Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 05, 2009

Does Jesus Draw All People to Himself? A Brief Examination of John 12:32

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." (ESV)

There are some who would say that this verse means that Jesus will literally draw all men to Himself and that the word "all" here literally means "all." However, this begs several questions including the question to whom the word "all" refers? Just stating matter of factly that "all" means "all" here is a meaningless statement unless we identify precisely what the Apostle John meant here.

In doing this study I want first of all to deal with this verse in isolation from its context and then I will briefly consider the immediate context. However, my real intention here is to compare the verse with other verses in the Gospel of John which deal with the term "draw."

The first problem we must engage is the fact that the word "people" does not occur in the verse at all. In the NIV, KJV, and NASB the word supplied is "men" rather than "people" but in both cases the word is not in the Koine Greek but is supplied by inference in the English translation to make the verse make sense. In Greek John 12:32 reads as follows:

John 12:32 κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν. (John 12:32 TISCHENDORF)

[Cf.  John 12:32 Biblos Interlinear Bible].

(Note: You will need the Athena font to view this verse in Greek. Or go to this page and follow the instructions there: Greek Bible.)

First, let us give you a transliterated Greek version:

John 12:32 kago ean hupsotho ek teys geys, pantas helkuso pros emauton.

Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of the Greek words and their parts of speech I will go straight to the point here. In this case I have put the word which is not in the original Greek in italics.

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." (ESV)

John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (NIV)

John 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (NKJV)

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (KJV)

The Greek word for "all" here is "pantas" which is an adjective from the root word, pas. When pas is used without an article it usually has a distributive significance as in "each" or in "all." Since the word pantas or pas has no article, we can then take it in the distributive sense. Also, since the adjective here has no noun to modify, most translations supply a noun which is implied in the original Greek. Since the word "pantas" is in the masculine plural form, the supplied word is "mankind" or "people." If it were in the neuter, then the word "pantas" would imply "everything" rather than "people." (See page 291, An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels, "John," by Wieland Willker, 2007).

Also, it might be helpful to consider what Bruce Metzger says in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament:

12:32 πάντας ἑλκύσω {D} Since the reading πάντα, supported by p66 aleph* D it vg syr.s.p.pal, cop.sa.bo.ach.2, goth, eth, geo.1, al, is ambiguous ("everyone," "all things," "all"), it is possible that copyists, desiring to remove the ambiguity, added a sigma. A majority of the Committee, however, favored the reading πάντας because of the weight of its external attestation and because it appears to be more congruent with Johannine theology. The reading πάντα, which suggests ideas of a cosmic redemption, may have arisen under the influence of Col. 1.16-17 and/or Gnostic speculation. [Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. (Germany: United Bible Societies, 1971. Corrected edition, 1975.), p. 238.)

So now we have two exegetical problems with which we must deal. There is no noun supplied for the adjective "pantas" or "all". And we have a textual problem. Some manuscripts had the word "panta" which would indeed mean there is a universal redemption or a "cosmic" redemption. Some scholars could read a universalist salvation of every single individual here. Others would want to read a "hypothetical" redemption into the text, implying that Jesus "potentially" draws all men to himself. Since the majority of scholars go with "pantas" and not "panta," the universalist reading and the hypothetical universalist reading are cancelled out from the beginning.

Thus, John's intention here is not to say that every single individual in the entire world (universalism) would be drawn to Jesus. Rather "all" is to be understood here in a distributive sense. In grammar the term "distributive" has a specific meaning: Grammar. referring to the members of a group individually, as the adjectives each and every. (From Dictionary.com). Thus in John 12:32 the text is saying that particular individuals out of the total number of individuals within the group will be drawn to Jesus. Since the context and the rest of the Scriptures clearly show that not every single individual is actually drawn to Jesus, in this case "all" means only those who are actually drawn. Thus, "all" is to be taken in the distributive sense of individuals within the group or "all" but not necessarily "all" as in every single one of the individuals included in the group or in the "all."

The Expositor's Bible Commentary offers a helpful comment here:

"All men" does not imply that all men will ultimately be saved; instead, it means that Christ draws men to himself indiscriminately, without regard to nationality, race, or status. Jesus' utterance was prompted by the presence of the Greek Gentiles and should be evaluated by the setting of the occasion. There is, however, a clear differentiation between believers and unbelievers, between the saved and the lost, in all the Johannine writings (John 1:11; 3:18, 36; 5:29; 6:40, 53, 64; 8:44; 1 John 3:10, 15; 5:12).

[John 12:32. Expositor's Bible Commentary, New Testament. Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. J. D. Douglas, Assoc. Ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976-1992). Electronic Edition.]

It is particularly irritating when dogmatic statements are made without qualification regarding the meaning of "all" in John 12:32. It is simply unjustified to assert that "all" always means "all" when careful exegesis in different contexts clearly shows that "pas" or "all" has different meanings depending on the grammar and syntax and context of its use in a given verse of the Bible. Anyone who consults a basic Greek lexicon can see this. Even Strong's Concordance has a basic lexicon which shows this sort of information.

The short of it is that John 12:32 does not give a blanket endorsement to the Arminian view or the Amyraldian view where there is some sort of hypothetical election or general election of all men. In fact John 6:37, 44, 65 shows that the drawing is particularized to those who actually do come and not to every single individual without exception. Clearly the Bible as a whole points toward a particular election of individuals who are called out of the whole of humankind.  (Cf. John 12:38-39).

In the future I will deal with other verses that are claimed by the Arminian and Amyraldian side but which are not in agreement with the teaching of Scripture as a whole. While those who oppose Calvinism on the basis that Calvinist arguments are more "logical" than biblical, I intend to show that not only are the Reformed readings of the text the most biblical but that they are also the most natural and logical readings. The Arminian/Amyraldian views fail on both counts. They are unbiblical and they are logically inconsistent.

The real irony is that the Amyraldian view falsely claims to be "Calvinist," while at the same time opposing Calvinism on several points. Calvin's view of "all" in John 12:32 clearly shows his commitment to unconditional and particular election:

I will draw all men to myself. The word "all", which he employs, must be understood to refer to the children of God, who belong to his flock. Yet I agree with Chrysostom, who says that Christ used the universal term, "all", because the Church was to be gathered equally from among Gentiles and Jews, according to that saying, "There shall be one shepherd, and one sheepfold, (John 10:16.)" The old Latin translation has, "I will draw all things to me"; and Augustine maintains that we ought to read it in that manner; but the agreement of all the Greek manuscripts ought to have greater weight with us. [Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel of John, 12:32]

Amazingly, even in Calvin's day the textual critics were aware that this was not a universalist verse. Theologically speaking, God is primary in our reading of Scripture. Genesis 1:1 lays out the theological approach we should all observe: "In the beginning God..."



Billy said...

I preached this text on the Feast of the Holy Cross and had very similar findings.

The one thing I would note though is that Christ's redemption is, I believe, cosmic. That is the world is returning to Eden. That is why Scripture starts and ends in a garden. Christ's redemption is intended to make things "good", as they were declared to be before the infection of sin. St. Paul attests to this also when he speaks of the "creation groaning until now". And John also does in the great verse from the third chapter.

But just because the redemption is cosmic does not mean that all will be drawn.

I have never heard the term "amraldyian". Is that meant to mean that Christ has elected some and he draws them, but that part of the elect will reject him?

I would very much like to debate the issue of election. While I definitely tend to side with Calvin and the Calvinistic interpretation of Augustine, the greeting of Peter has often given me pause. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God." (I Pet. 1:2a) Are the elect chosen in the mind of God before creation at "random" or are they elect based on God's knowledge of their future actions?

I know the typical response to this for a Calvinist is to go to Romans 9 and the passage about Esau. But I actually know some very credible interpreters who see that passage differently than Calvinists. I would be happy though to be pointed to other Scriptures which would indicate more stronly the Calvinist idea of election.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The "cosmic" view is impossible based on the Greek as I already pointed out from Metzger's commentary. The text is pantas and not panta. The neuter word would be required for the verse to refer to "all things." That's a very minor reading in the textual evidence. The majority of the witnesses all say "pantas". It's refering to a distributive, i.e., individual persons within the group.

As for your comment about you lean to the Calvinist view... I don't think you do. You're leaning toward the Arminian view, or foreknowledge. This is illogical since if God foreknows something, then it is certain to happen and therefore predestined.... Which means God must have decreed it or else it would have happened in the first place. Besides, God sees before creation that Adam would fall, then God sees that the mass of humanity would be cursed and damned. It is out of this mass of humanity that God then elects by His sovereign choice. God is never capricious but acts according to His own good pleasure or plan.

It would be foolish to accuse God of being "capricious." God doesn't foresee that we will choose Christ. He foresees that no one will choose Christ. No, not even one. I would strongly suggest that you take the time to read Luther's Bondage of the Will. Luther pretty much devastates the arguments of Erasmus... AND the arguments of the semi-pelagians, including the Arminians. As Luther says, if there is a God then free will is impossible. Because God is sovereign does whatever He pleases.

Charlie J. Ray said...

BTW, I was an Arminian for over 10 years and graduated from 2 Arminian schools. I know that position inside out and I found it was unconvincing because it ultimately makes God less than God. The logical conclusion of Arminianism is a modified deism or even Open Theism.

Charlie J. Ray said...

That should have been, "would NOT have happened in the first place."

Charlie J. Ray said...

Amyraldianism claims to be 4 point Calvinism. They accept everything except particular atonement or limited atonement. Unfortunately, they also believe that this implies a "hypothetical" election in addition to special election. This means they are actually only 3 point Calvinists.

Amyraldianism was condemned by the Formula Consensus Helvetica, while Arminianism was condemned by the Canons of Dordt.

Anonymous said...

I claim to be neither Calvinistic or Armenian, nor even Amyraldianism which I have never heard of. I just try to study the Bible and let God show me what He wills to show me. I have several disagreements with your argument. The whole basis for your argument of God not drawing everyone is in clear condradiction of several passages. The first of which is ACts 17:30 where Paul writes saying, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent," It goes on to say in verse 31 that God will judge all the world in righteousness by Jesus. Your view would conclude that God commands everyone to repent but then only allows some to do so. How can He command everyone to repent while only allowing a few to do so? Logically that statement doesn't make any sense. You might run to Jacob and Esau saying that God clearly did not choose Esau, but wouldn't you agree that Esau had the same chances that Jacob did in hearing the gospel from Isaac? That Esau still had the same responsibility to repent as Jacob did?

Romans 1:20-32 is clear in its meaning that those who are not saved do so knowingly, they knowingly turn away from God. This does not imply that God simply does not draw but that when drawn they turn away. They, "Exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator," verse 25.

John 3:16 simply states that God loved the world in giving Jesus and that whomever believes in Jesus will not die (spiritually). If God only chose a select few wouldn't this verse read that whomever God has elected will be not die (spiritually).

You make an incorrect assumption that simply because God draws, people are saved. Do you not believe that Judas was drawn when he walked with Jesus those three years? Yet the Scriptures call him the "Son of Perdition." He obviously wasn't a saved man, yet God chose him and drew him. In the end Judas rejected God.

You quote Luther who said that we don't have free will because that somehow undeifies God yet you would be unable to harmonize that thought with the Garden of Eden and Adam's original sin. If Adam didn't have free will to choose wheter or not he should eat from the tree it would mean that God wanted Adam to eat of that tree. Adam eating from the tree was clearly sin so how could you say that God wanted Adam to sin? The same argument could be made with David and Bathsheba in I Samuel. Obviously God used it for His honor and glory with Solomon being the eventual outcome from that union, but would you go so far as to say that God wanted David to have an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and kill her husband? I would surely hope not.

All of this to say that it is possible for God to draw people and for them to turn away. For a perfect example look at the Old Testament children of Israel. How many times did He draw them and they said no? Too numerous to mention, but it is obvious it happened. You try to harmonize John 12:32 by saying that God only draws those who will be saved but that does not harmonize with the rest of Scriptures. Please pray on this matter and let God show you what is true in Scriptures. I will do the same because I know that I don't even have the faintest grasp of everything in the Bible and that God shows me something new everyday.

God Bless


Charlie J. Ray said...

Joseph, avoiding giving your position a label or description does not remove the fact that your position is basically either Arminian or worse, semi-pelagian or even pelagian. Pelagianism is a heresy of the 4th century and was universally condemned by the majority of the Christian churches of the day.

Your comment about Adam having free will is absolutely correct. Adam did have free will prior to the fall because he had not yet rebelled nor had he been corrupted by sin in his human nature at that point. Adam was perfect prior to the fall. After the fall Adam became a sinner and his human nature had become totally and completely infiltrated by sin. So the Bible says that all of Adam's descendants were born with a sinful nature and were also guilty of Adam's original sin because Adam is the federal head of the human race.

Likewise, your contention that God "allows" or "disallows" people to obey the command to repent is misleading. First of all, God simply turned Adam's descendants over to their own depraved nature to do what they want, which they "freely" do. Sinners naturally want to sin because their nature is now sinful and corrupt. (Genesis 6:3ff; Romans 3:9-21; Psalm 58:3; Psalm 51:5; Ephesisans 2:3). Thus, God can or could justly condemn the entire human race because all are guilty of Adam's original sin because it is "imputed" or "reckoned" against us since Adam represented us all. (Romans 5:12-13, 18-19). But Genesis 6:5ff clearly shows that God was angry with the entire human race because the entire race was corrupt.

Also, John 6:37, 39, 44, 65 clearly says that not everyone is drawn to God but only those who are drawn by the Father actually respond and come to Jesus. John 17:6, 9, 11 also particularize and say that only those given to Jesus by the Father are saved.

The bottom line here is that God is not obligated to save sinners. He saves sinners based on His mercy and kindness and not out of obligation. Thus, Romans 9:18 says God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. God should, based on justice, damn us all without exception. Instead, God has mercy on some of the sinners within the entire race of fallen sinners. Who are we to argue with God about who he will save when all deserve hell?

And how can you blame God for turning the wicked over to their own wickedness (Romans 1:18ff; James 1:13-15). Even more to the point, James 1:16-18 teaches that God sovereignly brings us out of sin by "his own will."

We are fully accountable for our sins as free moral agents. But left to our own devices not one of us would come to Christ. We need grace given particularly to us. This is a grace that never fails to do what God sends it to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10).

If it is possible for sinners to turn away from God's overpowering grace and to reject His drawing, then in effect you're saying that sin is more powerful than God and more powerful than grace. Your view is that God really isn't God. Your theology accuses God of injustice and exalts "free will" above God.

The Bible clearly says there is no free will in the biblical sense because those who sin are "slaves" to sin and only God can break this bondage (John 8:31-47).

Jesus clearly taught that election is in God's hands because he tells the Pharisees that they are "not of God" because "whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God." (John 12:47).

Joseph, essentially, your view denies that mankind as a whole is sinful. If all men have "free will", then the question is begged, why do the vast majority refuse to accept Christ? Jesus clearly says that sinners are not "free" but "slaves" to sin.

I argue that God saves everyone He sovereignly decides to save. (Romans 9:14-24).

Sola gratia, sola fide, sola Scriptura, solus Christus, soli Deo gloria.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Joseph, I might add that God does not turn away even one person who truly repents and comes to him for salvation. The fact that we come to him in the first place is evidence enough of election. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and accept us into his family (John 1:12-13; 1 John 1:8-10).

kurt said...

Great debate.

One question Charlie, how is it that Adam could be perfect before the fall, but then choose to sin? Would his state of perfection not prevent him from choosing to sin?

It seems that, as with many things of God, there is large gap between apparently contradicting truths that our minds cannot bridge.

God chose us before time, yet he will save all who confess their sins and all who believe in His Son.

We are saved through faith, not works, yet he who goes on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth will not be saved.

We are quick to put qualifiers on these dichotomies, like "Well, the only people who CAN repent are those He chose" or "Yeah, works matter, but they are only evidence of genuine faith"

We refuse to accept both truths wholly, assuming that perhaps our minds are not designed to handle the full depths of the truths of God.

Just thinking out loud here. I fall on the Calvinist side... I just don't like it :)

Charlie J. Ray said...


You might want to investigate the logical concept known as "compatibilism." The Westminster Confession clearly says that God does not violate the will of man and that he works through through secondary causes. "... nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
" WCF 3.1

As for how Adam could have sinned, obviously it is because he had free will to choose good or evil and given he was tested he failed. Of course, free will does not necessarily have to be tested. Angels in heaven are proof enough of this since they are now sealed against falling and are elect.

The bottom line here is that God decreed the fall before creation. God could have prevented the fall simply by not putting Adam on an eternal probation. The test was apparently a perpetual one.

As for the apparent contradition between free moral agency and God's absolute sovereignty, there is no contradiction in God's mind and simply because we are limited in intellectual abilities does mean there are any actual contradictions. This is where Van Til gets it wrong. God is not irrational or illogical. Van Til's views are closer to neo-orthodoxy than anything else.



Charlie J. Ray said...

Kurt, I disagree that works are as important as you imply. The thief on the cross, Samson, Solomon, David, and a host of others in the Bible were terribly sinful human beings. They were not saved because they were more righteous than others but simply on the basis of God's pure mercy! Jacob was no better than Esau. If you read Romans 9 it is clearly God's sovereign choice which is the determining factor, not how sanctified we are! Deuteronomy 9:4-8, ESV.

kurt said...

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the dialog.

I need to dig into your fist post and learn about "compatibilism."

In reference to your second response about works being important, I want to clarify. I agree that our works do not bring us justification before God. As you mentioned, the thief on the cross next to Jesus is a perfect example.

However, there are several verses in the scriptures that speak to the importance of good works/deeds being important in the lives of believers.

If a person claims to have come to faith in Christ, but then never shows any signs of sanctification, can this person truly have a saving faith in Christ and has God called them?

Here are several verses that lead me to ask this:

James 1:22
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visitorphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 2
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

1 John 2:3
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says heabides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Matthew 5:19
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:48
48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

kurt said...

...a couple more that would not fit in one post:

John 15:1-6
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Heb 10:26
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The warning passages are there to motivate the elect to live sanctified lives. However, it is also true that they sin every day in thought, word and deed and in things done and left undone. The elect also sin in ignorance, thinking they have not sinned.

Matthew 5:19 and 5:48 are not saying that we are to live "mature" lives of sanctification but rather that the law reveals that we DO NOT exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees and even they are not perfect as God is perfect. God does not grade on a curve. You either keep the covenant of works and justify yourself OR you by faith accept the imputed righteousness of Christ who actively lived a perfect life for us. He also passively paid the penalty for sins by dying in our place and bearing our sins in his own body on tree. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made righteous.

In other words, at the moment of conversion you are as righteous as you will ever be. If you drop dead now or any other time you are still justified only by faith and not by your level of sanctification.

This does not mean we are not to live by faith or produce good works but rather that our good works are in no way salvific PERIOD. Those who suggest that without good works we are not justified are just semi-pelagians in sheep's clothing.

Salvation is always and forever by faith alone plus NOTHING. Otherwise we could never have any assurance of salvation because ALL sin daily.

This is not to say that we have a license to sin. It is not. But if we DO sin, all we need to do is to ask for God's gift of repentance and the gift of perseverance. We make our election and calling sure but Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith so there is never need for doubt. If we do sin we have an advocate with the Father. In other words, the emphasis is on grace and assurance, not eternal insecurity.

If I err it is on the side of antinomianism, not on the side of semi-pelagianism and arminianism.

There is no such thing as "cheap" grace since Christ purchased it with his precious and divine blood.

Hope this helps.

Charlie J. Ray said...

WHEN the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezek. xviii. 27.
I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Psalm li. 3.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Psalm li. 9.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm li. 17.
Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel ii. 13.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us. Daniel ix. 9, 10.
O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jer. x. 24. Psalm vi. 1.
Repent ye; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. St. Matt. iii. 2.
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. St. Luke xv. 18, 19.
Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psalm cxliii. 2.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 St. John i. 8, 9.

Cory Abouaf said...

God draws all people by His love. This is His intent. However, though the word of God, the Sword of the Spirit is meant to prick our hearts, to be drawn out of the water by the great fisherman, we must leave this painful hook in our hearts (circumsision and repentance - is our response). In Luke 7:31 says it all - To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ Though God has taken the first step in drawing, the drawing was never completed as faith is completed by works and works by faith Jms 2:22 God's drawing all men in one scripture and only draws some in others can only be understood in light of all other scriptures including the fact that Gods work of drawing wasn't completed by the peoples response.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Well, if "all means "every single individual person" is drawn by God, then surely everyone without exception will be saved? If grace is resistible, then the drawing is ineffectual and it is quite possible that no one at all will be actually drawn. But the clear meaning of the text is that God effectually draws all of His elect to saving faith and not one of them will resist His drawing. The text says they WILL come....

Out of the mass of all mankind, only the elect are actually saved or drawn. "All men" clearly refers to every "class" of men from among all the peoples of the earth.

The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say,`The Son of Man must be lifted up '? Who is this Son of Man?" (John 12:34 NKJ)
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (John 6:37 NKJ)
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44 NKJ)
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." (John 6:65 NKJ)

Charlie J. Ray said...

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (John 12:32 NKJ)

Keith Cannon said...

Joseph...who appears to be a layman. ..seems to have a more accurate grasp on the issue at hand than these other "scholars ".
The bible is absolutely clear that God calls all to Himself. Trying to say all is limited is either obtuse or disingenuous.
I can call all dogs to me but not all dogs will arrive at my doorstep. A poor metaphor but accurate nevertheless.
God is all onowing. God is all powerful. God is outside of time. God knows everyone that will accept Jesus Christ.
It does not mean that He forced them to. Free will...it exist perfectly with the idea of predestination because predestination is not a forced act upon others but is rather Hid awareness of what they will do. It is soo irritating when people can't seem to comprehend that God knowing all things (because He exists outside of time and knows all) that He is somehow manipulating , choosing to allow some to be saved and others not. That is an utterly non biblical perspective yet many people that call themselves christians adhere to that belief.
God calls all to Himself....not all will come..That is of no fault of God...it is a choice. The bible says throughout that we all have a choice. Those in hell have chosen it over heaven. Odd...the Bible is crystal clear on this issue.

Keith Cannon said...

I am not willing to spend my time going into detail how wrong you are.
Suffice enough for me is to say that you use the words in God's word in a manner that clearly disagrees and discredits God's word elsewhere.
If you attempt this then you will fail every time.
Whatever you say is a fact in God's word that thing must be in agreement with EVERY other verse in His word!

Keith Cannon said...

Anyone is saved because they recognize their sinful state and accept they can do nothing about it outside if the Grace of God. Without this acknowledgementioned God's grace will do nothing to save their souls.
God calls all men to c9me to himself. Not all will come. This is matter of fact lyrics because we all have free will.
Now...angels did have free will .As a result many fell with Lucifer. The ones that did not sin are sealed because they were wines to God...unlike humans. It doesn't take away from their free will to sin or not. Every christian that has acknowledged their sinful state and accepted Christ's work on the cross on their behalf is similarly sealed.

Keith Cannon said...

Yes...it says all. I guess someone on here will suggest that even though it says all it doesn't actually mean all.
It is preposterous. Ifone uses the term all then that means without exception.
So God/Christ will call all...except the ones that choose not to believe...therefore the all is actually something some predetermined elect? Sorry but that is anti scripture!
It reminds me of some cell providers "unlimited" data.
Fact us it is not unlimited. ..why because after a certain point the speed at which the data can be downloaded I'd limited. That reduction in sped significantly minimizes the amount of data that can be downloaded. ..hence...limited!
God is not disingenuous. All means all, unlimited means unlimited.
Sad that soo many christians are confused about the character of their God!

Charlie J. Ray said...

If all means every single person is drawn, then God is a miserable failure and cannot save anyone. Salvation is up to those enslaved by sin? How does "free" will solve the problem of evil? Vast multitudes freely go to hell while God wrings his hands in anxiety hoping someone will break free of sin by an ineffectual grace that cannot actually save anyone? Is salvation in such a scheme actually possible?

Charlie J. Ray said...

So God cannot save anyone and you must save yourself. You did a better job of saving yourself than that no good sinner who did nothing with the talent God gave him to save himself with?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Looks like your finite god fails most of the time since he cannot actually save anyone at all. Vast multitudes are going to hell and your god can do nothing about it. Right?

Charlie J. Ray said...

If God foreknows that you will go to church on Sunday is it possible you won't go to church next Sunday? Likewise, if God foreknows that you're going to hell, is it possible you won't go to hell? Isaiah 46:9-11; Isaiah 14:24. Also, if all always means all, what do you do with these verses?

I said in my haste, "All men are liars." (Ps. 116:11 NKJ)

Are you a liar all the time?

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Lk. 6:26 NKJ)

Does every single person who knows you speak well of you? All means all, right?

crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." (Acts 21:28 NKJ)

If all means all, then Paul must be omnipresent since he must literally teach every single man who ever lived. All means all. Right?

Unknown said...

God is only a failure if you believe people don't have free will. Humans can choose not to repent. That doesn't make God a failure for calling them, it makes their judgment all the more deserving. Calvinism perfectly lines up with Islams view of Allah. His sovereignty leaves no room for love or human response. Salvation in Islam is just random and illogical.

Charlie J. Ray said...

A God who is unable to save men is no God at all. Your god cannot save men because he is unable to free men from their slavery to sin. John 8:32-34; Romans 3:10-23. The Bible says that Jesus makes men free, not that they free themselves. Arminianism makes God the servant of men instead of sovereign over men. This is why Arminianism is heresy. It makes man his own savior and makes God impotent to save and a slave to the will of wicked men. See Ezekiel 36:26-27.

Keith Cannon said...

Once again...the Bible is completely clear.
Everyone has free will...and not everyone will come.
I won't argue with someone that says otherwise...save your speeches for those willing to hear them.
I hear God's voice from His word...It is crystal clear.
Someone is wrong here...I certainly concede that it could be either of us. But based on the entirety of the scriptures (since God doesn't contradict Himself) that God does call everyone to Himself and that not all will come. Both statements are supported throughout scripture.
Pride is what I am seeing.
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Don't be so prideful that you believe you have some special revelation. The Bible can be interpreted in different ways and yes one way is probably more accurate than another.
It seems that you give no possibility that you are in error and another is possibly accurate in their interpretation .
This is nothing more than arrogance and pridefulness...not attributes of a Christian.
My suggestion is to get your nose out of other people's opinions of what God's word "actually means" and read it prayerfully.
As stated...anyone posting here could be right...anyone that says everyone else is matter of factly wrong and that they themselves are matter of factly right...is,in my opinion, probably wrong!

Keith Cannon said...

God will save ALL that are willing to repent and believe.
This is the only qualifier.
God will not force anyone to be saved...what a ridiculous notion...that God only saves some certain group of people...blatant and absolute absurdity!
If God is a failure because men are unwilling to believe then men are stronger than God.
If God used some sort of "irresistible Grace" to call just people that will come to Him then He is full of crap as a God...capricious!
He is not. He calls all...all that will repent will come.
He knows who those people are because He is not bound by the same constraints of space and time as we are.
Seems like I already said this...just because God knows who will come to Him does not in any way make Him responsible for that person's choice!
I don't understand why this is soo difficult for some to grasp!

Charlie J. Ray said...

If men could save themselves, why don't all men save themselves? Answer? Total depravity. Sin enslaves men so that they don't even know they are lost. Only God can open the eyes of dead sinners so they can realize their eternal doom and come to saving faith. Of course, Pelagians like yourself don't really believe in sovereign grace. Salvation is a work you do to save yourself. Right. God is not obligated to save anyone. He is not in your debt. You are in His debt and the debt you owe you could never pay. Only irresistible grace overcomes slavery to sin.

Secondly, the elect are not forced to believe. They are made willing to believe. Ezekiel 36:26-27.

18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. (Jer. 31:18 KJV)

3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Ps. 110:3 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Your profanity will not be posted from here on.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Eph. 4:29 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

God foreknows the future not because He was ignorant of the future and had to look forward in time to learn who would believe and be saved but because He predetermined the future. Isaiah 46:9-11. The Arminian god is not omniscient but has to learn the future by looking forward in time. Only Calvinism recognizes that God is eternally timeless and transcends past, present and future. He knows everything as one eternal now.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't know why Arminians cannot see that everything that happens IS God's will. That does not in any way make God the author of man's sins. God is the remote or primary cause of all things by creating in the first place. Secondary and proximate causes are how God governs all things through providence. The Arminian can never be sure of his salvation because he could be saved in the morning and lost at noon.

Charlie J. Ray said...

God does NOT call everyone even with the general call of the Gospel since not everyone hears the Gospel or has heard it:

6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-8 KJV)

Looks like it is not God's will to call everyone after all. Is God unjust?

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
(Rom. 3:3-11 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for pride, that would be you because you're better than the guy who didn't believe. You did the right thing and he didn't save himself. But what does the Bible say? It says that salvation is ALL of grace. You cannot even believe unless you are first born again. Dead men cannot raise themselves from spiritual death.

So the Calvinist has no room for boasting while you get to boast that you saved yourself by believing. Good for you. Pat yourself on the back.

But when I see the homeless guy on the street I say, "But for the grace of God that would have been me."

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(Eph. 2:8-10 KJV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Bible cannot mean just anything. It is propositional revelation and can have only one meaning. We might disagree about the meaning but if the Bible can be interpreted to mean anything it means nothing. If yes can mean no and no can mean yes, does that mean that when God says don't commit murder that you can commit murder? Jesus said let your yes be yes and your no be know.

Secondly, if you are saying I'm wrong, aren't you the one being prideful by your own definition? If both of us are right, that would be irrationalism since only one of us can be correct. The Bible either teaches God's sovereignty in salvation or man's sovereignty in salvation. Which is it?

The law of contradiction is embedded in Scripture. Either Jesus is the only way to the Father or He isn't the only way. John 14:6. Which is it?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't post abusive ad hominem attacks. Have a great day.

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