God KNEW before Adam and Eve sinned that they would do so.

There are some who believe that God was caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. But this flies in the face of what scripture teaches.

Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

Revelation 13:8

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

1 Peter 1:20

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

So no, God was not caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus was not Plan B. It was always in God’s plan to provide a solution to the problem of man’s sin. That solution is, and has always been, the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. It is only by grace through faith in the saving work of Christ that we may truly live – live an eternal life.

Grace Alone

For many centuries, the only option for church in Europe was the Roman Catholic Church. There were various groups which disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church and what it taught throughout the centuries, but they were quickly put down. While the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages by 500 AD, by 600AD, the only translation allowed to exist by the church (on penalty of death) became the Latin Vulgate[1]. This effectively made it so only the educated could read it – with end result being that only the Church was able to teach what God had said. And eventually the things the church taught and required of people caused some who COULD read Latin – to begin to speak out; some people even began translating the bible into their native languages (although those who tried to do so were killed). Eventually, this led to the protestant reformation often considered to have begun with Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. That was when he nailed 95 theses to the door of a church, 95 points of disagreement he had with the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, specifically dealing with indulgences (which were intended to be purchased to fund church buildings and supposedly caused people to be forgiven of sin). This reformation eventually came to have five principles in common throughout Europe – these have come to be known as the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation.

One of the things the Roman Catholic Church taught was that a combination of the scriptures, church tradition, and the teachings of the magisterium (the church teaching authority as exercised by bishops and the pope) were the foundation for faith and practice. In response to this, reformers responded Sola Scriptura, or Scripture Alone is the foundation for faith and practice. This did not mean that the church was not to interpret scripture, but that scripture must be the foundation, and not ignored in favor of church teaching if what was being taught was contrary to what the Bible teaches.[2] Another thing the Roman Catholic Church taught was that we are justified by faith AND the works that we produce, which the righteousness (that God infuses in us through faith) brings about. The reformers responded, Sola Fide, or “No, we are justified by faith alone, which lays hold of the alien righteousness of Christ that God freely credits to the account of those who believe.” The Catholic Church taught that we are saved by the merits of Christ and the saints, and that we approach God through Christ, the saints, and Mary, who all pray and intercede for us. The Reformers responded, “No, we are saved by the merits of Christ Alone, and we come to God through Christ Alone” – or Solo Christo (AKA Solus Christus). The Roman Catholic Church taught that the glory for a sinner’s salvation could be attributed partly to Christ, partly to Mary and the saints, and partly to the sinner himself. The reformers response? Soli Deo Gloria, or “No, the only true gospel is that which gives all glory to God alone, as is taught in the scriptures.” And finally we come to the topic of today’s message: the Catholic Church taught that we are saved through a combination of God’s grace, the merits that we accumulate through penance and good works, and the excessive amounts of merits that the saints before us accumulated; the reformers responded, “sola gratia”, or grace alone. [3]

Let’s look at an example of how many view grace (this example is credited to the puritan Thomas Boston): Imagine a sinner in a deep pit which he can’t get out of. Now imagine God lowers a long rope down right beside him. If the man grabs hold of that rope, then God can pull him out of that pit.

This is generally as far as most people’s view of grace goes – where God initiates a way for man to be saved, but does not force man to take that way, and so to be saved a man has to cooperate with God by doing his part – making a decision, saying a prayer, being baptized, doing good works. The only problem is that the sinner at the bottom of the pit is dead! He can’t grab the rope, he can’t respond to anyone or anything. He is spiritually dead.

This brings us to our passage for today. Turn to Ephesians 2:1-10

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

I always like to look at a passage through the lenses of an investigator. So let’s look at the questions of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How, as presented by the passage in question. Now this passage begins with the condition of every person before salvation:

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins

Paul tells us something of the WHEN and something of the WHO in this passage – WHEN YOU (his audience, believers) were dead in your trespasses and sins. Some people don’t realize what that means, so I thought I’d take a second and review a couple of key passages dealing with sin and death. Let’s look at Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

So we can see that EVERYONE has sinned – this is the case whether you are a good person or not, whether you are moral or not, whether you grew up in the Christian church or some other religion – ALL HAVE SINNED.

More than that, we have to realize that sinning has consequences.

Please turn to Romans 6:23.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We earn death with our sin. Whether it is one sin or a multitude of sins – we died. Obviously this does not speak of our physical condition, but of our spiritual condition – we die spiritually when we sin. And being dead, unsaved sinners are simply unable to understand who God is, or what God has done and even are unable to understand them. This is easy to see in 1 Corinthians 2:14

14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Returning to our main passage

in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience

We see in Ephesians 2:2 that everyone, before they are saved, walked in ways affected by the world and by the spirit which works in those who disobey – the prince of the air – the devil.

While they don’t know it, Satan works in those he has captivated to HIS will. We see this more clearly in 2 Timothy 2:24-26

24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Notice – God MAY GRANT repentance. So many people think they are good people, that if they live “right”, that God will grant them entrance into heaven when they die. But this passage tells us that unless God grants repentance, people continue to be held captive by the devil to do his will.

Indeed, let’s return to our original passage, verse 3:

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

We see in verse 3 that Paul shifts who he includes in the WHO – even HE, the Apostle Paul, lived in his lusts and indulgences, being by their very nature children of wrath – as ALL before coming to Christ were, and are, and will be. By their very NATURE, people without God are children of wrath. They are selfish, indulging the desires of their minds and bodies. The wrath of God remains upon them. But they are not unique – everyone without God is like this. We also see here the Where – in the lusts of our flesh and mind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us

So now we see where GOD enters the scene as part of the WHO. Remember earlier we saw that part of the “who” is believers. So we have two sets of “who” – believers and God. We have “when” – when believers were dead in their trespasses and sins; and “where” – in our lusts. We now also have WHY – because God is rich in mercy and because of God’s great love which with He loved US.

Let us continue in verses 5 and 6

even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

So we see the WHEN repeated – when we were dead in our transgressions. And we see more of the WHO (Christ), and finally we see the WHAT – God made us alive together with Christ – God saved us. God raised us up with Christ. God seated us with Christ in the places IN CHRIST JESUS.

We see that Paul was convinced that God had finished the work, as we see in Philippians 1:6 (AMP)

6 I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

And for our purposes today, we see some of the HOW – BY GRACE.

But what does “grace” mean? The New American Standard New Testament Greek Lexicon says the Greek word is “charis” (http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/charis.html)[4].

In our case, the definition we will focus on is:

  1. good will, loving-kindness, favour
    1. of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

We must realize precisely BECAUSE those who do not know God are helpless to do anything to be with God, that God had to initiate what it took for us to be with Him. That is grace.

Some people don’t like the idea that we are helpless to come to God UNLESS God does it all. But turn to Romans 5:6

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

We were helpless, and yet God died for us at the right time and it was by the grace of God that Christ died.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

That is grace.

And while people like the idea that they are the ones who chose God, they must realize that no one seeks God.

Romans 3:10-11

10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;

Indeed, without God working in us, we are hostile toward God and unable to please God.

Romans 8:7-8

because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

And some believe that everyone in the world has a call upon them to come to Christ and people will have the free will to choose to follow Christ or not, but we see in John 6:64-65 that ONLY those who have been granted permission by God the Father can come to God the Son, and that does not include everyone.

John 6:64-65

64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Indeed, all those given to Christ WILL come to Christ and Christ WILL lift them up on the last day.

John 6:37-40

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

I guess it is summed up by Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

WHILE we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – and that demonstrates God’s love toward us. That is grace.

Getting back to our original passage, let’s look at Ephesians 2:7

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Another WHY – so GOD can show the awesome riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

So now we have WHO – GOD, Christ, believers.

We have WHEN – while you were dead in your trespasses and sins.

We have WHERE – in the lusts of the flesh and mind – where we were living, the world.

We have WHAT – God made us alive together with Christ; God saved us; God raised us up with Christ; God seated us with Christ in the places IN CHRIST JESUS.

We have HOW – By the grace of God.

And we have WHY – because God is rich in mercy; God loved us; God will show in the ages to come the awesomeness of His grace.

Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us more of this grace.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

We were saved BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH. There is often a question as to what is meant by “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Some believe the “THAT” Paul spoke of was referring to grace, some believe he referred to ‘saved’ and some to ‘faith’. Personally, I think the Greek supports the all three being a gift. The key here, though, is that people who are saved are saved by GRACE – this is God working in you and for you to ensure you are saved through faith in Christ. It is God’s gift. It is God’s work.

We see that it is GOD’s work by seeing Jesus saying to people who asked what they must do to work the works of God in John 6:29

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

This belief is not mere intellectual assent, but it affects the believer so as to cause them to live differently – to obey God.

John 3:36

36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Its not that doing things saves us, but the things we do show we trust in Christ. This is what James meant in James 2:14-26, when he said that he could show his faith by his works – that faith engenders actions, otherwise it is an empty faith, a mere intellectual assent.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so we would walk in them. We are like living dolls, created to do the good things God prepared for us to do.

We also see in Philippians 2:13

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure

There are those who would say that God began the work, and they had their own part in it. But that would contradict Ephesians 2:9 which says it was not by works. And Romans 11:5-6 tells us,

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Any who believe, only do so because they were graciously chosen by God. So either you were saved by grace through faith or you were not. Either GOD did it, or He lied. If GOD did it, then you did nothing to contribute to your own salvation.

Remember Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You earned death with your sin. But GOD graced you with the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is not something we earn OR cooperate with God on. This is something freely given by the grace of God, and something God works to ensure occurs.

Some would say that God showed grace to those who would be saved because He looked down the passage of time and saw they would choose Him and so chose them. But Romans 9:16 tells us,

16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

Hebrews 2:10 tells us:

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

Hebrews 12:2 (KVJ) tells us:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Not only does it not depend on the man who desires or the one who does something, but God does not need anything from us, and even determined when and where we would live so we would find Him.

Acts 17:24-27

24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us

Just as we are saved by grace, we are justified (or declared righteous) by grace.

Titus 3:7

so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life

No, our justification, our salvation, our belief, our repentance is all the work of God, by the grace of God, alone.

All believers receive grace, realized through Christ, who was full of grace and truth.

John 1:14-17

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

And this grace is eternal.

2 Timothy 1:8c-9

God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity

We are set apart and called by God before we are born through grace.

Galatians 1:15

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

We have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, according to God’s grace.

Ephesians 1:7

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

We are to imitate the faith of those who led the church, and not be carried away by strange teachings and so be strengthened by grace.

Hebrews 13:7-9

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

And we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

2 Peter 3:18

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Even the very gifts we have differ according to the grace given to us, and we are to exercise them accordingly.

Romans 12:6

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

So reviewing the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW, we saw that God granted believers grace from all eternity – before we are born. God made them alive by grace. God saved them by grace, through faith. Moreover, God did so because He loved us, and to show the awesomeness of His grace. God initiated this while we were still dead in our trespasses and sins. God has completed it by seating us in heaven with Christ. God did it by working in us and around us and through us to desire and to do according to His will – we are HIS workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Let’s return to the example of grace I gave when I started discussing grace. You remember, a sinner in a deep pit which he can’t get out of, and God lowers a long rope down right beside him. If the man grabs hold of that rope, then God can pull him out of that pit. But instead of lowering the rope beside the sinner to grab hold of, God puts the rope around the man, gives him new life, and draws the man up out of the pit to be with God himself. THAT is how grace works – God not only initiates the whole thing, He completes it – God provides the people, the new life, the faith, and the obedience. GOD does something in the heart of man so man becomes alive spiritually and is able and willing to be saved and come to Christ. Because of Grace, by Grace, God effectually accomplishes salvation, by Grace Alone.


Footnotes:

[1] Anonymous; “English Bible History: The Pre-Reformation History of the Bible From 1,400 BC to 1,400 AD“; ; Available online 10/28/2015: http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/pre-reformation.html

[2] Horton, Michael; “Reformation Essentials – Five Pillars of the Reformation”; Available online 10/27/15 at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/essentials.html.

[3] Anonymous; “39. What are the “five solas,” and what do they mean?”; Available online 10/27/15 at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/fivesolas.html.

[4] The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon; Available online 10/28/2015: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/charis.html

More rebuttals against verses used to counter TULIP

These are some verses which have been used to try to show that God calls everyone, and that people can reject God’s call to salvation. So let us examine each one.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 Notice that God is longsuffering (meaning patient) toward us (speaking of believers), not willing that any (speaking of believers) should perish. SO this simply means that God is putting up with us until such a time as all who will believe have all repented and turned to Christ.

John 12:32

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

This says that Jesus will draw all men to himself. Notice, this is very different from the Father drawing people to Christ, which is seen in John 6:37, 44, 64-65. In those verses, we see that no one can come to CHrist unless that person has been granted permission by the Father, and ALL the Father gives to Christ WILL be lifted up (speaking of eternal life). However, in Joh 12:32, We see that Jesus will draw all men to him. We have to look to the fuller context of this passage, which is speaking of judgment (as seen in verse 31). So we see Jesus will draw all men to Himself for judgment – where believers will be found to be justified (so this will become the resurrection of life), but unbelievers will find this to the be resurrection of judgment (or damnation as we see in KJV) spoken of in John 5:29.

1 Timothy 4:10 –

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

The word translated in 1 Timothy 4:10 as savior means deliverer and preserver. We know from Acts 17:24-25 that God gives all things to all people, including life. In the same way God shows common grace to all people, He has preserved all people, but he has done so in a better way for believers – he has preserved them by giving eternal life.

John 5:40

40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

This passage does not say why they will not come to Christ (which we know from John 10:26 is because they are not of His sheep).

1 Timothy 2:3-4

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Obviously this passage is not speaking of universalism. The word translated as “all” means “all sorts”, which we see in many translations of 1 Timothy 6:10. God will have all sorts of people to be saved – which is clearly seen in the prophecy of Caiaphas the high priest in John 11:50-53, where Jesus would die for the nation and to gather the children of God from the nations.

Acts 2:21

And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Both people who believe God’s call can not be resisted until death and those who believe they can resist God’s call recognize that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Acts 2:21 is descriptive. It does not say whether the person who will call upon the name of the Lord was chosen by God and had opportunity to resist the draw of God the Father until death.

These passages are not hard to show as supporting TULIP. There are some who think otherwise, but only if you ignore what other scripture say.

rebuttal to Five dangers of Calvinism



 

This video was presented as being a good argument to show that the ideas presented by Calvin are wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch6niCdIv_Q

Maybe I am wrong, but the guy in the video seems to base what he is saying MOSTLY on how he believes, rather than what the text is saying.

Let’s look at his points:

1) Total depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin).

He stated that the “free gift” spoken of in Eph 2:8-9 is salvation, not faith.

There is support for the gift being salvation, and there is support for faith being the gift, and there is support for grace being the gift. “That” is a neuter gender word in Greek – where the words for ‘salvation’, ‘grace’, and ‘faith’ are all feminine in gender. I will skip the Greek, but there are arguments for all three. I think the best support is for it being the entire phrase “by grace you have been saved through faith” and ‘that’ referring to grace, salvation, and faith.  Let us look at the context:

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Obviously, eternal life is a free gift.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But many people want to believe they come up with their own faith – that they believe on their on impetus, rather than because of what God has done.

But scripture is clear CHRIST is the author and perfecter of faith:

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This is more clear when you look at the fact that the work of God is that you believe in Christ.

John 6:29
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent

The problem with saying you can choose and that faith is not a free gift from God is that salvation would then depend upon you, and Scripture is clear it does NOT depend on the person who wills (desires) or the person who runs (works), but upon God.

Romans 9:16

So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

Those who believe that it is only salvation which is the free gift miss the point that is made in Ephesians 2:10 – we are GOD’s workmanship, created to do the good works which were prepared by God beforehand so we would do them

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Apollos helped those who believed through grace (not those who believed through their own decision)

Acts 18:27

And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace

Faith, grace, salvation – all come from God – not from man.

Some would say its unfair of God to not give faith to all. But its clear that JESUS spoke in parables so not everyone would believe.

Matthew 13:10-17

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 15 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’

So it is fair? Scripture says God has mercy on whom He has mercy, and hardens whom He desires. Some were prepared for destruction. Some were for mercy. He called from among the Jews and the Gentiles.

Romans 9:14-24

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles

Now let’s look at his second point:

God will draw all men to Christ for salvation.

The preacher seems to think the fact that Christ draws all to himself (since He has been lifted up) means they are drawn to Christ by the Father for salvation.

But we have to be careful with who is doing the drawing and for what purpose.

Scripture tells us that the FATHER draws people to Christ for salvation.

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

But the Father is not the Son.  The Father will draw people to Christ to come to Christ and Christ will raise him up on the last day. Jesus said He would draw all men to Himself. The question is why will CHRIST draw all men to Himself?.

John 12:31-33

31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

I think it is clear, if we realize that Jesus came originally to call sinners to repentance.

Luke 5:32

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

He did not originally come to judge – but to save.

John 12:47

If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

But we see in John 5:21-22 that all judgment was given to the Son.

John 5:21-22

21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

Jesus said He will judge. In fact, Jesus said that there will be two resurrections – one for judgment and one for eternal life. ALL will come forth – some to a resurrection of life, and others to a resurrection of judgment.

John 5:25-30

25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

So, the term ‘draw’ is used for different purposes – one to be saved (where the Father draws some to come to Christ to believe and be lifted up), the other where Christ draws all men for resurrection – some for life and some to be judged.

Some want to say it is not the fault of those who cant believe that they do not believe. This is where Romans 9:14-26 comes in. We see that God has mercy upon whom He has mercy and compassion upon whom He has compassion. Here we see it does not depend upon the man who wills OR who runs. No one can resist God’s will. But some were made for honorable use and others were made for common use. That is to day that God made vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, just as God made vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. Some were from national Israel, and some were from Gentiles.

The preacher’s next point is that if someone believes God elects some and not others, why would we want to have missionaries.

The answer is simple – people must hear the word of God. This is the avenue God chose to give faith to people. We go to tell people the good news. Some would say its not necessary, since God has to give faith. I reply that by that logic, It was not necessary for Christ to suffer and die, since God can save whom He wishes how He wishes.

But the fact is, God chose to send His Son to become human, life a perfect life, and suffer and die to pay the price for our sins. People have to know who God is and what God has done and what God requires of us, and what God will so. This is why we send missionaries. We do not know who that hears the message will respond, or if they will respond the first time they hear it or the second of the fiftieth time they hear it. We do not know what it will take for each person to come to the point where they believe. God knows.

God works all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

The preacher made the point that God has chosen to save everyone who will believe. And he added “and that’s their choice.”

God HAS chosen to save everyone who will believe. But the choice is God’s. Romans 9, John 6, Ephesians 2. Its not about us and our choice – but about the faith, the grace, and the salvation God gives.

The next point the preacher raised was that in John 3:16, “the world” and “whoever” means that anyone has the opportuinity to believe.

John 3:16

 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

This does not say everyone gets the opportunity to choose to obey or not. This says that anyone who believes – it is a description, not a command.

But the preacher ignores what total depravity actually is – the fact that man is totally affected by sin. Let us see this in scripture:

Man’s heart is evil, as seen in Mark 7:21-23

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

Man’s heart is deceitful and sick, which we see in Jeremiah 17:9

9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Man is a slave to sin, as seen in Romans 6:20

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

No one is righteous and no one seeks God, as seen in Romans 3:10-12

10 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11  There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12  All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”

The natural man can not accept or understand the things of God:

1 Corinthians 2:14

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

By nature, man is a child of wrath – Ephesians 2:3

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

So then those who believe in the total depravity of man recognize that He does not choose God without God first working in them – which is what we see in Philippians 2:13.

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

2) Unconditional election

The speaker used Ephesians 1:4 to say that God the Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be made holy and blameless, but did not choose to put us in Christ.

Ephesians 1:4

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

But he ignored verse 5.

In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will

It is evident that God DID choose to adopt us through Jesus Christ to Himself – that is to say that God DID put us in Christ.

Then the speaker mentioned in passing that God is not willing that any should perish .

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

So then to whom does “all’ refer? Note that God is long suffering TOWARD US (believers) not willing that any (who is it that God was long suffering toward? believers) should perish, but that all (who? believers) should come to repentance.

Now DO we have an example in today’s world where any and all would be limited by the object of discussion? Yes: “Eat the cookies. We don’t want any left, but all should be eaten.” This is not speaking of all cookies everywhere. It is speaking of the cookies the speaker is concerned with – those he wants to be consumed, not all the cookies in the world.

His only reason for not accepting that God chooses who will be saved and people still want to be missionaries seems to be because he cant understand – he cant understand that God gets to choose; he cant understand that God’s ways are not our ways, and that what God thinks makes more sense to God than what man thinks – even though this man thinks his ways would make more sense than what God has decided.

He cant understand that God puts a desire to see people saved in those who love Him – even if we do not know who God will save.

This is no different for the Arminian who claims his salvation is based upon his own choice – why evangelize when we don’t know who will be saved? Because we do not know who will be saved nor how. This same answer is true for those who understand that God gifts us faith.

He thinks it would make more sense for God to tell him which few God has chosen in his audience instead of “wasting” his time. How is this any different than it would make more sense for God to tell him which few would choose to believe? Most of his sermon is simply being his beliefs instead of scripture, and he’s rude and condescending while he’s preaching.

Then he turns us to look at John 5:39-40, as if this is saying they could choose to believe

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

This simply says they will not come to Christ to have life.  This does not say they could or could not.

But what IS Unconditional Election? Unconditional Election is the idea that God does not base His choice of someone on anything He sees in the person.

Ephesians 1:4-8

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight

Romans 9:11

for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls

 

Romans 9:16
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

The third point in TULIP is Limited Atonement

The preacher asked the question “Why would Christ have to die for everyone in the world if only some would be chosen?”.

He believes that when Christ died, he died for all the sin of all the world and salvation is for “whosoever.”

But let us look at John 3:16 again. Let’s discuss this idea of “world” the word translated as “world” is actually kosmos. This means universe. It is the word from which we get cosmos. It is translated as form of government, or world, or universe, or humans, or worldly affairs or a collection. Its translated almost exclusively as world. But the word actually means universe.

So God loves His creation that whosoever believes has eternal life – this still does not mean anyone can choose to believe. This is a description “who ever believes has eternal life’. This is not saying any one will have the ability to believe.

The preacher said that God is not respecter of persons, so what criteria would God use to choose one over another, stating that if there were ANY criteria, that God would be a respecter of persons.

Acts 10:34

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

But lets look at the context of this: In speaking with the Centurion, Peter realized that God didn’t discriminate between gentile and Jew – the righteous person who fears God is welcome to God.

34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

But again, this does not say whether God had to give the faith necessary to fear God and have the righteousness of Christ – only that people from both Jews and Gentiles (every nation) would be saved.

And the preacher returned to what would the criteria be to select between two people, claiming it was not fair. We are not told. We are merely told that God does create some for honorable use and some for common use.

And again, we return Romans 9:14-25 – God is not unjust in selecting to make one for one purpose and another for another purpose.

Then he brings up Hebrews 2:9 to say that Christ tasted death for everyone.

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

But let us again look at the word translated as “every”: Pas. This word means

  1. individually a. each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
  2. collectively a. some of all types

The thing is, we see in scripture where “all” does not mean “all”. An example is seen in Mark 1:32

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.

 We know not all the sick and demon-possessed of the world were brought to Jesus. So “all” doesn’t always mean “all”.

So what DOES the “every man” refer to? Continue on to the next verse to see – the “every man” is in context to the many sons for whom Christ is the author of their salvation. So Christ is referring to tasting death for those whose salvation He authored.

Hebrews 2:10

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

So then the preacher brought up that Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

I see a number of possibilities for what ‘whole world’ means:

  1. This COULD mean that Jesus atoned for the sins for everyone – whether they would come to believe or not.
  2. This COULD mean that Jesus atoned for the sins for everyone who might believe, regardless of whether they will 0r not. I fail to see how this is any different than the first option.
  3. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of everyone and everyone will be saved. We know from other scripture that not everyone is saved (Matthew 7:21-23), so it can not be this one.
  4. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of everyone, but it only is effective, it is only applied, when one has faith in Christ.
  5. This could mean that Jesus atoned for the sins of all kinds of people, people of every nation – which sounds similar to what we see in
Revelation 5:9
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation

Personally, I think both #4 and #5 fit the text well.

But what DOES Limited Atonement mean? It means that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, but only effective for some. We see this in scripture.

Jesus’ blood was poured out for many – Matthew 26:28

for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Christ lays down His life for the sheep – so… does that mean for everyone?

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:15

even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

We see in Matthew 25:32-46 that the sheep are the righteous ones and not the goats, who are the unrighteous ones.

32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Indeed, Jesus interceded only for those given to Christ by the Father

John 17:6-9

6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours

The church is what Christ purchased with His blood – not everyone.

Acts 20:28

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood

 The fourth point he address is Irresistible Grace.

The preacher used Acts 7:51-53 to show that man can resist the Holy Spirit.

51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

What he, and other arminians, fail to understand is that all men resist God – until God works in them to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:14). It is at THAT point when it is impossible to resist God.

Anyone who says sinners are not really dead in sin or unable to come to God, have to come up with an answer to the question of “how do they cooperate or respond to the Spirit if they always resist Him?”.  The depravity of people will cause them to always resist God, until such time as God works in them.

But which scripture is often used to show that God’s grace can not ultimately be resisted?

John 1:12-13 shows that people who believe in Christ are reborn by the will of God – not the will of man or flesh.

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

John 6:37 is used to show that everyone God gives to Christ WILL come to Christ.

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Acts 13:48  shows that those who had been appointed to eternal life believed.

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Philippians 2:12-13 shows that God works in us to desire and to do for God’s good pleasure.

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

John 6:28-29 shows that the work of God is that people have faith in God and Christ.

28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

Romans 9:16 shows that whether people are saved does not depend on peoples desires or actions.

16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

The final point the preacher addressed was Perseverance of the Saints. It is obvious this preacher has no concept of what Perseverance of the Saints means. He thinks it means people do not know for sure they are really saved. He spent a bit of time setting up that false argument. It means that once you are saved you are saved.

 

John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

 

God will glorify those God predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. Nothing can separate believers from the love of God.

Romans 8:28-39

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Everyone God to Christ will come to Christ, will not be cast out, and will be raised up on the last day, and will have eternal life.

John 6:37-47

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

Those who believe have eternal life, does not come into judgment.

John 5:24

24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

So those God saves have eternal life, do not lose that eternal life, and can not lose their salvation. This is what is meant by perseverance of the saints.

What should a Christian do when they know someone is in sin?

 

There is a discussion about whether a Christian should care about whether someone is sinning or not, and if so, what should they do.

We must recognize that Jesus said the words “Do not judge” but we have to look at the context to know what he was really saying.

Jesus told us that we will be judged in the same way we judge others.  Jesus was saying to be merciful, loving, and to not be a hypocrite. But we are to help others who have sin in their lives. To do this in love and with mercy, we must handle a given sin in our own lives before we try to address it in someone else. If you take care of that sin in your own life first, you can see clearly to help someone deal with it in their lives.

Matthew 7:1-5

 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

We see this more clearly in Luke 6:27-45

27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Jesus was clear we ARE to judge – but with righteous judgment.

John 7:24
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
We are told to call our brother on their sin, and to forgive him if he repents – every time he does it.
Luke 17:1-4

 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

More than that, people who choose to rebel against God by choosing sin should be confronted one on one, and if he doesnt listen, two or three on one, and if he still does not listen, then present the issue of sin to the church, and if he still ignores the correction, have nothing to do with them – as we see in Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Even elder people are to be confronted with their sin, but gently. We should appeal to them as we would our parents and the younger men as our brothers.
1 Timothy 5:1
Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,
Church leaders should only be confronted by two or three witnesses, and should be rebuked in front of the church if they do not change.
1 Timothy 5:19-20

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.

Paul had someone kicked out of the church because they were sinning in 1 Cor 5. See in verses 12-13 how we are to judge those within the church:

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

But that same passage tells us to not judge those outside the church. If people are sinning and they do not claim to be Christians, then let it alone. But if they DO claim to be Christians, then address it.

God has told us how to deal with people who are in sin. He said we must challenge people who claim to be Christians and if they repent, then forgive them. But if they do not, go to them with two or three people. If they still do not repent, take it to the church. If they still do not repent, then remove them from the church and have nothing to do with them. However, if at any point they repent, we are to forgive them, and if they had been put out of the church, invite them back in.

At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?

The question was asked: At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?

 

All who are led by the spirit are sons of God. People who are saved by grace through faith in Christ are children of God, heirs of God, fellow heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:14-17

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.


But there is a difference between being the only begotten Son of God (who is the Word, God, who took on flesh, became human (John 1:1-14) and being an adopted son of God. 

We are eagerly awaiting our adoption.
Romans 8:23-25

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.


At the right time, God sent His Son to become human to die for our sins, to redeem us, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before God, to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. We have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our sins/trespasses. 

Ephesians 1:3-14

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


We were adopted. But Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. It is through faith in Him that we have eternal life.
John 3:16-18

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

1 John 4:8-10

8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

So we become the ADOPTED children of God when we have saving faith. But Christ is the only begotten Son of God.

Why would God command all to repent but not everyone will?

Some want to believe that we have a choice to be saved or not because God said we must repent and believe to have eternal life.

It seems to me that God said to repent and believe because some within the group were intended to hear and respond affirmatively, or at least be prepared to do so in the future – but not all were intended to respond affirmatively.

Let me give an example: Let us say I own a soup kitchen and would love to feed everyone. But I know most people are too proud to do so. I know someone within a group is hungry and no one else is, but that someone else will be in the future, and I say to the group, “Everyone who chooses to go to the soup kitchen will be fed.” I know no one else but the one person is hungry will go. The choice is available to all, but none but those for whom the message was intended and who would chose to go right then will actually go when I first make the choice available. Now let us say that later someone else within the group is fired from their job (and that I knew it would happen), gets hungry and recalls the message (as was intended) and choose to go to the soup kitchen. Now we have two people in the group who heard the message who responded affirmatively – one immediately after hearing the message, and one later (after undergoing an experience which prepared them for the message they had already heard). The others were not prepared for the message, were never intended to take up the invitation, and never did take up the invitation, yet the invitation was made available to all.

We have our choice – but it is only after God has done the work.

It is all God, not us. God foreknew us. God chose us. God moved us to repent. God gave us faith. God saved us by grace through faith.

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