Christian Forums

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Focus on the Family

    Strengthening families through biblical principles.

    Focus on the Family addresses the use of biblical principles in parenting and marriage to strengthen the family.

  • We stand with Ukraine. Please consider supporting Ukraine through a qualified organization.
  • Guest, Join Papa Zoom today for some uplifting biblical encouragement! --> Daily Verses
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ

    Heard of "The Gospel"? Want to know more?

    There is salvation in no other, for there is not another name under heaven having been given among men, by which it behooves us to be saved."

Potter's Freedom!

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
With all the recent threads on salvation and faith as well as a need for Biblical analogies in these dicussion threads, ever consider the potter's analogy from scripture?

Why did the Holy Spirit use this analogy?

The analogy seems very simple, the potter does whatever he likes with a lump of clay and the clay can say nothing about it. [Romans 9] What the clay becomes the potter has formed it before hand to it's end. Analogy is important to teaching what is already assumed as I've stated before, it doesn't prove a point, but gives the reader a different persecptive so using analogy from the scripture is very powerful. This analogy begins with assuming that God has all the power over the clay, to make it whatever He wants it to be, for whatever His purpose is, for glory or for wrath and destruction.

What say you?

~JM~
 

lovely

Member
From
Missouri
Messages
3,012
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
The analogy comes with explanation too.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 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.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
 

Vic C.

Member
From
Central NJ
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
18,230
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
This was lifted from another Forum. You can read it in it's entirety here:

http://forum.bible.org/viewtopic.php?t= ... dddcc1a3ff

It contains no Scripture, though Scripture is provided throughout their thread. It expresses some of the concerns I have about this doctrine.

One more question for you about Romans 9: If the potter has every right and is just to mold the clay as he pleases. Can the clay molded for honorable use be praised for being molded as such? Can the clay molded for dishonorable use be blamed for being molded as such?

Simply put, would a Just God find fault in something (someone) if it wasn't their fault to begin with?
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Vic C. said:
This was lifted from another Forum. You can read it in it's entirety here:

http://forum.bible.org/viewtopic.php?t= ... dddcc1a3ff

It contains no Scripture, though Scripture is provided throughout their thread. It expresses some of the concerns I have about this doctrine.



Simply put, would a Just God find fault in something (someone) if it wasn't their fault to begin with?

Vic, your question was asked of Paul, "why doth he yet find fault?"

Paul answered the question with a question. It's not what most would accept, but it's the word of God: Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Paul is basicly saying, "the potter does what He wants and who are you to say otherwise."

Luther wrote, "When men hear us say that God works both good and evil in us, and that we are subject to God's working by mere passive necessity, they seem to imagine a man who is in himself good, and not evil, having an evil work wrought in him by God; for they do not sufficiently bear in mind how incessantly active God is in all His creatures, allowing none of them to keep holiday. He who would understand these matters, however, should think thus: God works evil in us (that is, by means of us) not through God's own fault, but by reason of our own defect. We being evil by nature, and God being good, when He impels us to act by His own acting upon us according to the nature of His omnipotence, good though He is in Himself, He cannot but do evil by our evil instrumentality; although, according to His wisdom, He makes good use of this evil for His own glory and for our salvation."

~JM~
 

Vic C.

Member
From
Central NJ
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
18,230
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Understood. There seems to be a question that begs to be asked; I am aware Paul is writing to the Romans, but it appears that much of chapter 9 is talking about Israel. Are we to include the Gentiles in this as well? If we go down to vs. 30, Paul seems to now turn his thoughts to the Gentiles:

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

It seems to me that Paul uses the analogy of the Potter and clay against the Jews, who have rejected their Messiah and suggests that the Gentiles have attained that which the Jews could not through their faith.
 
U

unred typo

Guest
~JM~ said:
With all the recent threads on salvation and faith as well as a need for Biblical analogies in these dicussion threads, ever consider the potter's analogy from scripture?

Why did the Holy Spirit use this analogy?

The analogy seems very simple, the potter does whatever he likes with a lump of clay and the clay can say nothing about it. [Romans 9] What the clay becomes the potter has formed it before hand to it's end. Analogy is important to teaching what is already assumed as I've stated before, it doesn't prove a point, but gives the reader a different persecptive so using analogy from the scripture is very powerful. This analogy begins with assuming that God has all the power over the clay, to make it whatever He wants it to be, for whatever His purpose is, for glory or for wrath and destruction.

What say you?


First, says me, that analogy of the potter and the clay has nothing to do with the topic of salvation. God has power over each person to make some kings, some slaves, some endowed with great wealth, some lacking even an once of copper to jingle in his pockets. It was God’s choice who would be the king of Egypt when Moses came to demand the release of his people. This arrogant, stubborn son was chosen to be successor to the Egyptian throne instead of the previous Pharaoh’s firstborn to give God the opportunity to display his power throughout the world. God punished disobedient, cruel, idol worshipping Egypt as a warning to other nations who had forsaken the true God for images fashioned after beasts and bugs.

This analogy in scripture can be easily misapplied to salvation and not understood in the vein it was written.

There is another place where vessels are used analogously to show the reason God uses one person instead of another for performing deeds of honor or becoming examples of shame. Scripture says plainly about man’s spiritual condition effecting his position in the kingdom, “Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 2Timothy 2:20-21.

What say you, now?
 

Vic C.

Member
From
Central NJ
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
18,230
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Hi unred,

I understand your convictions against this doctrine, but please do me a favor? We are trying to discuss this in a way that will help us clear up any misunderstandings. Let's try to not start any fires by suggesting anyone is twisting anything. It will only bring retaliation and ruin the discussion. If, at the end of the discussion, we still disagree, at least we can say we came to an end without "beating each other's brains out".

Thanks. 8-)

btw, the comment in question is: "As usual, you have twisted scripture to fit your theology." No need to respond. food for thought, ok? :)
 
M

MrVersatile48

Guest
This Word 4 Today seems to fit well here:-

It Takes Faith

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 5:4,5 NIV
__________________

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV
__________________

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8,9 NASB
__________________

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 RSV
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just time to add that I've always heard the picture of God as the Potter & us as the clay explained as emphasising that we must recognise that only God knows all things, while human reason is darkened by sin - as in Romans 1:18-32 & 1 Corinthians 1:18-27

Must go

Ian
 
U

unred typo

Guest
Vic, I changed the offending comment. Sorry to be the one causing a problem. :oops: I’m glad to see this thread may have hopes of finding a resolution and not end in the usual personal slams. Thank you for keeping this on track.

Do you agree with my point that this particular analogy doesn’t refer to a salvation issue but to a matter of being the clay used to become a king, leader, traitor or pharaoh, etc. that would be used to accomplish some appointment (punishment or blessing to a nation) that God had decreed? By taking several vague illustrations beyond their intended meaning, a doctrine can be formed that has no real basis in truth.
 

Drew

Member
From
Montreal, Quebec
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
14,249
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
unred typo said:
By taking several vague illustrations beyond their intended meaning, a doctrine can be formed that has no real basis in truth.
I have this concern as well and have tried to explain (in another thread) how a set of texts, each actually consistent with two different positions (A and B) can be claimed to support A (or B) by a kind of "domino" effect. If a very subtle assumption is made that resolves an ambiguous text in one direction, the "let scripture interpret scripture" philosophy creates the domino effect in question - the dubious resolution of the meaning of the first text is used to resolve the ambiguity of the other texts and one is left with the impression that the set of texts all support one of the 2 positions to the exlcusion of the other.

This is not true, of course. The whole "system" is extremely sensitive to some subtle initial assumption that sets off a chain of unjustified intepretations.

Does this mean I think the Scriptures are ambiguous on such matters? Not really. I do, however, think that a much more sophisticated approach to Biblical interpretation is required than one which suffers from the methodological defect that I have tried to characterise in this and other recent posts.

This defective (as I see it) mode of interpretation can of course be used by both Arminians and Calvinists in the present doctrinal context.
 

lovely

Member
From
Missouri
Messages
3,012
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
We know, from Romans 8, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law was weak because of man's flesh, and so Christ was needed for the purpose of redemption...the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us through His sacrifice.

So, we know that those who are in the flesh, that is, those not born of the Spirit, can not please God...being condemned men. If we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God...the Spirit bears witness to our spirits that we are God's children, and joint-heirs with Christ, and we can come to Him as our Father. It's through our spirit that we control our bodies, and live in obedience...for if we walk according to the flesh, we are not His.

Even the creation awaits the full liberty of God's children...and so do we in that our flesh will also be liberated from sin completely. For now, we have the first fruits of salvation through the Spirit of God. We are aided, by the Spirit, to help us wait for the hope and to help us with our sufferings. The Spirit is how we can hope for what we do not see. Jesus, who makes intercession for us, knows if we have the mind of the Spirit in us, and because of that we know that all things will work for good to those who are called according to His purpose.

For those whom He knows, he will conform to Christ, so that Christ will be the firstborn among us. Those whom He conforms are the called, and they will be justified, and then glorified...because they are those who are led by the Spirit, and changing to be more like Jesus. So, in light of the fact that God is behind it, and He is on our side, then we can know thats one can stand in our way...as He has given us Christ, so will He give us all these things generously. Who can condemn us, or judge us, but Christ who intercedes? We can be killed, and all manner of other sufferings, but it will not separate us from God if we are His in the Spirit.


Romans 9 begins with Paul lamenting the state of his brethren, even to his own cursedness. Not all of the Jews are the children of promise, because the children of the promise are the seed of Abraham...this 'seed group' involves all believers.

God will include the Gentiles as children of promise as it serves to glorify Him, and He will include individuals as children of promise as it serves to glorify Him. Even Pharaoh, who's heart was hardened, was raised up for that purpose...that God's name may be declared throughout all the earth, and that name is....

God is our Supreme Authority and Creator, and we are formed for His purpose alone, and have no 'right' to question God's will (Plan), or to judge God (who we know is our judge)because none can resist His will...given He is our Creator...and has created us for His purpose alone. Even for the vessels of wrath (and I think that does indicate that this is a matter of salvation), God longsuffers for His glory alone, so that He may glorify the vessels of mercy, prepared for His glory in advance, whom He has called...NOT of the Jews only, but also the Gentiles....verse 24

The Gentiles, as foretold, have been called to be the children of the living God. (Those who are led of the Spirit, and are being conformed to Christ) Though there are many Jews, only a remnant will be saved. (In chapter 10, we see Paul's prayer for the Jews) :sad This time here is not long, and if God had not saved the remnant of Israel, the entire nation would suffer the judgement. How then, have the Gentiles attained righteousness apart from the law? Because it was sought be faith...by grace through faith are we saved, (unto good works) but the law has now become a stumblingblock to the Jews, because they seek righteousness by the law (they are not led of the Spirit, and lack faith through which grace is activated)...and stumble over Christ, the Rock of offence.

I am not for building entire doctrines around one passage, but I think the Truth is what it is, and that God is all powerful. Are there other things to consider in this? Yes, because Scripture must be taken as a whole, but though they may seem to contradict in our eyes God has put the gears in place that cause the mechanism to run, though they spin contrariwise to our understanding at times...I trust the Watchmaker. I do think, though, that God simply does not answer to man, and that His will shall be done in all matters both in Heaven, and on Earth, and boiled down it is that simple. The Lord bless all of you.
 
U

unred typo

Guest
Lovely said:
So, we know that those who are in the flesh, that is, those not born of the Spirit, can not please God...being condemned men.

This is an example of what Drew was saying. The text says that those who live according to the flesh cannot please God. “Those not born of the Spirit†is added to the text by our lovely reader here. From there the dominoes are stacked. My reading of “those in the flesh cannot please God†says that when a person lives according to the sinful lusts of the flesh, he cannot please God.

This is the same way the clay and potter analogy is misused in the OP.
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
God bless ya Vic, good questions. I’m back to work now after the holidays so I’ll respond quickly, if it sounds a little disjointed forgive me. This is off the top of my head without my favourite Bible or commentary. For sake of speed I’ll use a few quotes from myself in other posts.

I’m back to the grind if you can call library work the grind!

Understood. There seems to be a question that begs to be asked; I am aware Paul is writing to the Romans, but it appears that much of chapter 9 is talking about Israel. Are we to include the Gentiles in this as well? If we go down to vs. 30, Paul seems to now turn his thoughts to the Gentiles:

As I continue to study I see less of a distinction between Spiritual Israel and the Church, the only distinction I see is physical Israel with the true Spiritual Children of Abraham/the Church. If Paul is talking about Israel in this section it would have to be the physical descendents, not Spiritual, for the Spiritual are never made for destruction. The dichotomy, to me, seems false. A dispensational hang over if you will. Jacob is selected by God and represents Spiritual Israel ALL those who are saved [if we take it that far] and Esau is not selected [we’ll leave out reprobation for now] and represent those who are not saved. One made for honour, the other for wrath…as the passage reads. By I digress. Romans 9:6 tells us that not all Israel is Israel with v. 7 supplying us the meaning: just being physical decedents has little to do with selection for glory or wrath. This directly relates to the verses I quoted, “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.†Believers, Spiritual Israel are those by the promise [v.8] and not by birth. In plain words we read, “11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)†We can see Jacob being chosen or elected with no greater reason given then, “that the purpose of God…might stand…†Spurgeon wrote about some of the objects to the Augustinian view of this passage and he makes a good point by saying it doesn’t matter how you view Jacob and Esau, as individual or national, God still chose one over the other for His own purpose before they had done anything. Before they had the chance to believe, before they had a chance to follow the Law, before they were bor is what the text states.

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
It seems to me that Paul uses the analogy of the Potter and clay against the Jews, who have rejected their Messiah and suggests that the Gentiles have attained that which the Jews could not through their faith.

I think it’s important to notice v. 32 which states that Israel tried to earn salvation by works but salvation is “not of works,†so that’s impossible, because it’s [11] “of him that calleth.†The analogy doesn’t allow for the independent reaction as you might be suggesting [of rejecting their Messiah out of freewill], it would be unnatural to understand this passage using your interpretation of the analogy, it loses its power and falls apart. We are told in no uncertain terms that God is the potter. We know what a potter does. We know what the relationship the potter has with clay. When the potter moves His hands over the clay, directing it, the clay has no choice but to respond to the guiding hands of the potter. We are “like putty in His hands†to borrow from a popular saying. In v. 30 we see the Jews are upset because Gentiles are given “the righteousness of faith.†This is interesting. The Jews were spending their time following the Law of Moses and still didn’t have “the righteousness of faith.†[v. 32 “stumbling stoneâ€Â] They were physical decendents but not Spiritual decendents and heirs of the promise as stated in v. 6.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 2Timothy 2:20-21.

Did the clay mix itself or did the potter mix the clay? Did Red Moist decide it wanted to become Terra Cotta? Nope. So what does it mean in light of the analogy [which is the point of this thread]?

I wrote the following quote in another thread for Vic.

Ok, common problems in communicating soveriginty and responsibility, so let me try to clear it up. The idea of free will needs to be clear to avoid confusion. You’ve probably noticed by now that I have claimed freewill and also have denied based on the context of the post or by what that poster is trying to say, so let me define what freewill is.

Chapter 9 of the London Baptist Confession of Faith [1689] reads:
1._____ God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.
( Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19 )
2._____ Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it.
( Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 3:6 )
3._____ Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
( Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3-5; John 6:44 )
4._____ When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.
( Colossians 1:13; John 8:36; Philippians 2:13; Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23 )
5._____ This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only.
( Ephesians 4:13 )
[end quote]

I hope that helps to clear it up. A Calvinist will deny total libertarian freewill, meaning man in his natural state is able to do anything to better his spiritual state before God, including believing but confirm freedom of the will after regeneration. What’s it all for? It’s not for the purpose of saving man, that would be the anthropological view or the outcome of the plan, the Calvinist believes its for God’s glory alone. Man is saved for God’s glory. The chief end of man is to glorify God, not get saved, we are saved as a product of God’s plan.

Let me add, “The holiness of the elect is predestinated, and the sin of the non-elect likewise. Both alike are represented by the apostle as standing in a certain relation to the divine purpose and the divine action, and this purpose and action are designated by the one word proorise. God knows †that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually†and decreed man's sinful actions for a purpose. Just as Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery was evil, it was decreed to happen by God with man being responsible for the act itself. In Genesis 50 we read “ye thought evil against me†and please notice the following “…God meant…†We see the evil intent of man with God meaning it for something. Vic you’re a smart guy, so I know you have objections to this, “How, in the first place, does God make the origin and everlasting continuance of holiness in an elect sinner a certainty without compelling and necessitating his will? By the regenerating and sanctifying agency of the Holy Spirit; by 'working in the will, to will and to do of his good pleasure'. Phil. 2: 13. Scripture teaches that this operation of the Spirit does not destroy the freedom of the will. 'If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed' John 8: 36. And the report of consciousness agrees with this; for the regenerate man has no sense of being forced and unwilling in any of his experiences and exercises.â€Â

More, Calvin, adopting Augustine's phraseology, concisely marks the difference between the two permissions in the remark, that 'God's permission of sin is not involuntary, but voluntary' Inst. 1:18:3. Both Augustine and Calvin had particular reference, in this connection, to the first origin of sin in angels and men. * But their statement holds true of the continuance of sin in angels and men. When God passes by all the fallen and sinful angels, and does not regenerate and save any of them, it is by a positive voluntary decision that might have been different had he so pleased. He could have saved them. And when God passes by some fallen and sinful men and does not regenerate and save them, this also is a positive voluntary decision that might have been different had he so pleased. He could have saved them. AND, 'The permissive decree as related to the origin of sin presents a difficulty that does not exist in reference to the continuance of sin. The certainty of the continuance of sin in fallen man is easily explained, by merely leaving the fallen will to its self-determination. But merely leaving the unfallen will to its self-determination would not make its apostasy certain; because it was endowed by creation with a power to remain holy as created, and there was no punitive withdrawal of any grace given in creation until after apostasy. How, under these circumstances a permissive decree which does not operate by direct efficiency can make the fall of a holy being certain, is an inscrutable mystery. Respecting it, Turretin (V1. vii. i) makes the following remark: 'Two extremes are to he avoided. First, that of defect, when an otiose permission of sin is ascribed to God. Second, that of excess, when the causality of sin is ascribed to him. Between these extremes, the orthodox hold the mean, who contend that the providence of God extends to sin in such way that he does not involuntarily permit it, as the Pelagians say, nor actively cause it as the Libertines assert, but voluntarily ordains and controls it'. http://christianforums.net/viewtopic.ph ... &start=120

The raw clay is mixed and placed on the wheel by the potter, the vessel then finds it’s form in the fingers of the potter who is spinning the wheel and using his hands in the clay to shape it. The potter, not the clay, decides the pattern, coiling and scraping or paddle and anvil, etc.

The decision is never given to the clay as the open theist or Arminian may suggest.

Even the simple clay pot which is called "pinch" potting doesn't have a choice. The clay in any form never has inherit shape, it doesn’t decide or chooce to be a pot. It becomes whatever the potter wants it to become.

When you think the pot is making a choice, it really isn't, the potter is working the clay. He is the master potter and knows every turn the clay will make on the wheel because His foot is causing the wheel to spin.

At what point does clay shape itself?

Clay can only react because the wheel is spinning. The potter is causing the clay to move and react in His hands, the clay is not given the opinion to react the way it wants to. What is often suggested by non-Calvinistic understandings destroys the analogy. The master potter forms the clay, spinsthe wheel, adds the water to get the form He wants. Everything is done by the potter. The clay never stops the potter to accept how much clay is added, how fast the wheel is spinning or how much water to add. The clay is never ask, “will you form into a pot for me now?â€Â

The Calvinist understanding reads the analogy as it is. The clay is never asked "will you form into a pot?"

Peace.

~JM~
 

golfjack

Member
From
Arizona
Messages
1,049
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
reply

Lessons from the Potter:

1. It is unthinkable that a pot can give advice to the potter. Hence3, it is unthinkable that a human being can fault God for what He is doing in a person's life. We may not understand what God is doing, but plese remember, we are not the pot.

2. God has absolute sovereignity in our lives. Sovereignity means that He can do what He wants, when He wants, if He wants, as long as He wants without explaination to us or anyone else, not ever.

3. We are given the opportunity to turn from our evil ways ( choice), but if we don't, it is just For God to destroy us. Here are 2 things from Jeremiah's illustration of the pot and the potter: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. TReturn now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.


If all God wanted to do was to send people to hell, He would not have taken the time and sacrifice of human life to present us with the Holy Bible, filled with messages to influence us to turn from our evil ways.

If all God wanted to do was to send masses of humanity stumbling int5o darkness of eternity, He would not ordain that preachers and evangelist's proclaim His glorious gospel. A loving and gracious God has sent us a Savior in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, calling all men to repentance. If we refuse repentance ( free will), we will experience Jeremiah's warning: I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you.

If we reject repentance, look at Pharaoh's bloated corpse floating face down in the Red Sea. The world's most powerful man was reduced to fish food because he, in his free will, refused repentance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


May God Bless, Golfjack
 

Vic C.

Member
From
Central NJ
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
18,230
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
:x :x :x I just blew away a post that took a 1/2 hour to construct, all because of one lousy keystroke!

*note to self... do NOT eat and type at the same time*

I'll just address this: Lovely, you posted:

God is our Supreme Authority and Creator, and we are formed for His purpose alone, and have no 'right' to question God's will (Plan), or to judge God (who we know is our judge)because none can resist His will...given He is our Creator...and has created us for His purpose alone. Even for the vessels of wrath (and I think that does indicate that this is a matter of salvation),
I believe from examples in the Gospels, that we do have a right to question God at times. It's only natural, so natural that Jesus did it on at least two recorded occasions.

Luke 22:42 and Matthew 27:46

I don't judge HIM, I judge man's interpretation and overall understanding of this beautiful Book, the Bible, from cover to cover.

I also don't believe irrestable Grace applies to all. I've witnessed it being slowly denied by a family member and a very close friend. The Grace was so evident, even I felt it's presence. Grace is truely amazing, but it can be rejected.

The last part, I hope I am misunderstanding you and that you are not saying that one must believe in this analogy of the Potter and clay, because it is a matter of salvation. If so, please see AV's simple multiple choice question here:

http://www.christianforums.net/viewtopi ... ht=#315606

Peace and Love in Christ,
Vic
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Lessons from the Potter:

1. It is unthinkable that a pot can give advice to the potter. Hence3, it is unthinkable that a human being can fault God for what He is doing in a person's life. We may not understand what God is doing, but plese remember, we are not the pot.

2. God has absolute sovereignity in our lives. Sovereignity means that He can do what He wants, when He wants, if He wants, as long as He wants without explaination to us or anyone else, not ever.

I agree with much of this, but we are described as clay, not finished pots.

3. We are given the opportunity to turn from our evil ways ( choice), but if we don't, it is just For God to destroy us. Here are 2 things from Jeremiah's illustration of the pot and the potter: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. TReturn now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

I was with you until #3. The idea of choice was inserted by you golfjack. Jeremiah’s illustration also reads, “ And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter:†That is want I meant when I wrote, “Clay can only react because the wheel is spinning. The potter is causing the clay to move and react in His hands, the clay is not given the opinion to react the way it wants to. What is often suggested by non-Calvinistic understandings destroys the analogy. The master potter forms the clay, spins the wheel, adds the water to get the form He wants. Everything is done by the potter."

If all God wanted to do was to send masses of humanity stumbling int5o darkness of eternity, He would not ordain that preachers and evangelist's proclaim His glorious gospel. A loving and gracious God has sent us a Savior in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, calling all men to repentance. If we refuse repentance ( free will), we will experience Jeremiah's warning: I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you.

If we reject repentance, look at Pharaoh's bloated corpse floating face down in the Red Sea. The world's most powerful man was reduced to fish food because he, in his free will, refused repentance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

May God Bless, Golfjack

The problem with this idea is simple. It’s been brought up many times and folks who believe God is omniscience [to know all or to have perfect knowledge] seem to avoid giving an answer, because the answer would be inconsistent with the omniscience of God. Open theism is consistent Arminianism, but Arminians want to have there cake and eat it to.

The question is, why did God who knew who would choose Him and accept the Gospel offer of salvation create “masses of humanity†He foreknew would “stumble into darkness of eternity?†To state it another way, why did God create so many that He knew would be sent to hell? In other words, if God knows the future, why did He create so many people to popular hell?

The only way around this would be to confess open theism…ask Drew and unred.

But that would make one a heretic.

~JM~
 

golfjack

Member
From
Arizona
Messages
1,049
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
reply

JM. I think the problem of this debate is the following two questions:

To Whom is Divine Election offered?

Do we have Free Will or Moral Agency? What is your answer to these questions, and then we can go on from there?


May God bless, Golfjack
 

Vic C.

Member
From
Central NJ
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Messages
18,230
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Quote:
If all God wanted to do was to send masses of humanity stumbling into darkness of eternity, He would not ordain that preachers and evangelist's proclaim His glorious gospel. A loving and gracious God has sent us a Savior in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, calling all men to repentance. If we refuse repentance ( free will), we will experience Jeremiah's warning: I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you.

May God Bless, Golfjack
The problem with this idea is simple
The problem is, there is no real problem with what Gj says. Our sins require a Savior. I can flood the post with verses and passages, but I won't; we all know them. The type of Calvinism being taught on the Forums circumvents the need for the Blood Atonement. It substitutes Jesus for limited election or limited atonement. No need for a Savior if God has already declared only a few select would be saved. Yes, I know, Many are called, but few are chosen. On what basis are these few chosen?

My suggestion would be to read Acts and see that there are many example where people are urged to repent and come to the Lord.

Jack, moral angency would make for a decent discusion. We can get to the foundation of Moral Depravity.
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Vic C. said:
The problem is, there is no real problem with what Gj says. Our sins require a Savior. I can flood the post with verses and passages, but I won't; we all know them. The type of Calvinism being taught on the Forums circumvents the need for the Blood Atonement.

How are we saved Vic? Through the blood of Christ. No matter which way we define the word elect, the elect need the love of God thru the blood of Christ...both Calvinist and Arminians declare it so. We are saved by the blood of Christ which was shed for many [not all]. Can you show me the writings of a Calvinist that would deny the need for the blood atonement of Christ?

It substitutes Jesus for limited election or limited atonement.

Thats not true. Calvinists limit the scope, Arminians limit the power. The Calvinist will say Christ died for a purpose and with intent to save, the Arminian will say Christ died to supply the opportunity of salvation to all. But this creates a problem. Did Christ die for all then not supply a way for all to hear the Gospel? There are millions of people who have died that have never had the chance to hear the Gospel.

We both limit the atonement.

No need for a Savior if God has already declared only a few select would be saved. Yes, I know, Many are called, but few are chosen. On what basis are these few chosen?

Simple. The justification of the elect is grounded in the death of Christ. “Historically  in time  on the cross at the atonement Christ was atoning for us. He propitiated. Romans 3:25, “[Jesus] whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.†Christ took away the indictment; it was nailed to the cross.†Vic, that’d be like saying why do we need to vote when the powers that be are ordained [Romans 13:1 ], or why do we need to pray when God already knows what we need [Matthew 6:8 ], or why do we try to eat and remain healthy when the day of our death is already appointed [Hebrews 9:27 ]!

My suggestion would be to read Acts and see that there are many example where people are urged to repent and come to the Lord.

The preaching of the Gospel is God’s plan to fulfill His decree. When you share the Gospel Vic are you hoping to save that person or that God will save that person?

Jack, moral angency would make for a decent discusion. We can get to the foundation of Moral Depravity.

Peace,

~JM~
 
From
Florida
Messages
1,937
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
The Potter and the Clay
1. Before clay is in the hands of the potter it must be dug out of the ground.
2. Next, the clay needs to be purged. Separated from things that are not clay.
3. Then the clay is washed.
4. It soaked so that it softens and becomes pliable.
5. It is then smitten. Flattened. Pounded. Kneaded.
6. Clay is investigated with a thin wire, in a search for air bubbles.
7. The seventh step is for the clay to be centered on a potter’s wheel. Centered clay is then pulled and stretched. It is molded into a vessel. When the potter is satisfied with the molded clay, it is..
8. put on a shelf to harden. This is to make it strong.
9. The hardened clay is then put in a furnace of fire. The fire produces endurance.
10. The vessel is then glazed.
11. Fired again.
12. Then put to use.
 
Top