Author Topic: UR in Romans  (Read 2457 times)

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Givehimglory

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UR in Romans
« on: November 19, 2008, 04:51:26 PM »
I am re-reading the book of Romans trying to understand it from a UR point of view.

Let me summarise where I am so far...

chapter 1 - the Wrath of God

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" (Rom 1:18)

chapter 2 - God's judgement

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done."To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. " (Rom 2:5-11)

Chapter 3 - No one is Righteous and Righteousness by Faith

"There is no one righteous, not even one;
    there is no one who understands,
      no one who seeks God.
    All have turned away,
      they have together become worthless; " (Rom 3:10-12)

"his righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (Rom 3:22-26)

Now I would like to hear some comments on this last section, because we are now getting to the issue of how we escape the wrath of God.

Isn't the straight-forward reading here that it is only those who have faith who will escape his wrath?

This righteousness comes to all "who believe", who "through faith in his blood" and "who have faith in Jesus".

How can UR read this passage? How can righteousness come to those who don't believe and who don't have faith?





Paul Hazelwood

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 04:58:28 PM »


Faith is given by God. 


Ja 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.




Offline WhiteWings

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 06:01:02 PM »
Romans 1:18 CEV  From heaven God shows how angry he is with all the wicked and evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth.

Does the above verse mean that God does not show His wrath with wicked and sinful people that do not suppres the truth?
The verse for me says some are actively crusading against the word.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 08:21:38 PM by WhiteWings »
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Givehimglory

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 08:06:35 PM »
Paul

Thanks for your reply. You are giving a TULIP response? We aren't responsible for our faith, God gives it to the Elect?

Paul seems to be saying it doesn't matter if you are a Jewish or a gentile believer "to all who believe, there is no difference" (Rom 3:22) but you still have to be a believer.

The boasting that is excluded (v 27) appears to be aimed at the Jewish believer, Jewish and Gentile Christians are all one in Christ, being justified by faith and not by the law.

I still don't see how the fact that this faith comes from God helps the UR case.

To clarify my position - I accept that there are a number of very strong statements in the NT regarding UR - not least in Romans (chapter 5 etc), but there are other passages I don't understand properly yet.

Thanks

John

Givehimglory

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 08:11:17 PM »
WhiteWings

The interesting thing about Romans Chapter 2 is that it appears to state that non-believers will be declared righteous in the judgement because there will be "glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good" (Rom 2:10), so although we get the no one is righteous statement in Romans 3, it doesn't seem to quite square with what Paul has just said in Romans 2 - so I agree with you that in the opening chapters of Romans Paul appears to be saying there are those who do good (who God will reward at the judgement) as well as those who do evil (who will experience his wrath).

John

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 08:28:03 PM »
Paul

Thanks for your reply. You are giving a TULIP response? We aren't responsible for our faith, God gives it to the Elect?

Paul seems to be saying it doesn't matter if you are a Jewish or a gentile believer "to all who believe, there is no difference" (Rom 3:22) but you still have to be a believer.

The boasting that is excluded (v 27) appears to be aimed at the Jewish believer, Jewish and Gentile Christians are all one in Christ, being justified by faith and not by the law.

I still don't see how the fact that this faith comes from God helps the UR case.

To clarify my position - I accept that there are a number of very strong statements in the NT regarding UR - not least in Romans (chapter 5 etc), but there are other passages I don't understand properly yet.

Thanks

John


The Christian Universalist position that I personally promote does not say that your going to experience salvation even if you do not believe. That is one of the biases many people bring to the table when they are either learning or wanting to debate.

Unitarian Universalists, which this site is not associated with would probably be more in line with that type of thinking.

 
Romans all by itself is not the total picture,  but people tend to want one clear verse that solidifies something they believe.

If the scripture says  "according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith"

If the context does not align with  that being all of humanity then what scripture then tells us that he does not deal faith to all of humanity?

You say we still must believe, and I am not disputing that.  But, what is belief?



Offline Tony N

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 09:12:04 PM »
There is nothing in Romans or the Bible for that matter that is assured of coming to pass as far as Universal Reconciliation because God has given everyone a free will which is greater than His will. (That is what free-will theology comes down to.)

God is looked upon as a jilted lover Who, for the next billion or trillion years begs and pleads pathetically with each individual to love Him while at the same time He looks all the more pathetic. Who could really love such a god?

Yet if we look at Romans in the true biblical sense as a God Who is in control, we see that everything is assured as to the outcome of Christ's obedience to the cross. In the true biblical sense of Romans God has sovereignly set two individuals, Adam and Christ, and all humanity are neutral recipients of what these two men have done (Romans 5:12, 18, 19).

In Romans God sovereignly, against the will of all creation, has subjected everyone to vanity. Why? So that they can be freed into the glorious freedom (the freedom to be enslaved to the Lord, Jesus Christ) of the sons of God.

In Romans God sovereignly made all mankind flesh knowing full well in advance that those in flesh are not able to please God. (Romans 8:8). So God invented "the will of the flesh" (Jn.1:13; Eph.2:3) which has no freedom . . . no free will to please God.

So what is God going to do about this? He is going to create a new humanity in Christ Jesus. Rather than a jilted lover haranguing people He will change their hearts and put His spirit within them.
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Jerm

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 02:40:35 AM »
Romans 1:18 - 3:20 is a portrait of humanity before the cross.  It serves to show that both Jews and Gentiles are guilty of sin, each in their own way.  However, notice what 3:21 says "21And now apart from law hath the righteousness of God been manifested, testified to by the law and the prophets, 22and the righteousness of God [is] through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, -- for there is no difference, 23for all did sin, and are come short of the glory of God -- 24being declared righteous freely by His grace through the redemption that [is] in Christ Jesus..."  3:20 onward shows all of humanity after the cross.  Notice that it is the faith of Jesus (probably better translated faithfulness) that brings righteousness i.e. by him faithfuly fullfilling what he was sent to do.  Also, notice something about 3:23 and 3:24.  ET believers love to point to 3:23 to show that everyone has sinned, but the usually stop their.  Yet 3:24 says that those who sinned (all/everyone) is apparently the same group who is "being declared righteous freely by His grace."  This can only mean that everyone has been declared righteous.  So to sum things up, Rom 1:18-3:20 is all of humanity before the cross and after that is humanity after the cross.

martincisneros

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2008, 02:50:00 AM »
Hi Givehimglory,

Romans 5 in the context of Romans 4 indicates to me that the righteous exercise faith in the behalf of the wicked, per the Sovereignty of God.  It's still the finished work of Christ, plus/minus nothing.  But where the Scriptures call for faith, intercession, petition, supplication, giving of thanks, obedience, and suffering on the part of the righteous, it's all in the behalf of the wicked, per the Sovereignty of God.  1Timothy 2 is one of the passages that help to clarify that in telling you to pray for all men because Jesus is the ransom for all men, but He'll effect nothing without our prayers, per the Sovereignty of God.  A good book along these lines, if you can find it, is "The One Purpose of God" by Jan Bonda.  It's a UR commentary on Romans that's pastorally written for any theological reading level. 

Where we obey the Scriptures, we all benefit (including all of mankind universally); where we disobey the Scriptures, we're all left hung out to dry (including all of mankind universally), per the Sovereignty of God.  It's all acheived through a believer's developing relationship with the High Priestly Ministry of Jesus.  His Blood achieves it all, but the application of it through faith is worked out in the faith, thanksgiving, praise, and obedience of a believer through the power of the Christ within them.  This is the mystery hid from ages and generations mentioned in Colossians 1:27.  Mark 11:22-24 says how to apply the Will of God in this life and for the ages to come.  1Timothy 3:15 calls the Church the pillar and foundation of the truth.  Colossians 1:29 says that this is what we're exerting ourselves for.  We pray, declare the wonderful news of the Gospel, command and receive the repentance of the nations, and count it all done because it's a finished work, and then we're received up in glory.

This life is ridiculously easy.  It's nothing more than getting a busted lip in a fight that's already fixed.  We pound away [with every grace He supplies in 2Corinthians 8 & 9] and we receive the praise according to 1Corinthians 4:5.

Martin

Offline jabcat

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2008, 09:07:48 AM »

Can't help but noticing v22 appears to be another inclusive; "the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing."

Similar to; "that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10.


Yes Brian :thumbsup:.  Especially (set apart for a purpose) those believing, then ULTIMATELY all.  Good News!

Givehimglory

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2008, 04:45:22 PM »
Thanks for all the comments, they have given me a lot of areas to think about.

A few responses:

Martin - I have read Jan Bonda, unfortunately I have loaned to book to someone so it isn't at hand for reference, however I seem to remember him concentrating on chapters 9-11. I'm not really seeing where the righteous exercise faith on behalf of the wicked, perhaps you could go into more detail to explain what you mean.

Jerm - your translation is different to mine - this is how you quote Rom 3:22

"and the righteousness of God [is] through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing"

My translation (the NIV) has

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference"

New American Standard has

"even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; "

King James Version

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"

English Standard Version

"the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:"

So it looks as if the "all" could refer to just those who believe, I have to say that in the context "there is no distinction" appears to apply to Jewish and Gentile believers, Paul seems to be making the point that it is faith (common to Jews and Gentiles) that brings righteousness, rather than the law (given to Jews).

I can see that these chapters talk of God doing something for everyone (e.g. 3:23-24) "all have sinned... and are justified freely by his grace" - that doesn't appear to be linked to anything, however there is also clearly the need for faith and belief in many of the verses "to all who believe" (3:22), "the man... who trusts God... his faith is credited as righteousness" (4:5), "a man is justified by faith" (3:28) etc.

Are you saying Jesus was justified by faith and not by works? I'm not clear what you mean by "it is the faith of  Jesus (probably better translated faithfulness) that brings righteousness i.e. by him faithfuly fullfilling what he was sent to do" - I read chapters 3 and 4 as referring to the faith of the Christian, and "faith" appears to mean trust or belief in God's promise, not faithfully doing something.

Tony - yes, I can see God has acted and created a new humanity, but what is the role of faith and belief as expressed by Paul in in these chapters? How does that fit in?

Paul - I am very interested in your comment "The Christian Universalist position that I personally promote does not say that your going to experience salvation even if you do not believe. That is one of the biases many people bring to the table when they are either learning or wanting to debate."

This is getting us onto the key point - what is belief and faith all about? What does God give to everyone and what happens to those with faith? However you don't seem to follow up on this and explain further what the difference is between the believer and non-believer. Perhaps you could answer your own question: "what *is* belief?"

This is my reading currently of these chapters.

God made a promise to Abraham - it wasn't conditional, it just said it would happen: "I will make you into a great nation" (Gen 12:2). It took a while for Abraham to get himself to the place where he had faith to respond to God's promise, but eventually he did and God was able to bless him.

Similarly, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has made a promise to all of humanity that they will be saved and justified through Jesus. However we each have to take up that promise and respond to it by faith, in order to make it a reality for us. There is no question for any individual that God will give up on them, but they will not receive the blessing until they have faith and believe.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2008, 05:23:10 PM »
Quote
This is getting us onto the key point - what is belief and faith all about? What does God give to everyone and what happens to those with faith? However you don't seem to follow up on this and explain further what the difference is between the believer and non-believer. Perhaps you could answer your own question: "what *is* belief?"


The only difference between a believer and a non believer is the point and time in which God has drawn a person to meet Jesus. (john 6:44)  That honestly may be oversimplifying it,  but that is the basic thing I see in a nutshell.

What is belief?   Belief is a result of an event.   People think they choose to believe, but belief is different than thinking something might be, something could be, etc.

Belief in Christ is only a result of meeting him.   This is why there is churches full of people who say they believe, but in their heart, really do not.

If you taste a bite of food, you cannot believe the food to be good until you taste it.  You might consider that it is good, you might wonder if it will be good, you might hear everyone else raving about how good it is, but until the event of the food hitting your taste buds and the time taken to experience the after taste, there is no way, YOU can truly believe that it is good.

You can even try to tell yourself, "its not that bad" "ah, it's pretty good" "oh, it's ok" but the event has already taken place and despite what you try to convince yourself of,  you will either truly know and believe its good, or truly know that you do not like it.  But the event will have manifested the belief, not your choice to do so or not.   This is why self delusion is so hard to spot, many people will argue that belief is a matter of your choice,  it is not.

Ro 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


Christian often use the passage that this verse is in as a key to say that when they are judged God made it known to them that he was real sometime in their life.   And if they rejected that knowledge then they have no excuse when it comes time to face going to an eternal hell.

But what it is telling us is that, there is no one who will be defenseless to "UNDERSTAND" this event right here.

Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;

Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.



The whole thing of salvation is a process,  the faith God gives every man, the things he shows us in our lives, so that when we meet Christ there is a foundation made so that the only thing that can happen when we meet Christ is belief in Christ.





Offline Tony N

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2008, 05:43:44 PM »
Tony - yes, I can see God has acted and created a new humanity, but what is the role of faith and belief as expressed by Paul in in these chapters? How does that fit in?

Dear Givehimglory,
First and foremost, faith, our faith, finds its origins in Christ's faith:

Rom 3:26 toward the display of His righteousness in the current era, for Him to be just and a Justifier of the one who is out of the faith of Jesus."

Gal 2:16 having perceived that a man is not being justified by works of law, except alone through the faith of Christ Jesus, we also believe in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by [lit. out of] the faith of Christ and not by works of law, seeing that by works of law shall no flesh at all be justified."

Gal 3:22 But the scripture locks up all together under sin, that the promise out of Jesus Christ's faith may be given to those who are believing."

Rom 3:22 yet a righteousness of God through Jesus Christ's faith, for all, and on all who are believing, for there is no distinction,

So we see that Christ's faith is of paramount importance to securing not just the salvation of all mankind but also the reconciliation of all in the heavens (the vast starry reaches of space) and earth.

The words "believe" and "faith" have their origins in the same Greek word. In Galatians 3:22 above we could say: "may be given to those who are faithing" but this would not be a very idiomatic rendering. But I bring it up to show that believing is a taking faith in what one has not seen but believes anyway.

Christ had the faith to believe that if He would be obedient to the cross unto death for the sins of humanity that God would raise Him from the dead. . . .

Heb 12:2 "looking off to the Inaugurator and Perfecter of faith, Jesus, Who, for the joy lying before Him, endures a cross, despising the shame, besides is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

His faith is the catalyst for our faith. Without His faith we would not have any faith.

Does this help?

Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Jerm

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 06:15:28 AM »
Sorry Givehimglory, I should have specified.  The translation I used was Young's Literal Translation.  As far as Jesus' faith/faithfulness, I think this passage is saying that the righteousness that is bestowed upon humanity is through what Jesus faithfuly did i.e. dying on the cross and raising again.  Or another way of putting it is that Jesus had faith in God to raise Him from the dead, just as God had promised.  As far as a believer's faith, I do think that it too is very important, just not in the way many modern evangelist put it.  The modern teaching is that faith/belief is something you do in order to get something else (salvation.)  Instead, I think the idea is more of awakening to the fact of what God has already done.  In other words, I don't think it means "I believe so I can be saved" but instead "I believe/trust/have faith in what God has already done."  This is the picture of faith that I think is closest to Scripture.

martincisneros

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2008, 05:48:44 AM »
Martin - I have read Jan Bonda, unfortunately I have loaned to book to someone so it isn't at hand for reference, however I seem to remember him concentrating on chapters 9-11. I'm not really seeing where the righteous exercise faith on behalf of the wicked, perhaps you could go into more detail to explain what you mean.
Have you read all of Jan Bonda's book?  Because it gets into the part that Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah has in their ultimate restoration in Ezekiel 16:53-55.  Jan Bonda also cites the example of Moses' intercession for Israel, that if God was going to eliminate them, then He could likewise take his name (i.e. Moses) out of His Book.  Jan Bonda also alludes to Origen having said that St. Paul was doing the same thing in the behalf of Israel in prefering himself to be accursed for the people of Israel, and Origen saw through that selfless act of the heart the very catalyst through which God would bring about the restoration of Israel to God, because the groan in St. Paul to that effect would have essentially been the Christ within him (Colossians 1:27) groaning to that effect.  Origen had so much respect for St. Paul that he actually said in interpreting this, this way that -- or words to this effect -- "you're not about to make St. Paul the inferior of Moses where this intercession is concerned in saying that that sigh before God went unheard, are you?"  Every act of free will that plays these self sacrificial roles along these lines is because God willed it to happen that way, and has determined to do absolutely nothing without our prayers (1Timothy 2; Mark 11:24; Colossians 3:17).  Had Jan Bonda not written his book in the way that he did, then I with my Pentecostal background would have never gotten it.  He expanded my vision for "praying through."  That was the book that brought me into the UR message.

Offline Tony N

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2008, 02:31:51 PM »
I'm kind of curious Martin, is Bonda saying that if we don't pray for all mankind to be saved that all mankind won't be saved just as Moses prayed for Israel and they were saved?
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Offline jabcat

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Re: UR in Romans
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 08:00:10 AM »
I never knew Jane Fonda wrote a book on UR.  Cool!  (Ignore this and carry on....I couldn't seem to help it...my bad.)