Eternal Predestination vs. Perfect Justice

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by BC, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. BC

    BC Inactive User

    To my mind, there is one major issue for the Doctrines of Grace to contend with:

    It is the testimony of Scripture that God has chosen His elect from before the foundation of the world and saves them.

    The Q is this: How can any man reconcile this doctrine with the perfect justice of God? i.e. where is the justice when condemning the non-elect to eternal damnation? If men were predestined to their fates from before the foundation of the world, where is the justice? You may call this hyper-calvinism but isn't that the logical conclusion?

    Please don't direct me to other books - I'm sure many great authors have written on this thorny subject. I'd simply like to have a discussion about these issues.

    Thanks for your responses,
    Bibin

    [Edited on 4-8-2004 by Bibin]
     
  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:0a26b8f9f3][i:0a26b8f9f3]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:0a26b8f9f3]
    To my mind, there is one major issue for the Doctrines of Grace to contend with:

    It is the testimony of Scripture that God has chosen His elect from before the foundation of the world and saves them.

    The Q is this: How can any man reconcile this doctrine with the perfect justice of God? i.e. where is the justice when condemning the non-elect to eternal damnation? If men were predestined to their fates from before the foundation of the world, where is the justice? You may call this hyper-calvinism but isn't that the logical conclusion?

    Please don't direct me to other books - I'm sure many great authors have written on this thorny subject. I'd simply like to have a discussion about these issues.

    Thanks for your responses,
    Bibin

    [Edited on 4-8-2004 by Bibin] [/quote:0a26b8f9f3]

    bibin,
    You write:
    "where is the justice when condemning the non-elect to eternal damnation?"

    Keep this in mind when approaching this doctrine:
    All men are condemned! Roman 3:23
    It is Gods grace that the reformed are humbled by. God passes over some. All deserve justice; even the elect.
    Look what Peter says:

    1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

    We are scarcely saved; barely!
     
  3. Optimus

    Optimus Puritan Board Freshman

    Romans 9
    11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
    14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
    "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
     
  4. JWJ

    JWJ Puritan Board Freshman

    This is where one might see the infra vs. supra views. However the question is-- is God unjust if He hates (reprobates) some before any works (Rom. 9) including the "corporate" work of the fall? The answer given in Roman 9 is NO.

    JWJ
     
  5. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:c3d54b1a92][i:c3d54b1a92]Originally posted by Optimus[/i:c3d54b1a92]
    Romans 9
    11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
    14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
    "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. [/quote:c3d54b1a92]

    One question,

    How many of you literally hates your mother, father, brothers, sisters or children?

    (Luke 14:26)
    "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
     
  6. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:3893108530][i:3893108530]Originally posted by JWJ[/i:3893108530]
    This is where one might see the infra vs. supra views. However the question is-- is God unjust if He hates (reprobates) some before any works (Rom. 9) including the "corporate" work of the fall? The answer given in Roman 9 is NO.

    JWJ [/quote:3893108530]

    JWJ,
    Actually, the supra/infra doctrine does not affect the rationale. Supra does not mean that God chose men prior to the fall and reprobated them without reason. The sin principle is always at the forefront of the premise; supra or infra.
     
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:bbb96d7ada][i:bbb96d7ada]Originally posted by CajunBibleBeliever[/i:bbb96d7ada]
    [quote:bbb96d7ada][i:bbb96d7ada]Originally posted by Optimus[/i:bbb96d7ada]
    Romans 9
    11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
    14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
    "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. [/quote:bbb96d7ada]

    One question,

    How many of you literally hates your mother, father, brothers, sisters or children?

    (Luke 14:26)
    "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." [/quote:bbb96d7ada]

    CB,
    Is your question posed to compare the hatred God had toward Esau and how Jesus makes a point how our devotion to Him should be? If so, the comparrison is NOT accurate. First off, Gods hatred toward Esau is supernatural. It cannot be compared to our hatred. Generally the hatred of men is sinful; God does not sin. Christs intent was to convey that our devotion to Him should be so vigorous that in comparrison, it may even seem as if we hate our mother, father, sister, brother..........

    [Edited on 4-9-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  8. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    [quote:5392c2f4a7]
    How many of you literally hates your mother, father, brothers, sisters or children?
    [/quote:5392c2f4a7]

    In comparrison to loving Christ, we are to hate our family. The Greek "miseow" MEANS "hate". It does not eman love less. It does not mean a "lesser love." THere is no Greek word for "loved less." Christ's intention here is not to diminish our family, but for us to place him int he supreme position. If you love your family even remotely as mcuh as you love Christ, then you are an idolater. Christ says that in comparrison to Him, we should hate them. He is not mincing words. The cotnext and Greek fo the passage is very clear. Dont minimize the use of the word. Each time it is used, it refers to hatred:

    Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

    John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

    John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    John 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

    1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

    Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

    These are the passges used by the Greek word.

    Don't mess this up. Romans 9:13, "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

    Indicative aorist active of "miseo" for this verse.

    Hate means hate. Don't lessen it. Jesus is supreme. let us believe that over all things. Oftentimes I hear: "Oh, he cannot possibly mean hate my family, [i:5392c2f4a7]REALLY.[/i:5392c2f4a7]" Actually, He does. In comparrison to Him, everything else is to be despised on a comparitive level.

    this does no damage to the 5th commandment - we are to honor them as our parents, but hate them in comparrison to loving the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  9. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Matthew,

    So can you use the same premise that God did not literally hate Esau, but had a lesser degree of love for him or preferred Jacob over Esau?
     
  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    CBB,
    When God says he hates sin, do you believe He means he "loves it less" than he does righteousness? No, He hates it. This definition is the redefining present in most non reformed circles. It helps the Arminian justify this paramount verse and chapter.

    Use a lexicon and do a comparison where the word "hate" (strongs #8130) is used. You will be suprised to see that the term means just what it says.
     
  11. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:335ebb59c2][i:335ebb59c2]Originally posted by CajunBibleBeliever[/i:335ebb59c2]
    Matthew,

    So can you use the same premise that God did not literally hate Esau, but had a lesser degree of love for him or preferred Jacob over Esau? [/quote:335ebb59c2]

    You cannot use that premise. Gods hatred is a HOLY hatred. Mans hatred is sin, pure and simple, no matter how we try to water it down it will always fall way short of Holy.


    This seems like a separate thread from the original so I will focus my attention back to the original poster. Hopefully I can provide a simple answer that is easily understood when I come back to this thread.

    [Edited on 4-10-2004 by A_Wild_Boar]
     
  12. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:c7c9a9e567][i:c7c9a9e567]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:c7c9a9e567]
    The Q is this: How can any man reconcile this doctrine with the perfect justice of God? i.e. where is the justice when condemning the non-elect to eternal damnation? If men were predestined to their fates from before the foundation of the world, where is the justice? You may call this hyper-calvinism but isn't that the logical conclusion?

    [Edited on 4-8-2004 by Bibin] [/quote:c7c9a9e567]

    Right now I can only suggest a good study on Gods Sovereignty and mans responsibility.
     
  13. BC

    BC Inactive User

    ok, let me ask a simple Q to all:

    Does man have a free will? Is it the gift of God or is that an illusion? What is the reformed teaching on this?

    (make that 3 Qs!)

    [Edited on 4-10-2004 by Bibin]
     
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:1060d2312d][i:1060d2312d]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:1060d2312d]
    ok, let me ask a simple Q to all:

    Does man have a free will? [/quote:1060d2312d]

    Man is either a slave to sin or a slave to God. There is no such thing as a will that is free. You are bent toward either rightousness or sin.

    Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
    Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
    Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
    Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
    Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
    Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
    Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    [quote:1060d2312d]Is it the gift of God or is that an illusion? [/quote:1060d2312d]

    The illusion is the lie of satan!

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through[color=Red:1060d2312d] faith[/color:1060d2312d]; and that not of yourselves: [color=Black:1060d2312d]it is the gift of God[/color:1060d2312d]:

    Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; [color=Blue:1060d2312d]but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord[/color:1060d2312d].


    [quote:1060d2312d]What is the reformed teaching on this?[/quote:1060d2312d]
    See above

    (make that 3 Qs!)

    Here's a link or two..........
    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/freewill_chantry.html

    http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/reisinger/gwmwfwcontents.htm


    [Edited on 4-10-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  15. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    If free will played a part in salvation then you would have to rewrite Eph 2:8 to say- - -

    For by grace are ye saved because of your faith; and that is from yourselves: it is your gift of God.
     
  16. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:f3f6114159][i:f3f6114159]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:f3f6114159]
    ok, let me ask a simple Q to all:

    Does man have a free will? Is it the gift of God or is that an illusion? What is the reformed teaching on this?
    [/quote:f3f6114159]

    You first need to understand just what the will is. Is it sovereign or servant? Does your will persuade your choices arbitrarily? Or are your choices influenced by something.

    If we make choices without influence, then why would one prefer water over a handful of sand when we are thirsty? If our will were truly free, then what would it matter if one choice were made over another? The choice was free.

    Now I know you understand our choices are influenced in some way. It's obvious for sure. But why do we make the choices we make?

    Are we robots with no choice in the matters of things? Certainly not. Our choices are not limited by anyone other than ourselves. When we say that our will is not free, we are not saying that we are robots with no minds and ability to choose for ourselves. It's obvious that we can make decisions and choose to our likings. We are not scripted idiots just playing a part in someone's play.

    Now if that is the case, and we make our own decisions, then why do we say that our will is not free? Because our will is servant to our likes. You probably agree. You chose water over sand when you thirst, because that's what you prefer. Especially in that instance.

    So is our will free? We come to the conclusion that the will is not arbitrary and wild, yet is servant to our desires. We come to the conclusion that we are not restricted by anyone in the choices we make and are not mindless robots. We both agree on those two things I am sure.

    But since we make the choices ourselves without any scripted influence. Can we call it free since it is not restrained by anyone other than ourselves? The answer is still no. That is what we say the will is not free. It is servant. As a sinner your will is servant to your nature, or your preferences. As a sinner your preferences are to reject God and His calling. Yes you are free to make the decision and choices you want, but they are still servant to your sinful nature.


    [Edited on 4-10-2004 by A_Wild_Boar]
     
  17. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

     
  18. BC

    BC Inactive User

    Thanks Scott & Roger.

    Roger, you haven't done such a bad job of explaining it. If there is one thing I grasped from your msg, it is that our will is subservient to our desires and that is great insight for me. I never thought of it that way.

    First, let me tell you that not for one moment did I intend to suggest that man can will himself to salvation - No way. Ephesians 1 is just one such perfect passage that tells us we're chosen - not that we choose.

    What I wanted to confirm is that we're not puppets! Because that seems like we're trying to make God fit in a box. Surely, if we're made in the image of God, we have the power of choice (& yes, I understand it is subject to our nature).

    My Q is this & it still reflects my original intent in starting this thread:

    Is God being unjust in choosing some and not all? Yes, grace, grace, grace but why not grace for all?

    Or am I guilty of putting God in a box myself>?

    I guess I'll end up in Job's situation where I simply cannot question such things as it is not for me to know. But if it be revealed in Scripture, I'd like to know.

    Again the Q is this: Whose responsibility is salvation? it is God and God alone.

    Then, when God, on the last day, will hold one of the non-elect responsible for his eternal damnation, can the non-elect dare ask - you were responsible, why didn't you save me?
     
  19. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bibin,
    Please read my original response because I explained it there.
     
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:24f964b60f][i:24f964b60f]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:24f964b60f]

    What I wanted to confirm is that we're not puppets! Because that seems like we're trying to make God fit in a box. Surely, if we're made in the image of God, we have the power of choice (& yes, I understand it is subject to our nature).[/quote:24f964b60f]

    You already have the information. You said it: God chose us. Salvation is a gift, through faith. Faith is from God. men cannot muster up faith (except the intellectual kind, which is not salvific). Do men have a choice in the process of salvation?

    Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?

    Did Paul have a choice in his salvation? Was Paul looking for God? no, in fact he was looking to kill some Christians when God turned him around in his tracks. After we are saved, we cannot undo that which God miraculaously performs. In my case, I tried. At one time, early in my walk, I tried to forget about my salvation. I tried to block out the scriptures and deny what God did. This lasted about 2 months. So, in regards to the miracle of regeneration. men have no choice. After men are saved, we have a different type of choice; it is not salvific. It is that of obediance or rebellion. Every day we choose (in this way). We are not puppets! However, Gods word says:

    Phi 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    Here's the guarantee! A good read on the subject is "Chosen by God" by R.C. Sproul.

    [quote:24f964b60f]My Q is this & it still reflects my original intent in starting this thread:

    Is God being unjust in choosing some and not all? Yes, grace, grace, grace but why not grace for all?

    Or am I guilty of putting God in a box myself?[/quote:24f964b60f]


    Optimus (earlier above) quoted Romans 9 which clearly answers your question. Is their unrighteousness with God, God forbid!


    See my original post to you.........


    [quote:24f964b60f]I guess I'll end up in Job's situation where I simply cannot question such things as it is not for me to know. But if it be revealed in Scripture, I'd like to know.[/quote:24f964b60f]

    It is scriptural. The passages are right [email protected]@

    [quote:24f964b60f]Again the Q is this: Whose responsibility is salvation? it is God and God alone.[/quote:24f964b60f]

    The scriptures say:

    Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.


    Men have a responsibility. Men must repent. They must accept. They must confess, etc. etc. men that do not repent, do not confess, do not receive, will perish for eternity. Whose responsibility is that? God? Men? Men! It is men whom will perish for their sin and rebellion.

    [quote:24f964b60f]Then, when God, on the last day, will hold one of the non-elect responsible for his eternal damnation, can the non-elect dare ask - you were responsible, why didn't you save me? [/quote:24f964b60f]

    See above

    Hope this helps.


    [Edited on 4-10-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  21. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    Bibin,

    I will try to reply when I get the chance. I am at work right now and really dont have the time to compile my thoughts. I think I know how to answer your question so you will understand. I had an extremely hard time with the docterines of Grace. I promise I will get back to you on this.
     
  22. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    [quote:8d661ad44b]Bibin
    Then, when God, on the last day, will hold one of the non-elect responsible for his eternal damnation, can the non-elect dare ask - you were responsible, why didn't you save me?[/quote:8d661ad44b]First of all we really need to attempt to consider the reaction of the lost when they are before the judgment seat. I don't think they'll be asking any questions. Their guilt will be apparent to them, they'll have no recourse and they'll know it. They will tremble in the face of God, unable to do more than grovel. Consider the rich man and Lazarus. He didn't ask for deliverance. Consider Isaiah in the presence of God (Is 6), Ezekiel, Peter, Paul, John. None of these men, all elect, could stand in the presence of God. How much less so one who's rejected God?

    Second of all, that's really not the question to be asking. We all deserve eternal damnation because of our depravity. The question to be askings is[quote:8d661ad44b]Why would the holy, perfect, righteous Creator of the universe condescend to come in abject humiliation, suffering at the very hands of those He was delivering, and die a gruesome death on a cross in my place, in order that I could be delived from the eternal torment that I so richly deserve?[/quote:8d661ad44b]God's is glorified in the display of his perfections.
    His justice is perfect - the wicked shall be punished.
    His grace is perfect - The just shall live by faith, which is a gift of God itself, not of works, that the elect cannot boast in anything but Jesus.
     
  23. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:115679d0a0][i:115679d0a0]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:115679d0a0]
    Is God being unjust in choosing some and not all? Yes, grace, grace, grace but why not grace for all?

    Or am I guilty of putting God in a box myself? [/quote:115679d0a0]
    I think you need to make a distinction. Condemnation is the result of sin. Election and reprobation are God's soveriegn choice apart from any works of men. The reprobate are not rejected because of their sin, but because God soveriegnly chose to leave them in their sin. But they are condemned and judged for their sin.

    God is not obligated to save anyone. You must keep that in mind. So, who are we to question why, in His infinite wisdom and soveriegn love, he only chooses to save some? Hope this helps.
     
  24. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:52b939a769][i:52b939a769]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:52b939a769]
    My Q is this & it still reflects my original intent in starting this thread:

    Is God being unjust in choosing some and not all? Yes, grace, grace, grace but why not grace for all? [/quote:52b939a769]

    Why not grace for all? Why not damnation for all? God has reasons that we cannot even comprehend. We often try to hold him to our view of justice Your next question adresses just why.

    [quote:52b939a769][i:52b939a769]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:52b939a769]Or am I guilty of putting God in a box myself>?[/quote:52b939a769]

    We all do that some times in our life. I know box is the word we oftern use. But what this box usually ends up resembling is,,, man. We often try to put God into a man and view Him as one. We think that His justice is our Justice, His ways, ours and so on. Many times we do not know it and are not aware, many times when we think we are doing everything we can to not "put God in a box" we are doing just that. Even worse we are making God into our image.

    [quote:52b939a769][i:52b939a769]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:52b939a769]I guess I'll end up in Job's situation where I simply cannot question such things as it is not for me to know. But if it be revealed in Scripture, I'd like to know.[/quote:52b939a769]

    Job certainly found out the hard way.
    Job42
    "1 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2"I know that You can do verything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You."


    [quote:52b939a769][i:52b939a769]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:52b939a769]Again the Q is this: Whose responsibility is salvation? it is God and God alone.[/quote:52b939a769]

    Man is responsible. Scripture makes that crystal clear. Just because man is not able does not take away from his responsibility. Just because God can make man able does not mean He is obligated to make anyone able.


    [quote:52b939a769][i:52b939a769]Originally posted by Bibin[/i:52b939a769]Then, when God, on the last day, will hold one of the non-elect responsible for his eternal damnation, can the non-elect dare ask - you were responsible, why didn't you save me? [/quote:52b939a769]

    And only the God haters and goats would assume God was responsible for their sins. The elect will decalre as Job has "3 Then Job answered the LORD and said:


    4"Behold, I am vile;
    What shall I answer You?
    I lay my hand over my mouth.
    "

    They realize their error. The damned do not and care not, they will seek to blame God.

    And perhaps God will say to them like He said to Job "8"Would you indeed annul My judgment?
    Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
    "
     
  25. BC

    BC Inactive User

    Thank you all so much for responding to my queries - I certainly have a better understanding of this subject thanks to all your responses.

    God bless you all!

    Love,
    Bibin
     
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