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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: Do we allow choice?
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LibertyBelle78
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Posted: Jan-26-07 at 10:08pm | IP Logged  

the shovel wrote:


And as far as John's statement about Jesus saving the world in John 3 you might want to consider it together with what was stated about "the world" from the beginning of John's writing. It is not as shallow as we usually tend to think of it. :)

Jim


Jim, will you please explain? thanx...
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the shovel
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Posted: Jan-27-07 at 8:06am | IP Logged  

Hi Tess,

Always good to see that bell! :)

We too easily make assumptions based upon dictionary definitions we've learned over the years rather than looking to the context to aid our understanding of the meaning of many words within that context. The expression "the world" or "the whole world" is a perfect example because we have automatically learned to infuse a simple dictionary definition instead of considering how John approached it. The way he wrote about the "world" at times seems to validate a simple meaning of everybody, but all too often seems to be talking about something altogether different.

"For God so loved the world", "Love not the world", "he came into the world", "the world did not know him", "For all that is in the world is...", "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the
world?"

What I'm suggesting is that instead of starting with a dictionary definition to give us insight into what John meant when he wrote John 3:16-17 that we start at John 1:1-5 and let what he wrote there develop the meaning he gave it. I have written quite a bit about this but have somehow seemed to have lost most of it. However, a bit of it can be found here.

Love, Jim :)


      

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mary
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Posted: Jan-27-07 at 10:38am | IP Logged  


  Wow, Jim!  This is SO refreshing, (the writings on John) that I'm glued to my chair, practically inhaling the whole thing! 


      

Mary
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graceman
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Posted: Jan-28-07 at 2:47pm | IP Logged  

I've been away from the computer for a few days and have lost track of this thread, but in reply...

Connie...we can comprehend our salvation to whatever extent the Holy Spirit enables us to see the glory of Christ.  This is ongoing and is up to God alone...I think.  The IC (I was a Southern Baptist) said if you studied enough you would 'grow'...but grow in what? You may grow in 'bible knowledge' but not in spirituality (love).  Our Father has taken responsibility for our growth and thats the good (and only) place to be! 

Buddy, Jim and Joe...My belief in the salvation of all through the cross of Christ colors the whole way I view scripture now.  (Much the same way my belief in limited salvation and the logical condemnation of everyone else colored how I used to view scripture.) In my responses to others here, at times I've sought to provoke ways of considering a larger hope that is in Christ.  I know WHY I have this new way of seeing things, but it is probably more 'mystical' than analytical.  I can bring up points from the scripture but it is slow and I'm not really convinced others 'want to go there'.  That's OK.  I have encouragement through Christ to share and so do you all.  I think I'm going to try and be less provocative...if that's possible.  I'll consider what you guys wrote to me and try to see what's in it.  I'm sorry for any unproductive confusion I may have caused.

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the shovel
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Posted: Jan-28-07 at 4:26pm | IP Logged  

Hi Chris,

"more mystical than analytical" 

Hey, I wouldn't reject someone because they may seem mystical, as I've been called mystical many times myself. Not only that, but even after the numerous Q&A responses I've posted on the shovel site to questions regarding this issue I still have folks writing who assume I agree with the belief as you see it. I was recently severely chastised for "leading people astray" to "universalism".  But I understand why. Then again, I've been accused of leading people astray for many years because of my "licentious" views of Christ.

The thing is that I see this view hanging upon some heavy analysis of a few verses and then resorting to the mystical for others that don't seem to fit.  I see this same selective combination of analysis and mysticism as the very thing that keeps many folks holding onto their law-bound views of our life in Christ, or dogmatically clinging to the commonly taught doctrines of hell and condemnation; for there are always those few verses that prove it for them.

Do I not believe in this larger hope in Christ as you call it because I just don't see it yet? Or could it be something else? There are far more people who are sure I don't believe in their form of law-bound living because I just can't see the truth they've come to see. Just because the next guy believes something that seems to go beyond what I hold to doesn't mean it's really the next step. For it may be a side-step or a back-step.

The fact is that I believe Christ came to save the world, and that he did so ... and that it was not hypothetical, either. I just don't confine it to our appearance-based demands of what the world is.

Please know that I did not write this to shut you up, but to challenge you to consider something else.

Love, Jim :)


      

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Buddy
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Posted: Jan-29-07 at 9:47am | IP Logged  

Graceman,

Please don't stop being provacative (such a sexy word, provacative).  I love this forum because so many things can be discussed and explored that would otherwise get shut down elsewhere.  

Buddy

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luvin
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Posted: Jan-29-07 at 10:13am | IP Logged  

 

Edited by luvin on Jan-29-07 at 10:13am


      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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Connie
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Posted: Jan-29-07 at 10:22am | IP Logged  

I agree Buddy, it's the spirit of the discussion that imparts life. 

Chris you're always a 'grace' man, so don't worry about disagreements. 



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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graceman
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Posted: Jan-30-07 at 9:51am | IP Logged  

Thanks for the kind responses...the ongoing testimony of Christ within, the whole reason He brought me here in the first place.
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luvin
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Posted: Jan-30-07 at 4:01pm | IP Logged  

Chris Ive always thought you were a real neat dude!

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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Dave S
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Posted: Jan-30-07 at 7:01pm | IP Logged  

I think I'm going to try and be less provocative...if that's possible. 

Chris

You are not provocative in any shape or form , only a suggestion from another/s may lead you to believe that you are.

Keep what is precious to you AS precious to you, and simply watch it develop in others. Be patient.

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luvin
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Posted: Jul-05-10 at 2:14pm | IP Logged  

the shovel wrote:
Chickenlips wrote:
I always have to ask this question... if man is not free to choose, then what is the point of belief?  "Though not seeing, they still believe..."  If we have no choice but to believe, then the whole thing in my mind would be nothing more than spiritual semantics.  I think the greatest glory for God is found in man being totally free -- free to receive His love, or reject it as it were.  Free to accept or reject God Himself.  In fact, faith really is the ability that God gives to man to receive the things of God.


Hi Mike! :)

This is pretty much how I used to see it, and I still have to admit that logically it makes a lot of sense. It's also only through such reasoning that faith seems to be spiritual semantics. I don't think belief has a point. It is what it is, and it is a testimony to the miraculous working of God in us. None have truly sought after God, and the fact that you and I have has to say something about something HE has done and not us. If we ask why we believe while others don't and we come up with any other reason than the grace of God we'll only end up testifying to man.

Chickenlips wrote:
I like 1 Cor 4:7 -- "What do you have that you have not received, and if you have indeed recieved it, then what to you have to boast in?"


I like this statement, too. It's a very sobering question that's based upon the miraculous life we have miraculously received.

Chickenlips wrote:
"Faith comes by hearing..."   An ear does not create sound, it receives it.  So does faith.  For too long I tried to live by a faith that generated the work of God.  Because of an allergy, my ears will ring loudly -- I drives me as crazy as my ear generates sound of its own.  Ears are not created  for that purpose and neither is faith.  Both ears and faith are RECEPTORS.


Yeah, me too. My ears ring all the time and the ringing just got louder this past fall after I was recovering from illness. I wish I could just hear nothing when it's quiet. I guess I played too much loud rock music in the band and put my head too close to the speakers. Then again, my dad didn't listen to loud music and his ears rang all the time too when he was older.

"He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
"Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

The hearing itself is miraculous for it designates that we are of God. No doubt it can be said that we chose him, but that is only looking at it pragmatically. Jesus said that his sheep hears his voice and they followed him. Just notice the lack of wording on John's part indicating that faith somehow boiled down to some kind of choice. Actually, John says differently:

"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

This is totally miraculous. Whatever this believing and receiving is it has nothing to do with the will of the flesh or of the will of man. Also, notice how it says that no one received him, and then John writes, "But as many as received him". John presents this apparent contradiction again:

"What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true."

If no one receives his testimony, then how can their be those who have received his testimony? He slaps them right together to express the miraculousness of the whole thing.


Chickenlips wrote:
It is all about the pleasure of God, and the thrill He gets out of free moral beings turning to Him, receiving what He has to give, and responding to Him.  So it is with God and His bride -- US!  he desires us to be active participants, willing and eager so to speak.  He does not have any desire to rape or force us to Himself.  He is patient, gentle, loving and kind.  Does not seek His own way.  Bears all things, beleives all things, endures all things.  He is faithful and true. Freedom is exactly that.  Freedom with no strings attached, expecting nothing in return. that freedom makes me WANT to return and serve and love.  It's His kindness, love and grace that draw me back EVERY time.


I'm not sure where you get this idea of "the thrill He gets out of free moral beings turning to Him" when the free moral beings all rejected him. And the objection that anything other than man being able to make the choice would result in rape is only man's reasoning, not God's. Me thinks we confuse him with what we have known of the flesh.

Jim :)


This is another EXCELLENT encouragement in the Truth. Thank you so much Jim. I "see" it now.


      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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