willieH: Hi Paul
You must choose the gift of salvation
I don't get this one at all He chooses us, he draws all unto himself. We are saved because - God can save us, God wants to save us, and we need to be saved.
To understand this you have to recognize the cause of our choices. We do choose Christ in the sense that even though Jesus chooses us and God draws us, it is the power of God that "causes" the choice.
I think (not completely sure) that I agree with you here bro...
About "choosing"... as we consider that CHRIST
said: (John 15:16) Ye have NOT CHOSEN ME, but I... have CHOSEN YOU...
The "Choosing" we do is CAUSED
by GOD and has been DECLARED By Him... which means WE
From a Christendom perspective, it is diffucult to argue that we do not make choices, for instance, God may draw you to turn the pages of your bible to a certain place. But it still is you, that is making that choice as a reaction to Gods influence.
Again, I may be in agreement here... but might I say:
That we turn pages, is the manifestation of the "choosing" of God that we do
so... GOD does not just "influence" us, He has noted WHAT we shall DO... PRIOR to that ..."doing"...He
THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL (Eph 1:11)
And has DECLARED the END from
the BEGINNING, ...we simply "choose" according to THAT DECLARATION (Is 46:10-11)
These two verses may help explain that even better.
Phl 2:12 So that, my beloved, according as you always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling, be carrying your own salvation into effect,
You are carrying your own salvation... Why? Because it is yours and you cannot carry someone elses. BUT, the next verse is crucial.
The Apostle PAUL is, in this verse DISCOURAGING sharades... RELIGIOUS practices... behaving as a CHRISTIAN while in his presence, but then resorting to "mice like" misbehavior when "the cat's away"...
This is prevalent in Christianity in many... "Sunday" Christian "behavior"... Monday-Saturday WORLDlike "behavior"... If we are honest, most (ALL) of us have "been there, done that"...
We do not "work out" our own Salvation... if this were so, then CHRIST
is reduced to a presence/influence which WE wield, deciding that "influence" to be active in our experience as WE CHOOSE it to be...
What PAUL is actually saying here is, that as we LIVE, we are to rightly carry the respect of YHVH
we LIVE... (which is WHAT CHRIST
in fact DID)
We do this because, HE has COMPLETED the WORK (saying "IT IS FINISHED") on our behalf due to His GREAT LOVE for us... and, which is why PAUL said: (Rom 12:1) ...I beseech you therefore, brethren ...BY... the mercies OF GOD... that ye present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, ...HOLY, acceptable unto GOD, ...your REASONABLE service.
The KEYWORD in this verse is ...BY
... for it is only BY
the mercy of GOD, that this can BE DONE... any "sacrifice" in order to be noted as HOLY, is one which is PERFORMED by GOD... and ORDAINED ...BY Him, to be so...
What "we DO
"... is submit to that HOLINESS and let ...IT... WORK HOLINESS, IN us...
Phl 2:13 for it is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight.
This is the cause that drives you to carry your own salvation.
The nature of our choices is the same.
Again, I'm thinking we actually agree, and maybe it MY PERCEPTION of your wording
which seems to pose a problem for me... which would be my shortcoming, not yours...
In my observation, though this appears to be a nice observation... (correct me if I misread you) it seems to misrepresent WHO is actually IN CHARGE, and WHO is actually WORKING HOLINESS, for SALVATION is a HOLY WORK to redeem those (us) INVOLVED in Evil, ...FROM involvement in EVIL... returning us to HOLINESS which is empty of involvement in it...
MEN do not WORK HOLINESS... It is GOD who directs HOLINESS to be wrought IN MEN... which, apart from that HOLY direction, "choose" evil...
Because most Universalists do not believe our will is free, Christendom relates that to being mindless drones. They perceive that as denying the need for Grace and Faith and say that we make Jesus meaningless.
In Christendom, the power for ones destiny is given to the individual and of his own free will must make the choice or miss out.
In General a Universalist recognizes the biblical truth that our choices are caused by a force greater than ourselves and that Force is God who is sovereign and the one in ultimate control of mans destiny.
I gave an example to a friend the other day, which I believe does well to describe God's SOVEREIGNTY within HIS BODY...
My friend is a concert PIANIST... and I asked him... when you sit down at the PIANO, do your fingers play what THEY wish, or do they do the WILL of the HEAD (YOU)?
Does this relegate the fingers of the BODY to be MINDLESS DRONES? Or does it in truth, note them to be SERVANTS
of the WILL of the HEAD
is the HEAD brother P... we are instructed to be SERVANTS... which is exactly HOW HIS BODY members should RIGHTLY respond to Him... just as my friend's "fingers" serve my friend as HE plays... The fingers do NOT play, neither do they KNOW the music... they are TOOLS which are subject to the WILL of the one REALLY PLAYING and IN CONTROL.
ALL things are being placed BELOW
(underneath and subject to) the HEAD in the end, that GOD may be ALL in
ALL:(1 Cor 15:27-28 27...for He HATH PUT [past tense] ALL THINGS ...UNDER His feet. [lowest "body" part] But when He saith ALL THINGS are put under
him, it is manifest that HE [YHVH] is excepted which PUT ALL THINGS ...UNDER Him
28...and when ALL THINGS shall be SUBDUED unto Him, then shall the SON also Himself be subject unto HIM YHVH that PUT ALL THINGS under Him, that GOD YHVH may BE, ALL in ALL...