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Christians -- unconditional grace?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by sojourner, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I maintain that salvation has nothing to do with our faith or our works. Salvation is a work of God, carried out in the faith of God.
     
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    The God I know and have experienced is a God who loves all and saves all, in the end. The NT also talks about God's boundless love. It talks about how the kingdom is like a shepherd who searches for the lost sheep until he finds it, and how the kingdom is like a woman who sweeps the house until she finds the lost coin...not until death, not "for a while," not, "until I get tired," but until the lost are found. Those scriptures that speak of God's patience, forbearance, and love are most compelling for me.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Why not? They certainly can, if God allows them to!
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I'm not interested in the politics and dispensations of the afterlife, and I don't think God particularly is, either. I believe that, whatever happens to us after we die, God will be persistent in seeking us out and finding us. Time and eternity are on God's side!
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Grace is an act of God, not an act of humanity. Grace is the ultimate pardon for sin. That's the ultimate reality of the love that is God. And, ultimately, we will all have to accept reality.
     
  6. Geoffthe3rd

    Geoffthe3rd Member

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    God is loving God, and we also see that he allows us to make a choice of wether or not to except him or not. Its not love when we are forced to love him, that is suppression. Also retaining to the rapist, if he continues to rape after he is saved then u have to question whether he was saved or not, but by what your going everyone is going to be saved even those who lived a life contrary to what God says is right, and thus showing their LACK of love towards God, and he wont force people to stay with him. I know people who want to go to hell and not be near God thats there choice. The bible is very clear on Salvation
     
  7. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I fully disagree. It takes both God and man for grace to grow. Grace is not the "pardon" for sin... it is becoming just like God. Our word for Character and Charismatic come from Charis (Grace in Greek). Obviously we can not become LIKE God on our own. But as we desire to be like God and submit ourselves to his will, God grants the change on our hearts.

    You want grace???

    II Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
    3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. NIV
     
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  8. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    So, in other words, you're "not interested in the politics and dispensations of the afterlife" except if it agrees with your statement :rolleyes:.

    If you're going to make declarations like that to rebut someone, it is best not to make statements about people's lot in the afterlife. Even saying something positive is saying something about the "politics and dispensations." It would be internally consistent to say that you don't know anything or have anything to assert about the afterlife, but to make a contradicting statement about it while saying you aren't interested in such statements is rather disingenuous.
     
  9. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    I'll go along with that.

    I would agree that there is nothing any of us could do to earn salvation, and that if it were not for Christ's atoning sacrifice, there would not be one soul good enough to return to Heaven. On the other hand, if we are saved by God's grace alone, then do you agree with Sojourner that God will save each and every human being who has ever lived or will live?
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Of course God doesn't force us to love God. But God is infinitely patient, and God seeks us out until God finds us. What is the reason why some resist God? To turn from God is to turn from love itself. What would influence someone to turn from love? Sooner or later, love will always triumph. Sooner or later, those who resist love will be drawn by love. When will that be? I don't know...but God has all eternity...
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Grace is defined as the state of receiving God's favor (in other words, pardon for sinfulness). We do not forgive ourselves, because we don't live under our own rules. We live under God's rules, because it's God's creation.

    You want universal grace?

    All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Gen. 12:3

    I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Ex. 33:19

    I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

    All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him. Ps. 22:27

    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Ps. 139:7-8

    On this mountain the Lord Alm ighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine -- the best of meats and finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. Is. 25:6-8

    Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, "In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength." Is. 45:24

    I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man -- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. Hos. 11:9

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28

    Your Father is not willing that anyof these little ones should be lost. Matt. 18:14

    My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. Mark 11:17

    All mankind will see God's salvation. Lk. 3:6

    Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Lk. 15:4

    Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? Lk. 15:8

    When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself. Jn 12:32

    I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. Jn. 12:47

    You did not choose me, but I chose you. Jn. 15:16

    All have sinned and fallen short or the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:23-24

    etc. etc.

    Should we, when we hear of this good news, not respond favorably? Of course we should. Is it required? At some point. When will that point be? In God's time...not ours.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Don't put words in my mouth. I never said "except." I'm not interested in speculating about heaven or hell -- who will be where. I don't think it ultimately means anything. God will ultimately get what God wants -- relationship will every person. When will that happen? I don't know, and I don't care. Who will report where upon death? I don't know and I don't care, because, ultimately, we will all be with God. What I care about is the finality of God's will for us, which is to be in relationship with God. Everything else is a moot point.
     
  13. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Then I misunderstood you, but likewise, notice that I didn't quote you as saying "except" in any portion. I quoted you, then placed the "except" outside of parenthisis.

    Here's what leads to that:

    Skipping down a bit,

    Am I misunderstanding you here? If so, then I apologize. I understand you to be arguing that what God wants is universal salvation. When supplied with the premise that "God ultimately gets what God wants," then you come up with a blatant statement about the afterlife. You aren't simply talking about what God wants; you are making definitive assertions about the afterlife if you assert a). "God ultimately gets what God wants" and then b). supply for us what God wants on the afterlife.

    If I read you aright, then my "except" that I inserted (not as a quote, mind you), is an accurate interpretation of what you say, because it is a an assertion, by logical deduction, about the eternal state of men. If you are not aguing universalism on the basis of those tenets, then I decidedly need some illumination, because that's how I've read every point in this thread (or one building to it).
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    How do you arrive at this definition? Grace is a gift from God but that is not it's definition, but an attribute of it.

    Here is where we have issues with our translations. What is a "Spiritual gift"? There are many. Grace, Charis, is one of them.

    Jesus was "full of Grace" (Luke 2:40 John 1:14), he lacked NONE of them. He was truthful, he could speak in tongues, he loved, etc, etc... he was JUST LIKE GOD in each and every way.

    What really then is Christianity about? A transformation of the HEART, which makes rules seem silly. So if we are to have the Charisma of God (his grace), what types of disciples ought we to be? We would be JUST LIKE JESUS, as Jesus is JUST LIKE GOD. Are any of us there yet? Nope... which is why we need to "GROW IN GOD'S GRACE".

    Take a look at this scripture:

    II Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
    "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever." 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

    12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! NIV
     
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  15. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    NetDoc, you simply rock man...:jam: . Well said.
     
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  16. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    According to the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, 1996, McKim:
    Grace: (Gr. charis, Lat. gratia, "favor," "kindness") Unmerited favor. God's grace is extended to sinful humanity in providing salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ that is not deserved, and withholding judgment that is deserved.

    Grace is not a "spiritual gift" in the same manner as tongues, discernment, healing, etc., but it is a gift from God -- "...is not deserved," meaning that it is not by our own merit or work that grace is given to us, as a payment or reward, but an undeserved gift of kindness.

    I believe that grace is imparted to every person, because God is infinitely loving, patient and kind.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    No, you didn't misunderstand me, but I think I didn't explain the statement in question very carefully.

    Let's look at your statement in question and then I'll see if I can explain mine more suitably:

    Your statement is incorrect, because I'm not interested in the politics and dispensations of the afterlife, as they were being discussed in the post to which I replied with the statement. It makes absolutely no difference to me whether the ideas are in agreement, or disagreement with me.

    I do believe that God wants universal salvation. But, deeper than that, and more importantly, I believe that God's will is always done. Hence, the crux of the argument that politics ulitmately do not matter.

    When everything is said and done, God will ultimately save every person. That's my belief, because that's how I find God revealed best in scripture and in personal experience. what things must happen in order to get us all to that point are relatively immaterial in the grand scheme of God's plan for us.

    Some may (and are welcome to) disagree with me that God wants to save every person. They may even disagree with me that God's will is always accomplished.
    But that's what I read in the Bible about God, and that's the belief that I've formulated about what I've read. It does not fall within the status quo of Christian theology. It threatens some folks, and challenges some folks. They have their premises about salvation, and I have mine.

    Does that mean that I've formulated a definitive statement about what will happen to us? Absolutely! But I think you misunderstand what I mean about being disinterested. I'm highly interested in the final dispensation of humanity when I talk about universal grace. But what I'm not interested in are the "preliminaries" -- how we arrive at that final dispensation. Levels of heaven, hell, our works, our attitude -- these are all precursors to the final triumph of God over death.

    Was that clearer for you?
     
  18. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Yes.

    I will challenge it by pointing out that God doesn't always get what God wants. I would challenge that idea from Scripture. God did not desire Adam and Eve to fall. He actually commanded them not to eat of the tree. Either Adam and Eve violated His will and fell, or God desired what God had commanded not to occur. We can apply this same logic to every sin that men commit, including those the Lord calls "an abomination." God doesn't want them to happen, and they happen anyway.
     
  19. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Except in appearance, huh? :D
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    And yet, in the end, God chooses to save us from those abominations. If God is the End as well as the beginning, in what way can God's will ultimately not be done?

    We are not puppets on strings. God will honor our decisions. Ultimately, I believe that God's patience, love and acceptance will wear us down.
     
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