Total Inability

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Yes-'acceptance' is a choice-of the will-it is an 'action' we must take; just like we have to choose to love-even when we don't want too....

God calls us to take action "GO" is and action word; it is not a sit around and wait. Yes God did the work on the cross-but we still have too #1 acknowledge that work/ God and #2 Accept the gift; then comes #3 OBEY the Lord....

Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 
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MAJOR: When you deny 'free will" you deny....

JACK: Appreciate you attitude and gentleness and we may never agree on all things or anything. When you write about "free will," it depends what you mean by that. Sinful human beings have the freedom to act and decide according to their natures. We are dead in tespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). We are free to act like the spiritual corpses we are as a cat is free to act like a cat. The cat is not free to act like a horse because that is not his nature. Eve was free to act as she wished but once she sinned, her nature became that of a sinner. Surely, no one will sin in heaven because they will be redeemed and set free from the bondage of sin. So, do people have "free will" in heaven?

MAJOR: Mankind was "predestined" to be 'like' God at the beginning-but not ALL men will come to Him that made them. ALL men are sinners in need of a Savior.

JACK: I'm not aware of any scripture that says mankind was predestined to be like God. I am aware of Paul's statement to the Ephesian believers where he said that Christians were "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him" (Eph. 1:4). But his audience was specifically identified as "...to the saints at Ephesus." I am aware of a scripture that specifically says we were "chosen from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13). I am aware of a scripture that says "Those who were appointed to eternal life believed" and we know not all believe (Acts 13:48). Hence, not all must have been appointed to eternal life. Could you tell me what scripture you are referring to when you say all mankind was predestinated to be like God?

MAJOR: Once you fall into the 'predestined' anti-freewill trap you are forced into thinking an 'elitist' mentality which is the same trap the Jews fell into believing that they were saved by 'bloodline' rather than by God's Grace & Mercy. They quit having 'faith' in God and put their faith in 'being born a Jew' rather than a Gentile. Now we do the same thing by saying 'God picked me'. God did pick you-He picked ALL of us-but most of us will end up rotten fruit without bearing any roots or additional fruit. The seed must die and go into the ground do that more fruit will spring forth. Some will become the roots, some branches, some fruit, some will be pruned, some will rot.

JACK: This is an argument using the foolishness of the Pharisees that because they were Jews, they wrongly thought all Jews were right with God. You and I both know that wasn't the case at all. People are saved by grace through faith whether they are Calvinists or Arminians. The passage I alluded to earlier, 2 Thess. 2:13, very plainly says we are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit and belief on the truth. So, I really think your argue is invalid.

MAJOR: We are called to serve our fellow man and to preach/ teach the Gospel. God wants the Church-the body of Christ to be responsible in creating and harvesting the next generation-this is how we LOVE our LORD. We appreciate the life he has given us and we become 'fruitful and multiple'. We teach the next generation to be in the Spirit-to 'remember' our God and where we came from... But the next generation doesn't have to chose God; I think that is pretty obvious looking at the state of the world. If the plowers, planters, waterers, pruners and harvesters aren't doing their job-the field goes to waste.

JACK: Amen! You just gave one of the most accurate and Calvinistic statements yet made on this board. Thank you. [/quote
 
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KingJ: John 8:36 says: 'If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed'. I would have thought that strictly speaking, the person is truly free in the exercise of his or her faculties after being born again rather than before. (Two cents'.) Blessings.
You implying no free will before? certainly not! Lets say you were an orphan, free to choose your parents. Until you choose me as your parent you are not free to run around and do as you please in my home and presence.

John is talking about the freedom that comes from being adopted by God. Freedom from sin, freedom to call God our Father. Of course if we don't want Jesus, we won't want that freedom will we. The ''free indeed'' is directly related to / emphasizing the fact that we are 100% free from sin. We were slaves of sin / the devil / our old father Rom 8:15.

Hence we are free to stay as slaves of sin or be set free indeed from it.
 
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JACK: Actually, the verse you quoted is ideal for total depravity. I'm not sure why you would say this. Doesn't it spell out the depravity of man? Of course, we have the ability to resist the Holy Spirit. Every Calvinists on the planet would agree with that. Man is always resiting the HS. Of course the Pharisees rejected God, that is evidence of a total depravity. You keep offering passages that say exactly what we Calvinists say.
You keep twisting scripture / not reading properly!! The fact that they had the ability to reject = they had the ability to accept!! Stop making scripture say what it does not.
 
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A lot of people (including me before I came to understand the Doctrine of Grace) believe that we have "free will" to "accept" or "reject" God. I think we believe this because we think we perceive this through experience. Unfortunately, the Bible does not teach this. In truth, the "free will" that we experience is an illusion. We freely "accept" God's grace because He calls us to Him as Jack clearly illustrated in his original post.
You can be forgiven for thinking / being influenced to think as you do. But the thing with scripture is, we need to take it all before making a final statement. Remember the devil quoted scripture and could be forgiven for thinking he could jump and have angels catch him, but would they? No, becasue he ignored / did not read about tempting God.

That my friend is what you and Jack are doing. To even imply that God is partial / we don't have free will is a terrible picture to paint of my God. How in the universe do you judge such a God as good? Jesus died for all + hell = God wills that all come to Him but many don't want to.
No one is righteous. No one understands. No one seeks God. No one does good. NO, NOT ONE. (Rom 3:10-12)
Why do you omit the conclusion of Paul on this passage he quoted?

Paul's question: 9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Paul's immediate answer on possible partiality: Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

Paul's quote:There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.'' “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

Paul's conclusion: 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe.

You are making an assumption off of half the facts! Free will is not an illusion. What can be more disgusting then preaching that ''God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for SOME of you''? That is trampling the cross :sick:.

To grasp free will you need to add God is impartial with God is sovereign.
 
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You implying no free will before? certainly not! Lets say you were an orphan, free to choose your parents. Until you choose me as your parent you are not free to run around and do as you please in my home and presence.

John is talking about the freedom that comes from being adopted by God. Freedom from sin, freedom to call God our Father. Of course if we don't want Jesus, we won't want that freedom will we. The ''free indeed'' is directly related to / emphasizing the fact that we are 100% free from sin. We were slaves of sin / the devil / our old father Rom 8:15.

Hence we are free to stay as slaves of sin or be set free indeed from it.
We judge God being good because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God meaning that every person, you and me included, deserve eternal death. God is good by shedding his great grace upon his people. Okay, I understand the point of your illustration. Now, to be fair, let's put this orphan in the same spot that Paul says the sinner is placed. He is deaf and can't hear (Jn. 8:43, 47), he is blind and can't see (2 Cor. 4:3-4), all he hears is moronic jibberish (I Cor. 1:18), and he is dead (Eph. 2:1). Now, how can this orphan choose his parents? What needs to happen first is that he be made alive. Isn't that the biblical picture?
 
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You keep twisting scripture / not reading properly!! The fact that they had the ability to reject = they had the ability to accept!! Stop making scripture say what it does not.
Okay, then tell us which scripture we are twisting and what is the correct understanding of them? Jesus said to a group of unsaved, they couldn't understand his words (Jn. 8:43, 47). He told them they were "slaves" to sin (Jn. 8:34-35) incapable of either seeing or entering the Kingdom (Jn. 3). (Are slaves freed from bondage?) Jesus also said they were without the ability to come to Him unless the Father drew them (Jn. 6:44). Paul said the unsaved are blinded by Satan so they can't see the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4) and they are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1), not sick in sin or injured in sin. I can't speak for anyone on this board, but if you could take any or all of those passages and explain what I'm not understanding about them, I'd appreciate it.
 
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MAJOR: When you deny 'free will" you deny....

JACK: Appreciate you attitude and gentleness and we may never agree on all things or anything. When you write about "free will," it depends what you mean by that. Sinful human beings have the freedom to act and decide according to their natures. We are dead in tespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). We are free to act like the spiritual corpses we are as a cat is free to act like a cat. The cat is not free to act like a horse because that is not his nature. Eve was free to act as she wished but once she sinned, her nature became that of a sinner. Surely, no one will sin in heaven because they will be redeemed and set free from the bondage of sin. So, do people have "free will" in heaven?

MAJOR: Mankind was "predestined" to be 'like' God at the beginning-but not ALL men will come to Him that made them. ALL men are sinners in need of a Savior.

JACK: I'm not aware of any scripture that says mankind was predestined to be like God. I am aware of Paul's statement to the Ephesian believers where he said that Christians were "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him" (Eph. 1:4). But his audience was specifically identified as "...to the saints at Ephesus." I am aware of a scripture that specifically says we were "chosen from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13). I am aware of a scripture that says "Those who were appointed to eternal life believed" and we know not all believe (Acts 13:48). Hence, not all must have been appointed to eternal life. Could you tell me what scripture you are referring to when you say all mankind was predestinated to be like God?

MAJOR: Once you fall into the 'predestined' anti-freewill trap you are forced into thinking an 'elitist' mentality which is the same trap the Jews fell into believing that they were saved by 'bloodline' rather than by God's Grace & Mercy. They quit having 'faith' in God and put their faith in 'being born a Jew' rather than a Gentile. Now we do the same thing by saying 'God picked me'. God did pick you-He picked ALL of us-but most of us will end up rotten fruit without bearing any roots or additional fruit. The seed must die and go into the ground do that more fruit will spring forth. Some will become the roots, some branches, some fruit, some will be pruned, some will rot.

JACK: This is an argument using the foolishness of the Pharisees that because they were Jews, they wrongly thought all Jews were right with God. You and I both know that wasn't the case at all. People are saved by grace through faith whether they are Calvinists or Arminians. The passage I alluded to earlier, 2 Thess. 2:13, very plainly says we are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit and belief on the truth. So, I really think your argue is invalid.

MAJOR: We are called to serve our fellow man and to preach/ teach the Gospel. God wants the Church-the body of Christ to be responsible in creating and harvesting the next generation-this is how we LOVE our LORD. We appreciate the life he has given us and we become 'fruitful and multiple'. We teach the next generation to be in the Spirit-to 'remember' our God and where we came from... But the next generation doesn't have to chose God; I think that is pretty obvious looking at the state of the world. If the plowers, planters, waterers, pruners and harvesters aren't doing their job-the field goes to waste.

JACK: Amen! You just gave one of the most accurate and Calvinistic statements yet made on this board. Thank you. [/quote
Jack stated........."I'm not aware of any scripture that says mankind was predestined to be like God."

Genesis 1:26
"And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air and over cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepth upon the earth".

My thinking Jack was that spiritually and morally man has an image that resemblies his maker because God placed a great chasm between man and beast because only man has the capacity for eternal life, fellowship with God and moral discernment.

I told you I was about a 4.632 Calvinist.
 
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We judge God being good because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God meaning that every person, you and me included, deserve eternal death. God is good by shedding his great grace upon his people. Okay, I understand the point of your illustration. Now, to be fair, let's put this orphan in the same spot that Paul says the sinner is placed. He is deaf and can't hear (Jn. 8:43, 47), he is blind and can't see (2 Cor. 4:3-4), all he hears is moronic jibberish (I Cor. 1:18), and he is dead (Eph. 2:1). Now, how can this orphan choose his parents? What needs to happen first is that he be made alive. Isn't that the biblical picture?
But Jack, dosent the orphan need to make a choice? Dosen't he choose life or death and chosing life is what makes him alive?

Acts 16:30-31
"And brought them out and said....sirs, what must I DO TO BE SAVED?
And they said........Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy household".

Didn't the jailer have to make choice?

Notice verse 25..................
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; AND THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM".

Seems to me that the earthquake was not intended to deliver Paul but to convert the jailer. Paul was placed in the jail for a purpose and that was so the jailer could here and beleive, Hence the jailer running to Paul asking HOW he could be saved.

How then is a man saved???? By believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ. That by itself indicates that we must make a choice to accept Christ. Does God know how will accept and who will reject? Of Course He does. But faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!
 
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No one questions the biblical truth that one must believe upon the Lord Jesus in order to be saved. You are very correct that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The question is actually: how does someone get to the point of "hearing" the Word if they are deaf, blind, and dead? Look what happened to Lydia. First, she heard the Word. Second, the Lord opened her heart all the way; she didn't open it; He did. Finally, she then accepted the message and belived upon Christ. I go back to the illustration of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. Ezekiel preached and God brought life to the dead bones through the preaching of the Prophet. The Philippian jail, how did he know he needed to be saved unless the Holy Spirit brought conviction to his heart. He wouldn't have known that on his own because he was unable to understand God's Word and unable to believe upon Christ. Take note of Isa. 14:24. Yes, I remember you're a 4.632. I was stuck as a 4.000 for several years.
 

Glomung

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The Calvinist view implies that there is no truly "free will".
If "free will" is not absolute, how do Satan and his angels exist?
They were all created pure and perfect, it was their choices that condemned them, their free use of their will that corrupted them. Just as the continued choice of virtue of the other 2/3s of the angels that has preserved them.

I was raised in an agnostic home and came to Christ through reason alone.
You would clam that what I state is not possible.
 
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As I've explained before, man is "free" to act according to his nature. Man can decide how he wishes to sin and what he will eat for breakfast. Man is a sinner and can act like a sinner anyway that pleases him. I used my cat an illustration. Because he is a cat, he is free to chase a ball all around the house. He can scratch his left ear with his hind foot. He can pur whenever he wishes because that is his nature as a cat. Satan and the demons are free to think and act like devils because that is what they are. However, my cat is not free to act like a dog. He can't bark or chase a mailman or a car. Now, if you can transform my cat into a dog, then he could act like a dog. Jesus said that "No man CAN come to me unless the Father draws him" (Jn. 6:44). He does not not have ability because he is not one of the Lord's unless the Father draws him. Paul said if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.... A new creature has a new nature unlike his old nature.

I don't claim what happened to you is impossible, quite the opposite. But I do believe somewhere along the line there must have been some influence in your life that told you about Christ otherwise you wouldn't have known about the Lord. Whatever that influence was, it was God's doing. He opened your heart, as He did Lydia's and you believed upon Christ as she did.
 
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Glomung

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You missed the point by miles.
Satan and his angels were not devils before they fell, their misuse of their own free will changed their very natures.
The point of this conversation is whether a being can, of his own free will, decide for or against God.
The Calvinist view is that a being cannot, due to their intelligence being so corrupt that they are unable to make a plain rational decision. I do not agree with that view (or much of anything else that is peculiar to Calvinism).
 
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You missed the point by miles.
Satan and his angels were not devils before they fell, their misuse of their own free will changed their very natures.
The point of this conversation is whether a being can, of his own free will, decide for or against God.
The Calvinist view is that a being cannot, due to their intelligence being so corrupt that they are unable to make a plain rational decision. I do not agree with that view (or much of anything else that is peculiar to Calvinism).
I'm sorry I missed your point by miles. I'm sure you're not the only one who disagrees with it. I did too at one time. The question isn't, "Can a being of his own free will decide for or against God?" The question is: "How can a human being who can't understand the gospel, can't see the gospel, and is spiritually dead" decide for God? Satan and his colleagues were a special case being angelic beings, and Christ did not take upon Himself the nature of angels upon the cross. Peter tells us that angels had no part in the redemptive plan of God (I Peter 1:12). They were made as holy beings but not infallible. Even the demons realize the they have no part in redemption (Mt. 8:29).
 

Glomung

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This is where there is a problem, when you say " human being who can't understand the gospel" what do you mean?
The gospel is "Christ was crucified as a victim for our sins, for those who believe in Him, their sins are forgiven, and as Christ rose from the dead, so shall they". gospel = good news. The gospel is not the Bible. Any person can understand the gospel, it is substitutiary atonement, nothing to hard to grasp about that.

"can't see the gospel" - what is meant by that? what do you think the "gospel" is?

"spiritually dead" - yes, to be spiritually alive, all you need to is acknowledge the obvious, that Christ died for your sins,
again, this is not a concept that is beyond the ability of even the least of mankind.

Your scripture quote of 1 Peter does not support (or have anything to do with) your comment, and the comment
on " demons realize the they have no part in redemption" is meaningless. They do everything within their power to oppose redemption.
 
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" Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die" (John 11:25)

It's interesting that Jesus states this in John 11 when he raises Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was physically "dead"---he was not alive in any way. The Bible says all of us are "dead in sins"--we are spiritually dead. We can no more make ourselves alive spiritually, than Lazarus could do physically. The ONLY WAY that lazarus could live was for Jesus to RAISE HIM FROM THE DEAD.

In the same way, we cannot come to Jesus unless the Father "draws us" and we are made alive in Christ. A person cannot choose to be born-again. I did not wake up one morning and say "I think I will choose to be born-again today". No---I was born-again when GOD CHOSE for me to become one of his children. One day I could care less about God, and the next I was a NEW CREATION---not because I chose God---but because He chose me. He raised me from the spiritually dead---I did not do it of my volition. I was as dead spiritually as Lazarus was physically----God Himself had to call me to life.
 
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GLOMUNG: This is where there is a problem, when you say " human being who can't understand the gospel" what do you mean?

JACK: I mean two things: first Christ said that those who heard Him were unable to understand his meaning. "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word." (Jn. 8:43). He further said in that same chapter, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God" (Jn. 8:47). Notice the sequence in that verse. Only those "of God" could understand what He was saying. Second, Paul wrote, "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Cor. 1:18). The word rendered "foolishness" is the Greek word where the English word "moron" comes from. To those who are perishing, the message of the cross is equated with morons. They have no understanding of it. That's what I mean. I Cor. 2:14 indicates they can not receive it.

GLOMUNG: The gospel is "Christ was crucified as a victim for our sins, for those who believe in Him, their sins are forgiven, and as Christ rose from the dead, so shall they". gospel = good news. The gospel is not the Bible. Any person can understand the gospel, it is substitutiary atonement, nothing to hard to grasp about that.

JACK: If anyone can understand the gospel, what did Jesus mean when He told this unbelieving crowd, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God"? That doesn't sound like what you just said. If a person isn't of God, he cannot hear God's words. Isn't that what the Lord said?

GLOMUNG: "can't see the gospel" - what is meant by that? what do you think the "gospel" is?

JACK: Paul is defending his apostolic office in 2 Corinthians and explaining that he has given these people God's Word, plainly. "Since we have this ministry as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating THE WORD OF GOD, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (4:1-2). He is talking about his ministry giving forth--his words--"the Word of God." Notice what he said immediately after this, "And even if OUR GOSPEL is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God." So, I would conclude two things here: The Word of God Paul calls the Gospel, and second, this gospel is veiled to the unsaved so they can not see it or understand it They are blind to it. If the gospel can be understood by all people, which is your position, for what reason does Paul clearly state here that those who are perishing are blind to the gospel and the gospel is veiled to them? That would sound to me that he is saying they can't understand it. If they could, they wouldn't be perishing.

GLOMUNG: "spiritually dead" - yes, to be spiritually alive, all you need to is acknowledge the obvious, that Christ died for your sins,
again, this is not a concept that is beyond the ability of even the least of mankind.

JACK: But who has the sole authority to give life? In Ezkiel 37 it specifically says that God gave life to the dead bones in the valley. Jesus said, "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes" (Jn. 5:21). Are you saying the dead sinner has the ability to make himself alive? Paul described the believers in Ephesus as, "[once] dead in tresspasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). There are three common words used in the NT that are translated "dead." The most common is THANATOS. But the term that Paul used in this passage is NEKROS meaning corpse--dead body. It speaks of death as being unresponsive to stimuli. I visited my dentist last week, and sometimes he deadens a tooth so he can work on it. A dead body will not react to any stimuli whatsoever. A sinner who is dead in sin is totally unresponsive to any stimuli He must first be made alive before he can react to the gospel.

GLOMUNG: your scripture quote of 1 Peter does not support (or have anything to do with) your comment, and the comment
on " demons realize the they have no part in redemption" is meaningless. They do everything within their power to oppose redemption.

JACK: You had made the comment that angels, demons and even Satan had free will. I was pointing out that those beings were not objects of Christ's redemption. The wording in Peter's epistle carries the idea that they are observers and not participates. Christ did not come as an angel but as a human being. Satan was a glorious angel named Lucifer who fell into pride and sought to displace God Himself. Just as Adam and Eve, before they acquired the sin nature, fell into sin and incurred the Adamic nature and brought death to the entire race. These beings were created without sin, but they were not created infallible--they did fall. That was my point.
 
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GLOMUNG: This is where there is a problem, when you say " human being who can't understand the gospel" what do you mean?

JACK: I mean two things: first Christ said that those who heard Him were unable to understand his meaning. "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word." (Jn. 8:43). He further said in that same chapter, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God" (Jn. 8:47). Notice the sequence in that verse. Only those "of God" could understand what He was saying. Second, Paul wrote, "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Cor. 1:18). The word rendered "foolishness" is the Greek word where the English word "moron" comes from. To those who are perishing, the message of the cross is equated with morons. They have no understanding of it. That's what I mean. I Cor. 2:14 indicates they can not receive it.

GLOMUNG: The gospel is "Christ was crucified as a victim for our sins, for those who believe in Him, their sins are forgiven, and as Christ rose from the dead, so shall they". gospel = good news. The gospel is not the Bible. Any person can understand the gospel, it is substitutiary atonement, nothing to hard to grasp about that.

JACK: If anyone can understand the gospel, what did Jesus mean when He told this unbelieving crowd, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God"? That doesn't sound like what you just said. If a person isn't of God, he cannot hear God's words. Isn't that what the Lord said?

GLOMUNG: "can't see the gospel" - what is meant by that? what do you think the "gospel" is?

JACK: Paul is defending his apostolic office in 2 Corinthians and explaining that he has given these people God's Word, plainly. "Since we have this ministry as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating THE WORD OF GOD, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (4:1-2). He is talking about his ministry giving forth--his words--"the Word of God." Notice what he said immediately after this, "And even if OUR GOSPEL is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God." So, I would conclude two things here: The Word of God Paul calls the Gospel, and second, this gospel is veiled to the unsaved so they can not see it or understand it They are blind to it. If the gospel can be understood by all people, which is your position, for what reason does Paul clearly state here that those who are perishing are blind to the gospel and the gospel is veiled to them? That would sound to me that he is saying they can't understand it. If they could, they wouldn't be perishing.

GLOMUNG: "spiritually dead" - yes, to be spiritually alive, all you need to is acknowledge the obvious, that Christ died for your sins,
again, this is not a concept that is beyond the ability of even the least of mankind.

JACK: But who has the sole authority to give life? In Ezkiel 37 it specifically says that God gave life to the dead bones in the valley. Jesus said, "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes" (Jn. 5:21). Are you saying the dead sinner has the ability to make himself alive? Paul described the believers in Ephesus as, "[once] dead in tresspasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). There are three common words used in the NT that are translated "dead." The most common is THANATOS. But the term that Paul used in this passage is NEKROS meaning corpse--dead body. It speaks of death as being unresponsive to stimuli. I visited my dentist last week, and sometimes he deadens a tooth so he can work on it. A dead body will not react to any stimuli whatsoever. A sinner who is dead in sin is totally unresponsive to any stimuli He must first be made alive before he can react to the gospel.

GLOMUNG: your scripture quote of 1 Peter does not support (or have anything to do with) your comment, and the comment
on " demons realize the they have no part in redemption" is meaningless. They do everything within their power to oppose redemption.

JACK: You had made the comment that angels, demons and even Satan had free will. I was pointing out that those beings were not objects of Christ's redemption. The wording in Peter's epistle carries the idea that they are observers and not participates. Christ did not come as an angel but as a human being. Satan was a glorious angel named Lucifer who fell into pride and sought to displace God Himself. Just as Adam and Eve, before they acquired the sin nature, fell into sin and incurred the Adamic nature and brought death to the entire race. These beings were created without sin, but they were not created infallible--they did fall. That was my point.
Glomung:

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God". (1 Cor. 1:18)

Nothing hard to grasp (as you state above) about that huh? If the Spirit of God does not enlighten our hearts to see it, the cross is foolishness to us---it means nothing. No---not "every person" can understand the Gospel. The Jehovah's Witnesses and others preach a completely different "gospel" than the Bible teaches. They teach Jesus died on the cross for them---but it has a TOTALLY different meaning to them, than to born-again believers.
 

Glomung

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Dec 26, 2007
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It is impossible to discuss anything with those who will not agree on the definition of terms.

"gospel" = "good news", from god "good" + spel "story, message" (Old English)
The gospel is not the Bible. The gospel is the news of Christ's redemptive act.
 
May 30, 2013
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I think part of the lesson of passages such as Ephesians 2 ('dead in trespasses and sins', etc.) is that human rationality apart from the grace of God is corrupted to the extent that it falls short of God's glorious holiness. This is why the grace of God in Christ is so needed by sinners.

Blessings.