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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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  • « Review: Chosen for Life by Sam Storms | Main | Images of the Savior (44 -- The Prophet Like Moses) »

    Divine Foreknowledge -- Quote by R.C. Sproul

    God knows both the micro- and macro-dimensions of the entire universe. He numbers the very hairs of our heads. Not only does he know what we will do before we do it, but also he knows all the options we could have chosen at the moment. He knows all contingencies. Yet God’s knowledge of contingencies is not itself contingent. His foreknowledge is perfect and absolute. He is not a Great Chess Player who must wait to see what we will do, but he knows absolutely what we will do before we do it. Before a word is even formed on our lips, he knows it altogether. Thus Luther responds to Erasmus:

    It is, then, fundamentally necessary and wholesome for Christians to know that God foreknows nothing contingently, but that He foresees, purpose, and does all things according to His own immutable, eternal and infallible will. This bombshell knocks “free-will” flat, and utterly shatter it; so that those who want to assert it must either deny my bombshell, or pretend not to notice it, or find some other way of dodging it…

    …You insist that we would learn the immutability of God’s will, while forbidding us to know the immutability of His foreknowledge! Do you suppose that He does not will what He foreknows, or that He does not foreknow what He will? If he wills what He foreknows, His will is eternal and changeless, because His nature is so. From which it follows, by resistless logic, that all we do, however it may appear to us to be done mutably and contingently, is in reality done necessarily and immutable in respect of God’s will. For the will of God is effective and cannot be impeded, since power belongs to God’s nature; and His wisdom is such that He cannot be deceived. Since then His will is not impeded, what is done cannot but be done where, when, how, as far as, and by whom, He foresees and wills.


    Quote from page 90 of Willing to Believe.by R.C. Sproul

    Posted by John on February 11, 2009 06:26 PM

    Comments

    I love R.C.'s teachings. He has a gift for putting words together that make much sense. Especially seen in the last paragraph of this article.

    When I read this article today I thought of these words of Scripture and said, of the article, the Scripture supports it!

    :)

    Psa 94:6 They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless;
    Psa 94:7 and they say, "The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive."
    Psa 94:8 Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?
    Psa 94:9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
    Psa 94:10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge--
    Psa 94:11 the LORD--knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.

    I don't see the "bomb shell". I have found nowhere in scripture where it says that God doesn't foreknow things contingently. I don't think 'foreknow' means to 'fore-ordain', hence why scripture distiguishes the two. This by no means disproves absolute determinism, however God's foreknowledge doesn't reley on his determinism.

    If God exists out side of time, then of course he can tell the future. This doesn't necessarily mean he determines it. God has absolute divine foreknowledge (something which both Calvinists and Arminians would agree on), but just because an event is certain (to God), doesn't make it neccessary. After all, even demons can tell the future, and it's not because they determine it.

    This by no means disproves absolute determinism, but divine foreknowlede by no means proves it either.

    Blessings.

    Mr. Daniel N.

    Thank you for your words. However, if God foreknows who will be saved and who will go to hell even prior to creating the world, and yet He created the world knowing that this is exactly what would take place, then it it is His will that it took place the way it did. If God knows who is going to be lost He would certainly be "wasting His time" trying to save persons He knows with certainty would never come to a knowledge of the truth.

    Philosphy must be based on revelation and revelation teaches with clarity that no one can believe the gospel of Jesus Christ unless God grants it (John 6:65) and all that God grants will believe (John 6:37). This leaves no room for the unregenrate will of man. Faith is not a product of our unregenerate human nature (1 Cor 2:14) Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, no one would ever believe. The Apostle Paul say that no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' apart form the Holy Spirit."

    Jesus does for us what we could not do for ourselves because what is impossible with man (salvation) is possible with God.

    Thanks for your time.

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