Posts Tagged ‘John 3:16’

Man’s free will and salvation and God’s sovereignty

June 22, 2013
English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


—A Calvinist said: “Are you saying that a man can come to faith in Jesus of his own free will apart from grace? Where do you find this in the Scripture?”


I don’t say that, because coming to faith in Jesus Christ, whether of his own free will or not, is accepting the grace of God by definition.


Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


If I give you a free gift, you can take it or leave it. If you reject it, your loss. If you take it, and benefit from it, you cannot say you earned anything, you cannot say that you had anything to do with having that gift at all, because it was my doing and it was not your doing. And so with salvation.


God says, here’s salvation. Take it or leave it. Most people leave it. I do not claim to know how it works, but God does. “God is not a man, that he should lie”. We are created in God’s image, as sovereign deciders so to speak. The gift is for everyone, “whosoever will”.


If you concede that man has a free will that chooses salvation, but God is the one that chooses to put that will into his heart, this is a squishy deal. It is no better logic than to say that God chooses you for salvation because of the fact that you chose to receive the free gift.


It’s a mutually exclusive argument.


You can “accept” man’s free will in accepting salvation all you want to say you do, but then you contradict yourself by saying he made it impossible for them to accept salvation. Besides, you have to say that God decided to create the human race so he could throw the vast majority of them into hell, since he picks out some to save.


But then alas, that contradicts this verse that tells us the original purpose of hell:


Matt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:



Religion, churches, Jesus, and faith

January 15, 2012

Great poem and presentation by this guy Jefferson. It has enough views it can count as “viral”:

I like that verse at the end:

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. – Romans 4:5

That’s they way it has always been, too, because:

[It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.–Lamentations 3:22

..and nobody ever earned any spiritual points from God through his righteousness or obedience (What, did you think they were better than us, Mr. Scofield?):

Psalm 14:3.The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.
4.They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

Jesus called the leaders of the most respected religion of the day, “whited sepulchres” and “children of hell”, and they called him a prophet of Baal. The “Bereans” were “more noble” than the other guys, though.

Nicodemus blew the whistle on his fellow leaders of the Sanhedrin, the other “rulers of the Jews”:

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Nicodemus said “we”, he did not say “I”. This exposes the lying hypocrites of the Pharisees, do not pull your punches, speak it plainly. The rulers of the Jews knew who Jesus was. They didn’t want a Messiah and here’s the proof. After Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, some of the witnesses went and told the chief priests and the Pharisees:

John 11: 47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
48.If we let him thus alone, all [men] will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
53.Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

So maybe Jesus on the cross was talking about the ones who “[knew] not what they [did]”, so maybe he meant the Roman soldiers who had no clue..

One way to tell today that a Christian or a leader among Christians is of God is a clue Jesus gave us:

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. – Luke 6:26

Jesus held back on openly and strongly blasting the Pharisees until toward the end of his earthbound ministry, but Matthew 23 is one of the strongest blasts in the entire Bible against making temple worship your religion, and you’ll note that you don’t get too many sermons on that. You hear a lot more on the beatitudes.

No one ever earned righteousness or salvation, not even Job, God’s ” servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” You have heard sermons quoting him, “Though he slay me yet I will trust him”, even as he refused to curse God and die.

And even as he protested to his friends that he didn’t know why he was hit with calamity, he said:

“If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: [if I say], I [am] perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Job 9:20

Some people use the book of Romans to say that salvation by grace was some new thing and did not exist before Paul’s “revelation” (looking at you, Cyrus Scofield). But we see from Romans 3:12 that Paul’s new perspective was one he realized was always there in Psalm 14 before, which was emphasized by repetition in Psalm 53:

Psalm 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.
14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
3:12 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Thank God for the mercy he shows us, the grace, and the fact that he does not lay our sins to our charge when we accept his grace.

Psalm 103:14He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
15 For as the heaven is high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
16 As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Jesus also said the actions of the religious rulers of the day testified to the fact that they were of their fathers that persecuted the prophets. He told us in Matthew 24 that there would be false prophets in the last day that would say Jesus is Christ but would deceive many (verse 5). And that was one of the first signs of the end that Christ gave to his disciples in that chapter. We are living in those last days.

Let us remember that Christ came to condemn no one, but through him we all might be saved.

Right after the famous John 3:16, the Bible summarized in one verse, Jesus said:

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We have a good concrete example of this in John 8, one that we would do well to pay attention to:

John 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

The woman had broken sacred law, the ten commandments. Pastors preach on this passage and do get the point about forgiveness, and how Jesus Christ forgives sins, and does not require us to pay for them spiritually.

But sometimes we fail to apply the lesson very broadly. There is a better way to conquer sin that throwing stones or passing laws against sins that one commits against one’s own self. Rather than condemn them let us love them into the kingdom and learn how to say “Go and sin no more”. The one that loves more is the one that has been forgiven the most, not the one that the Pharisees are stoning to death.

It’s not the ones that yell insults at funerals who win souls, it’s the ones that take a man dying of AIDS into his arms and reassures him that even now, Jesus will forgive all and receive him into heaven if he will just accept him.

I John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
I John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

There is a time for everything, the scripture says in Ecclesiastes. Now is the time to tell the people that have been deceived in the pagan culture that surrounds us, that we love them, we as Christians do not mean them harm, but that we love our enemies.

We want to love the pagans and the Muslims into the kingdom, and like St. Francis, we would rather show the love of Christ than the sword of judgment. It is reported that he won the heart of the Sultan of Egypt. Francis of Assisi continues to be a testimony among Muslims today. On one missionary trip a Muslim began to get very angry upon learning that my missionary partner and I were Christians, and went on in crescendo until I mentioned that we had the Christianity of Francis.

“Be not overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” This is how Son of Hamas was won, the son of one of the founders of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef:

He now is one of the strongest witnesses for Christ, and one of the strongest testimonies against those who would wage a jihad against the entire world. Some Christian voice unfortunately are beating the war drums over the danger a “nuclear Iran” presents, but Mosab is an example of how hearts change. The love of Christ stopped gladiator sports in ancient Rome, stopped slavery in the earliest centuries after Christ, and made Christianity into one of the major faiths in the world today, and shamed the world into ending many other outrageous practices.

Mosab says that it was the Biblical passage where Christ says to “Love your enemies” that touched him, because he was repulsed by the brutal treatment in prison by Muslims of their fellow Muslims.

Let us live the love of Christ as he loved us even while we were yet sinners.

On 1/12/12 12:06 PM, Alan_Cassidy wrote: