Tuesday, May 8, 2007

God's Sovereignty in Salvation: PART 5

This post is the fifth in the series of five on God's Sovereignty in Salvation, if you have not been following along, it is important to go to the archives and catch up. Otherwise some of my statements might be taken out of the context of past study. Also, this post was written to fit in the book I'm writing so if I reference a chapter of the book, please disregard.

Now we reach the final doctrine in the doctrines of grace, Perseverance of the Saints. Sometimes this doctrine is referred to as preservation of the saints or eternal security. The basic idea is that once a person is saved, justified in Christ, they will not ever and cannot ever, lose their salvation. A popular phrase that is often used is "once saved, always saved." This is used by many people that don’t even believe in the preceding points such as Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement. Perhaps you are one who believes in "eternal security" but you disagree with the idea of election, or perhaps you do not believe in this idea at all. Maybe you think that salvation can be lost, taken away or rejected.

Hopefully, if you fit into any of those categories, this book has given you a lot to think about. Because if I have "sold you", so to speak, on the idea of Total Depravity, that is mans inability to save himself or even turn to God on his own, and if I have demonstrated that mans only hope is that God unconditionally elects certain individuals to salvation, and that God accomplished salvation for the elect on the cross not just made it possible but actual, and if I have convinced you that God saves all whom He draws to Himself and does not fail, then this last doctrine only makes sense as the last piece of the puzzle. Clearly if man has nothing to do with saving himself, then there is nothing he can do to lose his salvation.

Perseverance of the Saints can be defined in this way:

"Once God has saved an elect sinner He continues to guard their salvation by His power. There is nothing a justified sinner can do to lose their salvation, nor can they walk away from it. A person who is truly born again will continue in faith in Christ, undergoing sanctification, until the day they die and go to be with the Lord and are made perfect in Christ."

As always, let’s go to the Scripture to see where this is indeed in taught by God in His word.

Ephesians 1:13-14

"13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee
of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise of his glory."

What a glorious verse of Scripture, one of my favorites. This verse is a wonderfully rich verse when it comes to this doctrine as well as that of salvation by faith alone. The Scripture here teaches that upon the moment when one places their trust in Christ they are "sealed with the promised Holy Spirit." The presence of the Holy Spirit is what causes regeneration in the life of a sinner. Giving a spiritually dead person the life and faith they need for salvation. When the Spirit indwells a person, faith takes place instantaneously. It’s not a matter of which comes first, they are synonymous.

It is at that very moment of faith that the Holy Spirit indwells the new believer and seals them into their salvation. The word "sealed" that is used here carries the idea of kings seal upon a scroll. Often times in New Testament times when a royal person would write a letter, they would use wax to seal the letter so that it would not be opened and they would press their signet ring into the seal so that everyone who saw it would know that this was sealed by the king. No one was allowed to break the seal except the one whom the message was intended for in the first place.

This is the same idea that is used here. When God saves someone from their sin, He seals them with His Holy Spirit. No one can break that seal, it will remain kept for the believer until they "acquire possession" of their salvation when Christ returns. The Scripture says that this seal is a "guarantee." If God gives a guarantee upon something, His word is good enough for me. He promises that the believers salvation is safeguarded by His Spirit in us until the day it is realized and we are glorified and made perfect in Christ with the Father in Heaven.
Where else does Scripture speak of this doctrine? How about 1Peter 1:3-5?

"3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

It surely doesn’t get much plainer than that. First of all, who caused us to be born again? God the Father did, through Jesus Christ His Son. Who is keeping and guarding our inheritance (eternal life in Christ)? God the Father is, through faith, which God supplies. Do you see the trend? How could we who have nothing to do with saving ourselves possibly lose our salvation? It’s not even ours to lose, as if we earned it. God supplies the faith that justifies, God guards our salvation and seals it by His Holy Spirit living in us.

Look also at Romans 8:29-30.

"29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

This verse is sometimes referred to as "the golden chain of redemption." It’s an unbreakable chain, and indeed it is a chain reaction. If the one happens then by necessity the next happens, all the way down the line. Just use simple logic with me as we look at verse 30. What does God do with those whom He predestines? He calls them, doesn’t He? What Does God do with those whom He calls? He justifies them. And those whom he justifies, what happens to them? They are glorified.

Is there anything unclear about this passage? If anyone is ever justified, that is made right and sinless in the sight of God, they are eventually glorified. There is no room in this passage for someone to be justified (saved) for a time and then lose their salvation and go to Hell and not be glorified. It’s just not possible. All who are predestined, elected by God, are justified and upon Christ’s return they will be glorified. It is Scripturally incompatible to say that "so and so used to be a Christian." If they are not a Christian now, they never were. This is so plain. And please do note, that the reason people are glorified in the end is because God, in His Sovereign free-will, made a choice to predestine individuals to be justified in Christ. And Christ accomplished that "actually" and not just "possibly."

How about some more Scripture? John 6:44 says,

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."

I’ve already used this verse several times, but I feel the need to do so once more. I talked earlier about how this verse clearly shows that God has to enable man to come to Jesus, we cannot do it on our own because of our depravity. I also used this verse to show that God’s grace is irresistible, and that everyone whom the Father draws comes to Christ. And now I bring it up again to point out that all those whom the Father draws come to Christ, and we know this because Christ raises them up on the last day, which also specifically implies that all who ever come to Christ will endure to the end and be raised to new life. Just a few verse earlier in John chapter 6 verse 39 Jesus also says,

"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day."

Again, the same idea as above. Whatever is given to Jesus by the father, He does not lose. Jesus always does the will of the Father. God does not fail in His mission to save sinners, whomever God chooses to save, He saves them to the uttermost. We could look at more verses that support this doctrine, however I think that we have looked at plenty of verses for anyone who is going to accept the Scripture for what it clearly teaches. Many will read these verses that are so plain and straightforward and reject them purely because of their opinions and presuppositions. It wont matter to them that this is clearly what Scripture says about these five doctrines, they will reject it because it doesn’t sound fair to them and they don’t like it. But I say to you, don’t be one of them. It’s fine to have hesitations and want to study further about this, but don’t just refuse to even think about something that Scripture so clearly talks about.
Objections to Perseverance of the Saints

One of the most common objections to this doctrine and really to the whole of the teachings of the doctrines of grace, is that it "let’s people off the hook for their sin." Or in other words, because the doctrines of grace are so clear that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone (which is supplied by God), in Christ alone, that these teachings would allow for people to shirk any responsibility for holiness and live life however they want. After all, if we cannot lose our salvation, we might as well live it up and do whatever we want! Right!? WRONG!

Such a teaching is not compatible with Scripture and therefore is not compatible to these Scriptural teaching of the doctrines of grace. Indeed it is often those who hold to these teachings whom you will see taking the issue of holiness very seriously. Why? Because Scripture clearly teaches that when God saves a sinner, that sinner will become a new creation, with a new nature. And that new creation will act differently then it did while it was still dead in sin. Galatians 5 talks about this difference.

Galatians 5:13-26

"13For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy,
drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."

The clear teaching of Scripture is that "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." In other words, our old nature is dead once we become new in Christ. We can still struggle with sin, but ultimately a born again believers desire will be to please God and they will strive to walk by the Spirit. A true believer will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit more and more as they are sanctified by God’s Spirit. A person who calls themselves a Christian but lives no differently then they did before their supposed conversion to Christ, should be under serious suspicion. Scripture teaches that changed people will act like they have been changed. In Romans 6:1-4 Paul continues this idea that Christians are expected to avoid sin and walk in the Spirit, seeking to please God by their actions.

"1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."

Again, clearly the expectation of Scripture is that those who are Christians will not be flippant about sin. Sin is the very thing that our Savior Jesus Christ came to die for, it is a serious thing that anyone should knowingly sin and not care about it. In fact a true believer who commits sin and is unrepentant, that is they don’t turn away from that sin and seek forgiveness, will be seriously convicted by the Holy Spirit who lives in Him. In John 16:8-11 Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit and what He will be active in doing in the world when He comes (as He did in Acts 2).

"8And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."

In the life of a believer the Spirit convicts us concerning righteousness. Therefore a believer in unrepentant sin will be under the conviction of God until that sin is dealt with in repentance. Matthew 6 talks about the narrow road and gate that a believer must walk to find eternal life. The believer doesn’t get to act like the wide road fools on the way to Hell. Believers walk a difficult course. Believers undergo sanctification and are continually being transformed into the likeness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says,

"17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

This teaching is completely compatible with the teachings of the doctrines of grace. A true Christian with true saving faith will have the Spirit of God transforming and convicting them into righteousness. A true Christian will pursue holiness. The doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints does not let people off the hook and encourage sin. This is a biblical doctrine, all who come to Christ have been drawn by the Father and they cannot and will not be lost. But those who come to Christ truly, will truly be changed and concerned with holiness.

In Him -Jacob


Papa J said...


I have mentioned in the past that we also have a concept of what it means to be elect.

I must preface that some of the LDS concept of election is made clear through modern revelation. It is however, teachable through the more traditional canon.

First, we lived with God in heaven before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5

We chose to follow Christ and his plan in the pre-existance.

Satan deceived 1/3 of the host of heaven into believing that they could be redeemed by surrenduring their free agency and being force to live righteously, for this they were all cast out of heaven (2 Pet 2:4, Luke 10:18, Jude 1:6).

Don't forget that God is the father of all spirits (Heb 12:9), even Satan and his angels.

Christ offered salvation out to all of mankind, but of course with free agency as part of his plan, a majority of us will choose evil. However, we are the spirits that kept our first estate. (Jude 1:6)Every man woman and child on earth chose Christ's plan before we were born. That choice does not save us. For having never been in the flesh how could God prove us?

There was a war in heaven. How was this war fought if death was not a part of the equation? For how can the spirit die? It was a war of testimonies. Of witnessing. It was a spiritual debate between those that would have their free agency stolen from them in order to be forced to be righteous and those that would retain their free agency in order to prove their sincere devotion to God.

In this debate all spirits had to declare a side. There was no middle ground. None could simply say, we'll see who wins. The irony there, is of course Christ's plan is the only real choice, for in rejecting Christ in the preexistance those that followed Satan were already disobeying. The key is that they were allowed to do so. They were given agency even when they sought to remove it.

Of those that declared for Christ and stayed in God's presence, there were degrees of valiance. The most valiant were forordained, called, predestinated (whatever you wish to call it) to positions of responsibility on earth. (Jer 1:5 Jeremiah is ordained to be a prophet before he is born) They had proven themselves more obedient once and they are called to do so again once they have been born.

These are the elect. Those that were valiant for Christ before they were born. It is not a free ticket to salvation. Indeed Peter explains that we must have our calling and election made sure.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

The elect can and unfortunately do fall.

You quote 1 Peter 1:3-5 to demonstrate that once sanctified that sanctification is a sure promise. You can not exclude the remainder of the that chapter from the discussion. If you continue you learn that:

Your faith will be tried which of course means some may fail.

God judges EVERY man impartially according to their works.

It would be ridiculous to assume this EVERY is refering to only the elect or only the Lost, as you call them.

We are judged by our works. Period. The most crucial of our works is to have faith in Christ, repent, be baptised (reborn) in Christ, and receive the Holy Ghost. In short, accept the atonement of Christ. Because without that one work, we are guarenteed to be found wanting. Unholy.

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God is Sovereign. What gives him the truest power though is his one limitation. He can not lie. And so we can ALWAYS trust him.

Election does not save us. Christ does. There is no such thing as unconditional election. You'll never find those two words together in the scriptures.

The atonement is not limited by Christ. We may limit it from our own life if we choose. You will never find limits placed on grace, salvation, or the atonement in the scriptures except that they derive from our actions, not from Christ.

The holy spirit of promise that is sealed upon us can be broken. Not by God, but by us.

I look forward to your response.

In his name,

risen_soul said...

It will be a while before I have the chance to give a proper response, I have a lot to do this week. I will say now however that your view of election is completely foreign to the Bible and no one would have ever interpreted Scripture the way that you have until Joseph Smith showed up. Your views on salvation, election, and pre-existence is all from LDS colored lenses that you are wearing. Apart from the Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price being introduced to someones mind, no one would ever take Scripture to mean what you make it mean.

You're position does not truly hod God as "sovereign" because you think human will is more sovereign than his. I will talk about this at length when I get a chance to respond.


risen_soul said...


First thing, I asked you a question the last time I responded to you, and I would still appreciate an answer. I said:

“Since you do worship Jesus, and you do worship the Father... do you not worship more than one God since they are two different gods? The Trinitarian view harmonizes this just fine, but I don’t see how you can possibly say that you worship one God when you say Jesus and the Father are two different gods with one purpose.”

I am still quite interested in your response to that issue. I’ve heard many LDS say that they only worship one God, but if you admit that Jesus receives worship as the Father does, and in your theology they are two separate Gods, then you are by default worshiping a plurality of God’s.

Now on to your last response here. As far as your understanding of election goes, it is completely foreign to the Bible. You use Jeremiah 1:5 to say that people “lived with God in heaven before we were born.” The problem is that Jeremiah 1:5 teaches nothing of the sort. I mean don’t get me wrong, I understand how you could try and use that verse to say this, but only with LDS colored glasses would anyone come to this conclusion. The word know in Hebrew is “Yada”and means a personal intimate knowledge. This is consistent with my position of the “foreknowledge” of God. God intimately knows people before birth because He is there maker and God chooses to enter into a personal relationship with them. Furthermore, this is also consistent with the biblical teaching that God exist outside of time and is the creator of time. God can intimately know Jeremiah before he was born because to God, past present and future are all the same. But nothing in Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that people live in heaven with God before they are born.

As far as Satan and “free-agency” goes, I don’t want to respond yet because I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Please do clarify.

Jude 1:6 is speaking about angels, how then could this refer to people? Do you think angels and people are the same? Where from the Bible do you get that people chose Jesus’ plan before we were born. That is not a supportable claim by the Bible.

You talk about a war in Heaven and free agency, I apologize but I’m just not sure about this concept you are presenting to me. It’s obviously coming from LDS teaching. I know that the Bible speaks of Satan and his angels warring against God and being defeated by Michael and the other angels (Revelation 12:7-9) however many believe this is referring to a battle to take place in the future. But I agree that Satan did fall from Heaven with a third of the angels, but as we see in Job and elsewhere, for the time being he still comes before the Lord to accuse the faithful.

You ask what kind of war could there be without death, it would be the kind that kicks Satan out of Heaven, which is really spiritual death.

It sounds as though you are saying that we were once angels, or at least pre existing beings and those who were more valiant in this battle get to be “predestined.” But again, you have based this only off of one verse from Jeremiah that says nothing of such things. This is not a biblical doctrine or teaching. Your usage of the word elect is simply counter to the definition of the word. One does not make themselves elect. It is an outside decision that makes one part of the elect.

You say that because people’s faith is tried that some will surely fail. Again I would say, no, not if it’s genuine saving faith. 1 Peter 1:7 talks about “the tested genuineness of your faith.” Genuine faith never fails.

God judges every man impartially according to their works, that is true without a doubt. The unbelievers will be judged and condemned on the basis of their works. And believer will be judged and rewarded on the basis of their works. The difference is Christ. I have Christ who saves me by faith alone, unbelievers don’t have Christ.

You call placing our faith in Christ a work, but it is not. God gives faith and repentance as a gift, it is not something we can do by ourselves, it is purely to His credit (Eph. 2:8-9).

I believe God is sovereign, but I dare say you do not. Nor do you even worship the God presented in the Bible. You worship a created, exalted man who once lived on another planet and became a god. I worship the God of the Bible who is eternal, uncreated and the creator of all things that are in existence period. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and he is not human, not of the same species as you and I. My God is sovereign creating even time itself and declaring the beginning from the end and He chooses who will be saved according to the council of His will, and it is not up to us.

You worship a weak and pathetic false god. A god who cannot even accomplish his own desires to “save everyone” as you say he wants to. My God saves exactly who He chooses to, and when people say that it is not fair of Him to choose some and not others in Romans 9 he says “who are you o man to answer back to God?” God is indeed sovereign and therefore can and will do whatever pleases Him to do.

Your position blaspheme the true and living God. You say that there are many God’s and that our God is just one in the line of who knows how many others. But then how is it that God can say that He is God alone and He does not know of any other? (Isa. 44:8)

If God were once a normal human like you and me, how can psalm 90:2 be true?

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

Papa J said...


I'm not going to be able to respond today, but I will get to this response in the next day or two. I apologize for the delay.

Papa J said...


There is no contradiction in how we worship God.

Christ rendered all glory and honor to his father. So, to worship the son is to worship the father.

The parable in Luke 20 of the master of the vineyard does a very good job of explaining this relationship.

versus 13-15

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

The Lord of the vineyard is God. His son is Christ. How should we deal with the son. Do we say to him when he comes, "You don't have the rights and authority that your father has."? No! We recognize him as the heir. We interact with him as if we were speaking to the father. Why? Because he bears perfect authority granted from his father.

What does the word Christ mean? Annointed.

What kind of a title is that. We don't use that title in common vernacular today. What does annointing represent? The act usually involves oil. Saul was annointed king over Israel. Later David received this annointing and the Lord rejected the previous annointing on Saul because he had been so wicked.

It also implies a calling. God asking someone to take a greater responsibility. Saul and David were annointed to be kings. Aaron was annointed to be the High Priest of Israel. Isaiah was annointed to preach (Isa 61:1)

So to what is Christ annointed. We call him the "annointed one" every time we say his name. Have you contemplated to what he was annointed?

Of course you have: For God SENT not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He was annointed savior of the world. Called to save the world.

Because I honor Christ, I worship Christ, does not make me polytheistic. When I honor and worship Christ I am acknowledging God the Father's plan to save the world. GOD sent Christ into the world. To acknowledge one is to acknowledge the other and ultimately to honor and glory in God the Father.

"Yada" means to know intimately in Hebrew? I didn't know that. Please pardon my humorous side but that does change a lot of Seinfeld episodes for me.

If that is what it means, and I do trust you on that, it supports the LDS interpretation just fine. Certainly God is not bounded by time but his use of the word BEFORE in Jer 1:5 is what really shows there is a pre-existance.

Are you honestly telling me that you don't believe your spirit existed AT ALL until you were conceived?

So let's talk a little bit more about your concept of election. You say that to be elect you are simply chosen. You have nothing to do with it. You are then saved because you have perfect faith in Christ.

What about the Israelites? The people that the LORD calls has chosen in the same breath he condemns their wickedness. (Ezek 20:5-8) He doesn't remove free agency from his chosen. Or Elect.

More about the Israelites. What did they know of Christ? They knew that they would have a savior. They rehearsed his sacrifice in the temple, placing their sins on the head of an animal who was then killed vicariously. If an Israelite (one of the elect) raised at that time
was not properly educated by his parents as to what the sacrifice meant, so his faith was mechanical, how is he to be judged. What if he didn't have knowledge of the coming savior, yet was one of the elect Israelites? I realize this is a hypothetical example, and there are limits to it, but you can not deny that the Lord proclaimed all of Israel his elect, nor that they rebelled against him. How do you reconsile that with you concept of election?

You use Ephesians 2:8-9 to say that works don't matter. Of course they matter. There are hundreds of other scriptures that teach the importance of good works. How they don't matter is that they are not a measuring stick. God does not lay out a good works chart that says "for every time this man gives to the poor it will be 2 inches towards the gates of heaven." He judges our hearts, intents, actions, abilities. In short he judges perfectly. I have not now, nor will I ever claim that my actions ALONE will lead to my salvation. That truly would be me claiming God like status. Christ is my savior. I will let HIM judge my heart and intents.

You are right. I do not believe in your sovreign god. God as you have described him is capricious. He makes all creations. Sets all men on earth in his image. Then decides before they are born which ones he will save and which ones are doomed. I do not believe in destiny. I do not accept fate. Yes, I do believe God already knows the end. But I believe he allows me my free agency along the way. He answers my prayers. Why? Because he has said, "Ask and ye shall receive."

It is not a popular notion, but God can not be omnipotent. If god can lie without consequence then god is evil. God can not lie. Therefore, there is a limit to his power.

Now, you have said that God is the creator. But lets turn to that word in the very first verse of the bible.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In the hebrew text created here is better translated as organized. Indeed the next verse aludes to this type of creation for the earth was "without form and void"

How does god create? He organizes. What allows this power to organize matter? He speaks and light begins. A star is born. Why? Because he can not lie. All of nature obeys him because all of the matter in the universe can trust him. His power is derived from his honesty.

Does this make god weak and pathetic. That he can not save his own creations? No! This makes man weak and pathetic. He offers us a route and billions will turn away. Billions will hear the truth and ignore that warmth in their chest telling them to accept.

You say that our free agency makes God weak? Because now we become partially responsible for our own salvation. The god you describe is not the god of the bible, he is capricious, like the gods on olympus who played with man for their own amusement.

The simple act of allowing a man to be born is the hope of salvation for that man. If that hope is not real; sorry, only the elect have a chance of salvation, then god is deceiving all of humanity. How do you trust such a god?

God does know the end, but that does not make him a puppet master. It gives him a perfect understand. If we turn to him and ask for guidance, he can perfectly direct us back to him (which will always and can only ever be through Christ.)

You say that we can not be the same species as God. Why then did he make us in his image? Why even try to save us at all? Is this just a game to him?

God is real. He loves us. He has offered us free agency and told us what choices he wants us to make in order to return to him. But we still must use that agency to make those choices.

One last note on the nature of God. Yes, the LDS faith does teach eternal progression; however, for this lifetime our concern is to return to live with God. To obey when we are called to obey. We do not worship or grandfathers in the hope that they have attained godhood. We do not worship our children, in the hopes that they will attain godhood. We do not exalt ourselves as Gods.

There is only one God the Father. He is the head of the Godhead. His son, Jesus Christ, or Jehovah, stands on his right, the Holy Spirit stands on his left. Their declared purpose is to bring us to salvation. I worship at the feet of God. I am brought there through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Spirit is God's messenger, and also one in purpose with the Father and the Son.

risen_soul said...


Yous said, "There is no contradiction in how we worship God.

Christ rendered all glory and honor to his father. So, to worship the son is to worship the father."

Well actually there is a huge contradiction in how you worship God. LDS doctrine clearly teaches that Jesus and the Father are two different God's though perhaps one in purpose. And yet you worship them both therefore, by your teaching, breaking the commandment given by God to have no other God's before him and to worship Him alone. That makes you an idolater.

Of course if you except the biblical teaching of the trinity that Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are three persons but one God, then the problem is solved. But you do not recognize the trinity and you are indeed a polytheist.

On preexistence, why does the fact that the word "before" shows up in Jeremiah make you believe in preexistence. It fits equally well with my understanding of the verse. Before God created Jeremiah, He knew him personally in every way, because all of creation is already a finished product in His eyes, He see the past present and future all as the same.

And to answer your question, no I do not believe that my Spirit existed at all until God formed me in my mothers womb. There is no Scriptural evidence to support anything otherwise.

As far as Israel and election goes, Israel does not equal elect. Israel is God's chosen people, that is true. But that is as a people group not as individuals.

Look at Romans 9:4-8.

"4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring."

point being, not everyone in Israel was elect, and there are those who are not of Israel that are counted children of the promise. Gentiles. I do deny that God proclaimed all of Israel as His elect, they are His people that he used, and they did rebel against him often, but this is not the same as election.

It's true that the concept is similar, you could say that God elected a people, but within the people their were those who were elect and those who were not.

Stop saying that I say works don't matter. I've never said they don't matter. They don't justify, save, or earn good standing with God, I've said that. But I have said time and again that works are a sign of true saving faith. This is what James 2:14 is talking about.

"14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?"

"that faith" does not save. But genuine faith produces good works, and that kind of faith is saving faith.

I know that you don't claim that your works alone save you, I'm not saying that you do, but you do believe that you must merit your own salvation by works along with faith. And that is the heresy that I condemn as does Scripture. Christ paid for sin completely, he needs no help from those whom He chooses to save.

You say "You are right. I do not believe in your sovreign god. God as you have described him is capricious. He makes all creations. Sets all men on earth in his image. Then decides before they are born which ones he will save and which ones are doomed. I do not believe in destiny. I do not accept fate. Yes, I do believe God already knows the end. But I believe he allows me my free agency along the way. He answers my prayers. Why? Because he has said, "Ask and ye shall receive."

At least here we are somewhat on the same page, I agree with you that you do not belive in my "sovereign God." You do not know nor worship the God of the Bible.

You say that the God I worship is capricious and you are quite wrong about that. God is not capricious, He is God. He has the right to plan the beginning from the end and do whatever pleases him with us sinful humans and all of His creation. And God does decide all things. I have given you Scripture after Scripture on this matter, yet you continue to ignore them. Let's try again.

Proverbs 16:23 tells us that God decides everything, even those things that seem like pure chance.

"33The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD."

You say that God is capricious because He chooses whom He will save and whom He will not before they are born. But God clearly doe choose before a man is born whom He will show His favor to. Romans 9:11-13.

"11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

You dislike the God of the Bible who does whatever pleases Him, but He does do whatever pleases Him.

Daniel 4:35

"35all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, "What have you done?"

Psalm 135:6

"Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,in heaven and on earth,in the seas and all deeps."

God does indeed do as He pleases and He chooses to save whom He will and harden whom he will.

Romans 9:14-18

"14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills."

It is not capricious that God does whatever pleases Him, God is the standard of good, whatever pleases Him to do is good, and that includes election.

You are the man in Romans 9 who objects and Paul answers.

Romans 9:19-24

"19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?"

Clearly you do not like the God I worship and you call Him capricious, but I worship YAHWEH the God of the Bible, Father, Son and Spirit.

You make a straw man out of God's omnipotence. Omnipotence does not mean that God can do absolutely anything, it means that God can do anything that doesn't contradict His own nature. His power is not limited, He is merely who He is, He cannot sin because He is the standard of good.

As far as "created" in the Hebrew it can very well just mean "created" though it can refer to reforming or renewing. However the context of Genesis 1:1 Tells us that God "Created the Heavens and the Earth" and then it says the earth "was without form and void." After God initialy created the earth it was without form and void, then He began to give shape to it.

You again want to limit God and say that He cannot create but merely organize. But the laguage of Genesis 1 is that "God said...and there was" God speaks and creation happens.

You do not believe that God is God frome eternity but you are willing to believe that matter is eternal?

God's power is not derived from His honesty, God's Power is derived from His nature as God.

The God you describe is weak, unable to do what He wants to do, unable to save those He wants to save. My God is able to do whatever pleases Him and whateve pleases Him He does and it is God because He is the standard of good.

You seem to think it is heinous for God to allow a man to be born who has no hope of being saved, and yet you say that God knows the end! Whether God is Sovereign in the biblical sense, or your god just knows what will happen either way they allow someone to come into this world knowing that they will not be saved.

Unless a person is an open theist, we all have that same issue to deal with. The difference is one is one view of God is in control and the other is powerless to do anything about it.

God made us in His image not because He is a man, but in the sense that makes us have a soul and be rational moral beings, different than animals.

AS I have said time and again, our will is enslaved to sin because of the fall, so our will (or agency) is not free. If God allows man to God his way and does not interfere we would all go to Hell because we love our sin. It is an act of mercy that God saves anyone, we all deserve Hell.

Regardless of who you say you worship, we have established that you worship at least two gods, and you believe there are numerous others. Even though God who knows everything says that He is the only God and that He knows of no other. (1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 45:5-6)

Your own statements contradict left and right, you say that there are other God's but that there is only one God. I know you mean that there is only one God for you, but then you have claimed to worship Jesus who is not the same God as the Father.

Regardless of who you worship, you believe in many God's even though God says He is the only one. He does not say that He is the only one for you, He is the only one period, all other God's are idols.