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Most difficult Scripture?

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  • Most difficult Scripture?

    Hi this is my first post in years.

    Has there been any discussion about Romans 9:11 and 16 before? I find these two verses and their context very sobering. Probably the most difficult in all of the Bible. Reason: It is comforting to believe that if anyone just seeks after God hard enough one can find Him, but this scripture indicates otherwise?

    Romans 9:
    11 And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out Godís purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

    16 So then [Godís gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of Godís mercy. [It depends not on oneís own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on Godís having mercy on him.]
    Last edited by Esther; 08-30-2019, 12:47 PM. Reason: Bible passage copy and paste

  • #2
    (want to get back to this in a bit)
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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    • #3
      Note that the following is not a standard understanding of Rom 9-11 but this is what I intend to flesh out in the future.

      Romans 9-11 explains how God was faithful to his promises to Israel, despite the low numbers of Jews who came to follow Jesus. (Actually, I would say that Jews in the first century had better access to the gospel than anyone elsewhere within the world.)
      So, Romans 9 was showing how the remnant (as in Rom 11:1-6) was a demonstration of the faithfulness of God to the promises.

      The verses you mention are part of the argument to show that God had always narrowed down who, among the forefather bloodline, would be benefactors of the promise.

      The application of these verses to modern people may have some relevance ... this may be accurate. But, the case has to be built based on arguments extending Paul's original purpose within Rom 9 plus any additional scriptures that supplement the idea that God selects all people who will be justified.

      The doctrine isn't really helpful in modern times since we would be unable to know whom God has selected. The other probblem is that Romans 9 was retrospective instead of anticipating future people that would be justified.

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      • #4
        Esther!



        Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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        • #5
          Yeah, Romans 9 is one of the most controversial chapters in the New Testament, if not the most controversial. The crux of the debate is whether corporate or individual election is in mind. For greater context, I think you have to read chapters 9-11 together as they're basically one unit of thought.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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          • #6
            I do believe that salvation is by God's choice alone, and that Romans 9 is speaking primarily about individuals, and their salvation (see Rom. 10:1). This is a difficult doctrine, but I believe it is supported by Scripture, note that all the analogies of salvation appear to be passive on the part of the individual (birth, new creation, seed sown in the ground, etc.).

            Blessings,
            Lee
            "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mossrose View Post
              Esther!

              Sure. another sorority member.

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              • #8
                Wow, Esther. LONG time no see!

                Watch your links! http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...corumetiquette

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                • #9
                  Thank you for replies and welcome. These verses remain sobering (not a bad thing) but they also tend to make me want to give up persevering in prayer for others salvation. Ultimately God's Will be done. I accept this and it strangely lifts the burden of praying for and "winning" people to Christ. (I am sure this is not correct thinking but that is where I am at this point).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Esther View Post
                    Thank you for replies and welcome. These verses remain sobering (not a bad thing) but they also tend to make me want to give up persevering in prayer for others salvation. Ultimately God's Will be done. I accept this and it strangely lifts the burden of praying for and "winning" people to Christ. (I am sure this is not correct thinking but that is where I am at this point).
                    Esther, the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. When you find a verse that is difficult, and you tend to come to a particular conclusion, it's always good to look at that "troublesome" verse in the light of all other Scripture.

                    What we often call "The Lord's Prayer", in my opinion, is "the Model Prayer", and the 'real' "Lord's Prayer" is in John 17, where he prays even for us.

                    In "The Great Commission", Jesus tells His disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

                    The entire book of Acts (what I like to call the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles) has Peter and Paul telling people about Jesus, and a resulting "coming to Jesus" of many, many people.

                    I'm afraid you're "accepting" a rather weak argument against the overall record of the New Testament beginning with Jesus coming "to seek and to save them which are lost" to the Holy Spirit even giving road directions to Philip in order for him to have an encounter with the Ethiopian so that the Ethiopian can find and accept Salvation.

                    When Jesus was here, he was the Light of the World -- "as long as I am in the world" - but He gave that job to us. WE are the light of the world, and it is our responsibility to be salt and light to the lost.

                    I am saddened that you find comfort in the deception that we do not have a part in the introduction of lost people to Jesus. The JOY we get from leading somebody to Christ is almost like getting saved all over again!
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      I'm afraid you're "accepting" a rather weak argument against the overall record of the New Testament beginning with Jesus coming "to seek and to save them which are lost" to the Holy Spirit even giving road directions to Philip in order for him to have an encounter with the Ethiopian so that the Ethiopian can find and accept Salvation.

                      I am saddened that you find comfort in the deception that we do not have a part in the introduction of lost people to Jesus. The JOY we get from leading somebody to Christ is almost like getting saved all over again!
                      I am applying this scripture specifically to the persevering part. For example, there are many I have prayed for for years to be saved after sharing the Gospel with them in various ways. These verses free me from continuing to persevere.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Esther View Post
                        I am applying this scripture specifically to the persevering part. For example, there are many I have prayed for for years to be saved after sharing the Gospel with them in various ways. These verses free me from continuing to persevere.
                        Those verses, out of context, by the way, deal with the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, and were well before the preaching of the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Then Romans goes on to Chapter 10 (for context) which is all about Salvation through Christ in CONTRAST to the Old Covenant.
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          Those verses, out of context, by the way, deal with the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, and were well before the preaching of the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
                          Yet OT people were saved in the same way we are, by faith, Abraham is the very example of salvation by faith in the New Covenant.

                          And I note again the passive (on our part) analogies of salvation in Scripture, why would Jesus say "You must be born again" if he was speaking of ultimately, a free choice on Nicodemus' part? Yes, we have a choice to make in salvation, but behind that choice is the choice of God.

                          Blessings,
                          Lee

                          P.S. Though I would say to Esther that we need not give up praying for people, God works through our prayers to carry out his will.
                          "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                            Yet OT people were saved in the same way we are, by faith, Abraham is the very example of salvation by faith in the New Covenant.
                            Correct, but the NT faith requires a confession that Jesus is the Christ.

                            And I note again the passive (on our part) analogies of salvation in Scripture, why would Jesus say "You must be born again" if he was speaking of ultimately, a free choice on Nicodemus' part? Yes, we have a choice to make in salvation, but behind that choice is the choice of God.

                            Blessings,
                            Lee
                            "Ye must be born again" is the condition by which one is saved. He was not ordering Nicodemus to be born again, He was passionately making it plain that it was a requirement for Salvation.

                            P.S. Though I would say to Esther that we need not give up praying for people, God works through our prayers to carry out his will.
                            As the old saying goes, "pray like it all depends on God, work like it all depends on you".
                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                              I do believe that salvation is by God's choice alone, and that Romans 9 is speaking primarily about individuals, and their salvation (see Rom. 10:1). This is a difficult doctrine, but I believe it is supported by Scripture, note that all the analogies of salvation appear to be passive on the part of the individual (birth, new creation, seed sown in the ground, etc.).

                              Blessings,
                              Lee
                              I've always thought that was likely by design - by keeping the image of God as Actor. I don't think - mostly in conjunction with passages that lead away from the idea - that it is a matter of culled selection, as some election theories would have it, but that God has chosen all who will accept salvation (in line with His will that all be saved) - not a deterministic pre-selection.

                              The problem with both theology and philosophy is words tend to get in the way.

                              Our tiny 'part' is to say 'yes' - but being human and fully capable of blowing molehills into mountains we will likely over reach to the point that we think we are a player instead of a bit part. Keeping the focus on God - which is where it rightfully belongs - hedges against some of the more extreme human tendencies (and egos).

                              Giving up now before I dig any deeper...

                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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