“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice” -John Calvin
Hmm...I will have to look at this more. When I read the Genesis account I see where God definitely CURSES the serpent and the ground, but He never says man or woman are cursed literally. They have consequences for sure, but I don't see where he says they are cursed. I used to believe that very thing, until I was challenged to show somebody where God says man or woman were cursed in Genesis 3. As Stan would say, I am looking and looking and I don't see it anywhere in the Genesis account. Also, in Genesis 8 God says He will never again curse the ground on account of man. Then in the law we begin to see certain people are cursed, but that is only if they choose to disobey God's laws and will not walk after Him, they seem to have the choice. Why did some choose to obey and some disobey? Also we see that people are cursed if they curse God's chosen people, who were considered BLESSED. What I see in the NT is "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us." We see that even though plenty of godly men in the OT messed up the law, they were forgiven and considered to still be godly men, because they had a heart after God. They choose to obey God and seek Him. As it says in Joshua..."Choose this day whom you will serve!" Why be given the choice if they did not have it? I know many will disagree with me and I could be incorrect, but I no longer see this quite the way I was once taught the more I study it.
What about predestination and election? Can't throw the baby out with the bath water. I grew up total Armenian and am trying to get out of that frame of belief (it's really hard too!) because it really discounts the grace and election of God and makes one go into works mode like Martha.Here's one...God already knew how man would respond or choose.One a completely different subject... I like your new blog look. :)Amy
Julianne-What about Genesis 3:17-19?"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,'You shall not eat of it,'cursed is the ground because of you;in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken;for you are dust,and to dust you shall return."The whole "choice" thing still gets me confused and I have a hard time explaining it. All I can say is that every man is given the choice. However, without some sort of intercession on God's part will man choose God. We all walk after darkness. We are all enemies of God before our conversion. Yet, by the mercy of our Great LORD, He redeemed a people to be brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, for the sake of His glory, His Name, and His Love. :DMaybe Mr. Stan would like to expound on this? :D
Hey Amy! I'm glad you like my new template :D I like to change things up frequently!As for predestination and election: WOW! I just love those doctrines. At first, coming from a Catholic background, for about a year I couldn't deal with them. Even though I believed they were true, how could God be loving and elect a people for Himself? How is it loving if He already chose who would choose Him?I remember finally hearing a sermon by Piper about how it pleased God to bruise His Son. And somehow from that, by God's grace, I came to understand that for God's glory, He is chose to save us. And that it was indeed loving for Him to redeem some, and not all since we ALL deserved eternal damnation.I'd suggest listening to Paul Washer or my pastor's sermons on the Doctrines of Grace. They help make sense of this whole way of thinking, they use biblical support AND they glory in God's mercy for saving His elect!! :DI wish I understood html, but here is the links you might want to check out:http://solidfoodmedia.com/messages/seriesview.php?id=12/http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.aspcurrSection=sermonsspeaker&sermonID=63006232159The Paul Washer sermon is simply amazing and really helped me to understand regeneration!!I pray these will encourage and strengthen your faith. :D
Howdy Samantha and Amy:Amy, I am not sure if the comment "God already knew how man would respond or choose" was directed at me or just the thread in general. If directed toward me, then I would respond that I FULLY agree with that view. God is Sovereign and knows everything without regard to time and space, as He is not encapsulated by it, nor restrained by it. Believing that God is completely Sovereign and knows all before the foundation of the world, gives me no issue with man having free will to choose whom he will serve. If the comment was not directed toward me, please forgive me for interjecting my thoughts.Samantha said: "What about Genesis 3:17-19?"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,'You shall not eat of it,'cursed is the ground because of you;in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken;for you are dust,and to dust you shall return.""Julianne's reply: Okay, not sure what you mean dear sister, but I still don't see man as being called "cursed" by God. God tells him the consequences of his sins and then literally "curses" the ground in that passage, but never Adam. In fact, the serpent is cursed for his part in the deception. The ground is cursed because of Adam's part in the sin. Adam had heard directly from God what he was and was not to do, but it seems the potential is there that he did not relay that command clearly to Eve. If he did, when she told the serpent what God said, we have no account of Adam correcting her, though he was with her according to the passage when this was going on. We do not see Adam attempting to protect Eve from the deceiver when we have no account of her hearing first hand from God His commands regarding the tree. So was it Adam's words versus the deceiver's? Why didn't Adam speak up in defense of the truth? A lot of "what ifs" I guess, as we cannot say for certain. However, I still cannot find where the man or woman were cursed in this passage. Only consequences to their sin. I still pay consequences for my sin to this day, even though I have every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. I am not cursed by God, though I confess, what I deserve is not what I get and what I have received, I do not deserve! Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace!
HEY Julianne!I'm so sorry. I completely misread your post. I re-read it just now. I apologize! I thought you were saying the ground was not cursed. ANYWAY :DI was searching through scripture trying to figure this out and I did find Galations 3:10-11:For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith."And since the unbelieving world does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, then....all men apart from Christ are cursed?Is that a far fetched conclusion?I'm confused now. Where is Stan! :D
No problem sis on the cursed earth. I am also guilty of misreading or misunderstanding others more times that I care to consider."The righteous shall live by faith."Before verses 10-11, in the same chapter of Galatians it said: "Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."Abraham was not considered cursed by God, but blessed by God/Lord and his faith was reckoned as righteousness. "Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." Gen 15:6"Then Phinehas stood up and interposed, And so the plague was stayed. And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, To all generations forever." Psalm 106:30, 31As we read through the Old Testament we see that God blessed Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc...and He never cursed them. They each believed Him and that was accounted to them as righteousness. So to think we can EARN our salvation or become righteous by keeping the law is absurd, as we will mess up. The only thing we can do is believe God for His mercy and grace. It was kind of like the lawyer in Luke 10 who asked what he must do to inherit eternal life? Jesus asked him what was written in the Law? How does it read to you? And the lawyer said, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Jesus said he answered it correctly and to do that and he will live. Now notice what it says...the lawyer wished to justify himself...as he knew that he could NOT keep that law perfectly, as none of us can. EVERY SINGLE day we all fail to love God or our neighbors perfectly. So Jesus gives him an example with the good samaritan. Jesus told him to go and do the same. Right at that moment, the man should have known he could not love God or others perfectly and should have fallen on his knees and begged for mercy from Christ. He should have seen he could not fulfill those requirements and desperately needed a Savior. He should have believed the Lord for that mercy and grace instead of trusting in himself.All day long, in everything we do, every word we speak, every action we take, it speaks loudly as to whether we are trusting in God, the world, others, or ourselves. We must place our trust, belief, and faith in the Lord. He alone can save us from ourselves.
This posting made me very upset and sad. Very upset because: I believe that God made a much bigger sacrifice than Jesus did when he sent his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON to earth to die a horrible death. I would willingly go through the terrible ordeal that Jesus went through to bring Grace to the world. But being a parent, could I send my child to that fate? I don't know. Could I rejoice that my child not only went through what the went through on earth, but after his death and before his resurection. What horrors happened there? This makes God a monster who loves to abuse his child. What makes me sad, is that anyone is trying to tell you what God was thinking or feeling, but God. The scriptures teach us that God is incomprehensible to us. So when the scriptures tell us what he was thinking or feeling, great, that is God telling us how he was thinking or feeling. But no man can. Period.P.S. Predestination and Free Will CANNOT coexist. Period. They are complete opposites and connot be in the same system or it will cause a paradox. Predetermination and Free Will can live together in the same system without causing a paradox.
Nate-I am sorry I upset you. But I do not get what your argument is since my theology differs from yours. I don't believe God and Jesus are different persons. They are the same. So making the argument that God suffered more than Jesus did doesn't really make sense to me. And anyhow, carrying the sins of the world and experiencing the full wrath of God is a pretty big sacrfice if you ask me. God has revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ. We can know what He thinks of certain things and feels about certain things. PLUS, He sent His Counceler, the HS to be our guides (mind you, only to real believers) so that we would do as God pleases. Right??Predestination and freewill can coexist. I'm planning on posting on this soon.
Julianne-Do you believe faith is a gift or something we can obtain on our own accord?I know it is absurd to try and keep the law. But my argument was that if it is true that "cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them" that every unbelieving person that does not believe in Jesus Christ must be curesed. Because we know that Christ saved us from the Law, right? We could not get right with God by keeping the Law. But Praise be to God through His Son's sacrifice there is complete washing and cleansing of our sins for His people.Romans 5:20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 8:3-8For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Hopefully that makes a little more sense (even if you disagree).
Hi there! Yeah-- was just responding in general. No worries Julianne. When God created man--he was perfect-- he was created in the likeness of God--yet he was created from the dust of the earth. Woman was created from man--from his rib. They walked with God. God only required one thing-- He said that they could eat of the trees in the garden--but one tree that stood in the garden they were to avoid. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. There is something to this--a tree created that held the power to darkness-- knowledge. Eve chose to disobey the one commandment by listening to the serpent. Then tempted Adam to eat as well and he sinned. Because of their disobedience mankind was given consequences. Now they had to live by the law--and not just one law, but many laws. Man is incapable of keeping the law on his own. Man needs the very thing that created him inn the first place--God, not knowledge. God sent His Son to fulfill the requirements of the law so that man could again with God in heaven. So then there are vessels created unto glory and vessels of disaster...??? but why? have to go to work now but will finish thought later- this is a great conversation. :)
I had to check three times to see if I got lost, since the appearance changed since the last time I looked. But I'm in the right place. =)We have a serious misunderstanding of the concept of "curse". We think it is first and foremost "the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc." We will often take it further, considering it "an evil that has been invoked upon one" or "the cause of evil, misfortune, or trouble." A biblical "curse", however, is similar but different. It is predicated on the concept of where God is looking, so to speak. When one is blessed, biblically, it means that God is looking favorably on them. When they are cursed, it means that God is looking unfavorably or, more to the point, turned away from them. Now, to be sure, when God is unfavorable or turned away from you, it is certainly a cause of misfortune and calamity, but that is the result, not the curse.Did God "curse" Adam and Eve? When God said to Eve,Gen 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" (Gen. 3:16), it was a curse. When He said to Adam, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen. 3:17-19), it was a curse. Sure, the ground was cursed. But the intensified labor for Eve and the intensified work for Adam was calamity -- a curse. When God drove them from the Garden, it was a biblical "curse". When Cain killed his brother, he was cursed by God (Gen. 4:10-12). Everyone who sins is "cursed" to the extent that God looks at them with disfavor, that He turns away from them. The problem of sin is exactly this problem: God's disfavor. The joy of salvation is the answer -- gaining God's favor.That's the idea of the biblical blessings and curse.
Thank God Stan. I was confusing myself quite greatly. :DThanks for clearing that up (at least, for me!)
Oh, Nate, you said, "P.S. Predestination and Free Will CANNOT coexist. Period. They are complete opposites and cannot be in the same system or it will cause a paradox. Predetermination and Free Will can live together in the same system without causing a paradox." For information purposes, a paradox is, according to the dictionary, first and foremost "a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth." That is, it appears to be a contradiction, but may not be.Predestination and Free Will can possibly coexist without actual contradiction depending on how you define them. If by "Free Will" (I think the capitalization is telling.), you mean "Absolutely Sovereign Will of Man that chooses without influence", then I'm with you. But if you mean the ability, at least at times, to make a choice without coercion, then they can coexist. That is, if the One doing the predestining says, "I will allow that choice", then that choice can be made without coercion and still align with a predetermined plan.
Samantha said:"Do you believe faith is a gift or something we can obtain on our own accord?"Of course faith is a gift from God. We choose to exercise or not exercise the gifts given to us, such as all the gifts of the Spirit. Just as life is a gift from God, we could not be here apart from Him. However, we can choose to exercise life or death too. God is the Giver of all good things, but we still have free choice to use what is given to us or waste it. That is my take on it. As for Stan's comments I disagree, but I am working so I will try to get back to post this afternoon or evening some more and give my reasons for disagreeing.Blessings to you, Julianne
Okay back to the curse issue. It is difficult to say where the line is on how I disagree with Stan on this issue. I do agree that when God looks upon a person favorably they are blessed indeed. I still do not see that man or woman was actually CURSED. The earth was definitely cursed by God and so was the serpent. If God took the time to say "cursed" to the serpent and to say he was cursing the ground on account of man's sin...why didn't He go ahead and say "Cursed" to the man and woman too? They were given consequences for sin. Even the consequences are all depending on how you choose to translate the text. There are many who translate the curse differently from what has been stated here. I will agree that if a woman desires her husband over God, then he will rule over her. Whatever we desire above God ends up owning and controlling us. Even Cain was said to be cursed from the ground (not God) that opened up to receive his brother's blood from his hand.Very interesting study if we really look at all of this in context and in the original meanings of the words. This does not negate the NEED for a Lord and Savior in any way. Oh and by the way, after Seth's son Enosh was born, Men began to call upon the Lord. How is that if they are all completely evil? Around the time of Noah we see the evil being destroyed and Noah finding favor/grace in God's eyes and being delivered. We see Noah chooses to obey the Lord and build an ark. It seems he came from a line of men who chose to call upon the Lord and walk in obedience. His name was Noah because he was to "give man rest from the toil of their hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed." Notice it did not say that man was cursed. After the flood God said he would never curse the ground again on account of man. So the curse that was placed on the ground does not seem to be in place any longer. Is this what we are taught?I will stop, I think this is sufficient to say that the curse seems to be quite different from what I was taught most of my life. It seems to be on par with being taught that only 2 of every kind of animal entered the ark, when we know that of "clean" animals there were 7 of each kind. We see that before the law...there was already a separation of clean and unclean that was acknowledged by those who called upon the Lord.I love you sis and hope this gives you more to research. I still don't have all the answers and do not claim such. May we all seek the face of the Lord and His glory as we search His Word for answers to our questions.
Julianne, it appears that your definition of "curse" is "that which is called 'curse'" and that which is not specifically called "curse" is not. Would it also follow that that which is not specifically called "blessed" is not?The suggestion you offered is that 1) humans are not cursed for their sin, and 2) nature is no longer cursed. As long as we define "curse" as "only that which is so termed", I guess I'm fine with it. Paul doesn't call it "curse" when he says, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Rom. 8:20-21). It is called "futility", "bondage", "decay", but not "curse". The "goats" of Matt. 25 are called "cursed" (Matt. 25:41), but I suppose it could be surmised that they aren't cursed until they are condemned to eternal fire. And while God did say He would never again curse "the ground" (Gen. 8:21), Jesus certainly cursed a fig tree.To me it all seems like an extremely hazy, semantic line. If "to curse" means "to wish or invoke evil, calamity, injury, or destruction upon", it seems obvious that humans outside of the favor of God have impending calamity, injury, and destruction, and that the futility, bondage, and decay of the world that still exists would fall under "calamity, injury, or destruction" invoked by God. So while we may agree to limit "curse" to "only that which is so called", the effects seem to be the same.In the great Christmas hymn, Joy to the World (which, admittedly, is not Scripture, but is, nonetheless, a marvelous hymn), I find great comfort in the third verse (as well as the rest).No more let sins and sorrows grow,Nor thorns infest the ground;He comes to make His blessings flowFar as the curse is found.I have no need to defend a hymn, but it seems a bit sad, given the message and theme of the hymn, to suggest that the curse is not found anywhere, doesn't it? And the presence of the English word "curse" doesn't alter the Hebrew and biblical concept any more than does the presence of the English word "blessing" alter the Hebrew and biblical concept. Just as I consider it a great blessing to have a friendly dialog with a sister in Christ ... even if the Bible never call it one. =)
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