Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Concise Exegesis of Romans 9

Romans chapter 9 is one of the biggest "proof texts" Calvinists use to bolster the idea that God has chosen to regenerate some while leaving others dead in their trespasses and sins. I have never interpreted Romans 9 in such a manner. I do, however, see how Calvinists view Romans 9 in such a way, but in doing so one must take this chapter completely out of context and disregard the entire history of the Jews and the actual context of the Old Testament scripures from which the apostle Paul quotes!

Thanks to one of the members of SEA for linking to this article on Romans 9 written by Christopher Skinner. I have not read all of Christopher Skinner's website so I cannot say that I agree with everything he has written, but I think he has done an excellent job of capturing the true essence of what Paul was trying to convey in this brief essay on Romans 9.

If you do not believe this is a proper interpretation of Romans 9, then please explain where and why you disagree.

Enjoy!

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115 Comments:

At Friday, April 25, 2008 9:32:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

I will be checking that out. I went through Rom. 9 verse by verse on my blog (late last summer I think.) Yes, it is a Calvinist's favorite chapter in the Bible, or so it seems. :~)
I like it too though. :~)

 
At Saturday, April 26, 2008 9:01:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

Thanks for linking to that post.

First off, Spurgeon throughout that link expresses my own thoughts. Spurgeon's writings have been what has steered me clear of hyper-Calvinism.

That said, do you not agree that depending on how we view John 6:40 - whoever sees and believes in Him has everlasting life - is the point where two systems part? I see Romans 3:11 saying that NONE understand; there is NONE who seeks after God. Had not God gone after His elect no one would believe in Him. We would all have gone the way of Sodom and Gomorah.

I must work most of today. I hope to be back later, if not some time in the next couple days.

Bless you, sister in Christ.

Mark

 
At Saturday, April 26, 2008 9:03:00 AM, Blogger Leo said...

Hi Dawn, I've downloaded Mr. Skinners article and will read it.

There is an interesting defense of Romans 9:1-23 written by John Piper called The Justification of God that you may find interesting in that he strives to expound on Romans 9 using Jewish sources et.al. His arguments are not easily ignored.

I tried to find the book this morning but my kids have again scattered my Romans shelf, ugh!

 
At Monday, April 28, 2008 1:05:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Rose, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy this article. I like Romans 9, too!

I have always had trouble completely understanding Romans 9:11. I knew that it did not mean that God chose Jacob over Esau for salvation, but I just couldn't figure out exactly what God meant here. I knew that "service" was the subject of God's choosing Jacob over Esau. I also knew that this illustration was painting a picture of salvation according to HIS will (one must believe) and that it wasn't due to reasons we were not allowed to know. All my mind could come up with was foreknowledge and I knew that wasn't correct. When I learned of its true meaning it was SUCH a DUH?! moment for me because I am well acquainted with the biblical principle of birthright, firstborn and position. For example, and as you probably know, firstborn does not always equal to being the firstborn, rather, it can mean that any child born after the one born chronologically first can be given a firstborn position and be called firstborn. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, when it was pointed out that vs 9:11 was teaching that God does not regard ancestry or birthright when He bestows His blessing and that it was all of His grace. I.e., Jacob didn't work for or deserve the earthly blessing just as we do not work for or deserve the ultimate spiritual blessing. It is ALL of God's grace.

 
At Monday, April 28, 2008 2:20:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, my friend! It is so good to see you. I hope all is well with you and yours.

Romans 3:11 is basically stating that no one would naturally seek God without Him drawing us to Himself. It is not until we are born again that we begin to fully understand the spiritual aspects of this life and the implications of sin. It is not saying that we cannot understand our need for a
Savior or that we NEVER seek God. God says we DO understand (Romans 1:18-32) and that He expects us to seek Him (II Chron 15:2; Isaiah 55;6; Acts 17:26-27). Again, it is conveying the fact that because we are totally depraved we would not seek God without God's seeking us out FIRST as shown in John 12:32 and I John 4:19.

In context, Paul is trying to show the Jews that even though they were chosen to carry the seed of the Redeemer, write and preserve the Word of God, etc., etc. It does not mean that they are automatically saved due to their heritage. He's telling them they are just as guilty as the Gentiles. There is more that could be said about Romans 3:11, but you get the main idea.

You are correct. It absolutely does matter how we view these particular scriptures. Like I stated in the original post (and no offense intended), I see that Calvinists tend to take the scriptures that "appear" to prove their doctrine completely out of context without taking into account the history and the original context from which is being quoted and the actual context in which the particular text is written.

You mention the 6th chapter of John. Calvinists take that chapter to mean that God has arbitrarily chosen only some to salvation when the context is stating that God gave those already believing and following Him to Jesus. They beleive that Jesus is the Messiah because they believe in the One true God. The others who "appeared" to believe were not true believers, else they would understand and believe Jesus to be the much anticipated Messiah. Jesus was here as a man (though fully God) and so, at this time, it was Jesus depending upon the Father to show Him and tell Him and give Him all that were His.

I agree that had God not gone after ANY of us that no one would believe in Him. The elect are not exclusive to the group whom God calls. God goes after ALL mankind. Those who believe BECOME the elect. Does God know beforehand whose are His? Yes. However, that does not mean that He did not call ALL to repentence and give ALL a bona-fide chance to repent (i.e., all have the ability to repent through the prompting of the Holy Spirit; though, that prompting can be, and often is, rejected. (Acts 7:51). When a person does not reject the Holy Spirit they are granted repentance, saving faith and given eternal life.

Having said that, I do see that God ultimately comes to redeem HIS people, but only because He foreknew who they were and NOT because He did not give everyone (all mankind--including all "kinds" of men) a bona fide chance. (There is no such thing as unconditional election taught in the Bible.) In the end, those who are born again are HIS people.

I hope all this has made some sort of sense. I've been interrupted umpteen times and it has been hard to write a cohesive comment!

Do you see that Romans 9 is NOT speaking to unconditional election? If not, where has Christopher Skinner (and those whom he quotes) gone wrong in his exegesis?

 
At Monday, April 28, 2008 2:21:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Rose, I forgot to ask that you please let me know what you think of this article.

 
At Monday, April 28, 2008 2:25:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Leo, great to see you.

If Piper's defense is the common defense given by Calvinists, then I've probably already heard or read it. However, if you do locate your copy, I'd love to hear where you think Piper's explanation is better than the one in the article to which I have linked.

 
At Tuesday, April 29, 2008 5:59:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Hi Dawn!

"Do you see that Romans 9 is NOT speaking to unconditional election? If not, where has Christopher Skinner (and those whom he quotes) gone wrong in his exegesis?"
===========================
No, quite honestly, I do not. And, yes, I've seen that argument before; even used it myself before I embraced the DoG.

Let me illustrate something -

Romans 3:11 says that Mark Pierson did not understand the things of God; and that Mark Pierson never sought God.

Verse 12 states that Mark Pierson turned aside (both in Adam, and on his own, because it was his nature to do so. Eph. 2:1-3; John 3:19-20.

Verses 13-14 states that Mark Pierson's throat was an open tomb ( My mouth was foul, full of cursing, racial hatred, sexual talk, etc.) I was a lyer.

verse 15-16 states that my feet were swift to shed blood - I loved hurting people, inflicting pain, and loving it.

I did not know the way of peace. I loved gang violence.

Vrse 18 - there was no fear of God before my eyes in that, before I was convicted of my sin a full year and a half before I came to Christ, I did not fear that I was going to hell.

Romans 8:7 states that my mind was hostile to God and was not subject to His laws.

Hostile to God I was. Until God the Holy Spirit separated me from the world and unto Christ, 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thess.2:13, I was under the sway of the of the wicked one, 1 John 5:19, and led about by the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, Eph. 2:2. I was by nature a child of wrath, dead in trespasses and sins, absent the Life of God that is the Holy Spirit, Eph. 2:2-3;Eph. 4:17-19.

Biblically speaking there is no such thing as "prevenient grace". One is either under the sway of the wicked one or under the influence of the Spirit.

Acts 7:51 does not represent the effectual call of God. The gospel message goes out from the Spirit's mouth through the evangelists (us). It is received only by the elect. The rest hate it.

In the above would you also put your name where I placed mine? Is your experience different than mine?

 
At Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, you said, "No, quite honestly, I do not. And, yes, I've seen that argument before; even used it myself before I embraced the DoG."

Though I respectfully disagree, I understand your argument with regard to the Romans verses along with the other verses. I will address them, but first, you have not dealt with the text of Romans 9. How can you say that the proper exegesis is not what this article states? The OT scriptures give us the context in which these verses are meant to be interpreted. Paul is not changing the word of God, rather, he is amplifying and clarifying their meaning. I will say that Romans 1:18-19 shows us that we DO understand because God has shown us; thus, we are without excuse.

Nowhere is it stated that Jacob was chosen for salvation and Esau for damnation and the same goes for Pharaoh. The reference to the potter and the clay is obviously not stating that the clay was "made" for destruction rather it fitted itself to destruction and could be made a vessel of honour if would but repent.

It is so very clear that God is telling these Jews that they are just as guilty of sin as the Gentiles and that they, too, have sinned and come short of God's glory. We are ALL in the same boat. Thus, we ALL need a Savior.

Please show where this interpretation of Romans 9 is wrong.

 
At Tuesday, April 29, 2008 12:24:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

The Holy Spirit can take OT scripture and reinterpret them in the NT. Take for example Romans 9:25 where Paul is quoting Hosea 2:23. In the original God was speaking to Israel. In the Romans passage Paul is applying it to Gentiles. Again in verse 9:26 Paul is quoting Hosea 1:10. In Hosea Israel is spoken about. In Romans Paul applies it to Gentiles. No where are we invitied to go back to those OT scriptures for the retelling of the stories those OT scriptures come from. Paul is unfolding God's mind in these verses and progressing revelation of God. Your hermeneutic is not warranted in scripture.

Romans 9 was written to comfort those in chapter 8:28-39. If nothing can separate from the love of God then the objection can be raised that God rejected OT Israel. In chapter 9 Paul is saying that is not so. The word of God HAS taken effect, 9:6. Those Israelites that do not believe are those that are not true Israel. The true children of Abraham are those who believe. Election to salvation is most deffinitly in view here. Again a progressive revelation is taking place, not the retelling of the original story these passages come from.

I must get ready for work now. I hope to be back tomorrow.

Peace, my sister!
Mark

 
At Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:46:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

Even beginning in Matthew and through out the NT OT scriptures are quoted to show fulfillment in Christ, scriptures that in their original context one would not have known they were prophecies of Christ. Check out Hebrews 1. The OT verses quoted there, if seen in their context, would not see prophecies of Christ there. Look at Matthew 2:18. In its OT context would one have seen a prophecy of Christ? How about Matt. 2:15? A quote from Hosea 11:1. Do you see a prophecy of Christ in the Hosea Passage?

 
At Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:50:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

When you say, "The OT scriptures give us the context in which these verses are meant to be interpreted.", only very few theologeans use that hermeneutic.

 
At Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:56:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

...And that is why the two schools of thought, represented by you and I, shall never see eye to eye. We cannot agree on that hermeneutic that your school of thought uses.

 
At Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:35:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Mark. I don't have time to reply right now. I'm hoping to have time to do so this evening, but it may not be until tomorrow.

 
At Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:35:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, I have read Dave Hunt's "What Love Is This". I am familiar with your arguments.

Question:
.Where does Paul bring up the subject that nations or service is what he is focusing on here?

 
At Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:42:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

If he is speaking of nations here (which, again, he does not say that he is, that has been imported over here by a system intent on denying God's soveriegnty in individual salvation), how then does that continue a flow of thought that takes us to verses 21-24 of Romans 9?

 
At Thursday, May 01, 2008 5:05:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, you are right. Our two schools of thought are at polar opposites so we will NEVER see eye to eye. However, I did not know that Calvinists interpreted the bible in such a manner. I better understand why you believe the way you believe and I thank you for that.

You said, "When you [Dawn] say, "The OT scriptures give us the context in which these verses are meant to be interpreted.", only very few theologeans use that hermeneutic."

Since the majority of christendom holds to an Arminian/Non-Calvinist perspective I hardly see how it is possible that very few theologians use the hermeneutic to which I espouse. That is not to say that since the majority hold to such an hermeneutic that it is the correct way to go about exegeting the scriptures (though, I do believe it is), else we could change the word of God to say whatever we wanted it to say.

I agree that the Hosea passages (and the others you mentioned) are revealing the broader truth and/or the prophetic nature of these passages, but it has ALWAYS been an eternal truth that the Gentiles are included in the family of God so there was no real "change" of truth being given by Paul. Just as it has never been that all Israel was true Israel; rather, it had become what the Jews believed to be true. Adam and Eve and everyone up to, and including, Abraham were Gentiles. Paul even talks about Abraham being a Gentile before he placed his faith in God. (Romans 4) In the eyes of God, we are all the same; there is neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ. This was Paul's point and he wasn't changing any truths. No offense, but I see Calvinists trying to change the truth of the nature of salvation.

You said, "No where are we invitied to go back to those OT scriptures for the retelling of the stories those OT scriptures come from."

I have no idea where Calvinists have derived such an idea. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, absolutely IS inviting us to recall these stories because they carry with them eternal truths, else why would He have even bothered to have quoted them? Why didn't God just say, "Hey, I choose those who will be saved and those who will go to Hell. Don't you worry about WHY I've chosen only certain people to go to heaven. IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!" This was about God's sovereignty and more specifically His sovereignty according to His TERMS of salvation and not simply that He chooses. I.e., God chooses according to His own terms and not ours. We did nothing to deserve salvation and we can do nothing to earn salvation. He has a condition and that condition is faith/belief in Jesus which is summed up in vs 32.

Like I said before, the Jews were very well acquainted with the scriptures. The OT canon was THE scripture at the time so Paul was painting a picture of salvation using these people's lives and election to service to prove his point. It was the OT that Paul exhorted Timothy to hold fast to because it was that which had taught him wisdom unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 3:14-17)

Paul was reminding them of God's sovereignty in election, period. There is election to service and election to salvation. The point being that it is ALL of God and ALL on HIS terms. Paul used God's election to service as an illustration for the election to salvation. Paul was showing these people that God chooses those who "believe" and that it has nothing to do with anyone's heritage or with anyone's working for their salvation by keeping the law. He is showing the mercy of God toward ALL people, whether Jew or Gentile, who do not deserve salvation but who may obtain salvation if they would place their trust in the Christ the Savior. Nowhere does this state that God only chooses some and leaves others in their sin for unknown reasons. He is re-emphisizing the REAL reason a person is saved and it has ALWAYS been the real reason. It is a matter of the heart and placing one's faith/belief in God. It is man's responsibility to believe God.

From the very beginning we see that man has a choice. God told Cain that if he would but "do well" (i.e., obey God) that God would accept Him. This shows the repsonsibility of man. God personally came to Cain and actually spoke audibly to him and GAVE him a choice. And we see "choice" all throughout the OT, and in the NT.

You said, "Election to salvation is most deffinitly in view here.

You are correct; however UNconditional election is NOT in view here. That was my point. (I apologize if I was not clear.) I.e., Jacob's election was not unto salvation, it was unto service. God is speaking to TERMS here. Like I stated above, these TERMS of election for service are the illustration of God's TERMS of election to salvation. GOD has chosen to save those who believe in Him through Christ Jesus.

Again, these Jews felt that they should automatically be saved due to their heritage or the following of the law and they felt slighted that the Gentiles would attain righteousness while many of the Jews would not due to their unbelief. After all, they were the chosen of God!

I've got to go for now. I could probably edit this and make it a bit more concise, but I don't have the time so my apologies.

I will have to answer your last two posts later. Hopefully tomorrow.

God bless you brother!
Dawn

 
At Thursday, May 01, 2008 7:06:00 PM, Blogger TrueHope said...

The NT authors aren't quoting OT out of context. Whenever they quote the OT, they're using the OT context and we should too.

Moreover, instead of ignoring the OT context and establishing our own predefined context, we should interpret the Bible according to the proper context.

Whenever we're feel like ignoring the OT context because it somehow conflicts our position, we know we're in deep trouble.

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 5:58:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

That man has a choice before him is not in question. Never has been. It is only the elect who will make the right choice. We must let Paul's commentary stand on its own. He picked only a portion of Genesis 25:23, and only a portion of Malachi 1:2-3. Not the whole verses in either case. Then we check the commentary of Paul in these verses where he quotes these OT verses - 9:10-13. His commentary speaks nothing of service or nations; but, rather of election only. His commentary should carry the day here. The NT writers should always be what interprets the OT. In his commentary he is trying to illustrate that God saves by election. It is an import of a man made system that demands that we carry over the original OT context, especially since Paul merely quotes only small portions of those passagesfrom the OT. He quoted those small portions of those passages to illustrate a point; and his commentary alone is what we are to observe, not feed our own hermeneutic to it.

In answer to other objections Calvinists see the NT WRITERS, nothing else, to interpret the OT. We do not fix our own interpretations. Our interpretations are based on what the NT writers have to say. Their writings alone are our commentary on the OT. From thier writings we derive our thinking.

Your brother in Christ,
(and, no, you have not offended me. I want to be your friend, truely!)
Mark

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 6:10:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

IOW, we should be consistent in our inductive approach. Let Paul's commentary carry the day as I've already said. Talk of service or nations are not found in this passage in Romans 9:10-13. When you say, " "Hey, I choose those who will be saved and those who will go to Hell. Don't you worry about WHY I've chosen only certain people to go to heaven. IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!"", well, that is exactly what God is teaching throughout Romans 9 -11. Only when we bring that manmade hermeneutic of Dave Hunt's does the message get altered.

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 6:20:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

In short, the New Testament interprets the Old Testament. Otherwise we have nothing to go on but speculation. Where the NT is silent in regards to the OT we should be too. Paul picked only portions of OT verses, and only to drive home whatever point God the Holy Spirit was moving him to make; and those points are clearly made in Paul's commentary of those verses. Let's not read anything else in there that we don't see Paul discuss.

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 7:31:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Dawn,
I read through it very breifly the other day, but not very well - not well enough to comment on it specifically... yet.

I have been reading the discussion between you and Mark.

Mark,
You say Where the NT is silent in regards to the OT we should be too.

I am sure you don't mean that how it sounds. If I didn't know better, I might think you were saying that we shouldn't look to the OT for any teaching except for where it is cited and "commented" on by NT authors. If I didn't know better, I might think you were disagreeing with the word that says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...."

I never have read "Dave Hunt's book" that you keep referring to and I see just what Dawn is talking about. It is plain as day. Would you ever consider that you might be seeing it through Calvinist colored lenses? We all need to consider that we have biases, not just the other side.

It has been fun reading your comments, Dawn and Mark! God bless - both of you are friends!

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 9:40:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose,

When I read the OT (I'm passing through Isaiah in my regular devotional reading in the OT) I see it for what it is saying there. I try to draw from it also what I can see of Christ. For example: I can see the lives of Joseph or David or Daniel, and glean from them types of Christ. I can see David's heart for God or Daniel's commitment to God even in the most fierce opposition.

Bottom line: I both read and enjoy the OT. However, I do believe that the NCT hermeneutic of seeing the OT through the NT lense is the best way to interpret scripture.

Your friend!!!

 
At Friday, May 02, 2008 9:44:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Revelation 19:10

Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy. The Bible, both OT and the NT is the setting forth of Jesus. He is the very center of the Bible. Rose, I've seen you interact with Bobby Grow on this. This is where he and I are very similar.

 
At Saturday, May 03, 2008 12:25:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, et al. I'm hoping to be able to get in here and answer these questions some time this weekend. I may have a chance to answer some this evening, God willing.

Truehope, thanks for stopping by. You said, "The NT authors aren't quoting OT out of context. Whenever they quote the OT, they're using the OT context and we should too."

Amen! I hope to expound on this later.

 
At Saturday, May 03, 2008 7:10:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Sunday, May 04, 2008 10:47:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Hi Dawn,

My son will be on the computer throughout Sunday doing his homework. I hope to be back sometime in the next couple days.

Peace!

 
At Tuesday, May 06, 2008 12:32:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I haven't forgotten about you. I've started a response, but will have to finish it later. Please bear with me.

God Bless!

 
At Tuesday, May 06, 2008 5:45:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

What I said here...

In short, the New Testament interprets the Old Testament. Otherwise we have nothing to go on but speculation. Where the NT is silent in regards to the OT we should be too. Paul picked only portions of OT verses, and only to drive home whatever point God the Holy Spirit was moving him to make; and those points are clearly made in Paul's commentary of those verses. Let's not read anything else in there that we don't see Paul discuss...

Is the basis of my whole approach in dealing with Romans 9. Nowhere in that chapter is Paul inviting us to use the OT to set the context, nowhere. That approach strips Paul the Apostle of his Holy Spirit granted right to use the OT as the Spirit leads him to. It waters down a message that is clearly the aim of the chapter: "the purpose of God according to election... of Him who calls... the choice of one over another...His having mercy on whom He pleases, and hardening whom He pleases... there being vessels for honor, and others for dishonor; His taking out from the same lump those whom He will save and conform to the image of His Son, while leaving the others to their own chosen ends - the rejection of God, hostility towards Him, and the suffering the consequences for living that way.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:10:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I apologize for having taken so long to respond so please forgive me. I guess I should not spread myself so thin. I have not read Dave Hunt's book What Love Is This; though, I've heard of it and have used the phrase myself, so I very much understand the meaning in his title and can imagine some of the issues he must surely be addressing with regard to Calvinism. I do have the book Debating Calvinism by James White and Dave Hunt; though, I've not finished reading it. Maybe I should make the effort.

I am going to break up my answers into different comments so each one won’t be so long.

You ask, "If he is speaking of nations here (which, again, he does not say that he is, that has been imported over here by a system intent on denying God's soveriegnty in individual salvation), how then does that continue a flow of thought that takes us to verses 21-24 of Romans 9?"

First of all, God forbid! that Arminians/Non-Calvinists would try to deny the sovereignty of God in individual salvation! That is just so very untrue, Mark. We most certainly believe that God is totally, utterly and completely (redundant, I know, but I want to make that point absolutely crystal clear) sovereign in matters not only of individual salvation, but in ALL things. For in Him we live, and move and have our being. Also, it is not that we are trying to get around unconditional election; rather, it is that we simply do not see such an idea taught in the scriptures. Calvinists have assigned a definition of sovereignty to God that is not taught in scripture. It is very clear that God, in His sovereignty (i.e., He does as He pleases), has put a condition upon salvation and that condition is faith.

I’ve said it before and I mean no offense by this, but, IMVHO, Calvinists are the ones taking the sovereignty away from God.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:42:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

I will attempt to answer the question of nations and how they flow with vs 21-24 of Romans 9. Of course, we will not agree; and, please bear with me while I repeat some things.

First of all we need to keep in mind that Paul is explaining why Israel as a people/nation has been rejected so nations are clearly in view here. As you have stated, Paul has partially quoted Genesis 25:23 (along with other passages) which was, at the time of Rebekah, a prophecy. It is within this context that we see that nations are in view here. We do not see God telling Rebekah that He has chosen one child for heaven and one for hell. Rather we see that God is foretelling of the nations within her womb and that the elder will serve the younger. Through that story we know that the birthright, the promises, the Messiah, etc. would come from Jacob (i.e., the nation of Israel). It isn’t until Malachi (with much history in between) that God says that he has loved Jacob and hated Esau; He is obviously speaking in terms of them being nations.

The same is true for the verses quoted in vs 21-24 (i.e., God is speaking in terms of Israel as a nation in the OT). In Jeremiah 18, God is speaking to Israel as a nation and imploring them to repent. If they would repent, He would mold them into a vessel of honor. God WANTS them to repent. If He wants them to repent, it necessarily implies that they CAN repent (though, not without the grace of God, but they obviously HAVE the grace of God before them!). If they do not repent, THEY fit THEMSELVES for destruction and it is not because God isn't allowing them to be able to repent. And since the Jews/Israel had rejected Jesus THEY had fitted THEMSELVES for destruction.

I really do not know how else to show that Israel, as a nation, is in view here. The flow here is so very obvious to me and it ALL easily relates to the TERMS of the salvation of individuals (i.e., election). I know that there is the doctrine of corporate election out there, but I don't yet fully understand it. For now, all I see is the illustration of election to service and how it relates to the terms of election to salvation. Nowhere in the Genesis account do we see God electing anyone to salvation. Salvation was not what Jacob was elected to; rather, it he was elected to service as explained above.

Mark, you said, “That man has a choice before him is not in question. Never has been. It is only the elect who will make the right choice.

Please show me in scripture where it specifically states that only the elect will make the right choice.

God was so obviously showing His love toward Cain despite his heinous sin of murder against his brother. We see God’s longsuffering toward Cain in giving him every chance to repent and to make the right choice. We see God’s longsuffering toward him in allowing him to live and even protecting him with a mark so that others would not kill him. I do not see this account as God going to Cain gracing him with His very Presence and audibly telling him what he must do to be accepted all the while not ALLOWING him to do the right thing. Unconditional election to salvation is not what was in view here; rather, it was the LOVE of God toward even the worst of sinners and how that some WILL NOT repent for reasons known only to God.

What is also obvious is how God handled Israel as a nation insofar as their ability to repent and how it is THEIR responsibility. If they have NO ability, then why in the world would God show Jeremiah the potter and the clay and explain the meaning to him and have him go to the people of Israel (the nation made up of individuals) and exhort them to repent?!

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 2:08:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “We must let Paul's commentary stand on its own. He picked only a portion of Genesis 25:23, and only a portion of Malachi 1:2-3. Not the whole verses in either case. Then we check the commentary of Paul in these verses where he quotes these OT verses - 9:10-13. His commentary speaks nothing of service or nations; but, rather of election only. His commentary should carry the day here.

As you know, scripture interprets scripture. Again, the Jews knew the history behind these quotes. Paul had already said, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel…” speaking of Israel as a nation. Paul speaks to service in 9:4 which further proves to me that, YES, we ARE invited to visit the OT context of the partial passages from which Paul quotes.

Paul's commentary does stand on its own because it is the inspired word of God; however, what Paul's commentary means is dependent upon the entire counsel of God. And the entire counsel of God does not teach UNconditional election. Paul's illustration of election to service paints the picture of God's election to salvation (i.e., it is according to HIS purpose). God's purpose in election is to save those who believe.

Have you never in your personal life quoted a portion of a movie, a book or the bible to make a point because you knew your audience would understand the context of that quote without having to go into detail? I would think that it is somewhat common because it is in my own life.

Jesus quoted partial scripture throughout his ministry. He often infuriated the Pharisees or pricked them in their hearts when He did so because He knew they KNEW the context of those partial quotes. (John 8:58 cf Exodus 3:14; John 8:7 cf Deuteronomy 17:7) Or what about when John the Baptist was in prison and sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was really The One and Jesus answered him with partial scripture and John knew exactly what Jesus meant. Jesus was proving with partial scripture that He was indeed the Messiah! (Luke 7:19-22 cf Isaiah 61:1; Psalm 72:13) These are but a few examples.

In the example of the woman caught in adultery, many in our day take this account to be Jesus placing a moratorium on the death penalty because they either do not understand the context in which Jesus is quoting the law or they wrongly believe that Jesus is indeed changing the law. But Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18)

We must rightly divide the word of truth using the whole counsel of God or we are in danger of error. Nowhere does scripture teach that God chooses some for salvation for no apparent reason and it certainly isn't what Paul was trying to convey. God's choosing is conditioned upon faith.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 2:14:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “The NT writers should always be what interprets the OT….In short, the New Testament interprets the Old Testament. Otherwise we have nothing to go on but speculation.

I have always seen it as the OT helps us to better understand the NT. I’ve recently learned that there is even a term for this type of interpretation called metalepsis. (I will post a link to another exegesis of Romans 9 which explains this.) I agree that the NT will at times reveal a mystery, a prophecy or enlighten us on a broader truth, but it will NEVER EVER change a truth and that is what I see Calvinists doing with their “proof-texts” and their way of interpreting the scriptures. Calvinists are the ones guilty of speculation when there is no reason to do so. God has told us WHY He chooses some and not others. There is NO mystery.

Let’s take Malachi for instance. It is very clear within the text of Malachi that God is talking about what has gone on in the history between the two nations and why He feels the way He feels about them. If we are to take your idea that Paul is saying that Jacob was chosen for salvation and Esau for damnation then Paul has just changed the word of God and I KNOW that is not what Paul is setting out to do.

Can you show through scripture where Esau, the individual, went to hell?

You said, “However, I do believe that the NCT hermeneutic of seeing the OT through the NT lense is the best way to interpret scripture.

And I see it as just the opposite. I guess I should go out and see what others have to say about this.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 2:34:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “Nowhere in that chapter is Paul inviting us to use the OT to set the context, nowhere. That approach strips Paul the Apostle of his Holy Spirit granted right to use the OT as the Spirit leads him to. It waters down a message that is clearly the aim of the chapter: "the purpose of God according to election... of Him who calls... the choice of one over another...His having mercy on whom He pleases, and hardening whom He pleases... there being vessels for honor, and others for dishonor; His taking out from the same lump those whom He will save and conform to the image of His Son, while leaving the others to their own chosen ends - the rejection of God, hostility towards Him, and the suffering the consequences for living that way.

By quoting the OT Paul absolutely IS inviting us to use the OT to set the context, else why even go there? That approach, in no way, strips the Apostle Paul of his Holy Spirit granted right to use the OT as the Spirit leads him to. It is exactly THE reason the Holy Spirit leads us there through Paul. There is no watering down the purpose of God according to election. The richness of the background of these texts perfectly explains the purpose of God according to election…of Him who calls…the choice of one over another. I.e., salvation is NOT obtained through heritage or works of the law; rather, it is obtained through God’s condition of faith (Romans 1:17; 9:32). He has mercy on those who believe/accept Him and he hardens those who do not accept/reject Him. He makes those who believe vessels of honor and those who do not believe vessels of dishonor. Those who believe will be conformed to the image of His Son and those who do not believe will not be conformed, but will be in hell for eternity. It PLEASES God to save those who believe the gospel. (I Corinthians 1:21)

My goodness, God’s compassion and longsuffering is shown throughout the entire OT. We see God giving people chance after chance after chance to repent. This is God’s grace going forth drawing men unto Him. Why does He even bother if there is NO chance of the repenting, no ability for them to repent? What lesson are we to learn? That God is grossly disingenuous? God Forbid!

Please tell me Mark, does God have compassion on all people? Did God have compassion on Judas Iscariot? Did God have compassion on the Pharisees? Did God have compassion on the rich young ruler? Did God have compassion on the hungry crowds? Did God have compassion on the sick? The answer to all these questions is a big, fat, wonderful YES and AMEN! He had compassion on these people in every account and confronted them with their sin and tried to get them to see that He was the Messiah. In doing so, He was enabling them to believe! He used the miracles (a form of grace) to prove that He was indeed very God. God loves everyone and does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Praise be to our Holy and all loving God!

You said, “Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy. The Bible, both OT and the NT is the setting forth of Jesus. He is the very center of the Bible.

This is true, and why did Jesus come? He came to save man from his sin. He came with US in mind, to the Glory of God! (Hebrews 2:9)

Here is a more in depth exegesis of Romans 9 for anyone who cares to read it (it begins with post #25):

Romans 9: An In Depth Exegesis

Mark, I love you as my brother in the Lord. I’m sorry that we will never agree, but at least we’ll be together in Heaven!

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 2:38:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

I forgot to mention that the poster of this exegesis of Romans 9 is Swordman53.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:37:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

You've put in a great effort to answer my comments. I respect and admire your work here.

I do believe though that you misunderstand in many points. You seem to operate under the assumption that man is a free moral agent, while I believe he is free only to operate in the sphere of self. The lusts of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life rule the day.

Look at Galatians 5:19-21. We see there the life of a person that does not have the Spirit of God present within. To be sure there are no godward qualities there. There is nothing there that would seek God. In fact all that is mentioned there is hostile to God. Does John mention in vain that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil? John 3:19-20. It says there that everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed - this is talking about all of humanity.

I'll break this comment up here.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 6:57:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Back to Galatians 5. We pick up in verse 22 - the fruit of the Spirit. Note that none of these qualties can exist within a person if that person has not God the Holy Spirit living within. There would be no love for God, and the resulting love for man who is created in His image. There would be no faithfulness in serving God. In fact, in Romans 12:3, we see that God has dealt to every saint a measure of faith. In short, there would be no "looking to God" at all without the Holy Spirit's influence. That is why one must be born from above, John 3:3-8; Titus 3:4-7 - in order to even see the Kingdom of God. The things of God are foolishness to the unregenerate, 1 Cor. 1:18. The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be, Romans 8:7.

Man is minus the life of God, Eph. 4:18, and his understanding is darkened, both Jews and Gentiles. See Eph. 2:1-3.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:09:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

You say, "Please show me in scripture where it specifically states that only the elect will make the right choice."
=======================
My answer is from Romans 11:4-7. Israel has gone about to establish their own righteousness nad have not submitted to the righteousness of God, Romans 10:1-3. They stumbled on Christ, Romans 9:33. They had become a disobedient and contrary people, Rom. 10:21. Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have. Yes, there is that elect remnant. That remnant is so because of the working of God's Spirit.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:33:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Concerning Esau.

Look at Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith. David is there. He was a notorious sinner. Yet we see him in this chapter spoken of in a most glorious light along with those other saints of old. No mention of his sin. I submit to you that ALL the saints here are seen as God sees them, as through lenses soaked in the blood of Christ. As David said, " blessed is the man upon whom God does not impute sin, Psalm 32. Abraham lied about Sarah, yet there is no mention of that in Hebrews 11. Again, God is looking at Abraham through the blood soaked lens. I could go on about all these sinners who appear in this great chapter. et none of their sins or short-commings are brought up. Again, this is due to the blood of Christ. Now, where is Esau here? No, he appears in Chapter 12 of Hebrews, verse 16-17. Here he is referred to as a fornicator and profane person. It would seem his sins have been imputed to him. Look also at Malachi 1:3-4 - "But Esau I have hated (God is speaking while Malachi is in a place to see over 1500 years of history), And laid waste his mountains.. for the jackles" "They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, and a people against whom the LORD shall have indignation for ever." It would seem that they are not in position of God not imputing there sins against them.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:46:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"By quoting the OT Paul absolutely IS inviting us to use the OT to set the context, else why even go there?"
================
Dawn, again Paul merely quoted the smallest of portions of those passages, and only for the purpose of driving home a point that he was trying to make, a point begun in Romans 9:10-11. He is illustratting that God has always operated with election at the core in His dealings with man. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Jacob, not the first born Esau, was chosen, before having done any good or evil, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND. And I believe that ultimately salvation was the ends of that choice of God, 11:5-7.

Dawn, can you show me any main stream Calvinist who ever taught that man is saved by any other means other than by faith? Can you produce their names and the paces where they taught such things?

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:52:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

I hope no one minds me interjecting a comment that I have had in my mind for days now:

Interpreting the OT through "the lens" of the NT sounds a little bit nebulous when we are talking about portions that are not commented on by the NT authors (which would be the greater portion of the OT). So that leaves one with two choices when dealing with a portion of the OT that is not touched on by a NT writer:

1. Relegate a great portion of God's holy Word to the shelf when it comes to doctrine.

2. "Speculate" on how the lens of the NT would view those Scriptures which are a great portion of the OT, not commented on by a NT author.

In regards to the OT scriptures that *are* cited and commented on in the NT: Dawn makes a good point: Paul would be assumoing that people were familiar with them in their original contexts. That would be his whole point in bringing them up. To call it 'speculaton' to try and grasp that context to understand Paul's comments is a misnomer, I think. I would call it 'research', maybe. There probably is a better word. :~)

Mark, I doo appreciate reading your comments and I hope your dad is doing better.

Dawn,
You did put a lot of effort into these posts and I appreciate all that you had to say. You are much better at this than me! I am glad for email notification of things on other blogs like this bcause I am afraid I might have missed this great conversation otherwise.

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:57:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

There I go... proofreading what I said post mordem to make sure nothing I said could be misinterpreted by stalkers.

I wonder what "doo" could mean? :~)

 
At Wednesday, May 07, 2008 10:00:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Actually, Rose, you are quite good at conversation as well. That is why your blog is so very popular, and, I believe, very influential. You too are a very good writer, as is Dawn. I respect you both.

Concerning the OT. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:6-11. Paul there teaches that the OT is for us to see examples of how to live or not live, that the OT is written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

My dad is starting to get mean. I must now deal with that part of his dimentia (sp.?). Thanks for asking, sister in Christ.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 6:52:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

I've been thinking over your answer to me about readers being familiar with where Paul is coming from when quoting the OT. True. However, beginning in Romans 9:7 we see How Paul begins to use OT quotes to back up points he is trying to make. In that verse we see him quote only a small portion of Genesis 21:12. Here he is setting the stage for how he'll use the OT for the rest of Romans, chapters 9 through 11. In each case he makes a point then uses a snippet of an OT verse to back up his point.

In particular, and by far the most glaring example of the point that I am trying to make about how Paul uses OT verses, even altering them a tad, look at Romans 10:6-8. Here he is quoting Deuteronomy 30:12-14. In the Deuteronomy context the commandment or the word is being spoken of as being near you. In Romans Paul alters it by saying that the word of *faith*, which we preach is near you.

Again, you must concede that Paul's quoting of Hosea 2:23 and 1:10 in Romans 9:25-26, which, in their original context, speak of Israel, here Paul is applying it to Gentiles. Paul's whole motif throughout these 3 chapters is that he sets forth a proposition, then backs it up with a snippet of an OT verse, even at times changing the original meaning of said verses in order to drive home a point. It would be good for us to examine Romans 9-11 to see all the OT verses Paul quotes from, and to see how he uses them, even altering them sometimes in order to drive home a point.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 7:01:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

If you wish to see an example of the hermeneutic that I employ it Bible interpretation look at the book of Hebrews. There you see an type, antitype approach. The OT sets forth prophecy of Christ in oracles, types and shadows. The NT sets forth Christ as the substance and fulfillment of those things. Thus, the NT is used as a lens through which I view the OT. I am looking at the OT through the fulfillment position, with the NT authors, by the Spirit of God, giving us the way the OT is to be looked at.

Mark

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, thank you for the kind words. I admire your zeal for the Lord and your willingness to discuss these issues with patience, love and humility.

You said, "I do believe though that you misunderstand in many points. You seem to operate under the assumption that man is a free moral agent, while I believe he is free only to operate in the sphere of self. The lusts of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life rule the day."

Let me assure you that I do understand the issues at hand. Man is totally depraved and will not seek God of his own volition. The wonderful part is that once God seeks us out it enables us to respond. He has shown us and we DO understand, but again, not until He shows us. (Romans 1:17-22) HE first loves us, seeks us, lights us, knocks on our heart's door, draws us, commands us, places us, etc. (I John 4:19; Luke 19:10; John 1:9; Revelation 3:20; John 12:32; Acts 16:31; Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 4:17; Acts 17:26-27) God's grace comes in many forms and there are more than have been listed here.

Until we are born again, anything "good" that we do is seen as filthy rags. Until we are born again we do not "fully" see the truth of God. Until we are born again we cannot enter the kindom of God.

Romans 11:4-7 is not saying that God has only elected some for salvation. There are a remnant who have obtained righteousness through faith (i.e., those who have obtained it properly are seen as the elect) and because the rest rejected Christ they were blinded. God saves the elect unto Himself.

I'll have to think about all you've said concerning the spiritual end of Esau, the individual. I understand the "point" you are trying to make between God's view and Malachi's view, but I still disagree that UNconditional election to salvation was God's purpose here.

You said, "He is illustratting that God has always operated with election at the core in His dealings with man. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Jacob, not the first born Esau, was chosen, before having done any good or evil, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND."

Right, God chose Jacob over Esau meaning that the birthright would normally have gone to Esau, but God chose Jacob to receive it. And this was so that the purpose of God according to election might stand.

What was God's purpose in election? That salvation would be by grace through faith and not of works or heritage. It has nothing to do with UNconditonal election to salvation.

You said, "Dawn, can you show me any main stream Calvinist who ever taught that man is saved by any other means other than by faith? Can you produce their names and the paces where they taught such things?"

I thought that Calvinists believed that one was saved because they were elected by God from eternity past for reasons unknown and that regeneration preceded faith. Don't you guys use I John 5:1 to try to prove this?

I'm sorry to hear that your dad has dementia and that he is being difficult. I will pray that God gives you the patience and longsuffering you need to see this through.

God Bless,
Dawn

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Rose, you are always welcome to join in on any discussion here and at any point within the discussion. I value your insight.

Thank you for the kind words, but YOU are the articulate one. You've often expressed so beautifully my own thoughts on many issues. I really enjoy your blog.

Mark, you're articulate too. I completely understand your arguments, but just disagree. I appreciate and enjoy your desire and commitment to glorifying our Lord on your blog.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:52:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, you say,"Man is totally depraved and will not seek God of his own volition. The wonderful part is that once God seeks us out it enables us to respond."
=================
My point was that nothing short of the New Birth would enable a totally depraved person to even see his need for Christ, or anything about His kingdom.

I must break this response up. My wrists are bothering me. Sorry.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:57:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"Romans 11:4-7 is not saying that God has only elected some for salvation. There are a remnant who have obtained righteousness through faith (i.e., those who have obtained it properly are seen as the elect) and because the rest rejected Christ they were blinded. God saves the elect unto Himself."
=================
What we see in that passage is that the remnant believe in Christ BECAUSE they are elect. The rest seek to be justified by law keeping, missing the whole point that Christ is the end of the law for those who believe. And missing the point that the law was to lead them to Christ in the first place.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:03:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"What was God's purpose in election? That salvation would be by grace through faith and not of works or heritage. It has nothing to do with UNconditonal election to salvation."
======================
That is quite an assertion. If we follow the train of Paul's thought to the end of chapter 9 right on through, especially verses 23-33, we see that salvation is in view here, and that election is indeed unconditional.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:10:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, my friend, you do misunderstand the DoG. It is apparent here..."You said, "Dawn, can you show me any main stream Calvinist who ever taught that man is saved by any other means other than by faith? Can you produce their names and the paces where they taught such things?"

I thought that Calvinists believed that one was saved because they were elected by God from eternity past for reasons unknown and that regeneration preceded faith. Don't you guys use I John 5:1 to try to prove this?"
==================
We preach repentance and the remission of sins. We preach that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Where did you get the idea that we don't preach faith in Christ? Have you read any sermons by Spurgeon or Whitefield or Edwards?

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:25:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:27:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:28:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

When one preaches faith in Christ one can expect 4 different responses from the world: Outright hostility and or indifference from the seed that falls on hard ground; reponses of the cheerful reception from those who receive it from both the rocky and thorny grounds, only to have them fall away; and recption that brings forth fruit - some 30, some 60, some 100 - from the "good ground". The good ground being the elect, those whose heart God the Father and God the Holy Spirit hath prepared. John 6:44-45,65.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:35:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

When we preach faith in Christ only the elect will respond savingly. It is much like when Christ commanded that one to stretch out his withered hand. When he had done so it was healed. His commands to a lost world proceed from our mouths. Those who respond come forth as new creations.

Also we have the raising of Lazaraus. He being dead (typifying those who are dead in sin)came forth at the command of Christ (typifying are comming forth in new life from spiritual death).

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:38:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, is what we preach.

 
At Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:42:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

I do not know what your sources are for the shaping of your perception of DoG. I'm left scratching my head.

 
At Friday, May 09, 2008 6:08:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Hi Dawn,

Your response to my use of Romans 8:7 to prove the hostility of man toward the law of God. May I submit to you that the context there suggest that the law there is the one mentioned in verse 8:2 - "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" - the Gospel; that very gospel that is foolishness to those who are perishing. That very law that Romans 8 says that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us...who walk according to the Spirit, verse 4; that very law wherein those people set their minds on the things of the Spirit; that law wherein the Spirit of God dwells within; that law where the Spirit is life because of righteousness; that law wherein people are led by the Spirit of God because they are sons of God... That is the law that the carnal mind is hostile against. I say we look at the entire context that Romans 8:7 takes place; that being 8:1-17.

Mark

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 11:16:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, sister in Christ, friend -

We are about to argue in circles, not being able to find a common hermeneutic. That said, I shall now bow to you and you shall have the last word. May the Lord bless you, dear sister.

Mark

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:26:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Breaking this up into smaller posts.

Mark, you said, "My point was that nothing short of the New Birth would enable a totally depraved person to even see his need for Christ, or anything about His kingdom."

I realize that is your point; however, I disagree that people cannot understand their need for a savior without having been born again first. Why would we need faith if we're ALREADY born again?

It is by the GRACE of God that we are able to see and to respond positively, but that is very different from being born again. Being born again is the result of placing our faith in Christ. Nowhere does the bible state that one must be born again before they can understand their need for a savior. The whole point of being born again stems from the very fact that we do not reject the word of God. (John 1:12)

You said, "What we see in that passage [Romans 11:4-7] is that the remnant believe in Christ BECAUSE they are elect. The rest seek to be justified by law keeping, missing the whole point that Christ is the end of the law for those who believe. And missing the point that the law was to lead them to Christ in the first place."

Again, I disagree. It is not BECAUSE they are the elect that they see. They see BECAUSE God has shown them and they (for reasons that only God knows) receive Jesus as Savior and Lord and BECOME the elect. This remnant obtained salvation by grace through faith.

Why would God exert so much effort on these people knowing that HE was NOT going to save them and NEVER intended to in the first place? That goes against the very character of the God I've seen throughout the Holy Writ. While it is true that He KNEW they would not repent I believe He was showing us just how much He TRIED to reach their hearts without force.

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:28:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, "That is quite an assertion. If we follow the train of Paul's thought to the end of chapter 9 right on through, especially verses 23-33, we see that salvation is in view here, and that election is indeed unconditional."

And I feel that you are making quite an assertion that election is indeed UNconditional when it is in fact conditioned upon a person's faith BEFORE they are born again. Israel did not obtain righteousness because they stumbled and rejected Jesus, not because they were not chosen of God for some UNknown reason and not because He did not regenerate them. He didn't regenerate them because when they were shown the truth and SAW the truth they REJECTED the truth. (Matthew 13:13-15; Romans 1:18-22)

You said, "Dawn, my friend, you do misunderstand the DoG....We preach repentance and the remission of sins. We preach that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Where did you get the idea that we don't preach faith in Christ? Have you read any sermons by Spurgeon or Whitefield or Edwards?"

Really, I do understand the DOG. I've never said that you don't preach repentance, remission of sins and faith in Christ. The problem I see is that Calvinists say that a person is born again first and THEN they repent, have their sins remitted and have faith. Do not Calvinists use I John 5:1 to prove that very point? Jesus said that one must be born again to see the kingdom of God. How is one born again? A person is born again once they have placed their faith in Christ. It is the responsibility of MAN to repent and believe. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

No, I have never read any of the men you've mentioned except for when people quote them.

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:39:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, "The good ground being the elect, those whose heart God the Father and God the Holy Spirit hath prepared. John 6:44-45,65."

Where does it say that God was the one who prepared this good ground?

John 6:44-45,65 doesn't state that only the elect are drawn. In fact, further along in the book (12:32) it states that ALL men are drawn to God. It says that only those who hear and LEARN will be saved. Jesus asks the twelve disciples if they will go away, too? Why would He ask such a question if they were of the elect (i.e., chosen unconditionally) since the elect are saved whether they want to be or not? They have NO choice in the matter. Right? Jesus' question implies that they could walk away too if they so chose to do so.

The reason for the wording of the Father giving people to Jesus was because of Jesus' relationship to the Father as a man; though He was very God. God knows the hearts of men and He knew who were His to give to the Son; those who were believers are those who were given to the Son. Being 100% man, Jesus was totally submitted to, and dependent upon, the Father for EVERYTHING: power, strength, holiness, knowledge, wisdom, etc. (John 5:19-20)

You said, "When we preach faith in Christ only the elect will respond savingly."

It is true that only the elect (those whom God FOREknew) will respond savingly, but that does not mean that others never have a genuine choice or chance to become one of the elect. It doesn't mean that God does NOT allow them to respond positively (i.e., He does not initially give more grace to some than He does to others). God wishes that ALL would be saved and has NO pleasure in the death of the wikced. He stretches out His hands all day long to a rebellious people. He gives them every chance to come to Him. The bible teaches that whosoever will can come and those who do shall be saved.

You said, "It is much like when Christ commanded that one to stretch out his withered hand. When he had done so it was healed. His commands to a lost world proceed from our mouths. Those who respond come forth as new creations."

This account was not meant to show a parallel to salvation; rather, it was meant to be a sign that Jesus was indeed the Messiah in the hopes that the people would believe. (John 10:38) I don't disagree with your last sentence.

You said, "Also we have the raising of Lazaraus. He being dead (typifying those who are dead in sin)came forth at the command of Christ (typifying are comming forth in new life from spiritual death)."

Lazarus' death was not meant to paint a picture of being "dead in sin"; rather it was, again, meant as a sign in hopes that people would believe and it was for the glory of God. (John 11:40-42)

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 6:47:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, is what we preach."

I know it is what you preach, but you believe that one must be born again before one can believe which is very different from believing and the result being a new heart given rendering one as being born again. In your system, one has to born again to ask to be SAVED/born again.

You said, "I do not know what your sources are for the shaping of your perception of DoG. I'm left scratching my head."

My friend, you've proved to be a prime source in this very discussion. You said, “My point was that nothing short of the New Birth would enable a totally depraved person to even see his need for Christ, or anything about His kingdom.” I do not wish to be guilty of misrepresenting you so please answer these questions for me.

Isn't it your contention that a person is saved simply because they are of the elect, God's elect? I.e., that before they did anything good or anything bad God chose to save them? I.e., before they had faith and before they were even born and before the universe was even created that they were chosen, for reasons unknown to us, to be saved by God? Where is the REAL need for faith in your paradigm?

I do not have time to get to your second to last post. I wrote this one yesterday, but was not able to post it until today. Maybe I will answer it anyway, just to answer it for anyone who may be reading or who may happen upon my blog, but I won't be able to do so for several days. *I guess since you are giving me the last word these questions have become rhetorical.*

I agree that we are at an impasse and I thank you for the dialogue. It helps me to better understand your particular position; though, not all Calvinists believe that we should interpret the OT by the NT. I just learned today that someone we know who is a Calvinist (a graduate from Master’s Seminary and a pastor) does not hold to your particular hermeneutic of the NT interpreting the OT.

God bless you, my dear brother,
Dawn

 
At Saturday, May 10, 2008 11:36:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"Isn't it your contention that a person is saved simply because they are of the elect, God's elect? I.e., that before they did anything good or anything bad God chose to save them? I.e., before they had faith and before they were even born and before the universe was even created that they were chosen, for reasons unknown to us, to be saved by God? Where is the REAL need for faith in your paradigm?"
=================
In my paradigm a person is saved by faith alone in Christ alone.

They are elect according to the foreknowledge (foreknowledge carrying with it the idea of both personal knowledge of the individual, and also predetermination) of the Father.
God the Holy Spirit separates them from the world and unto obedience to Christ.(1Peter 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13
Christ's blood washes that person and also seals them into obedience to Him.

If you look at Romans 6, concerning Christ's crucifixion that it says that "our old man *was* crucified with Him, verse 6; *we* died with Christ, verse 8. Did the world die with Christ? Was the world crucified with Him? No to both questions.

Now, getting back to your questions:
Faith comes by hearing the Word, Romans 10:17.
Salvation is through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 2 Thess. 2:13.
We are brought forth of His own will by the word of truth, James 1:18.
We are born again through the word of God, 1 Peter 1:23.

We are saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, there is a point where the elect one shares a common ground with the rest of the unsaved. They are dead in trespasses and sins. They here the gospel, believe and are then saved. Salvation takes place AFTER faith in Christ. But, as I pointed out earlier, looking again at Galatians 5:17-23, there is no way anything short of the Spirit's regenerating presence within a life that anything Godward can be the result because the works of the flesh are the only thing going within that person's life.

Again, I preach Christ and Him crucified and only those who have been taught by the Father, and drawn by Him, and sanctified by the Spirit will come.

Mark

 
At Sunday, May 11, 2008 12:42:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

The short answer is that a person is saved only after one sees the Son and believes in Him.

 
At Sunday, May 11, 2008 2:22:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, you said, "Lazarus' death was not meant to paint a picture of being "dead in sin"; rather it was, again, meant as a sign in hopes that people would believe and it was for the glory of God. (John 11:40-42)"
=================
I'll ask you to consider John 5:24-29 - the now, not yet of the rssurection. Verses 25-26 clearly are teaching about those dead in sin coming to life at the hearing of Christ's voice. (the New Birth) While verse 28 goes on to discuss those who are in graves coming forth in the resurrection. In verse 25, "those who hear will live", is the New Birth.

In your reference to John 12:32, a more accurate rendering of that verse is "all peoples" which is fulfilled in Revelation 5:9-10.

 
At Sunday, May 11, 2008 2:30:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Any way you cut it a plain simple reading of Romans 9 as well as John 6 would render a DoG interpretation. Dawn, back in March of '07, on my blog, I asked you to read Romans 9 as well as John 6 WITHOUT your commentaries, those commentaries with an anti DoG bias, and you cannot but help come to DoG conclusions. Those commentaries bring unnatural interpretations to those chapters, interpretations that one could not have arrived at with the plain and obvious readings of those chapters.

 
At Sunday, May 11, 2008 3:19:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"Where does it say that God was the one who prepared this good ground?"
=================
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 6:44-45,65.

 
At Tuesday, May 13, 2008 5:49:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

You respond to me here - "You said, "It is much like when Christ commanded that one to stretch out his withered hand. When he had done so it was healed. His commands to a lost world proceed from our mouths. Those who respond come forth as new creations."

This account was not meant to show a parallel to salvation; rather, it was meant to be a sign that Jesus was indeed the Messiah in the hopes that the people would believe."
=====================
Isaiah 53:4-6
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


Matthew 8:14-17 - 14 Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. 15 So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.[a]
Many Healed in the Evening

16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“ He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”

1 Peter 2:24-25 - 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[a] of your souls.

Dawn, what we have in Isaiah 53:4-6 is the benefits of Jesus' death on the cross. In Matthew 8 we see the physical healings taking place while reflecting on Isaiah 53; and in 1 Peter 2 we see spiritual healing taking place while reflecting on Isaiah 53, "by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[a] of your souls." From this I get the idea that the physical healings Do have their spiritual parallel.

Mark

 
At Sunday, May 18, 2008 10:30:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn,

My sitemeter indicates that you've been to my blog today. I must work 3-11 PM today (yes, I know it's Sunday). I'll respond to any more questions that you may have, the Lord willing, some time tis next week.

Your friend,
Mark

 
At Sunday, May 18, 2008 4:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawn,

Great exegeting!

In Him,

Eye

 
At Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:08:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I've typed up a response but have not had a chance to post it yet. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 12:58:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Eye! So good to see you. I agree. Christopher Skinner has done a great job of exegesis on Romans 9.

I'll be sending you an email. Someone who attends our church has two grown sons who attend your church and I want to see if you know either them. One of them teaches a class there.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 12:59:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

I'll be breaking this up into smaller posts.

Mark, you never answered my questions, so here they are again. I'm leaving off the last sentence about faith because it is simply a formality within your paradigm. I.e., God GIVES faith ONLY to those whom He has chosen to be saved. Please answer yes or no to the following:

"Isn't it your contention that a person is saved simply because they are of the elect, God's elect? I.e., that before they did anything good or anything bad God chose to save them? I.e., before they had faith and before they were even born and before the universe was even created that they were chosen, for reasons unknown to us, to be saved by God?"

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 1:05:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, you said, "They are elect according to the foreknowledge (foreknowledge carrying with it the idea of both personal knowledge of the individual, and also predetermination) of the Father."

Nowhere does the word foreknowledge carry with it the idea of predetermination. It simply means what God has foreknown something about a person. Predestination is what carries with it the idea of predetermining.

What has God foreknown? A person's faith in Christ. What is predestined? A person who has placed their faith in Christ is predestined to become sons, be conformed to the image of Jesus, justification, sanctification and glorification, etc.

You said, "If you look at Romans 6, concerning Christ's crucifixion that it says that "our old man *was* crucified with Him, verse 6; *we* died with Christ, verse 8. Did the world die with Christ? Was the world crucified with Him? No to both questions."

I know there are differing views about being crucified with Christ and even some believing that the world did indeed die with Christ. I’ll just say that Jesus did die for the WORLD/every man and the WORLD/every man was/is being convicted by Him. So everyone has a bona fide chance to repent and believe. Whether or not the world or only Christians were crucified at the precise time in history that Jesus was crucified or Christians were crucified with Christ at the time they placed their faith in Christ is beside the point you are trying to make. This does not prove that God chose only certain people for salvation. If it is true that only Christians/the elect were crucified with Christ at that point in time in history (which is what I think you are trying to say…please correct me if I am wrong), then the foreknowledge of God would explain this event.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 1:13:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “Salvation takes place AFTER faith in Christ. But, as I pointed out earlier, looking again at Galatians 5:17-23, there is no way anything short of the Spirit's regenerating presence within a life that anything Godward can be the result because the works of the flesh are the only thing going within that person's life.” (emphasis added)

And still, you prove my point. Jesus said that one must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven (i.e., to be saved). The bible clearly teaches that the only way one can be born again is through faith. Here, you have a person being born again (i.e., regenerated) BEFORE they place their faith in Christ. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (a form of grace which is provided for ALL men, including all kinds of men) and only those who receive that word and believe/faith on Jesus are THEN born again. I.e., their spirits are made alive and they are given a new heart so that they will no longer want to do the things of the flesh as stated in Galatians 5:17-23. This is only possible by submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit once we’ve been born again as it is obvious that we may continue to cling to the flesh at times (e.g., King David and King Solomon). According to your system, there is no real power in the word of God as it cannot cut through the depravity of sinners unless God has ALREADY regenerated them; thus, making Hebrews 4:12 null and void.

You said, “Again, I preach Christ and Him crucified and only those who have been taught by the Father, and drawn by Him, and sanctified by the Spirit will come.

Where does it say that only those who are sanctified by the Spirit will come? Last time I checked, those who are taught and LEARN will come; sanctification is not mentioned. Sanctification is what happens once we are born again.

You said, “The short answer is that a person is saved only after one sees the Son and believes in Him.

Again, you said, “But, as I pointed out earlier, looking again at Galatians 5:17-23, there is no way anything short of the Spirit's regenerating presence within a life that anything Godward can be the result because the works of the flesh are the only thing going within that person's life.” (emphasis added)

Are you contradicting yourself? Or maybe you’re saying that regeneration is different from being saved? Please help me out here.

As I stated before, those who are taught (this is grace going before, i.e., prevenient grace which CAN be rejected: Romans 1:18-22; John 1:9,12; John 6:45a) AND LEARN (i.e., do not reject the word) from that teaching will come to Jesus and THEN be saved.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 1:22:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Speaking of Lazarus’ death typifying those who are “dead in sin,” you said, “I'll ask you to consider John 5:24-29 - the now, not yet of the rssurection. Verses 25-26 clearly are teaching about those dead in sin coming to life at the hearing of Christ's voice. (the New Birth) While verse 28 goes on to discuss those who are in graves coming forth in the resurrection. In verse 25, "those who hear will live", is the New Birth.

Here are the passages:

John 5:24-2924 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, AND BELIEVETH on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (emphasis added)

It states that the ones who hear AND believe have everlasting life. The one who hears must ALSO BELIEVE/FAITH. One can only be born again once they place “their” faith in Christ. The context explains what is meant by “hear” in verse 25.

(I will mention, only in passing, that the “dead” CAN hear, but that is beyond the scope of the discussion at hand. I do not have time to discuss that particular issue, but wanted anyone reading to take note that “dead” does not render one incapable of hearing and understanding the word of God.)

I stand by what I stated before, “Lazarus' death was not meant to paint a picture of being "dead in sin"; rather it was, again, meant as a sign in hopes that people would believe and it was for the glory of God. (John 11:40-42)

In other words, it was meant to show that Jesus was sent from God so that they would believe on Him which brings glory to God.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 1:32:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “In your reference to John 12:32, a more accurate rendering of that verse is "all peoples" which is fulfilled in Revelation 5:9-10.

No, Revelation 5:9-10 is not a more accurate rendering of John 12:32. John 12:32 says “all” and it means “all.” Just as John 3:16 means that Jesus died for the world. Just as I John 2:2 states that Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Just as Hebrews 2:9 states that Jesus has died for every man. Just as I Timothy 4:10 states that Jesus is the Savior of all men. Within this "all" are people from every kindred, every tribe and every nation. Revelation is simply revealing that men from every nation have been saved.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 1:51:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

I said, “"Where does it say that God was the one who prepared this good ground?"

You said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 6:44-45,65.


I’ve already explained this one. I said, “The reason for the wording of the Father giving people to Jesus was because of Jesus' relationship to the Father as a man; though He was very God. God knows the hearts of men and He knew who were His to give to the Son; those who were believers are those who were given to the Son. Being 100% man, Jesus was totally submitted to, and dependent upon, the Father for EVERYTHING: power, strength, holiness, knowledge, wisdom, etc. (John 5:19-20)

I’ll add that it says that ALL are taught. Again, this is prevenient grace that CAN be rejected.

My friend, Billy, over at Classical Arminianism does a much better job of explaining this here. I’ll post an excerpt:

Let's investigate the John 6 passage contextually that is disputed by many.

Jesus was informing the Jewish leaders that he was one in nature with God, his Father. This statement was their undoing. Jesus said, "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

"You [the Pharisees and Jewish leaders] have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you [the Pharisees and Jewish leaders] may be saved" (John 5.31-34). But they would not believe. Not only that but many of the people who were following and who saw miracles which he performed were slow to believe in him, even asking him for signs (John 6.30). They would not accept the light that they were exposed to (John 5.35). Why should Jesus give them more light?

Jesus alluded to the same thing in the parable of the sower. He stated, "Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them" (Matt. 13.12).

Many of Christ's followers, including the Jewish leaders, would not believe the miracles they saw him perform, so why should he perform other signs at their request? Walls and Dongell comment, "God will not offer more truth or manifest his full glory (the eternal Son) while light at hand is being spurned. In other words, we can't actively reject the Father and at the same time have any chance of accepting the Son."1

Still, not everyone rejected Jesus. Many did put their faith in him. Others, however, refused to trust him. The Father's plan was to give believers to Christ Jesus. Thus Jesus says, "All whom the Father gives me will come [lit. reach] me . . ." (John 6.37). Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14.6). And those who listen to the Father will come to Jesus (John 6.45).

But what will become of those who continually reject the Son? Again, Walls and Dongell offer, "The Jewish opponents' inability to come to Jesus did not lie, then, in the hidden, eternal plan of God but in their own track record of trampling prior light, of having already denied God himself and spurned God's corrective punishment.

"Had they received Moses fully, thereby coming to know the Father to the degree possible at that time, they would already have belonged to the Father's flock, and the Father would have drawn them to the Son. But in rejecting Jesus, they demonstrated that they had never surrendered to God in the first place, that they had set their faces like flint against all of his continued overtures.

"Since they did not belong to the Father's own flock, they wouldn't be part of the transfer of sheep already trusting the Father into the fold of the Son (John 6.37, 39). Their spiritual vanity came to full light when they imagined themselves as being qualified to pass judgment on Jesus, the very embodiment of all truth, while persistingly [sic] spurning God's lesser lights (e.g., Moses and John the Baptist).

"Were they willing to drop their pretensions and surrender to God's teaching, they would have been taught by God and led on to the Lord of life, since Jesus promised that 'everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me' (John 6.45)."2 Thus the condition of being "drawn" to Christ (John 6.44) is the response one makes to the light he has already received from God. If that one will "listen to the Father" (John 6.45), then he will draw that one to Christ. But if that one continually rejects what light the Father gives him, he will not, and he cannot, come to Christ, not being "drawn" (John 6.44) and "enabled" (John 6.65) by the Father to do such.

What part does total depravity play in how one receives God's truth? Understand that God's desire is that everyone be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1Tim. 2.4). This is not just true in some sense, it is an absolute truth to which both the Old and New Testaments confirm (Ezek. 18.32; 33.11; John 3.16-18; 1Tim. 2.4; 2Pet. 3.9).

Human depravity has separated everyone from God (Isa. 59.2). But God was "reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them" (2Cor. 5.19). It was and is his great desire to see human beings, created in his image, reconciled to himself by faith in Christ Jesus. This is why missions is so utterly significant! We must "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28.19) so that whoever "believes and is baptised will be saved" (Mark 16.16). Yes, human beings have been corrupted by the fall, but God [sic] to remedy that situation by his mercy and grace, offering redemption to anyone who will trust in Christ.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 2:20:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “Dawn, what we have in Isaiah 53:4-6 is the benefits of Jesus' death on the cross. In Matthew 8 we see the physical healings taking place while reflecting on Isaiah 53; and in 1 Peter 2 we see spiritual healing taking place while reflecting on Isaiah 53, "by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[a] of your souls." From this I get the idea that the physical healings Do have their spiritual parallel.

You originally said, “When we preach faith in Christ only the elect will respond savingly. It is much like when Christ commanded that one to stretch out his withered hand. When he had done so it was healed. His commands to a lost world proceed from our mouths. Those who respond come forth as new creations.

I said, “It is true that only the elect (those whom God FOREknew) will respond savingly, but that does not mean that others never have a genuine choice or chance to become one of the elect. It doesn't mean that God does NOT allow them to respond positively (i.e., He does not initially give more grace to some than He does to others). God wishes that ALL would be saved and has NO pleasure in the death of the wikced. He stretches out His hands all day long to a rebellious people. He gives them every chance to come to Him. The bible teaches that whosoever will can come and those who do shall be saved.

This account was not meant to show a parallel to salvation; rather, it was meant to be a sign that Jesus was indeed the Messiah in the hopes that the people would believe. (John 10:38) I don't disagree with your last sentence.


My point was to refute the idea that only the elect were ALLOWED by God to respond savingly to the gospel through being regenerated first.

I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but I find it a bit amazing that you are now willing to go beyond the text of Isaiah 53:4 as quoted in Matthew 8:17 because it fits your theology and that you refuse to take the historical context into consideration to properly interpret Romans 9 because it doesn’t fit your theology. No doubt, Jesus is The Healer spirit, soul and body and that He is, indeed, the Savior which is what the context of Isaiah 53 indicates; however, I don’t see it as necessarily trying to show a “parallel” to salvation in this instance. Rather, Isaiah was quoted to show fulfillment of prophecy; this, in hopes that the people would recognize Jesus as the Messiah/Savior because only someone who was sent from God could heal.

In the case of I Peter 2:24-25, Peter was admonishing these Christians to endure suffering for righteousness’ sake because Christ had suffered for our sake, especially in procuring our salvation. Because He endured these beatings and ultimate death, as prophesied in Isaiah 53, then we, too, should follow in His footsteps. He is our example.
I don’t see either of these authors trying to make a parallel, per se, between physical and spiritual healing. Though, we are physically and spiritually healed through the stripes of Jesus.

God commands all men everywhere to repent, but not all do, do they? (Act 17:30) Only those who do repent (i.e., receive God’s word vs. rejecting God’s word) come forth as new creations. So your parallel, in the sense that God commands and only the elect (meaning those who are chosen of God for reasons unknown to us) are allowed to come, is unwarranted according to scripture.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 2:51:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

You said, “Any way you cut it a plain simple reading of Romans 9 as well as John 6 would render a DoG interpretation. Dawn, back in March of '07, on my blog, I asked you to read Romans 9 as well as John 6 WITHOUT your commentaries, those commentaries with an anti DoG bias, and you cannot but help come to DoG conclusions. Those commentaries bring unnatural interpretations to those chapters, interpretations that one could not have arrived at with the plain and obvious readings of those chapters.

First of all, Mark, commentaries do not shape my view of the scriptures. I read the bible on my own for many, many years before I ever consulted a commentary. My biblical view had already been shaped by my own reading of the scriptures and, of course, my pastors and teachers played a part as well; though, I've not always agreed with everything they've taught. However, none of my pastors or teachers taught for or against Arminianism or Calvinisism; I’d never even heard of those terms or their doctrines until about 3-4 years ago and I’ve been a Christian for 24 years.

Second, I think you are the one who should have read John 6 and Romans 9 WITHOUT any Calvinistic presuppositions because you would never have naturally come to the conclusions you have come to without them and obviously didn’t until someone pointed them out to you. According to your blog, in the March ’07 post you directed me to, you lost an argument (presumably against a Calvinist, but feel free to correct me if I am wrong) which led you down the path of the DOG. Here is the quote:

My journey began with a lost argument in 1978. My Calvinism grew while attending churches wholly hostile to my budding Calvinism - no text books were involved, just the scriptures themselves.

Again, I mean no disrespect, but almost everyone on that thread had already been exposed to Calvinism or some Calvinistic arguments. I’m not saying that none of you came to your conclusions by the Word of God itself, but you all stated that Calvinists were responsible for causing you to read the Word in a different light and many were reading Calvinist material along with the scriptures.

Third, I completely disagree that one would naturally arrive at a DOG perspective by reading John 6 and Romans 9 on their own (again, and no offense intended, but your own testimony is a prime example), especially if one was quite familiar with the OT or, at the very least, knew how to use the references in the middle column of their bible which quickly point one to the original quote. I know I did not naturally come to DOG conclusions. Quite frankly, I was completely appalled at the idea that some would believe such a doctrine; though, now I understand HOW they believe and come to DOG conclusions.

Obviously, the majority of theologians do not naturally come to DOG conclusions when reading these chapters. That is not to say that Romans 9 doesn’t have some difficult points to ponder at first because I certainly ran into some difficulties, but I already knew enough to know that God, through Paul, was not trying to teach UNconditional election. I knew to go back to the original quotes for the proper contexts, but verses 10-13 still proved to be the hardest ones for me. (I never had a problem with John 6.) I thank God for Christopher Skinner’s commentary because it was just what I needed to complete the picture. Swordman53's exegesis was also a big help. They both helped with some things that were still a little fuzzy in my mind. I also thank God for my new found Ariminian friends from whom I’ve also learned.

If you think Arminians have corrupted my mind or something then you need to think again. I've read way more Calvinists than I have Arminians.

I think this discussion has run its course since we're now repeating ourselves. I hope to respond to any comments left unanswered when time permits AND I am in the mood to comment, but please don’t anyone hold their breath because it may never happen.

Mark, I hope we are still friends. I thank you for helping me to better understand your particular hermeneutic and that we can be candid with each other and not take offense.

Take Care & God Bless,
Dawn

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 5:27:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"I'll be breaking this up into smaller posts.

Mark, you never answered my questions, so here they are again. I'm leaving off the last sentence about faith because it is simply a formality within your paradigm. I.e., God GIVES faith ONLY to those whom He has chosen to be saved. Please answer yes or no to the following:

"Isn't it your contention that a person is saved simply because they are of the elect, God's elect? I.e., that before they did anything good or anything bad God chose to save them? I.e., before they had faith and before they were even born and before the universe was even created that they were chosen, for reasons unknown to us, to be saved by God?""
==============
Yes!

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 6:49:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"Whether or not the world or only Christians were crucified at the precise time in history that Jesus was crucified or Christians were crucified with Christ at the time they placed their faith in Christ is beside the point you are trying to make. This does not prove that God chose only certain people for salvation. If it is true that only Christians/the elect were crucified with Christ at that point in time in history (which is what I think you are trying to say…please correct me if I am wrong), then the foreknowledge of God would explain this event."
==================
4267 - THE COMPLETE WORDSTUDY DICTIONARY NEW TESTAMENT Spiros Zodhiates
proginosko -(A)Used of persons, to foreknow with approbation, to foreapprove or make a previous choice of, as special people (Romans 8:29; 11:2)

(C) - In Romans 8:29, in relation to believers, proginosko occures with the verb proorise, aor. act. indic. of poorizo (4309), to predstinate. Foreknowledge and foreordination are logically coordinate. The former emphasizes the excresise of God's wisdom and intelligence in regard to His eternal purpose and the latter emphasizes the exercise of God's will in regard to it. What He has decreed is what He has decided. This foreknowledge and foreordination in the scripture are always unto salvation and not unto perdition. Therefore, it should be said that the Lord never foreordains someone to be lost. Rather, He foreordains unto salvation those whom He specially considered and chose in eternity past (see Matt. 7:23; John 10:14; Romans 11:2; 1 Cor.8:3; Gal. 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:19; Sept. Hos. 13:5; Amos 3:2). Any thought of the lost being appointed or ordained unto condemnation should be understood as act of passing over in which the lost are permitted to suffer the consequences of their choice of sin (1 Peter 2:8). The salvation of every believer is known and determined in the mind of God before its realization in time. Thus, proginosko corresponds with the idea of having been chosen (eklegomai [1586], to choose)before the foundation of the world mentioned in Ephesians 1:4 and logically precedes the action indicated by prooizo. Proginosko essentially entails a gracious self-determining on God's part from eternity to extend fellowship with Himself to undeserving sinners (Romans 8:29).

Dawn, also, the language of Romans 6:6 "was crucified", and 6:8 "we died with Christ", is most definitly talking in past tense, done in the past and is great proof of predestination.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 7:09:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

" According to your system, there is no real power in the word of God as it cannot cut through the depravity of sinners unless God has ALREADY regenerated them; thus, making Hebrews 4:12 null and void."
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I know there are differing views of John 3:5 of "born of water and the Spirit". Some say that the verse can read "born of water "even" the Spirit" while others say that "water" here is speaking of the Word of God (see Eph. 5:26), then also by the Spirit. I am of the latter seeing that God the Holy Spirit ALWAYS acts in concert with His word in bringing about the new birth.

Jesus taught in John 6:63 that it is the Spirit that gives life. The word going forth the Spirit gives life to it to those the elect. The word is powerful and does bring about salvation as it goes forth in concert with Its Author, God the Holy Spirit. The word went forth from the very lips of the Lord Himself in John 6 but was rejected by all the hearers save the disciples because the Spirit had not given life to the hearers first.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 7:13:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"Where does it say that only those who are sanctified by the Spirit will come? Last time I checked, those who are taught and LEARN will come; sanctification is not mentioned. Sanctification is what happens once we are born again."
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I sight 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Thess. 2:13. The Spirit separates the whom God foreknew from the rest of the world and unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 7:26:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"And still, you prove my point. Jesus said that one must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven (i.e., to be saved). The bible clearly teaches that the only way one can be born again is through faith. Here, you have a person being born again (i.e., regenerated) BEFORE they place their faith in Christ."
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Dawn, I ask you to look at Galatians 5:19-21 - the works of the flesh... adultry, fornication, uncleaness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkeness, revelries, and the like. This is before the second birth. From which of these does a compliant heart to the gospel originate? It cannot!Hense the need for regeneration, the work of the Spirit as He accompanies His word into the heart of that elect one. NOWHERE is prevenient grace taught.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 7:40:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"John 5:24-29 “24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, AND BELIEVETH on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (emphasis added)

It states that the ones who hear AND believe have everlasting life. The one who hears must ALSO BELIEVE/FAITH. One can only be born again once they place “their” faith in Christ. The context explains what is meant by “hear” in verse 25."
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Notice that it says,"The hour is coming, and now is, when the *dead* shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." The dead are quickened by God, Eph.
2:1,5; Col.2:13, and go on to believe as a result of the new life within, Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:1. Think of it this way: When a baby is born they take their first breath BECAUSE they are alive. They then go on to live because they breath. A person believes because he/she is alive. They go on to receive all the benefits of Christ's crosswork through that faith.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:15:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"No, Revelation 5:9-10 is not a more accurate rendering of John 12:32.
============== Actually I said that Revelation 5:9-10 is the fullfilment of the more accurate rendering of "all peoples" in John 12:32. See The New King James Version.
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" John 12:32 says “all” and it means “all.”
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Yes, *all* peoples.
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"Just as John 3:16 means that Jesus died for the world."
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kosmos - men, mankind. Notice that it says that "whoever believes in Him". I believe Christ did die for the world. Contrary to other Calvinists I hold that election itself is the determining factor of who His death is efficacious for, Romans 9:10-33.
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" Just as I John 2:2 states that Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world."
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propitiation here speeks of a finished work. It is applied only to the elect through all time and can never be used as "possibly" for the world. The very definiton of propitiation does not allow it as a word to be used as a possibilty as your systemwould have it used.
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" Just as Hebrews 2:9 states that Jesus has died for every man. Just as I Timothy 4:10 states that Jesus is the Savior of all men. Within this "all" are people from every kindred, every tribe and every nation."
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I am in full agreemnet. See my note above concerning election and its place in determining to whom Christ's crosswork is applied.
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"Revelation is simply revealing that men from every nation have been saved."
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Amen

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:20:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

Dawn,
You are a machine. I really admore your tenacity in discussing this. And Mark, I admore yours too.

Dawn, I especially appreciated your referring to FAITH as a formality in the Calvinist paradigm. That is exacly how it seems to me too. It seems to lose all significance in the relationship between God and man when it is seen as something that is placed within the person by God. It would be better to call it 'sight' than 'faith' in the way the Calvinist views it.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:20:00 AM, Blogger Rose~ said...

admire

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:36:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

What Jesus was addressing in John 6was the people's unbelief. He supplies the reason - begining in verse 36. In verse 44 "no one *can* come to me unless the Father... draws him" Here you apply 1 Tim.2:4 where I apply Romans 9:18. John 6:45 states that *everyone* who has heard and lerned from the Father comes to me. A specific people are in view here. There is no prevenient grace taught any where in the Bible, much less here. ALL that the Father has given to the Son will come. No less, AND, no more. John 6:37. Your system is importing ideas into John 6 that are NOT there.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:45:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

"and that you refuse to take the historical context into consideration to properly interpret Romans 9 because it doesn’t fit your theology."
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Once again, my dear sister and friend, I'll ask you to consider Romans 9 and only read what is actually there and NOT what your system wants to see there. Your sytem effectively mutes Paul's voice, the voice of an Apostle.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 8:55:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

I view election as an act of a merciful God. If not for election, God's having chosen me in eternity past, I would have gone on to be like those in Sodom and Gommorah, both in lifestyle and fate.

Dawn, thanks for allowing me to speak with you here. You have been most gracious, my sister.

Dawn and Rose - I am and always shall be your friend.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 11:02:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose says, "Dawn, I especially appreciated your referring to FAITH as a formality in the Calvinist paradigm. That is exacly how it seems to me too. It seems to lose all significance in the relationship between God and man when it is seen as something that is placed within the person by God. It would be better to call it 'sight' than 'faith' in the way the Calvinist views it."
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The very definition of eternal life is found in John 17:3- Knowing God and His Son. It is through faith we come to know Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. Knowing God is not a reward for our faith, but, rather, faith is the means by which we come to know Him. Through faith we enter into union with the Triune God, a union wherein God the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us, and, in so doing, the Father also. ALL of the benefits of Christ's crosswork are gained through faith.

Romans 8:29 teaches that conformity to His Son is God's goal for His saints. Again we arive there through faith.

Faith and Justification (salvation) are not ends in themselves; but rather means to an end - those ends mentioned in John 17:3 and Romans 8:29. We are given spiritual life. We believe because we are alive, having been regenerated. We procede to walk by faith; a walk that follows down the road of practical sanctification, unto Christ-likeness. See 2 Cor.3:18; Romans 12:1-2.

 
At Monday, May 19, 2008 9:02:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks, Rose. I agree that true relationship between God and man has lost its significance in the Calvinist paradigm. It seems that God certainly went about giving us His word in a very odd and horribly misleading way in order to tell us that He only chooses some for salvation and does not allow others the chance to repent and believe while, at the same time, leading us to believe that we do have a choice and that He loves us ALL and died for us ALL.

Mark, we are so much alike in some respects, it makes me laugh. I'm itching to respond (really, I'm finding it very hard to walk away), but cannot take the time right now. Hopefully I can in the VERY near future. But if I don't, thanks for the dialogue.

God Bless you both, my dear, dear friends.

Dr. Dawn ;-)

 
At Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:26:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, true, in some ways we are alike. When you do respond please send me an email and I'll be over here like lightning. I'll now be about the business of catching things up on my own blog.

BTW, that "Dr." thing, it was in the past; let's please leave it there. Friendships look forward, not backward.

Mark

 
At Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:32:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, you prolly wouldn't like the most recent post on my blog covering John 12:32. I just thought I'd warn you. It would be most odious to you. You wouldn't wanna go to that blog, no siree. Nope, you would not wanna go there... Uh,ah.

Dawn, resistance is futile! Soon you'll be joining me on the dark side! (maniacal laughter) ;-)

 
At Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:53:00 PM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Seriously though, this is your blog and I do not want to come off as a pest. You were kind to let me speak my peace.

I wish you peace.

Mark

 
At Friday, May 23, 2008 8:55:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Oh the temptation. I cannot resist! Though, I won't be able to take the time to respond right now.

 
At Friday, May 23, 2008 10:00:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

I saw you in the sitemeter again.

Well, it's gonna be a busy weekend, starting with my early entrance into work today (at 1:00 PM instead of 3:00 - us bluecollar factory workers have no access to computers while at work.)

Yes, give in to your hatred of Calvinism... feel the desire to respond to that mark pierson welling up in your bones... try to do what many have tried to do since the days of the remonstrance - what Dave Hunt tried to do with James White - yes try to silence the system of Calvinism once and for all.

My friend your argument concerning Romans 9 has been kicked out from under you. If read as is Calvinism is seen in its fulness. Did you do as I asked and observe how Paul used the OT throughout Romans 9-11? His tweaking the wording, as well as his use of Hosea in fulfillment for Gentiles when originally used for Jews in its original form - these all SHOULD give you pause in the practice of bringing the OT over to dictate the context of the New Test. in Roans 9. You simply have NO precedent, no authority to do so in these three chapters. It is simply a nonCal mechanism to hold up nonCal views of the Atonement.

 
At Thursday, May 29, 2008 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Historical Number Cruncher said...

I like to interpret Romans 9 in the light of Revelation 22:19. Quoting from Calvin's own 1599 Geneva Study Bible:[http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/GenevaStudyBible/gen.cgi?book=re&chapter=022]

Ooops! That verse seems to be missing. Let's try the King James Bible [http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Rev/Rev022.html]

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

What happened here? Those Predestined have left out a certain verse out of the Bible. Not just any verse, but a verse that pronounces a curse tantamount to a means to lose Salvation.

The 1599 Geneva Study Bible is an EDITED, not a TRANSLATED Bible. One wonders if the Predestined are TRULY Predestined.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 5:35:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

The book of Revelation, especially the first two chapters, has a message to those who overcome. Those who overcome in the church of Smyrna are promised a crown of life (a martyr's reward) and also that they would not be hurt by the second death. Yea, throughout Revelation 2 and 3 you have a message to overcomers. This assumes that there will be those who do not overcome - false professors. False professors do all those things that a truely regenerate person would not do, especially mishandle the word. Those false professors will eventially manifest themselves through their actions and lifestyles. Those are the ones whose names God shall take away his part out of the book of life.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 9:51:00 AM, Blogger Historical Number Cruncher said...

Mark:

You remind me of Desiderus Erasmus, the Great Reformer of the Catholic Church, who wrote The Freedom of the Will. He states that he could "bore you to death with proofs from Revelation" near the end of hie VERY LONG book.

While yours is a good proof, I feel that the Calvinists fear my proof more than yours because of their reaction of Scripture Editing. Both proofs are valid; however, I guarantee that my comment will draw more flames than yours on the Calvinist boards. There are so many proofs out there that I wonder why the Calvinists insist we waste time on it.

Nice hearing from you.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 9:56:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Historical Number Cruncher, thanks for stopping by.

Mark, you said, "False professors do all those things that a truely regenerate person would not do, especially mishandle the word."

What do you mean by "do all those things a truly regenerate person would not do"?

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 10:22:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

While yours is a good proof,
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A proof of what?
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I feel that the Calvinists fear my proof more than yours
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Why would the Calvinists fear my proof? I am Calvinist. Calvinists don't fear Arminian argumentation. They are rather amuzed by it.
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because of their reaction of Scripture Editing.
======== Here's a surprise for you: to the best of my recollection I have never even so much as opened a Genevan Bible (I prolly even mispelled that).
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Both proofs are valid;
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Ooooh, he actually gave me some credit...
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however, I guarantee that my comment will draw more flames
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Prolly won't even light up a single radar screen
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than yours
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Sorry, my comment won't light up any radar screens either. I'm affraid I don't take myself quite that seriously.
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on the Calvinist boards. There are so many proofs out there that I wonder why the Calvinists insist we waste time on it.

Nice hearing from you.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 10:27:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn said...

Mark, you said, "False professors do all those things that a truely regenerate person would not do, especially mishandle the word."

What do you mean by "do all those things a truly regenerate person would not do"?
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Dawn, I thought what I said is pretty self explanatory. Please help me understand where I am not clear here.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Mark, I understood your point about mishandling the word, but what "other" things would the truly regenerate not do? Do you mean commit fornication, adultery, murder, etc.?

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 11:26:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Also, I don't believe that someone's mishandling of the word of God would necessarily deem them unregenerate. I know people who I believe to be truly regenerate who have mishandled the word, but I don't believe it was their intention to do so in a malicious manner. But I think you are talking about those who purposely mishandle the word of God to suit their own purposes (e.g., for filthy lucre's sake).

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 11:53:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, in Galatians 6 those who are spiritual must restore those overtaken in a fault. The regenerate can and do sin, even being overtaken for a season. It happened to me in 1978 when I was overtaken in porn. God chastened me with a car accident that fractured my left leg and landed me into traction for 5 weeks with another 12 weeks in a full length leg cast - in 90 degree weather with no air-conditioning. I know the depths of sin as a regenerate person. I know what it's like to have to confess my faults in front of pastors and elders (same thing in my book). If I say that I have no sin then I am lier.

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 12:10:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I must have missed your point because it sounded like you were trying to say that the truly regenerate do not get caught up in sin and that the sign of someone who is not truly regenerate would be in the way they conduct their lives.

 
At Saturday, May 31, 2008 10:15:00 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

Dawn, you and I had a similar discussion on my blog in the early part of July last year. Here was part of my response to you back then...
>Romans 6 says that those outside of Christ are slaves of sin. They love their sin, and hate the light, John 3:19-21. It is before God's quickening mentioned in Eph. 2:1,5. "Still sinning" IS the dead, a life that illustrates that God the Holy Spirit is not there, John 2:29, 3:9. Remember, those that are dead to sin are Christians, and they alone, Romans 6 speaks to this.

Now, Paul also gives us a glimpse into his own struggles in Galatians 5:16-17. On this side of the grave, in these bodies, corruption lingers. Only when Christ comes to take us home will we be liberated from the presence of sin.<

Dawn, that struggle Paul speaks of is only taking place in Christians. Before the presence of the Spirit in that person's life the works of the flesh operate uncontested, at least internally, outside circumstances my hinder us from going full till after our desires. The struggle BEGINS when God the Holy Spirit takes up residence and lasts right up until the grave.

 
At Thursday, November 06, 2008 3:39:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for looking at this article. The published writings of Chris-Skinner have moved to:

http://www.scribd.com/people/view/3870329-christopher-skinner

 
At Friday, November 07, 2008 1:06:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Chris, thanks for the updated webpage. I really appreciate it!

 
At Sunday, November 09, 2008 3:57:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I've also ust created a new blog at
http://chris-biblethoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At Monday, November 10, 2008 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks for the new link, Chris. I look forward to reading it.

 

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