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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.
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William

Is Predestination Morally Right?

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Before discussing the concept of predestination, one must keep in mind that we are ALL unworthy to enter the Kingdom of God and, to an extent that anyone does, it is through God's mercy and favor. In light of that, the problem of predestination is largely, though not completely addressed, since we would be judged unworthy by a just but unmerciful god so we are 'naturally' predestined to not attain an eternal reward in heaven. Since no 'worthy' person would be excluded, the concept of predestination can not be seen as morally wrong in any sense.

Jesus obliquely refers to this in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). Certainly, we as humans, would naturally think that it was not morally right that laborers who toiled for only an hour got the same wage as someone who worked 11-12 hours during the day. The owner/employer states, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?" God's ways are not our ways and how He decides to show His mercy is beyond our comprehension.

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Moses was referenced in Hebrews 11, here is the NASB version:

 

23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

 

In verse 25 are both free will and choice the same? I guess they would be. Everyone has a choice. Two people could be argued that were rewarded or favored for their faith (not that the others weren't). That would be Ezekiel and Enoch who of course were called up (Raptured?) before bodily death. If anyone was to be made an argument for, would it be those two?

 

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It is. I think the Lutheran book of Concord uses such language to distinguish between a free will offering or one being compelled by the law. The natural man or unbelieving man does "good" in the sight and standards of other men, but this a far cry from making a claim that rejects the necessity of regeneration, and man's works in the presence and relation of a Holy God. This is why it is so important to clarify what one means by "free will", whether they mean autonomous or libertarian will, or simply having a choice. 99 percent of the people I ever spark dialogue with only mean, by free will, that man has a choice - to which I agree. However, if our goal is to deepen our understanding of the Sovereignty of God and man's depravity we need entice our brethren to think through free will presuppositions. Such things as charity or contributions etc are done by unbelievers too, whether towards Government or God. Really, when I read passages such as Exodus 35 and 36 I come to the realization that a working society without God can exists, because in those passages a stiff necked and rebellious people had voluntarily done things that the law had not required for Israel's sake. This also, like the Israelites, is the case with the Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians 9:8-11, the same free will offers are spoken of, though I am drawn to the motivation and intent of people's works without compulsion or regeneration. Now-a-days it only takes a brief moment to turn on the television and hear the message of so many televangelist, and the distortion they teach to motivate people in sowing a seed without compulsion.

 

God bless,

William

 

Good work!

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