Search over 200,000 Bible questions, answers, and notes.
If you have a question on a verse, look up that verse to find answers. Read and study the Bible to grow in your Christian faith.
Type your question or key words in the search box, or go to the search options.
All posted questions are currently answered!
Results 1 - 10 of 861
Results from: Answers, Notes On or After: Thu 08/27/15 Ordered by Date
"It must be added that unity of faith and doctrine in the Church [visible church] is not a perfect and absolute one in this life; for at times controversies occur between members of the true Church through which this holy unity is torn. We therefore have to distinguish between that absolute, perfect unity, free from every form of disharmony, which is found nowhere except in the Church Triumphant [invisible church], and that fundamental unity, which consists in agreement concerning the principal articles of doctrine, while with respect to a few less important points of faith (fidei capitibus) or to ceremonies which are a matter of indifference or to the interpretation of some Scripture passages controversies will arise. And this is the unity obtaining in the Church Militant (ecclesia militans) [Christians on earth who struggle as soldiers of Christ]; for in this Church there is never found such a definite harmony that no disagreements arise in it. 'For we know in part, and we prophesy in part,' 1 Cor. 13:9. ... The truly pious are not yet perfectly renewed but retain remnants of the flesh. Hence they do not arrive at an accurate and perfect knowledge of the mysteries of faith but err and waver with respect to some of them. The flesh in the regenerate still strives against the spirit, for which reason it can easily happen, especially if the temptation of the devil also enters, that, giving way to wrong, carnal ideas, they create dissensions in the Church; however, if they do not become guilty of stubbornness and if the foundation is not shaken, they are not at once cut off from the body of the Church on this account. This is proved by the examples given in Acts 11:2; Galatians 2:11; Acts 15:39. In the Corinthian church divisions had arisen, profanations of the Eucharist had crept in, there were acrimonious debates about adiaphora [actions neither mandates nor forbidden], some persons doubted the article of the resurrection, etc.; in spite of all this, however, Paul does not refuse to call the assembly a church, but in addressing it, he terms it still a church of God, 1 Corinthians 1:2. In the church of the Galatians the article of justification had been corrupted through the adulterations of false apostles; but since the members were still open to instruction and some of them still retained the true faith, Paul still calls the Galatian congregations, churches, Galatians 1:2. ... Hence it is certain that a total and real absolute unity cannot be hoped for in this life. And therefore not every disagreement at once dissolves union and unity in the Church." --John Gerhard (1939)
Note: If the prayers of a righteous man has great power (James 5:16); imagine the universe changing power of the only One who is utterly and entirely righteous!
"The Symbols of the orthodox Church of Christ are the matured fruits of the deepest devotion, experience and learning of its greatest and wisest members in its most trying ages; and as we may practically learn much from the biographies of the good, so we may learn much more from the Spirit-moved biography of the Church and the principles and testimonies which mark her life of faith. They are the sign-posts set up by the faithful along the King's highway of salvation to designate the places of danger to those who come after them, to warn and admonish us where we would otherwise be liable to err and miss the goal of our high calling in Christ Jesus. They are not laws to rule our faith, for the Word of God alone is such a Rule; but they are helps and tokens to enable us the more surely to find the true import [meaning] of the Rule, that we may be all the more thoroughly and sincerely conformed to that Rule. They are the human tracks which the best of the saints have left, by which we may the better detect the way which God has laid out and opened for the fallen and sinful children of men to travel, that they may fill their Christian vocation [divine calling] and come to everlasting life." --Joseph A. Seiss (1882)
Three pastors, Peter Marshall, a Presbyterian, John Rustin, a Methodist, and Howard Anderson, a Congregationalist, were having lunch. John Ruskin was complaining about his troubles with Methodists. As he talked, Peter Marshall was relieved that Presbyterians didn’t have a monopoly on unredeemed human nature. “You mean that in your Methodist church, John, that some of your people have fallen from grace?” asked Marshall. “Peter,” he said, “we have more backsliders over there than a dog has fleas.” “That’s a good term, John – ‘backsliding.’ You Methodists preach a lot about that. The Presbyterians never mention it. They just go ahead and do it!” Just then, Howard Anderson humorously shared with them a poem he liked:
“Tell my trustees when I am dead,
That they should shed no tears,
For I shall be no deader then
Than they have been for years.”1
“Then Jeremiah said to the princes and all the people,‘Therefore now amend your ways and your doings and obey the voice of the Lord your God’” (Jeremiah 26:12, 13).
“There is a price to pay to be a holy man of God. You have to buck the current because the tide’s running the other way.”
David Arnold Ministries
"A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to no one. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.
"...as Christians we do not live in ourselves but in Christ and the neighbor. Otherwise, we are not Christian. As Christians we live in Christ through faith and in the neighbor through love. Through faith we are caught up beyond ourselves into God, Likewise, through love we descend beneath ourselves through love to serve our neighbor."
--Martin Luther (1520) from his book "The Freedom of the Christian"
"For Paul, the ability to cry 'Father!' was the work and therefore the evidence of the Spirit of the Son [Galatians 4]. The evidence of the Spirit is first of all Christian faith in God the Father or -- Christian prayer. The Spirit in these parallel texts is deliberately called 'the Spirit of (the) Son(ship),' not only because the Spirit belongs to the Son and is given in him, but because it is the Spirit's work to assure believers that they are, through the Son, truly sons of God. The gift of the Spirit is first of all the subjective assurance of the gift of adoption or justification. The 'objective' justification and the 'subjective' gift of the Spirit cannot be separated for one is acceptance with God and the other is knowledge of this acceptance. And what God has joined together no man should put asunder. The 'objective' justification never remains merely objective but is always accompanied mediately in the Word by its 'subjective' revelation, and this is the first work of the Spirit—this is the Spirit. His evidence is Christian assurance." --Frederick Dale Bruner (1970)
"The godly do suffer and complain about it at times. But the Bible teaches plainly that their suffering, even after their conversion and reconciliation to God, is not punishment any longer, but chastening. It is not the punishment of a God who is angry with them, but the chastening of a God who is reconciled to them. Whom God loves, the Scriptures says, He chastens. He makes all things, including pain, 'work together for good for them that love God, and are called according to His purpose.' That should be the consolation and strength of the saints... That affliction is actually a blessing in disguise. At other times, the pain hurts so much that they cannot, through the tears, see the disguise. Momentarily they lament the heavy hand of God upon them, but when they are thinking in their most saintly character, they praise God. His rod and staff comfort them." --John Gerstner
I am a Jew, saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I am saved by works... indeed, I am saved by mighty and wonderful works... the works of God Himself. Consequently, I am quite grateful, praising God daily that He did not leave me to my own choices. If He had, I would never have been saved!
The Greek word pororidzo (predestine) appears in six verses in the New Testament (Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 1:5, and 11). If you are interested in God's sovereign providence, then you would want to understand these verses in their context. Each of these verses speak to your soteriological question.
I am sorry that you have been "dismissed" as you tried "discussing this subject with them." Presumably by "them" you mean orthodox Biblical Christians. I cannot speak to their motivation. I would guess that it has to do with their being simply fed up with people who are more interested in defending their contribution to salvation than they are in the Word. The Scriptures do not elevate man's will above God's. However, not a single religion outside of these doctrines or even outside of Christianity, will admit to God's authority in all things. This is because, as Scripture assures us, that depending on the human heart will lead us only to being deceived (Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 28:25). In fact, the Word tells us that those who do so fundamentally lack sanity (Ecclesiastes 9:3b).
Regardless, your problem is not a matter of failing to rightly understand the doctrine of God's predestination. It is more fundamental than that. When you argue about soteriological predestination, it is like arguing about Trigonometry when you still do not agree with the principle of addition and subtraction.
Instead of trying to get people to argue the subject with you on the Internet, I would suggest that you find a pastor in your area with whom you could begin a discussion. He will help you with the basics concerning Scripture. Look for a church who hold to a confession (e.g., Lutheran Missouri Synod, Reformed Church of America, Dutch Reformed, Orthodox Presbyterian, or Reformed Baptist). The confession is what they understand to be the essential doctrines. Those without a confession will -- and do -- believe anything and everything. They will even place some things as having a higher authority than the Scripture.
The pastor that you speak to will be able to articulate all historical perspectives. He will be able to help you in a far more practical way than we might do -- which is, actually, beyond our purview.
"Now it is perfectly true that men must be brought to Christ one by one. There are no labor-saving devices in evangelism. It is all hand-work. And yet it would be a great mistake to suppose that all men are equally well prepared to receive the gospel. It is true that the decisive thing is the regenerative power of God. That can overcome all lack of preparation, and the absence of that makes even the best preparation useless. But as a matter of fact God usually exerts that power in connection with certain prior conditions of the human mind, and it should be ours to create, so far as we can, with the help of God, those favorable conditions for the reception of the gospel. False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resisters force of logic, prevent christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root. Many would have the seminaries combat error by attacking it as it is taught by its popular exponents. Instead of that they confuse their students with a lot of German names unknown outside the walls of the universities. That method of procedure is based simply upon a profound belief in the pervasiveness of ideas. What is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires. In that second stage, it has gone too far to be combated; the time to stop it was when it was still a matter of impassioned debate. So as Christians we should try to mold the thought of the world in such a way as to make the acceptance of Christianity something more than a logical absurdity." --J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)
Shalom! I hope I'm posting this on EdB's "Proof against election." (Kinda new here.) Good point, EdB, thanks for sharing. Hadn't considered this v. in this way before, and had to think about it from the perspective you presented. I think you're saying that since it is NOT God's will for any of these to perish, and yet we know that some of these will perish (have perished), there cannot be "election" or predestined salvation.
I hope some believers in the predestination idea will respond here, so that we can understand how they might view this v. (and similar v.v.). I've tried discussing this subject with them (elsewhere), but have been dismissed with a "you're kidding, right?" Dr. Michael Brown said that he used to believe in predestination because it seemed to him that it was a doctrine held by intelligent believers, but he later came to see it as error.
I would like to understand the bases for opposing viewpoints, so I hope others will respond.
I think for SBF to survive every poster must realize there are 3000 plus denominations in this country and each were founded not by atheist but by dedicated and faithful men that believed they found the truth. They weren't idiots, they weren't ignorant, they weren't uneducated, they were men that tried to follow God as best they could. That opens the question if this is all true where did these 3000 plus denominations come from? The answer is we all read with a predetermined prejudice that prejudice makes each and everyone of us to read scripture and come away with a slightly different opinion of what it said to us. Add to that the Holy Spirit and that scripture is alive and again we see scripture speaking differently to each of us.
When people get a firm grasp on that concept they also learn not to be so dogmatic that their theology is the only correct theology. Then we can discuss our differences as honest seekers of the fullness of God.
However When we try to educate all the "uneducated" to the truth of our theology we become insulting, overbearing and frankly unChristlike.
Today such people have control of the forum and limit open discussion of any theology that they don't agree with.