Home > Election, Gospel > If God be for Us

If God be for Us

When I look into the perfect law of liberty and see how dirty I am, I am reminded of the scripture in Romans that speaks of God being for us, of God not sparing his own Son for us, and of God not laying anything to our charge. Let us read these scriptures:

 

Rom8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Rom8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Rom8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

 

Here we find the semi-Pelagian’s views discredited. He would just assume that these scriptures were not in the Bible. He gnashes his teeth against God’s electing forever a certain people for his own. The semi-Pelagian’s belief that one can lose ones salvation because it all depends upon the sinners doing or not doing, striving or not striving is plainly refuted in these scriptures. Thank God these scriptures refute the semi-Pelagian. Thank God these scriptures offer us consolation and hope.

We tremble when we think of how holy we ought to be and then look at ourselves through God’s word and see clearly how filthy our lives are. We mourn and wonder at times how a Christian such as us could have such vain thoughts? How can we even call ourselves a Christian? Who are we to be counted and numbered among the elect? When our minds get clouded with these thoughts we are to remember what Paul wrote in this blessed book of Romans. We ought to let it echo through our minds and hearts that God is for us. God is not against us. God stepped out of glory, in the person of his Son, laying his royal garments to the side, in order to save us.

What a mighty blessed God we have. One that cares so much that he would spare no expense for us. Look at verse 32. God spared not his own Son. He gave his Son on our behalf. O what glorious raptures of joy ought to fill our souls when we think on these things. We ought to be overwhelmed. We ought not to shake these things off as if they were common events of everyday life. How many times have you ever heard of some event so spectacular that it ought to make one leap for joy? There are not many events in this world of despair, troubles, trials, tribulations, heartaches, sicknesses, and even death that make us leap for joy. Yet there has been one event. There is one event in history that has surpassed all others. This event is when God himself spared not his own Son to save a sinner like us. What a Saviour. What a blessed God who doesn’t lie anything to the charge of his elect, but justifies them through the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son.

What can be said more concerning these things than this: Be gone doubt, be gone despair, be gone distress, and be gone clouded mind. It might be true that I am not what I hope to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I should be, but thank God through the death of his Son Jesus Christ, I am not what I used to be.

Praise God.

 

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

  1. rey
    May 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Passages saying that God is for us rather than against us actually work in the Pelagians’ favor. Calvinism represent a God who is against us, who condemns individuals for a sin not their own but of someone else (Adam) and who then refuses to forgive them of what they didn’t even commit unless they win a lottery. Calvin’s god is clearly “against us.” But when it is said that “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” then it is said that Calvinism is false, for unless it is false, God cannot be for us but must be against us.

    Secondly, Pelagianism takes the curative of repentance seriously, as in Ezekiel 18, even to the point that a non-Christian can repent and be justified via repentance. I realize you are dealing with semi-Pelagians rather than outright Pelagians, but lets look at outright Pelagians for a moment. The Calvinist presents a god who is against us, condemning us for a sin that belongs to someone else, refusing to forgive any but lottery winners. Yet Ezekiel 18 serves as a fortress for the full-Pelagian, showing that God will forgive all who repent, blotting out their past sins entirely and on the basis of repentance alone. This certainly presents the image of a God who is FOR us!

    • May 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

      Thank you for your comment.

      I want to add that you do not understand Pelagianism nor Calvinism. On your views concerning Pelagianism you state that Pelagianism takes repentance seriously, but the fact of the matter is Pelagianism is a distortion of the gospel and distorts Christ sacrifice altogether. You yourself contend that God delivering Christ up for us all is what the scripture teaches, but Pelagius did not teach this. Pelagius taught that man is good by nature. Therefore Christ death is not for sin, but Christ died by example. Yet no where in scripture are we taught that Christ death was merely an example for us, but are taught that Christ death was for sin. You really ought to study Pelagius out. He did not believe man needed God’s grace, nor was Christ sacrifice for our sins seeing that Adam’s fall did not effect us, but we are born into this world good by nature.

      Secondly you state that if God refuses to forgive us then he is not for us. In this view you misrepresent God. God no where refuses to forgive a repentant sinner. The scriptures teach that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But left to ourselves we will never ask God for forgiveness.

      You also misread Romans 8. Romans 8 is written to believers and not the world. Romans 8 declares that God is for us. The ‘us’ is the elect. If you move down to the very next scripture after Paul states that God delivered Christ up for us all, he then says “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect.” So the context of the chapter actually shows that Christ was only delivered up for the elect and not for everyone in the world. Paul has been building his case on justification by faith alone since chapter one. It is God who chooses whom he will save and Paul establishes this fact in Romans 9 whereby he uses Jacob and Esua as an example. All men are guilty before God, not only for Adam’s sin, but also for their own treason against God by breaking his commands. Therefore men do not deserve mercy, but instead deserve God’s wrath. God is gracious in choosing to save some. This is the graciousness of grace. The fact that God would choose to save any who have committed treason against him ought to astound us..

      Also you misrepresent Calvinism when you say that Calvinism teaches that God will send men to Hell for another person’s sin. This is not what Calvin taught. Calvin actually said, ” I everywhere teach that no one can be justly condemned and perish except on account of actual sin; and to say that the countless mortals taken from life while yet infants are precipitated from their mother’s arms into eternal death is a blasphemy to be universally detested.”

      Calvin taught that men go to Hell because they refuse to ask for forgiveness and not because they have Adam’s guilt imputed to them. Men are by nature sinful and by nature hate God, are alienated from God, and enemies of God. Men go to Hell because they are wicked sinners. Yet if God chose to send men to Hell because of Adam’s sin being imputed to them, then God would still be just. God did not make man fallen and therefore does not have to save any if he does not want to. God is God. Paul even explains in Romans 9 that the clay cannot say to the potter, “Why have you made me like this?” Here it sounds like I contradicted what I just said. I said that God did not make the sinner fallen and then quoted from the sinner who is represented by the clay and the sinner says why did you make me like this? But if you read the context of Romans 9 it states that the potter has the right to make from the same lump, both vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. This lump that the Potter or God is using is the sinful lump of humanity. God did not create the lump sinful, but God has the right to bring vessels of honor out of this fall and leave vessels of dishonor in the fall.

      You also misinterpret scripture when you try to use an Old Testament scripture to disprove what is plainly laid down in the New Testament. The New Testament is plain that Adam represented all of humanity and that when we are born into this world, we are born with the sin nature that was given to Adam for punishment of his sin. The guilt of Adam’s sin is passed to all men. If men were not guilty of Adam’s sin, then they would not die physically, because death is the punishment for Adam’s sin. The fact that a baby dies in infancy shows us that the punishment for Adam’s sin is imputed to everyone. Romans 5:12 is clear on this. Also Romans 3:10-12 is clear that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Pelagius did not teach this. He taught that Adam’s siin did not effect us and that everyone is born perfect and unfallen into this world.

      So God sending his own Son and allowing him to die for those whom he chooses too bring out of this fall, plainly shows that God is for his elect.

      I pray that you will study the views of Pelagius out and study Calvinism out. But most importantly that you study some hermeneutics in order to rightly interpret scripture.

      God bless.

  2. rey
    May 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    You can claim that I misunderstand everything so far as I care, but I don’t. I think you misunderstand what I was saying. Based on Old Testament passages like Ezekiel 18 which teach both that men can repent and that God will forgive on the basis of repentance, there was no need for a Godman to sacrifice himself. Pelgagianism, as in full Pelagianism, is Judaism without the ritual, which is what Jesus himself actually taught in the sermon on the mount. It is obvious that the paganized theory of Paul came later and was inserted at the end of the gospel too. Jesus doesn’t fulfill Isaiah 7 since the child was to be born before Agag’s two enemy kings were defeated (see the context) and this is fulfilled in Isaiah 8. Also Jer 31 about the weeping of Rachel plainly indicates the weeping is over the Babylonian captivity “there is hope for your children to return from the land of the enemy to their own borders” meaning the “for they are not” is “for they are not IN THE LAND” not for Herod has killed them. All the messianic prophecies must be twisted to apply them to Jesus. Christianity in the sense of a Godman messiah dying for your sins is a sham. Christianity in the full Pelagian sense of a prophet like unto Moses (per the Deut prophecy) who would abolish the rituals of the Law and maintain only the morality, is superior.

    • May 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      If you do not believe that Christ died for the sins of any man, then you cannot be saved.

      Also I can’t understand why you would even bother commenting on my post if you do not believe in the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. People normally do not spend time refuting fables.

      The only reason I could see that you would spend the time is because you are pricked to the heart for denying what God plainly states in his word.

      • May 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

        The above reply by my opponent is the classic example of someone who cannot distinguish between the law and the gospel. My opponent cites Exekiel 18 as his proof text that men have the ability to turn to God and ask for repentance. This scripture was also used by men like Pelagius or Erasmus in order to try and prove freewill.

        This scripture no where implies that a man has the ability to turn to God and receive forgiveness. The law every where commands, exhorts, and warns man to repent. Even in Ezekiel 18 it states that if a man will turn from all his sins, then he shall live. But Ezekiel 18 never proves that man has this ability.

        The gospel however, is proclaimed to those who have no ability to turn. God everywhere promises that he will turn again the captivity of Zion Psalms 14:7. The gospel is the promise of what God will do since man has not the ability to do it.

        This is why Jeremiah 31:18 states that Ephraim bemoaned himself and said: “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.” It is recognized in the words of this passage that Ephraim has no ability to turn, unless God supply it.

        Can such language be found in the New Testament? Absolutely. Jesus states in John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:” After which Jesus began to speak of eating his flesh and drinking his blood and his disciples told him that these things were hard to receive and Jesus answered back in verse 65: “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” and from that moment on many disciples quit following him.

        So you see that men are exhorted to repent, believe, and do what God says, but they have not the ability. This is why the gospel is good news to them. Because the Father takes the initiative and does what men are incapable.

        As for my opponent we see the classical arguments of someone who takes out of the scriptures only those passages that agree with his doctrines. The heretic Marcion done the same. He did not like the God of the Old Testament and said that the God of the Old Testament and Jesus were not the same because the God of the Old Testament was a God of wrath and Jesus was one of love. So Marcion put together the first list of what he considered to be the canonical books. His list excluded many books of the Bible because they did not promote his views.

        My opponent above teaches that Paul paganized the Bible by adding to the doctrines that Jesus died for sinners. Therefore my opponent does not hold to the writings of Paul. Yet Paul himself gives us an early creed that he received from the church about Christ death. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

        My opponent has admitted that he holds to the writings of Matthew and Luke as canonical because he told us that Jesus taught a certain concept in the Sermon on the Mount. Since Matthew was an apostle before Paul and wrote the Gospel of Matthew, then all we have to do in order to refute my opponents false beliefs concerning Christ death is to find scripture in the Gospel of Matthew that states that Christ died for sins.

        Matthew 20:28 states that Christ said: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

        Matthew 26:28 states, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

        We can find similar phrases in Mark, Luke, John, the book of Acts, 1 Peter, Hebrews, 1 John and Revelation. So without even using Paul’s writings we have refuted my opponents view that Christ did not die for sins.

        So to wrap this up I will say that my opponent has committed the classical error of eisegesis. In the method of interpretation of the scriptures known as hermeneutics we have what is called eisegesis and exegesis. The error eisegesis is the error of reading into the scripture what one wants the scripture to say. My opponent read into Ezekiel 18:21 the concept that if the Bible commands it, then men have the ability to do it.

        The correct method of interpretation is known as exegesis. This word means to draw out of the text. In other words we draw out of the text of scripture what it is saying. The scripture in Ezekiel 18 plainly states that if the wicked will turn from his sin, then he will live, but the scripture never implies that men have this power.

        Also we are to never rip scripture from the context of the chapter and make it say what we want it to say. Also we do not take narrative, poetry, proverbs, prohecies, apocalyptic scriptures and build doctrines on them. We always take the didactic or instructional scriptures and build our doctrines on that.

        For instance I have heard someone teach that Job and Daniel were sinless men. It is true that nowhere in the Old Testament can you find a place where either one of these men committed sin. But the didactic instructional scriptures in the New Testament tell us that these men were sinners. Romans 3:10-12 plainly states that there is none righteous no not one and Romans 3:23 plainly states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

        So in conclusion: When a man refuses to accept a portion of God’s Holy Word as authoritative, then we must conclude that there is much error in this individuals theology.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: