lord teaches the utter necessity of rebirth to even see the kingdom, let alone choose it, non-Reformed views find one of their main proof texts to argue that fallen man retains a small island of ability to choose Christ. It is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing. The argument used by non-Reformed people is that the text teaches that everybody in the world has it in their power to accept or reject Christ. A careful look at the text reveals, however, that it teaches nothing of the kind. What the text teaches is that everyone who believes in Christ will be saved. Whoever does A (believes) will receive B (everlasting life). The text says nothing, absolutely nothing, about who will ever believe. It says nothing about fallen man’s natural moral ability. Reformed people and non-Reformed people both heartily agree that all who believe will be saved. They heartily disagree about who has the ability to believe.

 

Some may reply, “All right. The text does not explicitly teach that fallen men have the ability to choose Christ without being reborn first, but it certainly implies that.” I am not willing to grant that the text even implies such a thing. However, even if it did it would make no difference in the debate. Why not? Our rule of interpreting Scripture is that implications drawn from the Scripture must always be subordinate to the explicit teaching of Scripture. We must never, never, never reverse this to subordinate the explicit teaching of Scripture to possible implications drawn from Scripture. This rule is shared by both Reformed and non-Reformed thinkers.

 

If John 3:16 implied a universal natural human ability of fallen men to choose Christ, then that implication would be wiped out by Jesus’ explicit teaching to the contrary. We have already shown that Jesus explicitly and unambiguously taught that no man has the ability to come to him without God doing something to give him that ability, namely drawing him.

 

Fallen man is flesh. In the flesh he can do nothing to please God. Paul declares, “The fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8).

 

We ask, then, “Who are those who are ‘in the flesh’?” Paul goes on to declare: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:9). The crucial word here is if. What distinguishes those who are in the flesh from those who are not is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. No one who is not reborn is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. People who are in the flesh have not been reborn. Unless they are first reborn, born of the Holy Spirit, they cannot be subject to the law of God. They cannot please God.

 

God commands us to believe in Christ. He is pleased by those who choose Christ. If unregenerate people could choose Christ, then they could be subject to at least one of God’s commands and they could at least do something that is pleasing to God. If that is so, then the apostle has erred here in insisting that those who are in the flesh can neither be subject to God nor please him.

 

We conclude that fallen man is still free to choose what he desires, but because his desires are only wicked he lacks the moral ability to come to Christ. As long as he remains in the flesh, unregenerate, he will never choose Christ. He cannot choose Christ precisely because he cannot act against his own will. He has no desire for Christ. He cannot choose what he does not desire. His fall is great. It is so great that only the effectual grace of God working in his heart can bring him to faith.

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People call John 3:16 "the Gospel in a nutshell," but it is not. It is stating the fact that all believers in Christ shall not perish because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to believe in. I've said the same things as R.C. but in different words, but in agreement, in my book. I learned something about book writing. The author doesn't really know when it is finished until God says it is. I learn as I write, which in most cases expands the contents. It is quality, not quantity that I seek, as to truth according to Scripture, and my comments are to address and refute what people do when they twist certain verses. I also explain new things I learn as I go. Frankly, I don't know when it will be done, but I am working on it. Input from R.C. helped just now, though I never copy what someone else has said. It just inspires me to express something I have not thought of before.

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On 2/24/2015 at 4:21 PM, William said:

What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing. 

 Who are those who believe? Those who have been drawn by the Father (John 6:44). 

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Various opinions/interpretations on John 6:44

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Jesus clarified also that the Father’s drawing (Gr. helkyo) is selective (cf. v. 37). He does not just draw everyone in the general sense of extending the gospel invitation to them. He selects some from the mass of humanity and brings them to Himself. It is that minority that Jesus will raise up to eternal life on the last day (cf. v. 40). This truth does not contradict 12:32 where Jesus said that He would draw (Gr. helkyo) all men to Himself. There He was speaking of all people without distinction, not just Jews but also Gentiles. He did not mean all people without exception.

Constable, Tom. Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible. Galaxie Software, 2003.

 

 

Quote

 

John 6:44

Except the Father draw him (ἐαν μη ἑλκυσῃ αὐτον [ean mē helkusēi auton]). Negative condition of third class with ἐαν μη [ean mē] and first aorist active subjunctive of ἑλκυω [helkuō], older form ἑλκω [helkō], to drag like a net (John 21:6), or sword (18:10), or men (Acts 16:19), to draw by moral power (12:32), as in Jer. 31:3. Συρω [Surō], the other word to drag (Acts 8:3; 14:19) is not used of Christ’s drawing power. The same point is repeated in verse 65. The approach of the soul to God is initiated by God, the other side of verse 37. See Rom. 8:7 for the same doctrine and use of οὐδε δυναται [oude dunatai] like οὐδεις δυναται [oudeis dunatai] here.

 

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933.

 

Quote

44. Draw (ἑλκύσῃ). Two words for drawing are found in the New Testament, σύρω and ἑλκύω. The distinction is not habitually observed, and the meanings often overlap. Σύρω is originally to drag or trail along, as a garment or torn slippers. Both words are used of baling to justice. (See Acts 8:3; 17:6; 16:19.) In Acts 14:19, σύρω, of dragging Paul’s senseless body out of the city at Lystra. In John 21:6, 8, 11, both words of drawing the net. In John 18:10, ἐλκύω, of drawing Peter’s sword. One distinction, however, is observed: σύρω is never used of Christ’s attraction of men. See 6:44; 12:32. Ἑλκύω occurs only once outside of John’s writings (Acts 16:19). Luther says on this passage: “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes.”

Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887.

 

 

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Notes for  6:44

66 tn Or “attracts him,” or “pulls him.” The word is used of pulling or dragging, often by force. It is even used once of magnetic attraction (A. Oepke, TDNT 2:503).
sn The Father who sent me draws him. The author never specifically explains what this “drawing” consists of. It is evidently some kind of attraction; whether it is binding and irresistible or not is not mentioned. But there does seem to be a parallel with 6:65, where Jesus says that no one is able to come to him unless the Father has allowed it. This apparently parallels the use of Isaiah by John to reflect the spiritual blindness of the Jewish leaders (see the quotations from Isaiah in John 9:41 and 12:39–40).

 

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition Notes. Biblical Studies Press, 2006.

 

 

Quote

44 To this Jesus replies, in harmony with vv 37 and 39, that only they whom the Father “draws” can come to him; in them the promise of Isa 54:13 is fulfilled—they are “taught of God.” This leads Bultmann to interpret the “drawing” by God as taking place when man abandons his own judgment and “hears” and “learns” from the Father, and so allows God to speak to him: “The ‘drawing’ by the Father occurs not, as it were, behind man’s decision of faith, but in it” (232). Like the related Jer 31:34, the quoted prophecy relates to the knowledge of God in the last days. They have arrived! Those who listen to the Father “come” to the Son, since he, and he alone, has seen the Father (1:18). For such, v 47 contains a word of promise; to the “grumblers” it is an implicit appeal to receive the word, to believe, and so to gain the life (cf. 5:39–40).

Beasley-Murray, George R. John. Vol. 36. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002.Word Biblical Commentary.

 

 

Quote

This same emphasis on God’s sovereign control in the salvation of his people is repeated in 6:44. Here Jesus is direct and to the point. People are unable to come to the Father (i.e., for salvation) unless the Father himself “draws” them. The use of ἑλκύσῃ is informative in that it carries a meaning of drawing or dragging by force as seen in its other usages in the New Testament. This would seem to indicate that ἑλκύσῃ carries in its meaning more than a simple wooing
In the tenth chapter of John there is further evidence that God is the one who is ultimately in control of preserving believers. In 10:26–29 Jesus makes it clear that only those who are his sheep truly believe in him (10:26). They hear his voice and follow him and this following is not in doubt.

Bass, Christopher David. “A Johannine Perspective of the Human Responsibility To Persevere In The Faith Through The Use of ΜΕΝΩ And Other Related Motifs.” Westminster Theological Journal 69.2 (2007): 317–318.

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Posted (edited)

@Ben Asher,

@Faber

@Stratcat

@William

 

Hello there,

 

Please do not place me on either side of this debate, for I am attempting to look at this objectively. 🙂

 

My first thought takes me to Romans 1:18-2:16,  in which man is declared to be without excuse for not retaining God in their knowledge:- 'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:' (Rom 1:19-20)

 

* Does this not indicate that the knowledge of God is available to all men? otherwise it could not be declared that man is 'without excuse?  Or is it only the knowledge of salvation that is denied to some and made known to others in the estimation of some?  This cannot be, for the Word of God is available to all.  Experience shows that there are those who are receptive to the truth and those who are not, but it is not for a want of knowledge, for it is freely available.

 

* In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it is said that, 'the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' That is understandable, because the natural man needs enlightenment. However the entrance of God's Word brings light does it not? And faith comes by hearing, does it not? And hearing by the Word of God.  The Word of God is, 'spirit', and it is 'life', and is available to the majority of mankind, to both 'hear' and 'believe', in this day and age, 

 

Thank you.

In Christ Jesus

Chris

 

 

 

Edited by C.Jord
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2 hours ago, C.Jord said:

Please do not place me on either side of this debate, for I am attempting to look at this objectively.

Either side? That implies that there are only two sides and personally I doubt that. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, C.Jord said:

* Does this not indicate that the knowledge of God is available to all men?

What does this have to do with the OP?

4 hours ago, C.Jord said:

* In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it is said that, 'the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' That is understandable, because the natural man needs enlightenment. However the entrance of God's Word brings light does it not? And faith comes by hearing, does it not? And hearing by the Word of God.  The Word of God is, 'spirit', and it is 'life', and is available to the majority of mankind, to both 'hear' and 'believe', in this day and age, 

Natural man? Who does the natural man contrast?

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On 2/24/2015 at 12:21 AM, William said:

Why not? Our rule of interpreting Scripture is that implications drawn from the Scripture must always be subordinate to the explicit teaching of Scripture. We must never, never, never reverse this to subordinate the explicit teaching of Scripture to possible implications drawn from Scripture. This rule is shared by both Reformed and non-Reformed thinkers.

A lot of people asks where should we draw the line when making inference from Scripture. How far can we go?

 

Not contradicting an explicit teaching with an implicit inference might be a good principle!

 

 

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1 hour ago, William said:

What does this have to do with the OP?

Natural man? Who does the natural man contrast?

'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness unto him:

neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually discerned.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,

yet he himself is judged of no man.'
(1 Corinthians  2:14-15)  

 

Hello @William

 

The contrast is between, 'the natural man', and, 'he that is spiritual'.

 

Praise God!

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

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4 minutes ago, C.Jord said:

'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness unto him:

neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually discerned.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,

yet he himself is judged of no man.'
(1 Corinthians  2:14-15)  

 

Hello @William

 

The contrast is between, 'the natural man', and, 'he that is spiritual'.

 

Praise God!

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

Hi Chris,

 

Can you elaborate more? How is the natural man made spiritual?

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, William said:

Hi Chris,

 

Can you elaborate more. How is a man made spiritual?

Hello again, @William,

 

'That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.(John 3:6) '   The natural man is born a natural man and will die a natural man, unless he is also born of the Spirit: and then he will have the hope of resurrection life, and will be raised with a spiritual body.   1 John 5:1a, informs the reader that, 'Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. However, the babe in Christ needs to have it's senses exercised, to know good from evil, and to learn what is pleasing to God, and that comes by the prayerful reading and application of God's Word, through which the Holy Spirit is able to take of the things of Christ and make them ours. Thereby we eat and drink of Christ: for His words are, 'spirit', and they are, 'life'.

 

'For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?

even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God;

that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.'
(1 Corinthians 2:11-13)  

 

Praise God!

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

 

 

Edited by C.Jord

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8 minutes ago, C.Jord said:

I thought it had relevance.

 

🙂

I saw afterwards that your response was to another in the thread. What threw me off was you tagging my name when I only republished the OP.

 

12 minutes ago, C.Jord said:

Hello again, @William,

 

'That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.(John 3:6) '   The natural man is born a natural man and will die a natural man, unless he is also born of the Spirit: and then he will have the hope of resurrection life, and will be raised with a spiritual body.   1 John 5:1a, informs the reader that, 'Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. However, the babe in Christ needs to have it's senses exercised, to know good from evil, and to learn what is pleasing to God, and that comes by the prayerful reading and application of God's Word, through which the Holy Spirit is able to take of the things of Christ and make them ours. Thereby we eat and drink of Christ: for His words are, 'spirit', and they are, 'life'.

 

'For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?

even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God;

that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.'
(1 Corinthians 2:11-13)  

 

Praise God!

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

I agree, but I'm still pushing back in the order of salvation while learning about you. Hope you don't mind my intent to get to know you better? Again, how is one born again? You quoted John 5:1 and now I'm asking whether regeneration (born again) precedes faith or does faith precede regeneration? In other words is regeneration an award for man exercising or willing in himself belief (a work of man) or is regeneration the precondition necessary for genuine or saving faith to occur (a work of God)?

 

God bless,

William

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, William said:

I saw afterwards that your response was to another in the thread. What threw me off was you tagging my name when I only republished the OP.

 

I agree, but I'm still pushing back in the order of salvation while learning about you. Hope you don't mind my intent to get to know you better? Again, how is one born again? You quoted John 5:1 and now I'm asking whether regeneration (born again) precedes faith or does faith precede regeneration? In other words is regeneration an award for man exercising or willing in himself belief (a work of man) or is regeneration the precondition necessary for genuine or saving faith to occur (a work of God)?

 

God bless,

William

Hi @William,

 

That's fine.  I don't mind. ☺️

 

How is one born again, or born of God? - By believing the good news of God concerning His Son.  That obviously requires that we, 'hear,' that good news.  For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  The entrance of God's Word brings light. Light as to our sinful condition, and our need of a Saviour; light concerning God's provision of salvation for us, in and through the all-sufficient sacrifice of His only begotten Son, and of His resurrection.  That enlightenment, is the first act of the creation process,'let there be light', and it mirrors that within our own experience. This process is replicated with every new truth concerning Christ that is revealed to us, we hear it  and believe it, and faith grows. We are His workmanship from beginning to end.

 

I can only express it in terms that I am familiar with I'm afraid.

In Christ Jesus

Chris

 

 

Edited by C.Jord
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Posted (edited)
On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2015 at 2:21 AM, William said:

 

by R.C. Sproul

 

 

 

It is ironic that in the same chapter, indeed in the same context, in which our Lord teaches the utter necessity of rebirth to even see the kingdom, let alone choose it, non-Reformed views find one of their main proof texts to argue that fallen man retains a small island of ability to choose Christ. It is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing. The argument used by non-Reformed people is that the text teaches that everybody in the world has it in their power to accept or reject Christ. A careful look at the text reveals, however, that it teaches nothing of the kind. What the text teaches is that everyone who believes in Christ will be saved. Whoever does A (believes) will receive B (everlasting life). The text says nothing, absolutely nothing, about who will ever believe. It says nothing about fallen man’s natural moral ability. Reformed people and non-Reformed people both heartily agree that all who believe will be saved. They heartily disagree about who has the ability to believe.

 

Some may reply, “All right. The text does not explicitly teach that fallen men have the ability to choose Christ without being reborn first, but it certainly implies that.” I am not willing to grant that the text even implies such a thing. However, even if it did it would make no difference in the debate. Why not? Our rule of interpreting Scripture is that implications drawn from the Scripture must always be subordinate to the explicit teaching of Scripture. We must never, never, never reverse this to subordinate the explicit teaching of Scripture to possible implications drawn from Scripture. This rule is shared by both Reformed and non-Reformed thinkers.

 

If John 3:16 implied a universal natural human ability of fallen men to choose Christ, then that implication would be wiped out by Jesus’ explicit teaching to the contrary. We have already shown that Jesus explicitly and unambiguously taught that no man has the ability to come to him without God doing something to give him that ability, namely drawing him.

 

Fallen man is flesh. In the flesh he can do nothing to please God. Paul declares, “The fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8).

 

We ask, then, “Who are those who are ‘in the flesh’?” Paul goes on to declare: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:9). The crucial word here is if. What distinguishes those who are in the flesh from those who are not is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. No one who is not reborn is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. People who are in the flesh have not been reborn. Unless they are first reborn, born of the Holy Spirit, they cannot be subject to the law of God. They cannot please God.

 

God commands us to believe in Christ. He is pleased by those who choose Christ. If unregenerate people could choose Christ, then they could be subject to at least one of God’s commands and they could at least do something that is pleasing to God. If that is so, then the apostle has erred here in insisting that those who are in the flesh can neither be subject to God nor please him.

 

We conclude that fallen man is still free to choose what he desires, but because his desires are only wicked he lacks the moral ability to come to Christ. As long as he remains in the flesh, unregenerate, he will never choose Christ. He cannot choose Christ precisely because he cannot act against his own will. He has no desire for Christ. He cannot choose what he does not desire. His fall is great. It is so great that only the effectual grace of God working in his heart can bring him to faith.

All the "choice"  believers are quick to defend this passage. They apply it to the salvation experience incumbent upon man's ability to choose his own path to the eternal rewards that only await the elect of God . But do they read it in its entirety ? Meaning ,do they read past these few words that don't tell the whole story ? Apparently not ! Going further down to verse 18 we read ,"He who believes in Him is not condemned ,but he who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ,because he has not believed in the only Begotten Son of God." Notice ," He who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ." John 3:16 does not tell the entire story. But reading the remaining passages places the action of the passage in the future tense . Something that has already been done  in eternity past . Couple that with what Paul is telling us in Romans 8 & 9 and that tells the whole story of the salvation experience.

Edited by Matthew Duvall
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14 hours ago, Matthew Duvall said:

All the "choice"  believers are quick to defend this passage. They apply it to the salvation experience incumbent upon man's ability to choose his own path to the eternal rewards that only await the elect of God . But do they read it in its entirety ? Meaning ,do they read past these few words that don't tell the whole story ? Apparently not ! Going further down to verse 18 we read ,"He who believes in Him is not condemned ,but he who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ,because he has not believed in the only Begotten Son of God." Notice ," He who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ." John 3:16 does not tell the entire story. But reading the remaining passages places the action of the passage in the future tense . Something that has already been done  in eternity past . Couple that with what Paul is telling us in Romans 8 & 9 and that tells the whole story of the salvation experience.

The "choice" believers have read all of John 3:16.......

They are choice believers because they believe in free will...libertarian free will.

I've asked to be shown where and when in the entire bible, this free choice has been taken away from us.  So far, no verses.

 

I'd address you to Philemon 14:

14but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will. 

 

And to address your verse:

John 3:17-21

17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 

18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 

20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 

21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

 

Verse 17    God sent His Son into the world so that THE WORLD might be saved through Him.  (accepting God's conditions, of course)

 

Verse 18  He who believe in Jesus will not be judged after death because he is already judged because of belief in Jesus.  He that does not believe (present tense) is already judged because we're born lost and MUST come to a belief in Jesus in order to be saved.  Those that do not believe, will not be saved.

 

Verse 19  This verse also shows free will.  Some men love the darkness and they do not like the light because...

 

Verse 20  The light will expose their evil deeds.  So they do evil deeds (does God make man do these evil deeds?  He does if everything is predetermined).

 

Verse 21  He that practices the truth comes to the light --- one who practices something does so of his own free will.  Those that practice the truth come to the light and THEIR DEEDS are wrought in God...because GOD IS TRUTH AND LIGHT.

 

It does NOT say that those practicing the dark and evil do so because it is wrought in God.

 

And now could YOU please exegete Philemon 14?

 

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48 minutes ago, GodsGrace said:

I've asked to be shown where and when in the entire bible, this free choice has been taken away from us.  So far, no verses.

By the same standard paste a verse that says we have said 'free will' 

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1 hour ago, GodsGrace said:

Verse 19  This verse also shows free will.  Some men love the darkness and they do not like the light because...

There is no “SOME” in verse 19; it says ...

 

[Jhn 3:19-20 NASB] 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

 

What percentage of men do evil?

 

[Rom 2:12 NASB] 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
[Rom 3:23 NASB] 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

[Rom 5:12 NASB] 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

 

[Eph 2:1-3 NASB] 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

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[Philemon 1:8-16 NASB] 8 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you [to do] what is proper, 9 yet for love's sake I rather appeal [to you]--since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus-- 10 I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, 11 who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me. 12 I have sent him back to you in person, that is, [sending] my very heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated [from you] for a while, that you would have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

1 hour ago, GodsGrace said:

And now could YOU please exegete Philemon 14?

 

14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.

 

Paul makes it clear in verse 8 that he can ORDER Philemon to do what is right; but in verse 14 Paul states that he did not want to MAKE him do anything, Paul wanted Philemon to choose to release Onesimus to continue to minister.

 

Why should Paul do this, you ask?  Paul explains in verses 15-16 ... “that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

PS.  Since all three people involved (Paul, Philemon and Onesimus) are Christian, it seems odd to apply this scenario to the unsaved.  Of course the saved are free from slavery to sin and free to do what is right.  No Calvinist would argue with that.

Edited by atpollard

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2 hours ago, Becky said:

By the same standard paste a verse that says we have said 'free will' 

You want a verse that says we have free will?

 

I posted Philemon 14...it clearly uses the term "free will".

Any verse that requires a choice to be made shows we have free will.

 

 

 

Joshua 24:15

15“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

 

If God chose for us,  there would be no need for the above verse.

 

 

Galatians 5:13

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

 

 

John 7:17

17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

 

Genesis 2:16-17

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

 

There are many more.  The entire bible speaks to our freedom to choose.

If we can choose, we have free will.  Free will to make moral choices.

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Which refers to choosing Salvation ?  I understood the standard you set to be salvation . 

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2 hours ago, atpollard said:

There is no “SOME” in verse 19; it says ...

 

[Jhn 3:19-20 NASB] 19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

 

What percentage of men do evil?

 

[Rom 2:12 NASB] 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
[Rom 3:23 NASB] 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

[Rom 5:12 NASB] 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

 

[Eph 2:1-3 NASB] 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

A,

Some men is correct.....

 

20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 

21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

 

"for everyone who does evil hates the light..."

 

it does NOT say...

"everyone does evil and hates the light..."

 

I really don't like English lessons although I'm very capable of doing this.

 

And then it's even continued with...

"BUT he who practices the truth...."

 

IF everyone does evil...then who are those that practice the truth?

It's plain and simple English and has nothing to do with biblical studies.

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18 hours ago, Matthew Duvall said:

All the "choice"  believers are quick to defend this passage. They apply it to the salvation experience incumbent upon man's ability to choose his own path to the eternal rewards that only await the elect of God . But do they read it in its entirety ? Meaning ,do they read past these few words that don't tell the whole story ? Apparently not ! Going further down to verse 18 we read ,"He who believes in Him is not condemned ,but he who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ,because he has not believed in the only Begotten Son of God." Notice ," He who does not believe is CONDEMED ALREADY ." John 3:16 does not tell the entire story. But reading the remaining passages places the action of the passage in the future tense . Something that has already been done  in eternity past . Couple that with what Paul is telling us in Romans 8 & 9 and that tells the whole story of the salvation experience.

Right, the immediate context provides exceptions to John 3:16 in John 3:18.

 

Now ask the question how or why are they condemned (judged) already?

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2 hours ago, atpollard said:

[Philemon 1:8-16 NASB] 8 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you [to do] what is proper, 9 yet for love's sake I rather appeal [to you]--since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus-- 10 I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, 11 who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me. 12 I have sent him back to you in person, that is, [sending] my very heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated [from you] for a while, that you would have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

 

14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.

 

Paul makes it clear in verse 8 that he can ORDER Philemon to do what is right; but in verse 14 Paul states that he did not want to MAKE him do anything, Paul wanted Philemon to choose to release Onesimus to continue to minister.

 

Why should Paul do this, you ask?  Paul explains in verses 15-16 ... “that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 

PS.  Since all three people involved (Paul, Philemon and Onesimus) are Christian, it seems odd to apply this scenario to the unsaved.  Of course the saved are free from slavery to sin and free to do what is right.  No Calvinist would argue with that.

I'm not applying it to the unsaved.

We all know all 3 are saved.

Calvinism teaches compatible free will, which is no free will.

 

So I don't understand your very last statement.

Which was this:

 

"Of course the saved are free from slavery to sin and free to do what is right.  No Calvinist would argue with that."

 

 

Philemon clearly shows that Paul was depending on Philomen's free will ...

Paul didn't want Philomen to be kind because he HAD TO, but because he WANTED TO.  Verses 8 and 9 show this to be true because Paul says he could have demanded P to take back Onesimus, but Paul wanted a favor instead.

 

Right now, however, I'm more intersted in your last sentence.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, GodsGrace said:

Some men is correct.....

“Some” men is assumed.  You are reading YOUR preconceived beliefs into the text.  Just as both “Free Will” and “Calvinism” read their preconceived beliefs inti John 3:16 (which supports neither and both views based on “ALL” vs “WHOEVER”).

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