Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Did the Apostle Paul receive partiality from God in his salvation?

Question: Did God sovereignly intervene and cause Saul’s conversion with irresistible grace?
Answer: Obviously yes
.

Then wouldn't it be by God’s partiality for Paul to reject God’s grace and get saved while many others reject God’s grace and perish?

CALVINIST VIEW:
If all that are saved are saved by God’s mercy and intervention apart from any attribute that was God given, then there is no partiality. God would be both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus Christ because of the gift of faith to them (Rom. 3:26). He would also be just to those He does not extend mercy. All would have perished had He not given His mercy and none who received His mercy had any advantage over those who didn’t. Those chosen for salvation were not chosen because of any attribute in them. There is no partiality and no human being would have been saved in and of themselves due to a God given attribute such as intelligence or righteousness. That is why Paul can say that there is no injustice on God’s part in Romans 9:14. This is TRUE FREE GRACE!

ARMINIAN AND NON-CALVINIST VIEW:
However, if many perish because they reject God’s resistible grace and Paul was saved because God intervened with irresistible grace then Paul was shown partiality. One may claim that Paul had special qualities that God wanted to use to build his church as the reason. That is probably true, but one must then consider where Paul got those special qualities. The answer is God and you are still left with partiality on God’s part because Paul's rejection of God was overuled by God while many others rejection of God resulted in hell.

How can this dilemma be reconciled and God not be partial in the non-Calvinist view?

Anyone!

8 comments:

jazzycat said...

I was sure hoping someone from the non-Calvinist view would give us an answer. Does God show favoritism in salvation?

Anyone!

Dawn said...

Well, I don't believe that God chose Paul by giving him some sort of irresistible grace. I believe that when Paul was confronted by Jesus Himself Paul STILL could have rejected Him but did not. Nowhere does it state that God MADE Paul believe. Obviously, His heart was not as wicked as the other Pharisees who continued to reject Jesus as Messiah. God looks upon the heart and I see it that Paul truly had a heart for God and it is proved by his non-rejection of Jesus once confronted by Him. In the case of Cain, God confronted Cain in the same way He did with Paul yet, Cain STILL rejected God.

The Calvinist view of only choosing some for salvation is the one that makes God a respecter of persons, showing partiality. In the non-Calvinist view everyone is given the chance to repent and that responsibility falls upon the person once God has drawn them and the bible says He draws all men which includes all kinds of men.

I don't claim to speak for all non-Calvinists, but this is how I see it as taught by the scriptures. Someone else may have a better answer for you.

jazzycat said...

Dawn,
What about God's role in the many passages like this,

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

or this

1 Samuel 16:1b Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

or this

Romans 11:4-5 But what is God's reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

donsands said...

"Obviously, His heart was not as wicked as the other Pharisees"

Paul had a little goodness?

No. Every human is the same. Paul, Daniel, David, Esau, Jacob, Peter, Judas, and me and you; we are all dead in our sins, and in Satan's domain, under his rule.
We are surely still accountable, but blind just the same.
God owes us nothing. Except judgment.
His mercy is beyond comprehension when we see it in this light.
Why? because we are dead in our sin, and we hate the goodness of God. We despise the Cross, though we may acknowledge Christ's death. We want to be part of our salvation, and god says we have no part.
It is 100% grace.

Dawn said...

Jazzy, Jeremiah 1:5 and I Samuel 16:1 are not speaking to salvation. Romans 11:4-5 is speaking of salvation by grace through faith.

Dawn said...

Donsands, where did I say that Paul was good?

mark pierson said...

"Well, I don't believe that God chose Paul by giving him some sort of irresistible grace."
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Dawn, in Romans 8:28 we see Paul talk about those who are the called according to His purpose - meaning there are those not called. In this case these so "called" are invited to a purpose - conformity to Christ. The called in this verse (kletos) are also the chosen, Romans 9:24; 2Thess. 2:13-17; 1 Peter 2:9.
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"I believe that when Paul was confronted by Jesus Himself Paul STILL could have rejected Him"
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No way! The same Greek word is used in his calling to the apostleship as we see in Romans 8:28. Further more we see in Galatians 1:15-16 that his call to the apostleship happened in GOD"S timing, and for God's purpose - to reveal his Son in him. It was ALL of God. Paul, the one who once hated Christians, holding the cloths of those stoning Stephen, the one who hauled christians off to be tried, compelling them to blaspheme, this same Paul is now used of God to reveal His Son to the world. The life change, yea the attitude change was all of God.

Essau, on the other hand was not of the elect and went on to experience God's justice. Paul and Esau were not on the same footing. One was of the elect, and responded accordingly; the other not of the elect, and, again, responded accordingly.
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"but did not. Nowhere does it state that God MADE Paul believe."
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Ephesians 2:8-9 and 1 John 5:1 teach that faith is a gift. Look at physical birth; A new born breaths because it is born alive. He/she goes on to live because they breath. So it is with the Christian - they believe because they are alive. They live spiritually because they believe.
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" Obviously, His heart was not as wicked as the other Pharisees who continued to reject Jesus as Messiah."
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He was more exceedingly zealous than any of those other Pharisees. He was a zealous Christian-killer...UNTIL his encounter with God. This was an life changing encounter.
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"God looks upon the heart and I see it that Paul truly had a heart for God"
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He was clearly a Christian-killer. Some historians report that Paul contributed to the practice of tying husbands up while watching his family his family get torchured, thereby bringing the husband to a point of renouncing Christ.
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"and it is proved by his non-rejection of Jesus once confronted by Him."
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No, the work of God's Spirit is what was evident here; not Paul's supposed willing heart.
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"In the case of Cain, God confronted Cain in the same way He did with Paul yet, Cain STILL rejected God."
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Yes, because he was not elected to salvation, Romans 9:10-13.
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"The Calvinist view of only choosing some for salvation is the one that makes God a respecter of persons, showing partiality."
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God will have mercy on those He will, and harden those who He will. It is all of the purpose of God according to election, of Him Who calls.
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"In the non-Calvinist view everyone is given the chance to repent and that responsibility falls upon the person once God has drawn them and the bible says He draws all men which includes all kinds of men."
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The general call goes out to the world. Only the elect will respond.

Priscilla said...

You write very well.