How Does God Choose

Discussion in 'Reformed Theology' started by Guy With Questions, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Guy With Questions Reader
    Guy With Questions

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    #1 Guy With Questions, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    Hello all, I have enjoyed reading posts so far.

    This is a question I have had for some time regarding reformed theology and was hoping someone might be able to help me here. I understand we have a limited capability to understand God and His plan, but I also know the He tells us to study and I have found no qualification of that. In other words, there is no reason not to speculate based on what we DO know. For instance, we know certain of God's character traits, i.e.- God is Love, God hates sin, God is a vengeful God, God is fair and just, etc.

    Based on the known traits, what do reformed folks believe is the criteria for God's choosing who He will save?

    Thanks much in advance!
     
  2. Promises of Love Reader
    Promises of Love

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    With regards to reformed theology, it's important to look at 2 passages:

    2 Peter 3:17: "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position."

    Isaiah 26:10: "But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the LORD."

    To be elect, it starts with thirsting for righteousness. The desire to live a life that pleases God; hating this world and life (sin). In repentance and willingness to change, one turns toward God; then He will receive help from above (pruning, water, guidance, etc). The angels are always with us, recording everything in the books and will respond the moment a soul truly understands the value righteousness and holiness; the Kingdom becomes their greatest desire (Matthew 13:44). You will hear the Holy Spirit and Jesus; words of encouragement and sometimes rebuke. He will come to you in the spirit and take you by the right hand (Psalm 73:23-26).

    It all comes down to sin; including sin in the heart (Luke 6:45), since those who continue to sin will be at enmity with God when their spirit leaves their body (James 4:4, Matthew 7:23). Nothing unclean can enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelation 21:27). The elect are those who are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, then through convictions of the Holy Spirit turn away from all sin, overcoming the world; keeping themselves unstained by the world (Revelation 3:4); that is, they stop walking in darkness (1 John 3:9). The circumcised heart; one who rejects the wrong and chooses right or is aware of stumbling the moment it happens (James 3:2) and repents.

    Those chosen are those that walk in the "Way of Holiness," (Isaiah 35:8). In order to walk in this way, one must stay awake in the spirit and remain sober. How does the spirit fall asleep or get drunk? By eating the bread of the world; lust of the eyes; consuming wicked teachings in film and music. Even false teachings can cause souls to slumber (false sense of security).

    Therefore, guard your eyes, ears and mouth from wickedness and feast on the word of God. Review God's Commandments. Love His word and find joy in the light of truth. Love your neighbor; bless them, not cursing. Forgive. Follow the commands of Jesus since those who obey Him are wise; their house is built on the rock. Then when hardships, temptations, and persecutions come, they remain standing! Awake! In the Light. They will be the light of the earth.

    Most importantly, "Keep faith unto death." Never turn back to the old way. Stay the course; the way to the Kingdom is a spiritual pathway; it is difficult and requires patient endurance; those who love God and their neighbors are closest to the Kingdom (Mark 12:32-34). "Keep watch and pray." Pray daily if possible to not be led into temptation. Satan's means to attack is to lie, cause one to sin, and reap condemnation as he is condemned. He is an accuser; using accusations to kill. Give him nothing to accuse you of! But God desires mercy and for all to come to Him. He loves us all and we can see His love in Isaiah 53. But we must overcome the world as Jesus did, he showed the way in how he lived. We must live as Jesus did.

    And if anyone lacks knowledge, you can go directly to God (James 1:5). If we have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we don't need anyone to teach us (1 John 2:27). All things are revealed to those who seek and continue to seek until they find the answer.




     
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  3. Guy With Questions Reader
    Guy With Questions

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    Thanks Promises of Love! I sure appreciate your time, you articulated that nicely. So you are saying God chooses those who are "thirsting for righteousness" and that "walk in the "Way of Holiness," (Isaiah 35:8)"?

    I'm not sure that is how I have understood Reformed Theology though. "...and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." -Isa 64:6 and "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." -Psa 10:4
     
  4. Kenneth Mason Member
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    Reformed folks, as you put it, do not know how God chooses who will be saved. If you walk through their logic, which is quite sound, you will find that they cannot know how God chooses, nor do they know for sure that they themselves are part of the elect. Though I agree with much of reformed theology, I have found their doctrines on predestination to be lacking. In the end, reformed theology tends to create more questions than it can answer.

    Do not get me wrong. I know more reformed theologians that have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the proclamation thereof correct; however I find the scope of their soteriology, and thus the Gospel dreadfully lacking.

    Because this section is for discussions on reformed theology I will not get into the flaws of Armenianism, but I feel that it is important to point out that it is no better in the scope of its soteriology either.
     
  5. Guy With Questions Reader
    Guy With Questions

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    Thanks Kenneth,

    I agree, I'm with them up to the point of a very thin grey line that I end up not crossing. Great people (folks :) ) who love the Lord from most of my experience with them (my older brother being one). The question I posed being one of those reasons for keeping me this side of that line. Eh, I don't know how true that is... I guess honestly I just don't see it in general from a 'whole Bible' context perspective. But I certainly do see where they are coming from for sure.

    Anyway, I guess the point of my question is this...

    I would assume we all could agree that God's Grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9). Why then would His grace not be sufficient to overcome, what Reformed theology calls, our 'inability' for the final acceptance or rejection of Christ?

    I believe we will agree that it is sufficient and the response would simply be that He doesn't. Probably something to the effect of 'That is nowhere in God's Word'...fair enough. Of course neither is any other explanation so I definitely wouldn't call it heresy. So, this isn't described in the Bible, is it countered in the Bible? In other words, is there anything in the Bible that says it doesn't happen this way?
     
  6. Kenneth Mason Member
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    When it comes to predestination in the Bible, there are precious few verses that deal with the subject directly; And the ones that do are never in the context of heaven/hell or salvation. Romans 9 is a good example of this. The context of Romans 9 deals directly with the sovereignty of God in respect to the divine predetermined purpose (predestination) of every person. It is a logical argument that Paul is presenting from chapter 8 and verse 29 dealing with the foreknowledge of God. Note that those He did foreknow were predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, not to heaven or hell. Notice also in chapter 9 that part of the argument is God having made some to honor, and some to dishonor. Reformed theologians love to use this verse as a proof text for predestination for heaven and hell, but if you look at the original Greek, you would find the meaning to be more literally translated as "some for a greater purpose and some for a common purpose." If you do a word search for the phrase "honor and dishonor" you will find that they are different Greek words used in this case whereas the other cases they use words that literally translated into honor and dishonor.

    Reformed theologians do, however, understand correctly that there is nothing man can do to be saved. Salvation is not a free will choice as the Arminian group would have you believe. Because both sides understand predestination incorrectly as the final destination of one's soul and the purpose that God has for one's soul, you are left with an insufficient scope of salvation. On one hand you have a God who will not save because of predestination: and on the other hand, you have a God who cannot save because of free will. I do not serve a god who is not willing to save, nor do I serve a god who cannot save. Praise God I serve the God of Hope who is the Savior of all men, especially those that believe; who has justified all to life through Christ; those who have done good to resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to resurrection of judgement. Notice how every time the resurrection comes up that it is about doing good or evil, never about salvation... Just something to think about.
     

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