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Thread: Does God respond to Man?

  1. #1
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Default Does God respond to Man?

    This is a question regarding the gift of Grace, and Faith.

    What proof can JD and others provide that prove that the gift of Grace and Faith is NOT a RESPONSE from God to Man for the choices Mankind makes, and actions he undertakes.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Father_JD
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    Default Part I

    First we must DEFINE terms, figgie. No doubt you're thinking of such verses as "God resists the proud, but gives GRACE to the humble" as a "response from God to man for the choices mankind makes, etc".

    So, for your own edification I'm gonna give you the uses of the word, "Grace" which is the English word for "Charis".

    I'll be happy to address "faith" afterwards. What you apparently seem to forget/ignore (take your pick) is the reality that CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING.

    So without any further ado, please read this entry on "grace" and THEN ask your questions.

    Grace:

    gras:
    1. The Word Charis:

    In the English New Testament the word "grace" is always a translation of (charis), a word that occurs in the Greek text something over 170 times (the reading is uncertain in places). In secular Greek of all periods it is also a very common word, and in both Biblical and secular Greek it is used with far more meanings than can be represented by any one term in English Primarily

    (a) the word seems to denote pleasant external appearance, "gracefulness" "loveliness"; compare the personificaion in the Graces." Such a use is found in Lu 4:22, where Ďwondered at the charm of his wordsí is a good translation; and similarly in Col 4:6.

    (b) Objectively, charis may denote the impression produced by "gracefulness," as in 3 #Joh 1:4 Ďgreater gratification have I none than thisí (but many manuscripts read chara, "joy," here).

    (c) As a mental attribute charis may be translated by "graciousness," or, when directed toward a particular person or persons, by "favor." So in Lu 2:52, "Jesus advanced .... in favor with God and men."

    (d) As the complement to this, charis denotes the emotion awakened in the recipient of such favor, i.e. "gratitude." So Lu 17:9 reads literally, ĎHas he gratitude to that servant?í In a slightly transferred sense charis designates the words or emotion in which gratitude is expressed, and so becomes "thanks" (some 10 t, Ro 6:17, etc.)í.

    (e) Concretely, charis may mean the act by which graciousness is expressed, as in 1Co 16:3, where the King James Version translates by "liberality," and the Revised Version (British and American) by "bounty." These various meanings naturally tend to blend into each other, and in certain cases it is difficult to fix the precise meaning that the writer meant the word to convey, a confusion that is common to both New Testament and secular Greek And in secular Greek the word has a still larger variety of meanings that scarcely concern theologian.

    2. Grace as Power:

    Naturally, the various meanings of the word were simply taken over from ordinary language by the New Testament writers. And so it is quite illegitimate to try to construct on the basis of all the occurrences of the word a single doctrine that will account for all the various usages. That one word could express both "charm of speech" and "thankfulness for blessings" was doubtless felt to be a mere , if it was thought of at all. But none the less, the very elasticity of the word enabled it to receive still anotherónew and technically Christianómeaning. This seems to have originated in part by fusing together two of the ordinary significances. In the first place, as in (e) above, charis may mean "a gift." In 1Co 16:3; 2Co 8:19 it is the money given by the Corinthians to the Jerusalemites. In 2Co 9:8 it is the increase of worldly goods that God grants for charitable purposes. In 2Co 1:15 it is the benefit received by the Corinthians from a visit by Paul. In a more spiritual sense charis is the endowment for an office in the church (Eph 4:7), more particularly for the apostolate (Ro 1:5; 12:3; 15:15; 1Co 3:10; Eph 3:2,7). So in 1Co 1:4-7 margin charis is expanded into "word and all knowledge," endowments with which the Corinthians were especially favored. In 1Pe 1:13 charis is the future heavenly blessedness that Christians are to receive; in 3:7 it is the present gift of "life." In the second place, charis is the word for Godís favor, a sense of the term that is especially refined by Paul (see below). But Godís favor differs from manís in that it cannot be conceived of as inactive. A favorable "thought" of Godís about a man involves of necessity the reception of some blessing by that man, and "to look with favor" is one of the commonest Biblical paraphrases for "bestow a blessing." Between "Godís favor" and "Godís favors" there exists a relation of active power, and as charis denoted both the favor and the favors, it was the natural word for the power that connected them. This use is very clear in 1Co 15:10, where Paul says, "not I, but the grace of God which was with me" labored more abundantly than they all: grace is something that labors. So in 2Co 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness"; compare 2Ti 2:1, "strengthened in the grace," and 1Pe 4:10, "stewards of the manifold grace." Evidently in this sense "grace" is almost a synonym for the Spirit (see HOLY SPIRIT), and there is little real difference between "full of the Holy Spirit" and "full of grace and power" in Ac 6:5,8, while there is a very striking parallel between Eph 4:7-13 and 1Co 12:4-11, with "gifts of grace" in the one passage, and "gifts of the Spirit" in the other. And this connection between grace and the Spirit is found definitely in the formula "Spirit of grace" in Heb 10:29 (compare Zec 12:10). And, as is well known, it is from this sense of the word that the Catholic doctrine of grace developed.

    3. Grace in Justification:

    This meaning of charis was obtained by expanding and combining other meanings. By the opposite process of narrowly restricting one of the meanings of the word, it came again into Christian theology as a technical term, but this time in a sense quite distinct from that just discussed. The formation of this special sense seems to have been the work of Paul. When charis is used with the meaning "favor," nothing at all is implied as to whether or not the favor is deserved. So, for instance, in the New Testament, when in Lu 2:52 it is said that "Jesus advanced .... in favor with God and men," the last possible thought is that our Lord did not deserve this favor. Compare also Lu 2:40 and Ac 2:47 and, as less clear cases, Lu 1:30; Ac 7:46; Heb 4:16; 12:15,28. But the word has abundant use in secular Greek in the sense of unmerited favor, and Paul seized on this meaning of the word to express a fundamental characteristic of Christianity. The basic passage is Ro 11:5,6, where as a definition is given, "If it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace." That the word is used in other senses could have caused no 1st-century reader to miss the meaning, which, indeed, is unmistakable. "Grace" in this sense is an attitude on Godís part that proceeds entirely from within Himself, and that is conditioned in no way by anything in the objects of His favor. So in Ro 4:4. If salvation is given on the basis of what a man has done, then salvation is given by God as the payment of a debt. But when faith is reckoned for what it is not, i.e. righteousness, there is no claim on manís part, and he receives as a pure gift something that he has not earned. (It is quite true that faith involves moral effort, and so may be thought of as a sort of a "work"; it is quite true that faith does something as a preparation for receiving Godís further gifts. But it simply clouds the exegetical issue to bring in these ideas here, as they certainly were not present in Paulís mind when the verses were being written.) "Grace" then, in this sense is the antinomy to "works" or to "law"; it has a special relation to the guilt of sin (Ro 5:20; 6:1), and has almost exactly the same sense as "mercy." Indeed, "grace" here differs from "mercy" chiefly in connoting eager love as the source of the act. See JUSTIFICATION. Of course it is this sense of grace that tes Ro 3-6, especially in thesis 3:24, while the same use is found in Ga 2:21; Eph 2:5,8; 2Ti 1:9. The same strict sense underlies Ga 1:6 and is found, less sharply formulated, in Tit 3:5-7. (Ga 5:4 is perhaps different.) Outside of Paulís writings, his definition of the word seems to be adopted in Joh 1:17; Ac 15:11; Heb 13:9, while a perversion of this definition in the direction of antinomianism is the subject of the invective in Jude 1:4. And, of course, it is from the word in this technical Pauline sense that an elaborate Protestant doctrine of grace has been developed.

    Part II will address "special" uses of the term...
    Last edited by Father_JD; 05-27-2009 at 02:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Father_JD
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    4. Special Uses:

    A few special uses of the word may be noted. That the special blessing of God on a particular undertaking (Ac 14:26; 15:40) should be called a "grace" needs no explanation. In Lu 6:32-34, and 1Pe 2:19,20, charis seems to be used in the sense of "that which deserves the thanks of God," i.e. a specifically Christian act as distinguished from an act of "natural morality." "Grace for grace" in Joh 1:16 is a difficult phrase, but an almost exact parallel in Philo (Poster. Cain, 43) may fix the sense as "benefit on benefit." But the tendency of the New Testament writers is to combine the various meanings the word can have, something that is particularly well illustrated in 2Co 8; 9. In these two chapters the word occurs 10 t, but in so many different senses as to suggest that Paul is consciously playing with the term. Charis is the money given to the Jerusalemites by the Corinthians (2Co 8:19), it is the increase of goods that God will grant the Corinthians (2Co 9:8), it is the disposition of the givers (2Co 8:6), it is the power of God that has wrought this disposition (2Co 8:1; 9:14), it is the act of Christ in the Incarnation (2Co 8:9; contrast the distinction between "God’s grace" and "Christs act" in Heb 2:9), it is the thanks that Paul renders (2Co 9:15). That all a Christian is and all that he has is God’s gift could have been stated of course without the use of any special term at all. But in these two chapters Paul has taught this truth by using for the various ideas always the same term and by referring this term to God at the beginning and the end of the section. That is, to the multiplicity of concepts there is given a unity of terminology, corresponding to the unity given the multiple aspects of life by the thought of entire dependence on God. So charis, "grace," becomes almost an equivalent for "Christianity," viewed as the religion of dependence on God through Christ. As one may think of entering Christianity, abiding in it, or falling from it, so one may speak of entering into (Ro 5:2), abiding in (Ac 13:43), or falling from (Ga 5:4) grace; compare 1Pe 5:12. So the teaching of Christianity may be summed up as word or gospel of grace (Ac 14:3; 20:24,32). So "grace be with you" closes the Epistles as a sufficient summary of all the blessings that can be wished Christian readers. At the beginning of the Epistles the words "and peace" are usually added, but this is due only to the influence of the Jewish greeting "peace be with you" (Lu 10:5, etc.), and not to any reflection on "grace" and "peace" as separate things. (It is possible that the Greek use of chairein, "rejoice," as an epistolary salutation (so in Jas 1:1) influenced the Christian use of charis. But that "grace and peace" was consciously regarded as a universalistic combination of Jewish and Gentilecustom is altogether unlikely.) The further expansion of the introductory formula by the introduction of "mercy" in 1 and 2Ti is quite without theological significance.

    5. Teaching of Christ:

    In the Greek Gospels, charis is used in the words of Christ only in Lu 6:32-34; 17:9. As Christ spoke in Aram, the choice of this word is due to Luke, probably under the influence of its common Christian use in his own day. And there is no word in our Lord’s recorded sayings that suggests that He employed habitually any especial term to denote grace in any of its senses. But the ideas are unambiguously present. That the pardon of sins is a free act on God’s part may be described as an essential in Christ’s teaching, and the lesson is taught in all manner of ways. The prodigal knowing only his own wretchedness (Lu 15:20), the publican without merit to urge (Lu 18:13), the sick who need a physician (Mr 2:17), they who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Mt 5:6), these are the ones for whom God’s pardon is inexhaustible. And positive blessings, be they temporal or spiritual, are to be looked for from God, with perfect trust in Him who clothes the lilies and knows how to give good gifts to His children (Mt 7:11; here Lu 11:13 has "Holy Spirit" for "gifts," doubtless a Lukan interpretation, but certainly a correct one). Indeed, it is not too much to say that Christ knows but one unpardonable sin, the sin of spiritual self-satisfaction—"That which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God" (Lu 16:15; compare Lu 17:7-10; Mt 20:1-16).

    6. In the Old Testament:

    There is no word in Hebrew that can represent all the meanings of charis, and in the Septuagint charis itself is used, practically, only as a translation of the Hebrew chen, "favor," this restriction of meaning being due to the desire to represent the same Hebrew word by the same Greek word as far as possible. And chen, in turn, is used chiefly only in the phrase "find favor" (Ge 6:8, etc.), whether the reference is to God or men, and without theological importance. Much nearer Paul’s use of charis is ratson, "acceptance," in such passages as Isa 60:10, "In my favor have I had mercy on thee"; Ps 44:3, "not .... by their own sword .... but .... because thou wast favorable unto them." Perhaps still closer parallels can be detected in the use of checedh, "kindness," "mercy," as in Ex 20:6, etc. But, of course, a limitation of the sources for the doctrine to passages containing only certain words would be altogether unjust. The main lines seem to be these:

    (1) Technically, salvation by grace in the New Testament is opposed to an Old Testament doctrine of salvation by works (Ro 4:4; 11:6), or, what is the same thing, by law (Ro 6:14; Joh 1:17); i.e men and God are thought of as parties to a contract, to be fulfilled by each independently. Most of the legislation seems to presuppose some idea of man as a quantity quite outside of God, while De 30:11-14 states explicitly that the law is not too hard nor too far off for man.

    (2) Yet even this legalism is not without important modifications. The keeping of the law is man’s work, but that man has the law to keep is something for which God only is to be thanked. Ps 119 is the essence of legalism, but the writer feels overwhelmed throughout by the greatness of the mercy that disclosed such statutes to men. After all, the initial (and vital!) act is God’s not man’s. This is stated most sharply in Eze 23:1-4—Oholibah and her sister became God’s, not because of any virtue in them, but in spite of most revolting conduct. Compare De 7:7, etc.

    (3) But even in the most legalistic passages, an absolute literal keeping of the law is never (not even in such a passage as Nu 15:30,31) made a condition of salvation. The thought of transgression is at all times tempered with the thought of God’s pardon. The whole sacrificial system, in so far as it is expiatory, rests on God’s gracious acceptance of something in place of legal obedience, while the passages that offer God’s mercy without demanding even a sacrifice (Isa 1:18; Mic 7:18-20, etc.) are countless. Indeed, in Eze 16; 20; 23, mercy is promised to a nation that is spoken of as hardly even desiring it, a most extreme instance.

    (4) But a mere negative granting of pardon is a most deficient definition of the Old Testament idea of God’s mercy, which delights in conferring positive benefits. The gift to Abraham of the land of Canaan, liberation from Egypt, food in the wilderness, salvation from enemies, deliverance from exile—all of Israel’s history can be felt to be the record of what God did for His people through no duty or compulsion, grateful thanksgiving for such unmerited blessings filling, for instance, much of the Psalter. The hearts of men are in God’s keeping, to receive from Him the impulse toward what is right (1Ch 29:18, etc.). And the promise is made that the God who has manifested Himself as a forgiving Father will in due time take hold of His children to work in them actual righteousness (Isa 1:26; 4:3,1; 32:1-8; 33:24; Jer 31:33,14; Eze 36:25,26; Zec 8; Da 9:24; Ps 51:10-12) With this promise—for the Old Testament always a matter of the future—the Old Testament teaching passes into that of the New Testament.

    7. Summary:

    (The following is the most typical error of Mormon hermeneutics!!!)

    Most of the discussions of the Biblical doctrine of grace have been faulty in narrowing the meaning of "grace" to some special sense, and then endeavoring to force this special sense on all the Biblical passages. For instance, Roman scholars, starting with the meaning of the word in (say) 2Co 12:9, have made Ro 3:24 state that men are justified by the infusion of Divine holiness into them, an interpretation that utterly ruins Paul’s argument. On the other hand, Protestant extremists have tried to reverse the process and have argued that grace cannot mean anything except favor as an attitude, with results that are equally disastrous from the exegetical standpoint. And a confusion has resulted that has prevented men from seeing that most of the controversies about grace are at cross-purposes. A rigid definition is hardly possible, but still a single conception is actually present in almost every case where "grace" is found—the conception that all a Christian has or is, is centered exclusively in God and Christ, and depends utterly on God through Christ. The kingdom of heaven is reserved for those who become as little children, for those who look to their Father in loving confidence for every benefit, whether it be for the pardon so freely given, or for the strength that comes from Him who works in them both to will and to do.

    LITERATURE.

    All the Biblical theologies contain full discussions of the subject; for the New Testament the closest definitions are given by Bernard Weiss. But for the meaning of "grace" in any particular place the commentaries must be consulted, although the student may be warned against discussions that argue too closely from what may seem to be parallel passages.


    Written by Burton Scott Easton
    Last edited by Father_JD; 05-27-2009 at 02:35 PM.

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    Father JD, I couldn't help but smile with you post..it reminded me of when I was trying to explain my beliefs and this was the reply I received:

    Have you ever heard this statement, "the simplicity of the Gospel?" I am sorry, but your explanation is quite complicated to say the least. I do not fault you BigJulie, for obviously this is what you have been taught, and this is what you believe, and I respect that.

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    dfoJC
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    So nice to be remembered...

    with kind regards,
    dfoJC

  6. #6
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father JD
    ...
    Written by Burton Scott Easton
    No where does Mr. Easton answer the question: Does God respond to Man?

    Nowhere does Mr. Easton assert that the gifts of Grace and Faith are NOT examples of God responding to Man.

  7. #7
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    No where does Mr. Easton answer the question: Does God respond to Man?

    Nowhere does Mr. Easton assert that the gifts of Grace and Faith are NOT examples of God responding to Man.

    Uh, you missed the whole point as usual, figster:

    "Grace" has MULTIPLE MEANINGS.

    "Faith" has MULITPLE MEANINGS. ( Which I haven't posted yet, waiting for you to settle on your skewed Mormon meaning of "grace".)

    The question IS:

    What do YOU mean by "grace" or "faith"?????

    There are examples where one particular usage of "grace" appears to demonstrate that GOD RESPONDS TO MAN.

    Got it now??

  8. #8
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJulie View Post
    Father JD, I couldn't help but smile with you post..it reminded me of when I was trying to explain my beliefs and this was the reply I received:

    The one and only TRUE Gospel IS simple:

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be SAVED".


    The contextually-nuanced meanings of "grace" and "faith" are not necessarily simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    Uh, you missed the whole point as usual, figster:

    "Grace" has MULTIPLE MEANINGS.

    "Faith" has MULITPLE MEANINGS. ( Which I haven't posted yet, waiting for you to settle on your skewed Mormon meaning of "grace".)

    The question IS:

    What do YOU mean by "grace" or "faith"?????

    There are examples where one particular usage of "grace" appears to demonstrate that GOD RESPONDS TO MAN.

    Got it now??
    The problem is you don't understand the simple question.

    The question is not about the definition of grace and faith. It is about God.

    Got it now???

    Marvin

  10. #10
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russianwolfe View Post
    The problem is you don't understand the simple question.

    The question is not about the definition of grace and faith. It is about God.

    Got it now???

    Marvin
    No, I'm afraid YOU don't get it, Marvin. Figgie's challenge is based upon his narrowistic Mormon "understanding" of the words.

    I'm merely asking Figge exactly WHAT does he mean by "grace" or "faith".

    The answer as to "whether God responds to man regarding grace and faith" is completely dependent upon this.

  11. #11
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    The answer as to "whether God responds to man regarding grace and faith" is completely dependent upon this.
    Why?

    The question is a simple one and if you need to give a 20,000 word answer you can. Just answer the question, and provide all the qualifications you want to.

    I'm waiting.

    You have 3 options:

    God NEVER responds to Man

    God ALWAYS responds to Man

    Only in certain cases does God respond to Man.

    You seem to be leaning to no. 3. So explain.
    Last edited by Fig-bearing Thistle; 05-29-2009 at 07:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    No, I'm afraid YOU don't get it, Marvin. Figgie's challenge is based upon his narrowistic Mormon "understanding" of the words.

    I'm merely asking Figge exactly WHAT does he mean by "grace" or "faith".

    The answer as to "whether God responds to man regarding grace and faith" is completely dependent upon this.
    Figbthistle never talked about what grace and faith were. His question asks nothing about definitions. You seem to be attempting to cloud the issue by asking irrelevant questions.

    The question is about why God does something. Doesn't matter what the definition of grace and faith are. The question is about God.

    Now can you answer the question or are you going to prove you don't have a clue?

    Marvin

  13. #13
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russianwolfe View Post
    Figbthistle never talked about what grace and faith were. His question asks nothing about definitions. You seem to be attempting to cloud the issue by asking irrelevant questions.

    The question is about why God does something. Doesn't matter what the definition of grace and faith are. The question is about God.

    Now can you answer the question or are you going to prove you don't have a clue?

    Marvin
    That's just it, and NO you still don't get it. Figgie asked, "Does God respond to man's actions with GRACE AND FAITH?"

    I therefore ask, "What do you MEAN by 'grace' and 'faith'??"

    The answer is DEPENDENT UPON THE DEFINITIONS.

    Got it...finally?????????????????????

  14. #14
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    Why?

    The question is a simple one and if you need to give a 20,000 word answer you can. Just answer the question, and provide all the qualifications you want to.

    I'm waiting.

    You have 3 options:

    God NEVER responds to Man

    God ALWAYS responds to Man

    Only in certain cases does God respond to Man.

    You seem to be leaning to no. 3. So explain.

    That is NOT what you asked in your OP:


    What proof can JD and others provide that prove that the gift of Grace and Faith is NOT a RESPONSE from God to Man for the choices Mankind makes, and actions he undertakes.

    Therefore I ask you, "What do you MEAN by 'the gift of Grace and Faith'?????"

    You've equivocated your OWN QUESTION from "the gift of Grace and Faith" to that of a generic, "Does God respond to man's choices or actions"???

    I'm more than happy to answer that: Of course he does. That's WHY you stand condemned by the REAL Christ of the Bible for your CHOICES:

    Trusting in a FALSE GOD
    Trusting in a FALSE CHRIST
    Trusting in a FALSE GOSPEL
    Trusting in FALSE PROPHETS.

    You are an idolator figgie of the first rank.

    Now...do you want to stop equivocating your own questions or what???
    Last edited by Father_JD; 05-30-2009 at 11:11 AM.

  15. #15
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    That is NOT what you asked in your OP:


    What proof can JD and others provide that prove that the gift of Grace and Faith is NOT a RESPONSE from God to Man for the choices Mankind makes, and actions he undertakes.

    Therefore I ask you, "What do you MEAN by 'the gift of Grace and Faith'?????"

    You've equivocated your OWN QUESTION from "the gift of Grace and Faith" to that of a generic, "Does God respond to man's choices or actions"???

    I'm more than happy to answer that: Of course he does. That's WHY you stand condemned by the REAL Christ of the Bible for your CHOICES:

    Trusting in a FALSE GOD
    Trusting in a FALSE CHRIST
    Trusting in a FALSE GOSPEL
    Trusting in FALSE PROPHETS.

    You are an idolator figgie of the first rank.

    Now...do you want to stop equivocating your own questions or what???
    The question headline was "Does God respond to Man?"

    What do I mean by the gift of faith and grace? Here, Read your Bible.

    Your childish ranting aside, Do you believe God gives his gifts in response to man, or not?
    Last edited by Fig-bearing Thistle; 05-30-2009 at 02:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Berean
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    This is a question regarding the gift of Grace, and Faith.

    What proof can JD and others provide that prove that the gift of Grace and Faith is NOT a RESPONSE from God to Man for the choices Mankind makes, and actions he undertakes.

    Thanks.
    First, I'm always surprised when I read anything from LDS posters with the word "gift" in it when it comes to matters of faith. Mormonism is a works-oriented religious system. In the LDS Bible dictionary (I use the KJV Bible with the LDS Church stamp on the binder) on page 697 the word "grace" has this definition:

    "This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation AFTER they have expended THEIR OWN BEST EFFORTS...grace cannot suffice without TOTAL EFFORT on the part of the recipient."

    There is no biblical grace in that statement. Whatever you have to work for with your best efforts is not a gift either. Mormons don't get grace until they have completed the "checklist" in Moroni 10:32. I will try to simply answer your original question.

    The mere act of believing is a gift. In the Bible, it's clear to Christians that mankind is corrupt and sinful in nature. Mankind is born in a sinful state and that has been the case since the fall of man with Adam (Romans 5:12). This is the exact opposite belief in Mormonism (Articles of Faith #2). Mormons think they aren't born with original sin and are therefore "off the hook". That is a lie from Satan and the Mormons have fell for it face-first (Romans 5:12). There is nothing that man can do to please God (Romans 8:8). We are all corrupt in His sight (Romans 3:10, 12, 23). Our works are disgusting in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). Mankind is dead in their sins and unable to please God and it was God who had to "quicken" us FIRST (Ephesians 2:1 & 5). God does not hear the sinner unless that person has done His will (John 9:31) - given the ability to believe (Philippians 1:29). What is His will? Jesus tells us in John 6:40: believe on Jesus.

    God isn't subject to the whims and decisions of mankind waiting for man to make the first move. Just the simple act of believing in Christ has to come from the Father (Philippians 1:29). The Father has to "draw" the person to Christ (John 6:44). When the Father "draws" mankind and gives mankind the ability to believe, because mankind is dead in their sins and can't respond on their own, then God will respond with hearing the sinner AFTER that person has believed on the Son (prayer of repentance). Mankind is awarded the gift of eternal life for choosing to believe in Jesus (John 6:47). It's God FIRST - NOT man making a move first requiring God to act. Man deserves nothing on his own or his own merits. It's all about God - not us doing anything worthy enough to get God to give us His attention. We can't...we're garbage in His sight apart from Christ. Those without the real Jesus (God in the flesh) as taugt in the Bible are utterly lost and dead.
    Last edited by Berean; 05-30-2009 at 03:27 PM. Reason: left out a word

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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Berean View Post
    First, I'm always surprised when I read anything from LDS posters with the word "gift" in it when it comes to matters of faith. Mormonism is a works-oriented religious system. In the LDS Bible dictionary (I use the KJV Bible with the LDS Church stamp on the binder) on page 697 the word "grace" has this definition:

    "This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation AFTER they have expended THEIR OWN BEST EFFORTS...grace cannot suffice without TOTAL EFFORT on the part of the recipient."
    We call it accountability--that God expects us to give our all as he did when he died on the cross on our behalf. We do not believe we can be luke warm of give half in effort in turning over our will to God.

    There is no biblical grace in that statement. Whatever you have to work for with your best efforts is not a gift either. Mormons don't get grace until they have completed the "checklist" in Moroni 10:32. I will try to simply answer your original question.
    The atonement is a gift to all of mankind that he cannot do for himself--in other words, even with our best effort, we cannot over come death and sin--therefore, we need this gift from God.

    The mere act of believing is a gift. In the Bible, it's clear to Christians that mankind is corrupt and sinful in nature. Mankind is born in a sinful state and that has been the case since the fall of man with Adam (Romans 5:12). This is the exact opposite belief in Mormonism (Articles of Faith #2). Mormons think they aren't born with original sin and are therefore "off the hook". That is a lie from Satan and the Mormons have fell for it face-first (Romans 5:12). There is nothing that man can do to please God (Romans 8:8). We are all corrupt in His sight (Romans 3:10, 12, 23). Our works are disgusting in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). Mankind is dead in their sins and unable to please God and it was God who had to "quicken" us FIRST (Ephesians 2:1 & 5). God does not hear the sinner unless that person has done His will (John 9:31) - given the ability to believe (Philippians 1:29). What is His will? Jesus tells us in John 6:40: believe on Jesus.
    This comment about Mormon's being "off the hook" is this gift that you seem to not recognize. We believe that we would be born in a sinful state if it were not for the atonement of Christ who has given us a clean slate from Adam---the atonement makes us responsible to God for ourselves, rather than responsible for Adam's behavior as well.

    God isn't subject to the whims and decisions of mankind waiting for man to make the first move.
    You are right, the first move he made was to atone for the sins of the world---because God didn't send his son to condemn the world, but to save it.

    Just the simple act of believing in Christ has to come from the Father (Philippians 1:29). The Father has to "draw" the person to Christ (John 6:44).
    Mormons don't believe that this occurs randomly, but that God answers all that seek him--in other words, to Mormons, God loves all and desires to bless all.

    When the Father "draws" mankind and gives mankind the ability to believe, because mankind is dead in their sins and can't respond on their own, then God will respond with hearing the sinner AFTER that person has believed on the Son (prayer of repentance). Mankind is awarded the gift of eternal life for choosing to believe in Jesus (John 6:47).
    To Mormons, this act of believing can be seen in the way they behave and the commitment they make to turn their will fully over to God--no half effort will do.

    It's God FIRST - NOT man making a move first requiring God to act. Man deserves nothing on his own or his own merits. It's all about God - not us doing anything worthy enough to get God to give us His attention. We can't...we're garbage in His sight apart from Christ. Those without the real Jesus (God in the flesh) as taugt in the Bible are utterly lost and dead.
    I agree, the first effort made by God happened before the creation of the world, in which a savior was provided. The only difference I see is that you believe God randomly picks and chooses whom he will save, and I believe that he will save all who are willing to follow him. While you see mankind as garbage, I see mankind as children of God, whom he loves and desires to save. All we need to do is turn to God and be willing to turn ourselves over to him.

  18. #18
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    The question headline was "Does God respond to Man?"
    And THEN you qualified it by GIFT OF GRACE AND FAITH. Do you not know what you wrote, figgie??? Why do you persist in your games?


    What do I mean by the gift of faith and grace? Here, Read your Bible.

    Your childish ranting aside, Do you believe God gives his gifts in response to man, or not?
    And what does John 15 have to do with this?? Enlighen me.


    IF you mean does God give gifts in response as some kind of "reward", NO, God does NOT give "gifts" that MUST BE EARNED BY WORKS RIGHTEOUENESS.

    You're playing your little juvenile word games, Figgster, refusing to DEFINE your terms in hopes of trapping anyone who deigns to play your little Mormon reindeer games.

  19. #19
    Charity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    This is a question regarding the gift of Grace, and Faith.

    What proof can JD and others provide that prove that the gift of Grace and Faith is NOT a RESPONSE from God to Man for the choices Mankind makes, and actions he undertakes.

    Thanks.
    FBT,

    This is my understanding of grace. In 2 Timothy 1:9, the Apostle Paul makes a remarkable statement that God's grace "was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."

    God's grace eternally existed for us literally "before time existed." That's why the NIV translates the verse by saying that God's grace was given to us "before time began."

    His grace exists outside of cause-and-effect phenomena, that is why it's grace! It's independent of human actions, thoughts, words, choices, or attitudes.

    Since Christ's grace existed for us in His own timeless eternity, not one human act or choice as been excluded from grace. But it still needs to be received, or accepted.

    "He hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world...", Ephesians 1:4

    God is the author and finisher of our faith. Faith begins and ends with Him. Faith is not something we can manufacture within ourselves, something that resides in our personality or something that is determined by heredity, intelligence or even religious belief. Faith is simply being fully persuaded that God is able to do all that He has promised.

    Each believer receives a measure of faith upon being born again (conversion)Our capacity for faith will be enlarged or diminished by our own individual choices. Its necessary that we be completely convinced that God will keep His Word and do the impossible, regardless of how we feel or what we think.

    My personal faith has grown in the years since I began studying the Bible and praying faithfully. I believe the Holy Spirit turtors us as we study the Bible giving us more of an understanding of His plan for our lives and His plan for His creation. When we see God's heart in relation to the Cross our faith in Him grows.

    In His Grace through Faith,
    Charity


    Last edited by Charity; 05-30-2009 at 06:06 PM.

  20. #20
    Berean
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    [QUOTE=BigJulie;17674]
    We call it accountability--that God expects us to give our all as he did when he died on the cross on our behalf. We do not believe we can be luke warm of give half in effort in turning over our will to God.
    Nice spin, but it doesn't work - not with the Bible - only in Mormonland. We're not talking about accountability or will. We're talking about grace and faith. Grace is unmerited favor. The LDS definition of grace is clear. Have you given TOTAL EFFORT? If not, then I guess you get no grace. Are you perfected in him, denied yourself of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength (Moroni 10:32)? If so, your the first Mormon in history to answer "yes" to that question. If not, then you have no grace from your christ until you do so, that is if you believe what is in the Book of Mormon. Mormons today have their own individual hybrid form of Mormonism. Obedience is different than grace. The Mormon god requires your due diligence in adding to this by your own efforts to what the Mormon jesus did on your "cross". There is no grace in that. If your involved in the process, then it's man-based - not completely of Christ. The Mormon jesus couldn't do it all for the Mormon:

    “When he (Jesus) became our Savior, he did his part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.” (Gospel Principles, page 19)

    The atonement is a gift to all of mankind that he cannot do for himself--in other words, even with our best effort, we cannot over come death and sin--therefore, we need this gift from God.
    Once again, we have to define our terms. The LDS atonement is radically different than the atonement of Christianity. Even so, this gift from the Mormon jesus is not enough for Mormons to gain anything higher than the terrestrial kingdom - big deal! Honest Mormons tell me that anything less than exaltation (becoming a god) is damnation to them. If a Mormon wants that, it's all up to them to get it - work - grace, faith and the atoning work of Christ are out of the picture.

    This comment about Mormon's being "off the hook" is this gift that you seem to not recognize. We believe that we would be born in a sinful state if it were not for the atonement of Christ who has given us a clean slate from Adam---the atonement makes us responsible to God for ourselves, rather than responsible for Adam's behavior as well.
    ...only in Mormon doctrine is that so. It's obvious that you haven't read the Bible verses that do not support Mormon "theology". Romans 5:12 and Ephesians 2:1 & 5 are very clear. You are dead in your TRESPASSES and sins. Romans 5:12 says "all men". This epistle written by Paul was AFTER the ascension of Christ. You can either take the apostles word from the Bible which is inspired of God or you can take the word of Joseph Smith. I'm going with the Bible.

    You are right, the first move he made was to atone for the sins of the world---because God didn't send his son to condemn the world, but to save it. Mormons don't believe that this occurs randomly, but that God answers all that seek him--in other words, to Mormons, God loves all and desires to bless all.
    In Mormonism, everyone is a child of the Mormon god because they are his offspring from relations with the Mormon mother in heaven. In the Bible, only those that have RECEIVED Him are the children of God (John 1:12). Rejection of the real Savior of the Bible lands a person in outer darkness - not another kingdom/heaven regardless of that person's belief.

    To Mormons, this act of believing can be seen in the way they behave and the commitment they make to turn their will fully over to God--no half effort will do.
    Once again, have you fulfilled the definition of "grace" in your own Bible dictionary and in Moroni 10:32? If so, you're the first. They need to put your picture in the Ensign.

    I agree, the first effort made by God happened before the creation of the world, in which a savior was provided. The only difference I see is that you believe God randomly picks and chooses whom he will save, and I believe that he will save all who are willing to follow him. While you see mankind as garbage, I see mankind as children of God, whom he loves and desires to save. All we need to do is turn to God and be willing to turn ourselves over to him.
    The God of the Bible can do whatever He wants. He is not bound by man's dictates. God will give eternal life to those that put their total faith in Christ and trusting him to completely do for him/her TOTALLY what they could not do for themselves which is gain acceptance and reconciliation of the Father thus the need for Christ to atone for our sins. God sees mankind in his efforts and works to please him as "filthy rags" (garbage - pick any word you like) in Isaiah 64:6. We are dead in our sins and we cannot please him in the flesh. The Scriptures are clear as I gave them above. The Bible says that some are children of God and others are children of the devil. Jesus said that. Let me know if you want the references. It's in the LDS KJV Bible. John 3:16 is a true statement. God loved the world enough to send His Son for us to be our substitutionary atonement to reconcile us with the Father. Mankind is born with a sin nature. In Christianity it's all about Christ. In Mormonism it's all about them adding to what their jesus could not completely do for them in their quest to become a god. If that wasn't the case, then Mormons wouldn't be dependent on their spouse in celestial marriage in making it to the LDS celestial kingdom to be with their heavenly father. The Mormon jesus is "out to lunch" on that quest. It's all up to the Mormon. It may make you feel self-righteous and proud, but you won't square any of that up with the Bible and you sure can't call to your jesus to help you out in that quest either. Your all on your own - oh yeah, and with the help of your spouse and family.

    Where is your jesus and his atonement in this statement?

    “Thanks to God’s great plan of happiness, families can be together forever – as exalted beings. No man in this Church can obtain the highest degree of celestial glory without a worthy woman who is sealed to him. This temple ordinance enables eventual exaltation for both of them. Any discussion of family responsibilities to prepare for exaltation would be incomplete if we included only mother, father, and children. What about grandparents and other ancestors? The Lord has revealed that we cannot become perfect without them; neither can they without us be made perfect. Sealing ordinances are essential to exaltation. A wife needs to be sealed to her husband; children need to be sealed to their parents; and we all need to be connected with our ancestors. In God’s eternal plan, salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter.” [Emphasis added] (Mormon Apostle Russell Nelson, Ensign, May, 2008, pages 7-10).
    Last edited by Berean; 05-30-2009 at 06:29 PM.

  21. #21
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    And THEN you qualified it by GIFT OF GRACE AND FAITH. Do you not know what you wrote, figgie??? Why do you persist in your games?




    And what does John 15 have to do with this?? Enlighen me.
    You pretend to understand grace and can't see a tie in here? Amazing.

    So why can't a gift be given in response to something the receive has done?

  22. #22
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berean View Post

    The mere act of believing is a gift. In the Bible, it's clear to Christians that mankind is corrupt and sinful in nature. Mankind is born in a sinful state and that has been the case since the fall of man with Adam (Romans 5:12). This is the exact opposite belief in Mormonism (Articles of Faith #2). Mormons think they aren't born with original sin and are therefore "off the hook". That is a lie from Satan and the Mormons have fell for it face-first (Romans 5:12). There is nothing that man can do to please God (Romans 8:8). We are all corrupt in His sight (Romans 3:10, 12, 23). Our works are disgusting in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). Mankind is dead in their sins and unable to please God and it was God who had to "quicken" us FIRST (Ephesians 2:1 & 5). God does not hear the sinner unless that person has done His will (John 9:31) - given the ability to believe (Philippians 1:29). What is His will? Jesus tells us in John 6:40: believe on Jesus.

    God isn't subject to the whims and decisions of mankind waiting for man to make the first move. Just the simple act of believing in Christ has to come from the Father (Philippians 1:29). The Father has to "draw" the person to Christ (John 6:44). When the Father "draws" mankind and gives mankind the ability to believe, because mankind is dead in their sins and can't respond on their own, then God will respond with hearing the sinner AFTER that person has believed on the Son (prayer of repentance). Mankind is awarded the gift of eternal life for choosing to believe in Jesus (John 6:47). It's God FIRST - NOT man making a move first requiring God to act. Man deserves nothing on his own or his own merits. It's all about God - not us doing anything worthy enough to get God to give us His attention. We can't...we're garbage in His sight apart from Christ. Those without the real Jesus (God in the flesh) as taugt in the Bible are utterly lost and dead.
    Hey, this is great. Another advocate for unbelief has joined the ranks accompanied by hellfire, and damnation preaching. Welcome Barean.

    So, Barean says NO. God does not respond to man because man is like a vile worm in God's eyes.
    Last edited by Fig-bearing Thistle; 05-30-2009 at 06:55 PM.

  23. #23
    Berean
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    Ah, Fig, what's the matter, you don't like those "plain and precious truths" from the Bible that state that you are born a sinner, dead in your sins and unable ON YOUR OWN FIRST to please God? That's what happens when you put your eternal destiny in what a 14 year-old farm boy from New York supposedly said when he decided to redefine Bible doctrines.

    I didn't say that God doesn't respond to man. You need to pay attention. I'm saying that God gives mankind the ability to believe (Romans 1; Phil 1:29). If one prays to God and they haven't acted on that faith that has been given him bringing conviction, repentance and receiving the Son, then God the Father has no obligation to hear that person. When mankind acts on that belief that God has given him and believes on the Savior, then God gives the gift of eternal life. It's really very simple. God is not asleep somewhere waiting on man to make his move FIRST, then He does something. God has already moved - FIRST. You've been given the ability to believe and have decided to follow the "jesus" and god of Joseph Smith's imagination instead of the Christ and God of the Bible. You've also been made accountable for your heresy by being here on this forum where faithful Christians witness to you out of gratitude for what the Savior has done for them (that's called "works" - Christians believe in works and do it too - not because they have to, but because they want to...big difference) and if you continue to put your faith in the fictional "jesus" of Mormonism and your god that is an exalted man living near a star called Kolob, then you will be judged for that too. You have no excuse (Romans 1:20).

    Your "straw man" question in trying to be clever has only worked against you. Also, have you given TOTAL EFFORT for LDS grace? Yeah, I guess not. Where does that leave you? I guess still running the Mormon "hamster wheel" going nowhere. Nope, not everybody is going to make it to the real heaven as taught in the Bible. It's a narrow road and only few will go there. Most are headed for outer darkness (Matthew 7:13-14). You don't like it? Take it up with the Savior at the judgement. It's time to crawl out of your Mormon comfort zone and face the reality of where you stand according to the Bible: LOST.
    Last edited by Berean; 05-30-2009 at 08:43 PM.

  24. #24
    Father_JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig-bearing Thistle View Post
    You pretend to understand grace and can't see a tie in here? Amazing.

    So why can't a gift be given in response to something the receive has done?

    Duh. Because "gifts" by NATURE, by DEFINITION are NOT EARNED, figgie. And you pretend to understand grace and can't see how you've equivocated the meaning of the term here? Amazing.

  25. #25
    Fig-bearing Thistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father_JD View Post
    Duh. Because "gifts" by NATURE, by DEFINITION are NOT EARNED, figgie. And you pretend to understand grace and can't see how you've equivocated the meaning of the term here? Amazing.
    So, JD, your conclusion appears to be that God does not respond to man.

    And that is a huge reason why I tell people to "Just say NO to hyper-Calvinism."

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