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The Good News/The Bad News

Hospes

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Is it God's fault if somebody doesn't come to Him?
Do you recognize in your question the spirit of the questions Paul writes in Romans 9: “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? Romans 9:19–21 (ESV)​

FWIW, I am confident that no one is sent to hell that has not chosen to go to hell. Left in our natural condition, we are all by nature children of wrath and willingly choose to reject God's salvation. Just like unrestrained water flows downhill, we, without God's intervention, will pursue sin and live in the passions of our flesh. But God chooses to be rich in mercy and makes some us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2:3-10 (ESV)
The "prize" is available to all, so whatever you decided is boasting is merely the reception of God's gift.
I wasn't "proud" of anything when I unwrapped my Christmas present, so I don't see how pride figures into your thesis.
What the Bible refers to as boasting is not the equivalent of pride. One type of boasting that is spoken against in the Bible (there is boasting that is allowed) is when a person is able to take credit for some aspect of their salvation, e.g. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

Regarding your Christmas gift, you rightfully can "boast" that the only reason you now have your Christmas present is that you accepted it. You could have not accepted it and tossed it in the trash. So your actions were absolutely necessary for you to now have your gift.

I do agree that acceptance is part of our salvation process. But I am also asserting that I think that it is a work on God's part to cause us to see, desire, accept, and obey the Gospel. From beginning to end, He is the cause of our salvation. We have no reason to boast.
 
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Hospes

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Hospes,

How, then, do you interpret Titus 2:11 (NASB), "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people"?

Oz
Oz, I am not sure what your question is. Are you pointing out the "all people" part? Anyway, could you clarify what conflict you see with what I have written and Titus 2:11 ? Appreciate your patience.
 

Hospes

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Hopeful,

The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas when they were released from prison, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Ac 16:30-31 NASB).

There is not a hint here that Paul and Silas called the jailer to work to believe and so become a Christian. From where did you get the idea faith/believing was a work??

What does Romans 4:5-6 (NASB) state about faith as to whether it is a work? "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works."

Nothing could be clearer than this. Faith that leads to salvation is not a work. That's Bible.

Oz
If faith is not a work - i.e. an act or deed - then what is it?
 

Fastfredy0

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Honestly, @Fastfredy0, I am not sure if I fully understood your question. I do hope somewhere in this mishmash of thoughts I touched on what you were thinking about or maybe given some fodder to further your own thinking. Let me know if I missed the mark and we can discuss further.
Thanks for you well thought out answer. I am in agreement.
 

Fastfredy0

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Believing in God and Jesus is not something to be egotistically proud of. It is something for which a Christian will be grateful for all eternity.
Agreed, with one caveat: if you did NOTHING in order to believe (faith was an effect, not a caused by the person)

Faith is the instrument of salvation. If I am the cause of the 'instrument' (remember, WORK is defined by the dictionary as a physically or mentally exertion, especially in sustained effort for a purpose) then I have something to be proud of as I am responsible to some extent for my salvation by definition).
 

Fastfredy0

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If one believes there is a gift inside but doesn’t put forth the effort to open it, will one be saved?

The answer is no.

Believing that saves results in obeying.
Agreed. But this does not address the crux of the discussion. WHY DOES ONE BELIEVE?

Postulate: God is the cause of your faith
  1. If one believes there is a gift inside [because God caused him to believe] but doesn’t put forth the effort to open it, will one be saved? This never happens per John 6:39
  2. If one believes there is a gift inside [because God caused him to believe] but does put forth the effort to open it, will one be saved? Always, per John 6:39. The cause is God and the effect (result) is your believing and things associated with believing.

Postulate: The individual is the cause of his faith
  1. If one does not believe there is a gift inside [because that person did not believe] will one be saved? This is the default/starting position (unless you believe in Double Predestination) called the depravity of man. He will not be saved. NO ONE SEEKS GOD
  2. If one does believe there is a gift inside [because that person believes he is the cause of his belief] will one be saved? Maybe. There is a problem with this statement as it relies upon a false premise: that the cause of faith is the individual. Evidence of this was given in previous posts above that clearly defines WORK and that if Man is the cause of his faith then it is a WORK. Since salvation by works contradicts Scripture, one can conclude the premise is false. Also, NO ONE SEEKS GOD, John 1:12-13, yahda, yahda, yahda .... But it is still possible for a person to believe (I would say incorrectly believe) that he believes he is the cause of his faith ... in that case the person may and may no be correct. If he is saved it is because God caused him to believe and he just has his theology wrong (IMO). If he is not saved then God did not cause him to believe, so his belief is not salvific.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? James 2:21
The book of James is another can of worms (topic).
Even Luther didn't care for the book of James.
Anyways....
James is about works that will justify believers before man, not God. (this is not exegesis 101 ...:study)

So, if you mean:
  1. Was Abraham justified to men because of his works, the answer is YES or
  2. Was Abraham justified to God because of his works, the answer is NO.
 

Hopeful

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Hopeful,
The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas when they were released from prison, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Ac 16:30-31 NASB).
There is not a hint here that Paul and Silas called the jailer to work to believe and so become a Christian. From where did you get the idea faith/believing was a work??
I guess I got it from the same POV that ascribes "works" to repentance from sin and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of past sins.
Neither is of any use without an initial belief in the Lord Jesus.
And all are necessary for salvation.
But "A" must be established before going on to "B" and "C" and "D', so Paul started at "A" with the jailer.
What does Romans 4:5-6 (NASB) state about faith as to whether it is a work? "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works."
Nothing could be clearer than this. Faith that leads to salvation is not a work. That's Bible.
Oz
I agree.
But the same is true about repentance and baptism, not to mention enduring until the end.

I use the argument that belief is a work just to show that those things written of by the apostles are not the "works" written of by Paul.
The "works" he railed at were the works of the Law, ie. circumcision, dietary laws, food laws, feast keeping, etc.
 

Hopeful

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Because of your righteousness (libertarian "free will' faith) you opened the gift and became God's son. Believing in God is something to be proud of if your faith is self-generated, as this righteous act is the key to eternal bliss that few attain.
The guy beside you opened the gift and went to hell.
Besides, it more that just opening a gift to see what is inside. You have to believe something inside is there or you won't get it; what's worse is that your (our) depravity won't let you believe that such a thing is inside unless God intervenes.
Romans 3:11 No one understands [divine things]; no one seeks for God. (won't believe what's in the box/gift)
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural [unregenerate] person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God (won't believe what's in the box/gift) [regeneration comes from the Spirit of God], for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually [the Holy Spirit] discerned.
John 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light (won't believe what's in the box/gift)

Premise 1: Definition of work: ... activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. (see dictionary, the authority of the English language).
Premise 2: One must believe (mental process) in order to be saved (purpose).
Premise 3: The origin of faith is man.
Conclusion: If the cause of belief is yourself, then it is your work. It is something God has commanded you to do. It is obedience (a work)
Aside: Obedience is still a work if God is the cause, but I assume the question is with the assumption that man is the cause of his own faith.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.” Clearly this verse defines “faith” as a work. Thus faith must originate from God since God’s grace does not include man works (Galatians 5:2).
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me… and that, by positive assertion, so that whatever is not Christ is not the way but error.
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior Faith is a work of righteousness, thus its source cannot be man.
Works are not demanded, whereby the creature might ascribe anything to himself; a condition, whereby mercy is owned


IMO
I chose to open the gift, just as I chose to submit to God.
Life is filled with choices.
Drunk, sober.
Lie, truth.
Theft, earn.
Love, hate.
Godliness, destruction.
God doesn't make those choices for us.
We make them, with the information at hand.

Were my faith generated by an outside Source, it wouldn't be my faith, but His.
 

Hopeful

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FF,

Believing in God and Jesus is not something to be egotistically proud of. It is something for which a Christian will be grateful for all eternity.

Since when did opening the gate and believing in God lead a person to hell?

Oz
I feel that the whole "pride" issue is a strawman argument.
It is a distraction from the simpler issue of whether or not someone has taken the information at hand and reacted with love or with hate.
If that choice is not our own, then neither is the choice to reject it.
God doesn't force us to love or to hate Him and His message of redemption.
It is our choice...thanks be to God.
 

Fastfredy0

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Were my faith generated by an outside Source, it wouldn't be my faith, but His.
The faith is yours, the cause is Gods.

Example:
You have no faith that I can high jump over 7 feet. I jump over 7 feet. You now believe. The faith is yours, the cause is me.

Law of Causality: Every effect has a cause.

Your faith is an EFFECT and must have a CAUSE. You may argue that the cause is "libertarian free will" or God changing your mind. In either case, the faith is yours but the cause it something else. (Which leaves the question ... if your faith is "libertarian free will" where did that come from, the ether? .... remember "libertarian free will" is the ability to do "A" or "B" in the same circumstances (indifference).
 

OzSpen

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Oz, I am not sure what your question is. Are you pointing out the "all people" part? Anyway, could you clarify what conflict you see with what I have written and Titus 2:11 ? Appreciate your patience.

Hospes,

The question that often comes with this verse is: If the grace of God "appeared" to all people, then all will be saved. We know from the analogy of Scripture this is not so.

In the Greek text of Titus 2:11-14 it forms a single sentence in which "the grace of God" is the grammatical subject. In opposition to the NIV (and KJV), Paul does not say the grace appeared to all people. Instead, following most other translations, based on the word order and usage of 1 Tim 2:3-6 (ESV), what has "appeared" is God's grace that offers salvation to all people. See my article, How to interpret ‘appeared’ in Titus 2:11

The ESV translates correctly as: "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people" (also with NET Bible; CSB; Lex).

Oz
 

OzSpen

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If faith is not a work - i.e. an act or deed - then what is it?

Hospes,

Faith is not a work because it is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1 ESV).

Faith believes God's character, which includes all His attributes. We know God is loving, faithful and just. To accept who God is, is not a work. It involves trusting God in his totality. I refer you to the article, "Faith is NOT a Work."

Oz
 

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that is fine great way to study..but the foot notes can set you in a direction to study. maybe scripture or subject. if you trust others in here. you can trust others i really like clarke he is main one jay vernon mcgee is very good/trustworthy. even he quotes other commentators . if he agrees he will say if not he says that. i use a commentary to try understand back ground info. you trust ecf writings there no different / in the book of rev i read the commentary many times i see what they are saying but i disagree . for example the great whore many think its roman empire revived while it might be part of it. i disagree as it being the solo character
Jerrry,
In no way did I mean that I don't read other persons writings and/or commentaries!
How else would we learn?
What I'm saying is that FIRST I like to read the bible myself, plainly and simply,
God does not make His Word difficult to understand.
I doubt He wanted only theologians to understand His attributes, commandments, and over-all plan.

As to background info,,,hermeneutics, etc. I do that too. Sometimes it doesn't matter, and sometimes it does.
I wonder how many might know what the Body of Death is?
But it really doesn't matter...so it's background, as you've said.
 

wondering

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wondering,

Does your NASB come with the same footnotes as the NET Bible? If you use the NASB online, you'll find footnotes throughout the entire Bible. See on Bible Gateway, NASB, of Genesis 1.

Can you interpret 1 Tim 2:15 (NASB) without looking at the footnotes? "But women will be [a]preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with [b]self-restraint."

There are too many nuances in Hebrew and Greek for me not to take note of the footnotes. That's my position, but what you choose to do is up to you.

Oz
Of course I had to find out what 1 Timothy 2:15 was about...
But I find that verse such as this one are rare...usually we can understand what the writer is saying.

As to online bibles....I don't like to use online bibles.
I just buy the ones I want.
I don't think I need any more.....

If I want to use a commentary, then I'll use Biblehub....
I like how they're set up.
 

wondering

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wondering,

This is how I read the Bible. I accept the plain meaning (literal interpretation) of the text. Literal interpretation includes the use of figures of speech. See my articles: (1) What is literal interpretation? and (2) What is wrong with allegorical interpretation?

I read The Sydney Morning Herald online literally. Even my reading of the heretic, John Dominic Crossan, for my PhD dissertation meant I had to read him literally. However, that's not what he does with historical texts, including the Bible, as he inflicts his postmodern, deconstructionist, reader-response interpretation on the text.

Then, if I experience difficulty in understanding a verse or words in Scripture, I seek help from commentaries. Are you aware of some older commentaries available free on the Bible Hub website? See: Eph 2:8 (ESV),

Blessings to you in your search for truth.

Oz
Older commentaries?

How's Matthew Henry's complete set?

I also have Clark....
But, like I've said, I don't really like using them.

They tend to present what THEY individually believe....
MH, for instance, is reformed. Some things he states I would not agree with.
 

OzSpen

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Of course I had to find out what 1 Timothy 2:15 was about...
But I find that verse such as this one are rare...usually we can understand what the writer is saying.

As to online bibles....I don't like to use online bibles.
I just buy the ones I want.
I don't think I need any more.....

If I want to use a commentary, then I'll use Biblehub....
I like how they're set up.

wondering,

I have quite a few Bibles on my shelf, e.g. KJV (my Dad's), NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, etc. However, I find it much easier to access these and many other English and Greek Bibles online. I use Bible Gateway and get a whole range of English Bibles, along with Greek NTs.

The one Bible not online is the Revised English Bible (formerly New English Bible NT) and I guess that's because it's published by Oxford University Press and they seem to be reluctant to release much on free-to-view, except their Oxford Dictionary online at lexico.com. I have the REB in hard copy along with the NAB (not NASB), NJB and NRSV in parallel.

There are some more commentaries and expositions at biblestudytools.com.

Oz
 
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