Romans 9:14-30 - God Hardens Hearts?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
User avatar
B. W.
Ultimate Member
Posts: 8365
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:17 am
Christian: Yes
Location: Colorado
Has liked: 102 times
Been liked: 260 times

#31

Post by B. W. » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:25 pm

Kurieuo wrote:A response I believe one needs to look at is if God hardened Pharaoh's heart directly, then how did God do it? Is this something really logically possible? Are our hearts literally some sort of substance that can be taken and hardened? Now God may have did something like possess Pharaoh to control him, but then that isn't hardening Pharaoh's heart for Pharaoh's heart has nothing to do with the issue if God has taken over his entire being. I see the only way God can harden someone's heart, is for God to "play" them. He did this also with Jonah, "playing" him into make a decision to go to Ninevah. He knows how we will react in different situations (as he did with Pharaoh which Exodus 3:19 reveals), and can use such to his advantage to get his will accomplished.
Kurieuo
The answer you seek is really discovered with exploring what God's "All-knowing" or "Knowing All Things" is about. When you explore this more, you'll soon find out that there is really no conflict between "free will" and foreordaining at all.

I term 'free will' as 'autonomy of reason' more for lingustical understanding than spliting hairs as this little ditie states:

I known a Will,
but he is not free,
has a job,
and gets off at three,
goes home,
kisses the wife,
lets out the dog,
bags the poo,
stops the the childrens whinning,
Listen dazedily to his spouse,
off to bed,
Are you listening to me? says she
Ah, I know a Will and he ain't free!

Fortigurn
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:29 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#32

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:17 am

Felgar wrote:
puritan lad wrote:To clarify, Calvinists do believe that man has a will. However, man's will is limited by his own sinful nature. (For example, can man use his free will to go a lifetime without sinning? Of course not. Therefore, even the staunchest Arminian has to acknowledge some limits on free will). One of those limits is salvation.
Of course we cannot live our lives without sin, even if we will it. Also, we are saved by God's Grace; salvation is clearly not an act of man. However, the acceptance of that salvation is our Faith, which is why we are saved by Grace through faith.

God offers salvation, and we accept or deny it. We don't save ourselves we simply accept the gift of salvation offerred by God. If the local radio station calls me up and says "congratulations, you've won a car" but I tell them I'm not coming to pick it up, do I have the car? I do not have a gift until I accept it.

It is the same thing with salvation; Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13-14)

Jesus gives the water, but whether the person drinks is their own will. Both you and I agree that we must drink; that we must believe in Jesus. The only difference is that you believe God decides who will drink, and I believe that each person decides. We both agree that only some will be saved; you say that God decides who is offered the gift, and I say that God offers the gift to all makind, and only those who accept it are saved. We both agree that no man can act against the will of God; you say that God wills some to eternal damnation, and I say that God's will is to provide each of us with a free choice by not imposing His will.
I believe this expresses it well. God offers us a choice. If we are incapable of making that choice, then He is playing games.

Certainly we cannot achieve all that we will, because of sin (Romans 7), but that does not mean that our free will is completely nonexistent.

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#33

Post by puritan lad » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:11 am

Does God "offer" salvation, or does He save? They are not the same thing. This is a fundamental difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. Calvinists don't believe that God "offers" salvation, but rather that he changes hearts. He alone does the work, and neither asks nor requires our permission. He came to "seek and save that which was lost". "...with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." (Hebrews 9:12).

We see differences in songs. The modern church sings, "I have decided to follow Jesus". Moses sang, "The Lord has become my salvation". Big difference.

We are not God's puppets. He does not force us to sin. He doesn't have to. We have enough sin in our own hearts already. Yes, we have choices. However, those choices ae limited to what our own sinful nature will allow. Man, by nature, is a child of wrath, an enemy of God. If left to himself, he will never choose Christ. It is only a supernatural work of God that regenerates man's heart that allows him to "accept Christ". As we can see in Romans 9:18, He doesn't do this for everybody.

I've told this story before: I once heard an Arminian pastor preach a message on Ezekiel 36:26:

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

After a wonderful and detailed sermon on the need and the purpose of this new heart, he concluded with an altar call stating. "God wants to give you a new heart, if you'll only let Him".

To take this to the ultimate ridiculous extreme, consider a bumper sticker I saw recently.

"Try Jesus. If you don't like Him, the Devil will always take you back."

The sad part is that this person, undoubtedly a sincere Christian, actually believes that he is spreading the gospel message.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

Felgar
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1143
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:24 am
Christian: No
Location: Calgary, Canada
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#34

Post by Felgar » Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:34 am

puritan lad wrote:We are not God's puppets. He does not force us to sin. He doesn't have to. We have enough sin in our own hearts already. Yes, we have choices.
Ok, so at some level we have choice...
puritan lad wrote:However, those choices ae limited to what our own sinful nature will allow. Man, by nature, is a child of wrath, an enemy of God. If left to himself, he will never choose Christ.
The bolded part is perfectly correct. Without the intervention of God's grace no one could overcome his sinful nature to choose Christ. (It's off-topic but let's note that God's grace was upon men even before Christ, for many in the OT chose to follow God.)
puritan lad wrote:It is only a supernatural work of God that regenerates man's heart that allows him to "accept Christ".
Agreed, this is the same thing I said above. So I claim to you that God counters our sinful nature to the point that we can make a free choice; even the abilty to choose is reliant on God. I think you agree so far.
puritan lad wrote:As we can see in Romans 9:18, He doesn't do this for everybody.
This is our only point of contention. Scripture supports that God desires for everyone to be saved, and based on that I don't think it makes sense for God to condemn people without giving them any choice at all. So we come back to Pharoah, where God basically said "I know he will not let you go, therefore..." This is contradictory to your assertion that God meant to say "I will prevent Pharoah from letting you go." I believe Pharoah had a choice as had been discussed earlier in the thread. Certainly his final condemnation which was to follow Isreal into the sea was a choice that was not influenced by God.

That also ties into my assertion that God will harden hearts as a means to get us to that point of making a free choice. After having seen all that God did and knowing that he was in God's hands, and after having been reduced to nothing by God, Pharoah still decided to defy Him by following Isreal. That was perhaps the free choice that Pharoah had.

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#35

Post by puritan lad » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:16 am

Felgar wrote:This is our only point of contention. Scripture supports that God desires for everyone to be saved, and based on that I don't think it makes sense for God to condemn people without giving them any choice at all.
I agree, this is the difference. There are many examples where the Bible uses phrases like "the world" or "all men" where the phrase does not refer to every single person on the planet. If that were the case, then we would have universal salvation, since "...God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them". (2 Corinthians 5:19).

The bigger problem here is that God's sovereignty is denied. Psalms 115:3 states that "our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases." Is that true? If "God desires for everyone to be saved", then apparently not. This is where I find pure Arminianism unacceptable. To suggest that Christ died to save every person on the planet is to make Christ a failure. I hold that if a Sovereign God wanted everyone to be saved, then everyone would be saved.

If Christ died only to "offer" salvation, then you could say He died for "everybody", but the reality is that potentially He would have just as easily died for "nobody". But we know that He died for His Sheep, His Church, His people, etc.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

Felgar
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1143
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:24 am
Christian: No
Location: Calgary, Canada
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#36

Post by Felgar » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:07 pm

I feel that I understand your view; I just disagree with it. I feel that to believe God raises people to condemn them is missing the nature of God's love, in much the same way the pharisees did. So your claim is that I deny God's sovereinty, and I claim you deny God's love. We are at an impass my friend, just like we were in the last thread. :) Feel free to recap as you wish.

Oh I should also point out that much like Kurieuo, I don't consider myself an Arminian either, even if I happen to agree with some of their views.

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#37

Post by puritan lad » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:16 pm

Felgar wrote:Oh I should also point out that much like Kurieuo, I don't consider myself an Arminian either, even if I happen to agree with some of their views.
Actually there are very few true "Arminians". Most people who claim to be Arminian are just inconsistent "four-point" Calvinists with a little "free will" tossed in. :D

True classic Arminianism denies that Christ actually paid for sins. Most all Christians today, regardless of their persuasion, would disagree with that.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Kurieuo
Honored Member
Posts: 10034
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 648 times
Been liked: 665 times

#38

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:38 pm

puritan lad wrote:
Felgar wrote:Oh I should also point out that much like Kurieuo, I don't consider myself an Arminian either, even if I happen to agree with some of their views.
Actually there are very few true "Arminians". Most people who claim to be Arminian are just inconsistent "four-point" Calvinists with a little "free will" tossed in. :D

True classic Arminianism denies that Christ actually paid for sins. Most all Christians today, regardless of their persuasion, would disagree with that.
Hmm... I don't see a problem with "free will" and "pre-destination" being compatible though if one follows something like William Craig's version of Molina (scroll down to "Providence").

Kurieuo
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#39

Post by puritan lad » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:41 pm

Again, Calvinists do believe in free will, we just don't subject God's election to it, ie. Man's will is no obstacle whatsoever to God's saving grace. God knows how to deal with man's will.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

Jesus_restores_souls
Newbie Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:57 am
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#40

Post by Jesus_restores_souls » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:08 pm

This is an interesting discussion but this discussion has been going on for years and years and I think satan uses it to slow our growth in Christ where we don't focus on what Christ did, but instead how we got here.

Why not just be thankful we're here (and I know you are Brothers!) and ask God Himself when we are in the 3rd Heaven with Him? When the time comes I'm positive we'll all be so amazed at God's glory and how wonderful His works are that we won't even think about this...I really believe that.

I can see why some may consider this discussion important to use in apologetics, but the Apostles preached the Gospel. Souls for Christ aren't brought to His feet by intellect, rather by grace through faith. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. -Ephesians 2:8

It doesn't matter how we got saved, the point is we would have never had a chance to get saved were it not for Jesus' teachings, sufferings, and ultimate sacrifice! My Brothers, always keep your eyes, mind, heart, soul and strength on Jesus!

Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

User avatar
B. W.
Ultimate Member
Posts: 8365
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:17 am
Christian: Yes
Location: Colorado
Has liked: 102 times
Been liked: 260 times

#41

Post by B. W. » Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:35 pm

I suggest looking at Jeremaih 1:5 and doing your own word studies on each word and test what I write with scripture.

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (KJV)

Here is what I found - Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I predestined you in the deepest recesses I foreknew you fully, completely, intimately; before thou came from the womb (different word than belly used prior, this is the real Hebrew word used for womb), I sanctified (Hebrew means — to be made clean, consecrated, set apart, selected to be holy) thee, and ordained (Hebrew means: to give, grant, given something to do like a charge, to bring forth using a voice) thee a prophet unto all nations.”

Since God foreknows all, He knows what will be, based on knowing all things, decisions, paths, a being with intelligence will take. From this He preordains. God knew us intimately before we ever were. He knows all.

Therefore: For God to be not guilty of being unjust or unfair, He would have to endow His created beings of renown with autonomy of reason, hence a free will. Without this — He would be guilty of not being perfect and committing sin. To so endow His individuals with autonomy of reason proves God and who He is as truly just, absolutely fair, and perfectly righteous. Think on it a few days.

Try this construct and re-read potter and the clay themes in bible:

Before I predestined Pharaoh in the deepest recesses I foreknew Pharaoh fully, completely, intimately; before Pharaoh came from the womb, I set apart Pharaoh, and ordained (Hebrew means: to give, grant, given something to do like a charge, to bring forth using a voice) Pharaoh…

What did God have Pharaoh do?

If Pharaoh was never placed when and where he was and not made Pharaoh, he would have still had rejected God as foreseen intimately but there was no one better than he for this time in epoch history. God would have the right to harden Pharaohs heart harder if God so pleased: why not? God is God and can do as He please.

Since God knows All — He can harden whom He will without any violation of justice or trust to them endowed with reason to think independently. He could place individuals in the scheme of time anywhere (predestine) because He knows All, in the deepest recesses of God's own being.

Fortigurn
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:29 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#42

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:52 pm

puritan lad wrote:True classic Arminianism denies that Christ actually paid for sins. Most all Christians today, regardless of their persuasion, would disagree with that.
I disagree that Christ 'actually paid for sins'. 8)

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#43

Post by puritan lad » Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:13 am

Fortigurn wrote:
puritan lad wrote:True classic Arminianism denies that Christ actually paid for sins. Most all Christians today, regardless of their persuasion, would disagree with that.
I disagree that Christ 'actually paid for sins'. 8)
Why am I not surprised?

Ephesians 1:7
"In Him we have redemption (payment) through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."

Acts 20:28
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to 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."

Hebrews 9:12
"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."

Christ's work is finished. If He didn't pay for sins, then what did He do? How do we have "eternal redemption"?
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

Fortigurn
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:29 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#44

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:26 am

puritan lad wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
puritan lad wrote:True classic Arminianism denies that Christ actually paid for sins. Most all Christians today, regardless of their persuasion, would disagree with that.
I disagree that Christ 'actually paid for sins'. 8)
Why am I not surprised?

Ephesians 1:7
"In Him we have redemption (payment) through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."

Acts 20:28
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to 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."

Hebrews 9:12
"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."
The first and last quotes should clear the other one up for you (though I can see you're reading 'apolutrwsiv' as 'payment' for no good reason - modern Bible translations render it 'redemption').

As for the quote from Acts, please study the textual issue here, but that aisde surely you don't believe that God literally has blood? The payment figure is simply a metaphor - reading too much into it results in theological absurdity.

For over 700 years men tried to figure out who was paying what to whom, and three conflicting views of the atonement resulted. That should tell you something's very wrong with that approach.
Christ's work is finished.
I agree. But I can't see how it makes any difference to a Calvinist, since God was going to do what He was going to do anyway.
If He didn't pay for sins, then what did He do?
He submitted in perfect obedience to his Father's plan, which required Christ to be set forward to man as a representative of the weakeness of the flesh and the necessity of salvation by God. He set forth to us as the mercyseat of God, the means by which we find forgiveness for sins and grace in God's sight, on the condition that we identify with Christ.

The foundation principle of the atonement is that it was necessary in order to change man, not to change God. That's where the Biblical description of the subject and all anti-Biblical descriptions of the subject clash.
How do we have "eternal redemption"?
Through the forgiveness of sins, just like it says.

User avatar
puritan lad
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:44 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: Stuarts Draft, VA
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

#45

Post by puritan lad » Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:08 am

Redeem: re·deem
Pronunciation: ri-'dEm
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English redemen, modification of Middle French redimer, from Latin redimere, from re-, red- re- + emere to take, buy; akin to Lithuanian imti to take
1 a : to buy back : REPURCHASE b : to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms: as a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c : to release from blame or debt : CLEAR d : to free from the consequences of sin
3 : to change for the better : REFORM
4 : REPAIR, RESTORE
5 a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby b (1) : to remove the obligation of by payment <the U.S. Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand> (2) : to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps> c : to make good : FULFILL
6 a : to atone for : EXPIATE b (1) : to offset the bad effect of (2) : to make worthwhile : RETRIEVE

We have full redemption (Payment). The sins of God's elect were paid in full at Calvary. There is nothing else which needs to be done. It is finished.
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

//covenant-theology.blogspot.com
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com/

Post Reply