Indeed a subject matter which depends upon a personal relationship and effort, whereby its roots truly may deeply and securely take hold, lest its foundation merely be built upon sand, and thus crumble in the face of any storm.
For those up to the challenge,
First off, thank you Spartacus Rex for starting this thread. I really like the picture of a boat of THE FAITH because it creates a good starting point to discuss what it means to have a personal relationship with our savior. After all, weren't we adrift at sea--needing help and unable to help ourselves? Yet God, in his glorious grace and limitless love cast a line, plucked us from the seas and placed us with Him in His boat of The Faith.
We were slaves who have been set free. We were lost but now are found. We were orphans but have been adopted into His family. We were hopeless, but now have hope. His lifeline to us was sending His only begotten Son to suffer and die for us so that we may be forgiven and have life anew. AND HE DID THIS WHEN WE WERE HIS ACTIVE ENEMIES! NOT when we were singing hymns in church on Sunday mornings. THAT is the essence of TRUE LOVE--giving everything of yourself for someone who doesn't deserve it. It is a love so deep and so great that it can only be found in the perfect gift given by the God of the Bible. It is the essence of GRACE (or unmerited favor)--which is a gift that can never be earned or repaid. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD:"
So we now find ourselves in His boat--the drowning sinner sitting with the One who rescued us. Now what? WHO is this Savior who rescued us from our sorry, hopeless, doomed, self-inflicted situation? WHO is this God who has done something so selfless for someone so undeserving? If this Savior has given us such a precious gift OUT OF LOVE, wouldn't we want to know more about Him? After all, how can one have a personal relationship with someone if we don't KNOW the other person? How can we love someone we don't KNOW?
In the days immediately after I EXPERIENCED grace, I was sitting with my unit's pastor at a lake on our base. I remember asking this Captain, "what do I do now?" His answer was "get to know Him." And his advice was to start in the gospels and READ who this God was and what He has done. And so I began. Starting in the fast-paced, to-the-point Gospel of Mark, I began reading scripture with eyes anew. I read Paul's letters with the words coming alive and having real meaning for the first time in my life. Whereas before, words like grace, mercy, and PEACE were like listening to Peppermint Patty's teacher, these words now SANG WITH NEW MEANING! He was literally revealing himself to me in His Word--EACH AND EVERY WORD!
Then along the Romans Road I hit a bump. And not just on the road to Rome, but in Ephesus too, and in Colussus and in Corinth, and in Thesselonica, and with John and Peter and James and Timothy. The words said, what the words said and the words meant what the words meant. And the more I dwelled and the more I THOUGHT about these words, the precept became clearer and clearer. That precept being God's SOVEREIGNTY.
Which brings us to a topic that has divided the church for centuries--the election of grace (aka the doctrines of grace, aka the doctrine of election, aka predestination). Is it true? Is it Biblical? It most certainly is and scripture is rife with examples and outright declarations of this truth.
OK, so there it is--I've teed it up. Come let us reason together--search the scriptures to see if this is true--test it and keep it if it's good.
And to conclude this first post, I re-ask some questions that I had posted on the thread of faith over a month ago:
Who does the choosing in an adoption? The babe or the parent?
Can a slave choose to be set free?
Does a sheep choose his shepherd?
Does the clay tell the potter what to shape it into?
And I add to these:
Did He choose us BEFORE the foundation of the world?
Is our will greater than His sovereignty?
I do not know about predestination however I do know that God knows the beginning from the end, he is the Alpha and Omega, he knows who will come to him and who won't.
God will force no one to come to him, this is true free will. He did not make us to be little robots, he truly wants us to fellowship with him of our own free will.
Falling back on John 3:16- For God so loved the world (that's you), that he gave his only begotten Son (that's Yeshua), that whosoever (that's you again) believeth in him (that's Yeshua again) should not perish, but have everlasting life
Not meaning nor intending to add to God's word, the words in the parentheses are just to point out who is being spoken of.
Now look at Rev 3:20- Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Yeshua is wanting to tabernacle with us, he is standing at the door. The hearts door? He will come in if one opens that door, their door to him and sup with them, feed them, teach them. He wants a relationship with them, a personal relationship, a one on one.
Hearts meanings-click on the number https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=heart+wicked&t=KJV&ss=1#s=s_primary_0_1
Yeshua is knocking at your door, you are not knocking on his. The question is will you open that door or keep it shut.
Isa 9:6 Titus 2:13
Glad to see that you've stopped by!
God not only knows the end from the beginning, He declares it and does it, right?
Isaiah 46:9-11: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."
So, per your allusion, the context of Scripture absolutely clarifies that He's doing it vs knowing it.
I would also like to RESPECTFULLY challenge the claim that God won't force anyone to Him.
Did God force Saul to Him on the road to Damascus?
Did God force Jonah to do His will?
Did God force Israel out of Egypt and back to Him?
Did God force Lot out of Sodom and Gomorra?
Did God force Balaam to do His will?
Did God use force to humble Nebuchadnezzar?
Did God use force to humble Israel (to turn them back to Him)? Repeatedly?
Who put Job in Satan's cross-hairs? Who limited what Satan could do to Job?
The point isn't that God will always force people to do what He wants. Rather, the point is He CAN and WILL force people to accomplish His purpose (ask Jonah).
So, the idea of "free" will MUST be analyzed and defined WITHIN the context of God's sovereignty. In other words, we have free will within the confines of God's purpose and what He allows. To simplify this idea, my 3 y/o has free will (very STRONG free will sometimes)--but his will is always within the confines of my will as his father.
Bonus: Daniel 4:34-35: "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
The point I was making is God will not force anyone to love him, to fellowship with him, to come to him for salvation thru his son Yeshua.
Does God use people to accomplish his will, absolutely because He is a sovereign God.
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
God knew the beginning from the end and still chose to create us which speaks volumes, knowing that mankind would fall.
He could have simply not given us free will at the beginning of mans creation and the downfall would have never happened however he himself chose to let everyone decide for their own self.
However that free will choice will determine where one will spend eternity and eternity is forever and ever.
....to happen along and see Nana back!...what a treat...time to learn some truth...Great to hear/see you...
Thanks for a great thread! Nana, so glad to see you here. I find it so fascinating this thread was posted just as I was pondering yesterday and losing faith...not in God, but in my fellow man. It is a sense of humanity lost where the new morals demand money and loyalty over truth and justice, that folks willingly keep their eyes closed in order to try to maintain status quo, that they seek to submit to erroneous authority rather than stand up for what they know to be true and just, that one would rather not make waves and gladly face the coward in the mirror than listen to their heart telling them what is right, that one would choose not to think using their own deductive logic so that one may still be considered a favored "part of the group".
I very clearly saw that I was to take a back seat and that a close relative (passed on) was always beside me; this 180 from my normal "lean forward" stance towards things. What does it all mean? We are not born perfect, we are here to learn, and that learning must be not by dictate but by learning to choose a good and correct path. No-one else can do that for us, and everyone is on their own timeline. Jesus is our example, we simply have to follow our God given example, it is so easy! And yet most choices are not what Jesus would do.
I used to think virtually every person would be pushed, like a rubber band, to the point the wrongs being committed would be in such discordance with their hearts, that they would feel compelled at a soul level to reject the abusive authority being played out and choose love, and healing towards others and our grand earth.
I guess I am in a funk right now. I don't believe they will. The abuses will continue, folks will continue to get "picked off" at will whether through poisoned water, food, "diecare" rather than "healthcare" or govt. choice. Keeping the head down cowardice will prevail until suddenly they finally find themselves, or their families the next target to be annihilated. They own their behavior.
When I was very young I used to ask my mother about the Nazi's and how they possibly could have gotten away with it. Why didn't anyone stand up, I would ask. She said they just didn't know the reality of the situation, and if they did they couldn't admit it to themselves, because to do so would be to label themselves a coward; so they willingly believed the lies. As social animals, and in order to "fit in", they chose to believe the lies.
I have stuck my neck out farther than I should have out of perceived obligations to humanity, to one another, that we may create a better world. Warnings and information have been met with ridicule, discredit, mocking, and the complete twisting of my words and intent, jumping on my comments and so altering them that they in no way resemble my original messages. Like monkeys most would rather choose another poison banana and sit happily in their newfound cages. But what did I expect, no really, what did I expect?!?
I don't have 200 researchers working for me drawing up convoluted "pied piper" onion wrapper truths wrapped in big fat lies and misinformation. And I don't enjoy the watching of the leading to slaughter, yet I return again and again to this sight. Why?
Great Idea, Brother!
I can ask a question here that I didn't want to in the ToF. First, I lean toward the 'election' idea more than the free will idea. Within just the last year, I've seen two men come into their faith that don't remotely fit the gentle, soft spoken, non-confrontational image of a 'church man'. This, coupled with my own experience, seemed an odd enough circumstance to make me wonder. He knows who he is electing. I even wondered if it might be true that if we lived in 30 AD, we should be doing as Jesus did then and live as the embodiment of love and peace. But by now, depending on the timeline of Revelations, He could very well be in prepping mode.
flyinkel - I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so bad. Don't leave. I might have missed something, but I can't remember it being more than 1 poster in conflict with you, and not a lot of support from others. It looks to me like your posts are widely appreciated. Just take a short break if it's bugging you. And if you do, you'll have time to research post WW1 Germany and how the government was co-opted and the people plundered.
"Why didn't anyone stand up, I would ask. She said they just didn't know the reality of the situation"
Perhaps they knew the reality of the situation all too well, and they were standing up.
There's a couple of things that you said that we must look at more closely.
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
First off, we need to look at the whole verse:
"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 the context of the partial phrase you used is not willing that any of US should perish. This verse never implies that it is to all of creation. Peter's use of "us" throughout this chapter and the entire letter of 2 Peter is clearly in the context he provides in the salutation: "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). Taken in full context, "us" are those who "have obtained like precious faith" and God's "not willing that any [of us] should perish."
Also, the phrase "not willing that any should perish" is also contextually tied to the "promise of His coming" (v4). So to use this as a proof text that God doesn't restrict man's ability to choose is misplaced here.
Second, you said:
he himself chose to let everyone decide for their own self
he himself chose to let everyone decide for their own self
My non-rhetorical question is, "was Pharaoh allowed to decide for himself?"
Romans 9:17-18: "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
Don't brush this one off, because this is part of Paul's evidence in Romans 9 regarding the purpose of election. Paul quotes God's words to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:15-16 "For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth."
Let's look very close.
1.) God raised up Pharaoh for a specific purpose
2.) That purpose was to stretch out His hand and smite Pharaoh with pestilence
3.) God's reason was to show His power and that His name might be declared
But there's more...
- 5 times, God hardens Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 14:8).
So I ask again, If God's purpose was to show His power by smiting Pharaoh with all 10 plagues--it is a purpose that God DECLARES ahead of time--and God is the one ACTIVELY HARDENING Pharaoh's heart--explain how Pharaoh had the ability to freely choose. (and before you answer, I put you into remembrance of the perfect fulfillment of the Passover feast--the first of the Lord's feast commemorating an event where God hardened Pharaoh's heart 4 times to create the need for the 10th and final plague of firstborn death. If, as you claim, everyone can decide for themselves, there never would have been a Passover event to begin with. It was His plan all along!)
Now there's another example Paul uses in Romans 9 regarding Isaac and Esau. As it's getting late in this neck of the woods, I'm not going to expound on that tonight.
Scripture never claims that man can freely choose for himself. In fact, scripture says the opposite (Romans 3:10-18).
Folks, this is all about God's sovereignty to accomplish His purpose. And this sovereignty trumps man's will every time it's contrary to His purpose.
Old testament is full of commandments and contracts. New is grace and freedom of choice. I have never learned enough about the Word of God to become dogmatic, like Bob Mumford said " God can not be a figment of my imagination because he is nothing like i imagined him to be".
First, SS, it is I that thank you, since it is indeed because of you personally, whereby this forum even came into existence.
Second, if I may, I would like to extend a heartfelt 'Welcome Back' to you Nana, and as well offer you my belated apology for my particular absence at DOTS at a time when it would have been most beneficial, immediately prior to your departure therein, however due to the ignorance and/or insensitivity displayed by two other members on matters of which I have personal experience, I thought it best to simply exit so as to keep the peace therein, and was only later informed by another member of what was subsequently transpiring.
Again, I am truly very sorry for my absence since not only could I completely empathize where you were coming from, but worse, apparently was the only one who could have easily defended & completely validated your point!
Before I continue any further, I would like to make known that Life has put This One on a particular path not necessarily shared by everyone else, having been brought up and reared in the South, by Southern Unionists, (anyone who doesn't understand that term, think: Andrew Jackson, and perhaps as well recognize that it was the “United States” Marines that marched upon the “Halls of Montezuma” and not Texas Rangers) and was brought up in dual denomination religious family, whereby the distaff side was devoutly RC, thus my entire schooling was predominantly provided either by Nuns or Jesuits, the latter which insisting that I should always challenge everything, by thinking Deeply, Intensely and Critically.
Ergo, I was blessed to learn that not only is Context, as IRB puts it, “essential”, it is in fact critical, for without grasping such, we are merely left with a Compass without the necessary Needle. (BTW & FYI: I as well “don't remotely fit the gentle, soft spoken, non-confrontational image of a 'church man'.” I take it that everyone hopefully already knew that )
I cannot speak for others, however one rule that I have also found to be the most helpful, is the Rule of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Solomon) however in this day and age whereby the classical method of teaching (Cause and Effect) has been tossed to the curb, it should be no wonder why most are simply reduced to scratching their heads and left looking to others (“Experts” if you will) for the “easy answers”.
I doubt that anyone who ventures herein needs to ask of themselves:
“Gee, how's that worked out for everyone so far?”
Personally, I found Saint (or if one prefers: Apostle) Paul, spoke clearly, if not directly to me, yet I did not overlook thoroughly studying the O.T., and specifically Proverbs as well as Psalms, nor overlooked how our Saviour was adamant in calling out hypocrites, and when it came time for This One's choosing a “Confirmation” name, needless to say, my choice didn't go over too well, and the Archbishop officiating same, was doing his utmost trying to explain to a twelve year old kid, how Martin Luther was not actually a Saint, much less even Canonized by the Catholic Church yet, (Oh gee, what were my chances then?)
and while many “devout” Catholics present were mortified, my paternal g-pop upon hearing same, took me out later for the biggest banana split I have ever seen, ever since.
Silver Sooner's post @ #576 truly struck a chord with me, and I was instantly moved by same, proclaiming:
“Hallelujah LORD! Thank you for allowing me to realize that I am not the only one who indeed 'Gets IT' / the only one left remaining which has not succumbed to drinking the Koolaid from the poisoned well!”
One need only to look around today, and ask themselves:
Gee, what's the problem/ what's not working properly?
Simply go online and see the multitudes of varying “interpretations” of Holy Scripture
The answer is, and has indeed always been, simple.
Words are indeed Tools, and just as there are indeed specific tools for specific job requirements, (although some might fancy that a wrench will substitute for a hammer in a pinch) thus the Wise will be fully prepared, so as to avoid any damage potentially caused by otherwise being presumptuous.
How many truly, have diligently read and critically studied Holy Scripture today, versus blindly accepting the infallibility of any human translator presenting same in modern language/ lexicon?
Simple Case in point:
More than once has 2 Timothy 2:15 been cited within ToF:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
and yet while the latter highlighted word, indeed be a correct translation from ancient language, yet it does not reflect the proper context intended by same, giventhe limited vocabulary and use of words available in language of long, long ago.
Truth has but ONE Source/ Author, and such is in fact, wholly indivisible, thus cannot be “divided” even by two (2), that is unless, anyone chooses to accept that even “half truths” are nevertheless still “Truth”!
Ergo, anyone who has truly “studied”, would quickly, if not instinctively, realize that the proper context and word in today's lexicon, should actually be “discern” / (ie: Separate) rather than merely accept such human translation blindly as infallible.
Since there is indeed, but One Creator, and like it or not, we are ALL created in HIS image, (yes, even those who profess to be Atheists) and there is only one “Know it ALL” / Genius in the entire Universe, and as St. Paul pointed out to us in Romans 12, each of us have been given a different measure of Faith, and thus fulfill a different part/ member in the body of Christ here on Earth in our own day and age. Does it not simply resonate thereby, that we should humbly listen with open minds, when any member of the Faithful elects to share his or her particular understanding of Truth/ the Word, without a default response, accusing same of “dividing”, or otherwise jumping ahead to any presumptive conclusions as to either One's intent, or otherwise competency on the subject matter?
Silver Sooner, I for one, see your personal efforts made to indeed “study” diligently and faithfully to grasp the proper context of the Word, thus I truly appreciate the opportunity whereby we may walk this path together presently, and hopefully share, and indeed learn from each other.
As to those questions you presented Silver Sooner, in the Spirit of the Rule of K.I.S.S.:
BTW: I am truly humbled by the appearance of fond fellow members herein (but don't tell anybody )
May the Good LORD Bless ALL herein.
Cheers & Semper Fi,
It's so good to see you too. Sorry to hear you are feeling down but as a wise lady recently reminded me, let no one steal your joy. That was a turning point for me. You know the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Many people are much like that, you try to tell them and they do not want to hear, they ignore/are deaf and wilfully blind because they do not love the truth nor do they want to hear it and reject it. You know when I left DOTS my soul was screaming get out of there and I believe that God lead me out. Yes, It is hard to try and fail but sometimes you just have to walk away and let God handle it. You are always going to have those who want to control others and who love money/fiat so much they are willing to sell their soul for it. They believe vein things, puff themselves up, worship the creation rather than the Creator or worship Satan. Seeing that we are in the last days all you can do is share the gospel, some will hear and some will reject but you have done what you could. Don't let others steal your joy. Thank you for being there for me.
Thank you for the welcome back.
You have no reason/need to apologize to me.
DOTS was a labor of love and what happened on DOTS forced the Christian issue and exposed who walks the talk and what walk they walk and talk they talk.
It was heart wrenching to see those who teach/say to be tolerant, be inclusive but yet demeaned, disparaged, went after and purposely target Christians with an outright seething hate.
It's a sign of the times we are in and it is just going to wax worse and worse.
Posting this version so you can read the words https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig Posting this version to tie it together to current day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GiAYeWGDTM
Sorry lost my first post, page went blank. Anyway, since God knows the beginning from the end and who will come to him and who will not isn't it possible that God is using his own creation to fulfill/accomplish his own will. Ephesians 1:4-According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5-Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Why would some be chosen and some not before the foundation of the world?
I do not know however God does.
Nana wrote: Thank you for the welcome back. You have no reason/need to apologize to me. ... <snipped>
If you say so.
I still missed you ,
faithfully kept you in my prayers
and am truly grateful to see your return
(But don't tell anybody. )
together, shall we?
Re: "God's SOVEREIGNTY."
After all, it seems only logical that since HE is the Creator, and thus responsible for all of Creation, commonsense should dictate that ALL therein, is HIS/ belongs to HIM.
Ergo, anything which we might temporarily be in possession of, is nevertheless still HIS, and merely on loan to us.
It is up to each of us to decide whether we choose to be a good and worthy steward of same.
(Consider the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 14-30)
Re: "Who does the choosing in an adoption? The babe or the parent?"
Consider yet, still another possibility, (ie the LORD HIMSELF!)
Since the LORD indeed knows, and has access into the hearts of each one of HIS Creation, are we to question what specifically moved a set of parents to choose one child over any other to adopt?
And who other than the LORD, knows the particular path which HE wishes for the adopted child to start upon, and the best choice of parents to accommodate such?
Re: "Can a slave choose to be set free?"
Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, and yet it still is the LORD which has direct access into the heart of the “slave” owner.
Consider Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers, subsequently falsely accused of committing an act which he deliberately chose not to do, in spite of the threats made, preferring to nevertheless obey his Creator.
What was his reward for remaining Faithful to his Creator?
Oh, let's say, just thrown into prison to rot and suffer unjustly.
Perhaps a lessor mortal would have by then indeed thrown in the towel, started cursing his Creator, saying: “For crying out loud, WTH?” Perhaps even imagining that everything he learned from his dad was merely Myths & B.S. (“Bible Stories”)
Yet the LORD knows what is needed and required, how to test, and how to reward.
Re: "Does a sheep choose his shepherd?"
Does a “sheep” have Cognitive Skills?
Re: "Does the clay tell the potter what to shape it into?"
The LORD knows. It has been said that Michelangelo could see the already finished sculpture in a raw slab of marble, and merely set about chiseling away the extraneous and unwanted marble out of the way.
Re: "And I add to these:
Did He choose us BEFORE the foundation of the world?"
Either way, does it actually make a difference at this point to you?
And if so, then How so?
Re: "Is our will greater than His sovereignty?"
I do not see how such could even be remotely presumed, however that does not necessarily mean that “our will” is either meaningless to, or otherwise taken for granted by, our Creator, as HE indeed saw fit to provide us with same to begin with.
Again, personally I try to stay with the Rule of K.I.S.S., and thus try to keep things as simply understood as humanly possible.
Even Albert Einstein had figured that one out, and thus saw fit to also explain his Theory of Relativity in such a simple form as well, so that even a child could grasp the concept.
"When the solution is simple, God is answering." Albert Einstein
Consider Proverbs 16:33
“The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD”
Ergo, consider the Maze.
Granted, the Maze placed before me, is not necessarily going to be the exact same one placed before anyone else, nevertheless Mazes have but one path which successfully transverses same out to the other side, correct?
Who better knows the correct path through any one of same, than our LORD?
Who is the Author of ALL Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding?
Who yet do not otherwise comprehend Proverbs 4:7 correctly?
Whatever anyone of us may be lacking individually, our LORD nevertheless is willing to provide, either through leading us to another which has already received that Blessing / Gift / “Tool”, or in case such is not already available, then directly through revelation via the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, one still needs to make the Free Will decision and Effort to ASK!!!
The WORD has specifically and repeatedly pointed this out to us:
I John 5:14
I John 4:6
I John 3:22
Personally, I think that one must truly be spoiled beyond redemption to not even be willing to at least make that small of an effort, or otherwise totally void of Faith not to expect an Answer, or to presume that our heavenly Father is so heartless as to not provide same.
If I may humbly offer some advice resulting from those who previously came before and taught This One, as well as decades of subsequent personal experience:
If one is not having any fun presently with Life, consider the possibility that Life's learning process was perhaps not personally comprehended correctly;
If one has not found an opportunity to actually experience at least one truly heartfelt laugh each and every day, consider the possibility that Life's learning process was perhaps not personally comprehended correctly;
If one has not daily, empathetically felt a sense of compassion at witnessing the suffering borne by others, so as to move one to pull out their own spoon and ask the victim for a bite off of their plate, then consider the possibility that one might be turning a blind eye, hiding behind the walls of their own comfort zone, and the possibility that Life's learning process was perhaps not personally comprehended correctly;
And finally, if one missed the opportunity to please their Creator by performing necessary due diligence on any particular subject matter, whereas to spot asinine assertions of mere a**clowns presenting such assertions as fact and truth of the matter to others of his Created, whereby to be personally competent to call such out on same, perhaps consider that although our Creator indeed hath a sense of humor, HE does not find pathetic crap even remotely funny, and thus perhaps consider simply stepping aside whereby the competent may provide our Creator a well deserved laugh at the expense of those pathetic pontificators.
Again, if one is not daily experiencing Joy, Sorrow, a good cry, a good laugh, and counting their Blessings, then perhaps consider the possibility that Life's learning process was perhaps not personally comprehended correctly!
Cheers & Semper Fi,
I had the idea for 3, separate posts expounding on different things:
- To relay a parallel sequence of events involving my 3 y/o and his desire to learn about Jonah
- To answer a couple of points in Nana's last post and point out how cool it is that Paul answers her last question as the immediate follow-on to what he explains about Pharaoh
- To clarify the common denominator in the questions that Spartacus Rex just answered...
But, God has different plans so here we are.
There was one, key question that Spartacus Rex asked of me that made me stop dead in my tracks. And it's one that I really think we need to stop and focus on. In his last post, he asked me:
Either way, does it actually make a difference at this point to you? And if so, then How so?
Such a powerful question! Why does this issue matter, anyway? What's so important about it that makes it worthy of study/discussion? Does any of this really make a difference? What does this have to do with our personal relationship with God? Does it really matter to me (at this stage in my relationship with Him) if He chose me before or after? AB-SO-LUTELY!
- Foundational precept: Who is God? The source of a Christian's growth in the Lord is knowledge of His word. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105). Also see Acts 20:32.
Likewise, scripture alone is sufficient to perfect the believer. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
It (scripture) matures us from being spiritual babes to feasting on spiritual meat (1 Cor 3:1-3, Heb 5:11-14, 1 Peter 2:2, Jer 15:16).
How are we weaned from the milk? Isaiah 28:9-10: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:"
and 3 verses later (Isaiah 28:13): "But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;...." (emphasis mine).
Growth in the knowledge of the Lord comes from studying scripture and understanding fundamental truths (or rules, or precepts). They build on each other. The Holy Spirit clearly tells us in Isaiah 28, that matters of knowledge and doctrine (rules/truths/precepts) build upon each other. It is sequential and systematic. Failure to properly understand/apply one precept will preclude you from understanding/applying other deeper rules/truths/precepts. It is the ONLY WAY a deep knowledge of all things spiritual works: precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
So what does this have to do with God's sovereignty and our relationship with Him? Well, the occasion presents us with two foundational precepts. One, do we trust scripture even when we don't necessarily understand it or when it makes us uncomfortable? Will we submit to the hard truths? And two, are we willing to accept God's definition of himself that He gives throughout scripture? If God tells us something fundamental about His character and we fail to understand it correctly, it will darken and hinder our understanding of everything else He tells us.
- Correctly defining His sovereignty magnifies his power and glory to the greatest extent possible. Which God is more powerful? A God who looks across time and chooses only those who choose Him back? Or a God who is an active participant in bringing His purpose to perfect completion? Which God is more powerful? A God who desires things but is content if they don't come about? Or a God who brings about what He desires?
Everyone has (probably) heard the saying "Don't put God in a box." Well, the created thing has no business putting limits on God's power. While I'll skip the exegesis on this for now, suffice to say, it's critically important for me that my God be omnipotent (all-powerful) vs MERELY omniscient (all-knowing).
- Proper placement of credit/praise. As a follow-on to the last point, not only does God's power and glory need to be magnified to the greatest extent possible, but so does the praise that He deserves. I mentioned this before (in the ToF) that the doctrine of God's sovereignty and the doctrine of election gives him 100% credit for everything. ONLY HE HAS ROOM TO BOAST. Saying He needed our free will to accomplish our salvation elevates man and gives us room to boast. I say again, ONLY HE HAS ROOM TO BOAST. Bottom line, God gets ALL of the praise--man gets none of it.
Now, that doesn't mean we aren't called to act and respond. But before we go there, let's establish the precept that God gets all the credit and then we'll build out from there.
- Source of endless comfort and peace. Knowing God's purpose will stand no matter what is an incredible source of comfort and confidence for the believer. No matter how bad things get, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) ALL THINGS. Even things that seem bad have a good destination. **Please note this verse actually introduces the idea of God's purpose of election that continues into Romans 9 that we discussed above** It is this that gives us strength in our trials and tribulations. It gives us a reason to endure hardships. It gives us a reason to have patience. And ultimately, this gives us peace that passes understanding.
I lost my dad when I was 10. And I can honestly say with 100% confidence that that event set about another twenty-three-years of interrelated events that brought me to the realizing MOMENT of saving grace. Had I not lost my dad, other events and choices in my life wouldn't have happened the way they did and I wouldn't have gotten it (saving grace) any other way. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!
The point is, the Christian will have low points, trials, hardships and tribulations in their life. God's sovereign purpose in ALL things is the unfailing source we can return to when things are too tough to bear.
- Source of endless humility. It should go without saying that God getting all the credit serves as an eternal reminder to humble ourselves and check our pride at the door. Pride is also the reason why it's so tough for us to submit to the doctrines of sovereignty and election. Giving God all the credit keeps us from getting puffed up.
- Knowing God better = better service and obedience. This goes back to our call to action and how we respond to His calling. Only after we put His power and work in proper context can we begin to understand where we fit in. Once we submit to his power and glory and then humble ourselves, are we then prepared with the right heart to be of service to Him.
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Cheers & Blessings,
Silver Sooner and Spartacus Rex,
Thanks for the post been looking the verses up and reading.