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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Upon what basis does God know the future? | Main | 1599 Geneva Bible - Calvin Legacy Edition »

    More on 1 Timothy 2:4

    “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (7) For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. ” - 1Tim 2:1-7

    In addition to the youtube video posted immediately below this article, further discussion of this text and the verses that surround it by Alan Kurschner (including interaction with John Piper's comments on the text) can be found here.

    Posted by John Samson on December 10, 2008 01:47 PM

    Comments

    Well, that article seems logical to me! In the article we read:::>"....Arminians have wrongly interpreted this verse from a horizontal perspective. That is, they have read into this text the idea that all individuals in the world are in view. But Paul is giving us a vertical point of view of particular social classes. Therefore it is correct to say that Paul is speaking of all “kinds” or “sorts” of people, i.e., it is God’s desire that the social class of those in higher authority are not excluded from his saving grace...."

    I wanted to observe something similar from Scripture that hasn't been touched on here about these 'two' persectives, the horizonal and the vertical which is easily demonstrated that Paul had in mind when we look at some more of what Paul wrote Timothy.

    It takes a bit of digging into how Paul's mind works and how his distinctions exegetically clarify "who" he means by all people that are to be saved. Paul understood that not all people were going to be saved. His own writings prove that.

    First to note then is the Greek word "bios" and how Paul applies it to mean "men of Christ", distinquishing them from "men of this present world".

    Bios is the Greek word used in 1 Tim. 2:2 by Paul which is the central focus of the article above.

    βίος
    bios
    bee'-os
    A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: - good, life, living.


    How can an understanding of this word help bring clarity to this debate?

    Well, consider this, Paul uses the "same" Greek word in 2 Tim. 2:4 making a clear distinction between Christ's followers and followers of this present world.

    Before I come back to this distinction let me make the point about Jesus' own thoughts and distinctions about "this life/bios" in the present "world" we live in.

    Jesus said:

    Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
    Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
    Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
    Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
    Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
    Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
    Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

    Notice that some "Greeks" came looking to see Jesus too.

    We know that God draws men to Christ. Men don't find Jesus and repent of their sins! These men were Greeks not Jews seeking out Jesus who was discipling some Jews called out from among men of that nation Israel.

    Next, notice what Jesus says by way of making the distinction about "these" Greeks and people from the nation of Greece. These Greeks, being drawn to Christ are different than all Greek men are. Jesus goes ahead and makes the distinction.

    Also, the disciples are from every tribe, kindred, tongue and nation and even to this day are equally drawn to Christ by the Father. True Believers are different than all Jewish and Gentile men are.

    What is the difference and the distinct nature of True Believers and people of this world?

    Those God calls "out" of this world follow Christ. Isn't it clear to the Arminian that not all men follow Christ? Not all men have Faith, the Bible teaches!

    And to follow Christ, one has to have a "change" occur within their life. What is important to note about the change is "who" does the changing. Is it God or man? To the True Reformed thinker, it is solely an act of God's will. To an Arminian, it is a synergistic of wills, God's and man's!

    Jesus makes a Truly Godly and monergistic claim that only God can make and can do, not man.

    Jesus says:::>

    Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
    Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

    We know that claim that Jesus makes there is a claim that only God "knows" about. God has revealed it to man through His prophets in times past and in many situations but now, here, for the first time, God Himself is making the God Claim, making a clear distinction to it.

    God is going to bring "glory" to the Son of Adam, Jesus Christ!

    Next, consider the two Greek words used by Jesus in making this profound monergistic assertion. He uses the Greek word "Psuche" and the Greek word "Zoe" in His assertion.

    Jesus, Who "is" Eternal Life/Zoe makes the claim that He will lay down His "Psuche/life" and those who are of His "order" will do likewise:::>

    Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
    Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.


    The Arminian argues for universalism quoting John 3:16.

    I argue to refute that about John 3:16 doesn't imply universalism by pointing to 1 John 3:16.

    If you look up the Greek words used by John at 1 John 3:14-17, you will see all three Greek words used, bios, psuche and zoe:::>

    1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life/zoe, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
    1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life/zoe abiding in him.
    1Jn 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life/psuche for us, and we ought to lay down our lives/psuche for the brothers.
    1Jn 3:17 But if anyone has the world's goods/bios and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?


    Verses 14 and 15 use the Greek word zoe, 16 uses the Greek word psuche and 17, bios.

    Now why is that important to understand in this debate?

    Well consider who Jesus says the "prince" of the world is that man centered reasonings center on and follow while living in this biosphere, ah, world?

    John 12:28-32

    Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
    Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
    Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
    Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
    Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

    The men of the "world" have a "prince" as a ruler, the first of this bios world order.

    The men called out of this bios world order to come into Discipleship with Christ as the Head of this Body, the Church, are those that Paul is speaking about as he faithfully instructs Timothy in 1 Tim. 2:2 and 2 Tim. 2:4.

    The Greek word for "a peaceable life is "bios" in 1 Tim. 2:2.

    This is the same Greek word Paul uses to instruct Timothy to not get involved in, entangling himself in the affairs of this bios world and in fact, we are soldiers warring against the prince of this world order and by so warring we are making clear the Kingdom of God on the earth distinguishing ourselves from the men of this present world order.

    So, to one group, they use universalism to justify themselves and their theology and reasonings. I just don't see that being taught by Jesus or Paul. Do you?

    The Truly Reformed in this world are simply "not of this world" nor do we want to have anything to do with the prince of this world order, which is all the world of self centered men that obviously Jesus and Paul were not making reference too nor was God.

    We "all" have sinned, yes. That's true and as the article points too, why is it so easy for an Arminian to accept that but then find it difficult to accept that God chooses out of "all" the world, "all" that are being saved? I read one man call God a monster for so being "that" God!

    One more important Greek word notation if you can bear it?

    It is this distinction Paul makes about being dead to sin and self.

    Granted, everyone is dead in their sins. Everyone in this debate agrees to that. But, I submit that not all men are dead "to" their sins. Hopefully this next distinction of a Greek word and how it is used by Paul will make that clear?

    The question is, "how can a man be dead "to" their sins when we are all dead in our sins?"

    When you understand the Greek word Paul uses and is only used by Paul and used only at two places in the New Testament it should become clear the answer to that question? One place Paul uses the word is at Ephesians 2:5 and the only other place the Greek word is used in the New Testament is at Colossians 2:13.

    The Greek word is this:

    συζωοποιέω
    suzōopoieō
    sood-zo-op-oy-eh'-o
    From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): - quicken together with.

    I know that this is a mystery. But it is the Word of God and it is something that God does of His Own Free Will conjoining and reanimating one who is dead in their sins so that they now, by God's Grace and Mercy are dead to their sins and alive in Christ.

    I believe God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked or those who "die" in their sins! Jesus said as much when He said, "woe to those who die in their sins". I also believe that the devil wants all men to suffer misery! Cf. Job 18*.

    Jesus came to "give" life to this world of mankind the Bible teaches are the called and elected. These are the "all" of the world of those called and elected out of all mankind of this world.

    He did not come to give life to all mankind. I believe that is a mystery and hard to understand and only by Faith one is able to have Peace with God about it "all".

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