Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 1 – Ezekiel 36:26

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the first portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

You are always using Human reasoning instead of scripture. God can change and has to change a person’s will to be saved. Ezekiel 36:26 John 3:3-8 Romans 3:10-12 Psalms 14:1-3 even though you think he can’t interfere with natural man’s will and someone will have to tell me how one person believes the Gospel the true gospel that is and another doesn’t. No freewill advocate can give me an answer. They ignore that question.

I suppose the first issue to address is the reason for his comment above. I had asked a question regarding God’s will as my friend understands God’s will. If I understand him correctly, God has absolute control over every decision made by every human, and that God’s will can never be resisted.

So my original question was……

How do you explain the Lord’s frustration with Jerusalem as He entered the city before His passion? He was willing but the people of Israel were not willing.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
Matthew 23:37 ESV

Seems the people got their way.

Nevertheless, lets consider the first portion of my friends comment. His initial comment is followed by four Scripture references. I have supplied these passages below, and will attempt to understand his reason for providing to support his statement.

Ezekiel 36:26

Ezekiel 36:26 – And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

What a great verse, speaking of the sinful nature and the darkness and hardness of the sinners heart. Ezekiel was specifically speaking to the sons of Israel, and of their restoration to the land. From verse 22 through verse 32, Ezekiel records the phrase “I will” 13 times referring to God’s intent with the children of Israel.

This passage speaks of God’s overarching care, protection and provision to His wayward, sinful people. Upon getting to verse 26, it is clear that the Lord Himself gives the new heart, gives the new spirit, removes the heart of stone, and gives a heart of flesh. There is no debate upon these gracious gifts of God to His people.

One item that is not addressed in this passage is the responsibility of the sinner. Of course, my friend assumes the sinner has no responsibility in receiving the new heart, but I don’t see Ezekiel expressly stating that. Nowhere does Ezekiel come out and state – You sinners are unable to respond to the grace of God. You are completely without any responsibility in God’s work with your nation. You have to be completely passive!! As a matter of fact, you couldn’t respond if you wanted to.

Shucks, I don’t see Ezekiel stating that!

Ezekiel continues with verse 32, telling of the reason for the gracious gifts of God toward His people in the future. These future promises were provided through the prophet Ezekiel, in order for the people to know of His future actions. Then Ezekiel caps off the message with the intended response that is expected.

 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

The Lord will act – Be ashamed now. There is a response expected prior to the Lord’s acting out His promises. There is a responsibility on the part of the Israelites.

But that is not all, regarding the will of God that Ezekiel teaches us. Let us look at verse 37 of the same chapter.

 “Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock.

The Lord allows the people of Israel to ask of Him for a particular request. This seems odd if the Lord’s will is determined from time eternal, before creation. The entire issue of prayer is a difficult topic to understand if the Lord’s will has been locked down prior to creation. (Dang it is difficult to understand no matter what!)

It is obvious that Ezekiel emphasizes God’s will towards His people in this passage. There is no doubt. Yet with this emphasis, God seems to invite the will of men (in praying to God) to participate in the work of God. This is surely a mystery and yet He invites us.

For prayer does change things!

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

110 thoughts on “Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 1 – Ezekiel 36:26

  1. Please go visit and search for “Gospel Atonement” and read that scripturally referenced paper that should help eliminate any belief in universal atonement


  2. In your free will frame of reference, how does one receive the special ability to believe the Gospel while someone else doesn’t have that inherent ability to believe out of His fallen nature.
    I guess the question is how does one muster up the response while others don’t.
    Doesn’t that still fit the objection by the objector since God is omniscient Why did you make me like this? The free will frame of reference has no problem with that view because he can take the special credit.

    Sovereign Grace says God regenerates unconditionally whom ever He wills and that We all came out of the same neutral lump in this view; but not in the Free Will view; he was made with special inherent characteristics to respond since God is omniscient and knows what He created before He created and set forth His plan.

    I guess man can boast in the free Will view and not the Sovereign Grace view


          1. First, I don’t know that you aren’t chosen. All I know is you believe a Gospel conditioned on man at the present. You may change your mind. Why some and not others, it doesn’t really say; but it appears the choosing isn’t based on anything in man or from man. A few scriptures that come to mind that might be a little relevant that you are already familiar with is Proverbs 16:4 Ephesians 1:11 Romans 9:11 9:22-23 Amos3:2 Romans 8.28-33 Deuteronomy 7:7 Revelation 4:11 etc
            It appears He does things according to purpose according to the counsel of His Will for His glory by demonstrating His attributes through His creation. He wants to display His wrath and make His power known along with His love and mercy.


          2. Please go visit
   and search for “Gospel Atonement” and read that scripturally referenced paper that should help eliminate any belief in universal atonement


                1. My apologies on the universal atonement item. Thought you meant universal salvation.

                  When I share gospel I have the freedom to tell everybody that “Christ died for them”. You on the other hand cannot honestly say that, for your theology states that Christ only died for a special group of people. And no one knows who they are…


                  1. I never tell people Christ died for them because I don’t know if He did or not
                    The scriptures say that He that believes the Gospel and is baptized will be saved and he that does not believe will be condemned.

                    So it all rests on whether they believe the Gospel of Grace
                    That comes at generation from above 2 Corinthians 4:6 to whomever God chooses to mercy
                    So all you can do is present the Gospel and the unconditional elect will respond when God shines into the heart the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ


  3. God shouldn’t be compared to a drug induced rapist; but the rapist should be compared to a sinner void of the spirit that God might regenerate through His sovereign will ( The spirit blows where it desires) Grace undeserved generated and given by God unto belief of the Gospel.
    The sinner that cannot ( won’t ) respond to the Gospel has to be given the spirit to be able to respond or in other words be made alive to the things of God so he can respond which is by the sovereign will of God since He is the creator of all things and omniscient by way of the fact that He created all things.


  4. Your quote:
    “Again a good question. He asks permission through commanding repentance”

    That is ridiculous from my perspective.
    In Ezekiel 36 Jehovah is doing everything for His name’s sake. They are His vessels to mold in Ezekiel 36. I don’t see anything indicating He was asking for their permission to do anything to them.

    They were spiritually dead. They were being acted upon by God from start to finish. He was doing all the work to change them from repentance to walking in His statutes etc.

    That whole chapter reflects the Grace of God acting totally on His unconditionally chosen people through generation from above. John 3:3,5,8

    We can nicely correlate John 6:29 here :
    This is the work of God that you believe into (Him) that One sent.


  5. John 6:29 says Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe into Him whom that One sent.

    This verse does not say belief is the work of man as is described and believed in the “free” will religion


    1. I understand your point, yet the Lord said that the work of God is that YOU believe in Him, not that God makes you believe. There is a definite symbiosis of God and man in the salvation of the sinner. God does all the work, yet it is the responsibility of the the sinner to believe!


      1. This is an interesting point by you “ God doesn’t make you believe”

        How are you going to believe then, a spiritually dead natural man who thinks spiritual things are foolishness?

        Just by the fact he is working the belief in John 6:29 etc, says different. The working from my perspective is taking something from point zero to point 1. If God wants to save someone that thinks spiritual things are foolishness, how will he save anyone if he doesn’t work the belief into them?

        Belief of the Gospel or no belief of the Gospel. You can only believe if you have the spirit. If you have the spirit, you believe. No spirit, brings no belief, indicating no life. The spirit brings belief.

        God says He completes the work he starts according to Philippians.

        He has no need to superficially play with man unless man’s freedom from Him is the center of the universe ( sounds like the delusion offered in the Garden of Eden) God is moving the natural man from a dead spirit to a live spirit. There is no in between. If he plants His spirit in you, you are a new creation and you will believe the truth. He chooses to mercy some and harden others. I didn’t write that in Romans 9 He chooses unconditionally or elects in Romans 9:11. I didn’t write that in Romans 9

        The True Gospel: God promises to save His people. Matthew 1:21
        Jesus Christ’s atoning shed blood and His imputed righteousness guarantees the salvation from regeneration to final glory for all that He represented in His death and perfect life lived and this salvation is by the work of Christ alone without any contribution or effort from the sinner.

        Free will advocates believe they can generate belief from within their fallen nature. That means they make the difference between Heaven and Hell; it is not by Christ’s work and person alone. It is a different gospel than being saved by (undeserved)Grace alone.

        If this false gospel is true, then God created knowingly since He is omniscient special people with inherent abilities that differ from some and He is a respected of persons by way of some having the special self wrought conditional ability to believe while others don’t. The glory of salvation goes to man; these special created people that differ from the poorly deficient persons that couldn’t on their own come to believe.

        We see the Gospel as 2 different Gospels and only the gospel of Grace saves


        1. Let me be foolish and state in blunt terms how I see gospel you teach as I understand.

          Your message is of a God who forces a fallen hell-bent God hating sinner to believe a gospel that he hates, that he wouldn’t submit to or even consider. As a matter of fact, the sinner you describe is so full of hatred toward God that nothing is acceptable to him, that he would reject every offer of love and grace.

          Also, with even greater bluntness, I see this teaching some what similar to a man going into a bar with a date rape drug, forcing the girl that has rejected him over and over again, to finally come home with him. He is totally sovereign over her for the period of time the drug has effect and does what ever he wants, yet in my mind he is a despicable rapist.

          I mean no disrespect, but I can’t avoid this analogy.

          One other item that concerns me with this teaching is the responsibility of sin put upon our Holy God and Savior.

          First, the sinner who cannot respond to a gospel is held responsible for not responding – Seems unjust to me.

          Secondly, the believer who sins due to being in the “decretive will” of God, makes God to be the author of that sin. The believer is simply living a life of sin that has been decreed by the secret counsel of God. This is beyond my comprehension.

          I appreciate your passion for your teaching, and you are correct in stating one of us is teaching in error. I submit to you that your deterministic glasses are blurring a large part of the Word of God, and some of the mysteries that are taught in it. It is a massively deep book, with mysteries that seem to be in conflict, and until we get home, will continue to seem conflicting.

          Let all the book of God speak to you. I have had to let the Word break down some of my most cherished doctrines taught by well meaning teachers, in order to allow difficult passage to say what they say. Please do not hear me say that I have understood all mysteries – far from it, but holding onto a man’s teaching without considering other optional views is a trap. This is an easy trap to fall into since it is easy to depend on one man to do my studying, but it separates us from being taught by God directly.

          Listening to one man’s teaching also caused me to become argumentative, legalistic and narrow minded. I had to fight to maintain the purity of this man’s teaching, all the while only hurting those that were true believers with a slightly different opinion on a few verses.

          How painful that must be the the One who sought for us to be one church.


    1. Your friend explained Matthew 23:37 in another one of your posts. God commands a lot of things that natural man cannot perform. Man is responsible because God is sovereign not because he has free Will. If you remember Adam and Eve ran and hid themselves from the true God after eating the fruit. Could they have not hid themselves? I assume from what I read their nature changed; a nature that will not respond to God’s commands.


      1. Why is it so hard to comprehend that 1 Corinthians 2:14 says
        But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned

        “he is not able” meaning he has no ability to comprehend and respond. He is spiritually dead He has to be generated from above at the Sovereign Will of God
        John 3:3,5,8

        “The spirit blows where it desires”


    2. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

      Is the Ezekiel 36:22 (KJ3) verse below the same as yours listed above verse

      Ezekiel 36:22
      Therefore, say to the house of Israel, So says the Lord Jehovah: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but only for My holy name
      which you profaned among the nations, there to which you had gone in.

      Is your verse below the same as Ezekiel 36:37 KJ3 listed below yours

      Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock.

      Ezekiel 36:37 KJ3

      So says the Lord Jehovah: Yet for this I will be sought by the house of Israel, to work for them. I will increase them with men like a flock.

      The KJ3 translation seems to present a more sovereign view than what you are alluding to


      1. Sorry my mistake I found the other verse that looks similar your quoted verse was Ezekiel 36:32 but in verse 31 the new heart in 26 will cause them to remember their evil ways and your doings that not good and you will despise yourselves. This is a result of their new heart given to them not their free will


      2. I just noticed when looking at the verses prior to verse Ezekiel 36:37 when you attempted to use your translation to say that the Lord will let them (house of Israel) ask… as though they had free will if I’m reading your motive correctly; but in the KJ3 verse 37 it says “ (for)this I will be sought by the House of Israel”.

        For what reason will Jehovah be sought? Verse 35 and 36 tells us why

        Ezekiel 36:35-36-37
        35 And they shall say, This land that was desolated has become like the garden of Eden. And the wasted and desolated and torn down cities are fortified and inhabited.

        36 And the nations left all around you shall know that I, Jehovah, built the torn down places and planted that which was desolated. I, Jehovah, have spoken it and will do it.

        37 So says the Lord Jehovah: Yet for this I will be sought by the house of Israel, to work for them. I will increase them with men like a flock


    3. Your quote above
      “God has absolute control over every decision made by every human, and that God’s will can never be resisted”

      God’s decretive Will is always done. God’s will by way of command isn’t always done.


      1. God must be in absolute control of all decisions etc otherwise, He would not be able to keep His promises. He declares the end from the beginning. The potter has authority over the clay to do as He pleases.


          1. God can’t keep His promises if man’s “free”Will is sovereign over God’s will Free Will means God can’t intervene with man’s corrupt nature and if that were true no one could be saved because no one comes unless drawn or is given so I don’t see your view which you and I have already determined


            1. Do you think sovereign means the same as control?
              I think you have determined my view in your understanding, since I don’t remember stating man’s will as sovereign in relation to any of Gods will.
              The kings of Israel were sovereign over the people of Israel, yet none of them completely controlled all and every action that every one decided to do.
              Sovereignty doesn’t make sense if absolute control is its definition


              1. There are 2 choices either God controls His creation or His creation controls Him.

                God says in scripture

                Romans 9:16
                16 So, then, it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of the One having mercy, of God.

                All that the Father gives to Jesus come and will not be lost

                God the Father is Absolutely Sovereign and in Absolute control It is not by the will of man or the working of man but by God’s mercy
                The potter has the right to make a vessel of mercy and one vessel fitted out for destruction unconditionally He is the potter who makes forms and molds.


                1. I think you are assuming a false dichotomy regarding the relationship of God’s will and man’s will (which is limited!).
                  It may not be an either/or situation but a more complex relationship of wills that is addressed by the whole counsel of God


              2. Comparing the kings of Israel to Jehovah isn’t reliable because God controls the hearts of the kings and turns them in whatever direction he desires Proverbs 21:1


                1. I was simply using the example of the kings of Israel to help define the word sovereign

                  A quick search on internet gives the following definition of Sovereign

                  1a: one possessing or held to possess supreme political power or sovereignty

                  b: one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere

                  c: an acknowledged

                  As you can see, the word down not mean control, but authority. He has all authority and choses to do what please Him with that authority, whether it be to retain it or delegate some of it.


                  1. He has supreme power. So, we need to use another word to describe His complete Absolute control. I think you are correct I should use in addition to Absolute Total Sovereignty use another term like Total absolute control unless there is a single word to describe His Total control over His creation


                    1. How about creator of all things? Since He is omniscient omnipotent and omnipresent, then all of His creation is known by Him and they do exactly what he determined them to do from before the foundation of the world. He declared the end from the beginning Maybe we can use “omniscient creator” He made all things exactly the way he intended. Which would correlate perfectly with the objector in Romans 9 “ Why did you make me like this?”


                    2. Does power equal control?
                      I may have power over my children to tell them to perform a chore yet I give them freedom to accomplish that chore in their way. Does that diminish my authority over my children?


                    3. Yes, Absolute power generates the ability for absolute control. Using fallen human examples is not sufficient that is insulting to God.

                      You still have not answered; I’m not sure how many of my questions you have left unanswered, but please, if you are willing tell me how one comes to believe the Gospel?

                      This would answer a lot. I’m expending a lot of words trying to present a systematic approach to belief of the gospel.

                      Don’t you recognize this “ free Will” or provisionist theory is what was being sold by the serpent in the Garden of Eden? You have no ability to respond as a natural man. We have covered this many scriptures

                      Jesus said you can’t come unless it is given to you by my Father John 6:65 look at the verse just prior 6:64 I will paste them and hopefully we won’t keep getting off the point that man does not have “free” will.

                      John 6:64
                      But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they are, the ones not believing, and who is the one giving Him over.

                      65 And He said, Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me if it is not given to him from My Father.

                      This is plain You cannot come on your own strength as a person that has no interest in spiritual things and doesn’t have the spirit; a result of becoming spiritually dead; a descendant of Adam

                      The English is plain you can’t come unless you are generated from above at the Sovereign Will of God

                      “The spirit blows where it desires”

                      I have given all the scriptures before


                    4. Ok, I would rather not get bogged down and distracted from the point; by trying to determine what a good analogy is of depicting God’s complete control and causation of sin and control of man’s actions to accomplish His purpose and plan.

                      So, please, since you believe God doesn’t control man’s actions; please, explain to me how God was able to foretell, plan and execute the crucifixion of Christ at a given time and bring all things together to accomplish the crucifixion at a particular ordained time if He didn’t have complete control over all things by causing all things?

                      And I can’t keep from asking the 3rd or 4th time. Please explain to me how a person comes to believe the Gospel?


                    5. How does one come to believe the gospel?

                      To believe the gospel is to repent of your sin and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

                      One has to hear the gospel to believe it.

                      Jesus sometimes told one to sell everything and follow, to show him his sin. Sometimes He would heal 10 lepers but only one believed. Sometimes He would talk to a religious leader at night and then let him be.

                      One time Paul told a man “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

                      It is a relationship of the living God with one of his created beings, who decide to exercise their will to love the One who loved them first.

                      Relationship. He is my Father.

                      Each person, when presented the gospel has the choice to ask for help, salvation, rescuing.


                    6. Sorry I missed that answer before I asked again. I must have been typing
                      I had a chance to read your reply

                      Let me ask it a little different
                      How is it that one person repents and believes and another person doesn’t?


                    7. Great question! The motive, The emotion, The rationale behind the question, I believe, gives rise and the root for why there are “Free” Will advocates.

                      I don’t think God has conditional favorites in his plan of creation and salvation according to scripture.

                      He is not a respecter of persons. He is omniscient and does all for His purpose according to the counsel of His will and for the benefit of His unconditionally chosen promised people. He does everything to express His attributes and His glory including the desire to show His wrath and to make His power known.

                      Due to His omniscience; knowing His purpose in all He created, why would He condition anything He does based on anything in man or from man since He creates what He intended to create for His purpose.

                      Proverbs 21:1
                      Jehovah has made all for His purpose, yea, even the wicked one for the day of evil things.

                      Revelation 4:11

                      Lord, You are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because You created all things, and through Your will they exist and were created.

                      Romans 11:36
                      Because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

                      Acts 17

                      Amos 3:2
                      You only have I known of all the families of the earth. On account of this I will call all your iniquities to account.

                      Deuteronomy 7:7-8
                      Jehovah did not set His love on you or choose you because you were more in number than any people, for you were the fewest of all peoples.

                      8 But because Jehovah loved you, and because He kept the oath which He swore to your fathers, Jehovah has caused you to go out with a strong hand, and redeemed you from the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

                      Jehovah chooses unconditionally. Nothing in man or from man causes Jehovah to choose any particular people as a group or individuals. So you can’t say it is because he is choosing favorites; since it is unconditional. We can only say it is according purpose and according to the counsel of His will.

                      Romans 9:11
                      for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of the One calling,

                      Isaiah 55:8
                      For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways, a statement of Jehovah.

                      First and foremost we are to love God and how do we show our love, by keeping His commandments

                      Doesn’t that include trusting His word?

                      Adam and Eve did not trust His word because, particularly Eve, thought Him to be a liar because the fruit looked good and delusionally she thought it would make her wise. The Serpent baited her with the delusion of gaining the knowledge of good and evil and becoming like God

                      God said “ Dying you shall die”

                      I’m sure Eve thought that wasn’t nice and in line with what she was thinking and seeing; just like the free will advocate thinks God would never choose unconditionally according to the counsel of his sovereign righteous will.

                      The natural man desires to sin and follows through with that sin and is accountable for that sin and God caused it all according to His plan and purpose because He knows exactly what He has created.

                      I can’t help but believe The free will advocate thinks it isn’t righteous for God to unconditionally choose and make vessels of mercy and make vessels fitted out for destruction in order to make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy prepared beforehand; but when you think about it, he can’t do otherwise because He can’t create without having knowledge of what He created; since He is omniscient. It doesn’t fit natural man’s thinking; but he answers that in Isaiah 55:8 above?

                      Hypothetically, if God chose based on something individually and distinctly as part of that distinct individual; then ultimately anyway, that person is exactly, God being omniscient, the way God created Him to be.

                      In any case we are back to the objector who completely understood in Romans 9
                      Why does God find fault for who can resist His will and consequently the objector knowing God is making unconditionally vessels of mercy and vessels fitted out for destruction, The objector says: Why did you make me like this?

                      God is the Potter and we are the clay. Scripture teaches that and we are to trust scripture. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.


                    8. It appears you meant
                      Psalm 78:41
                      Yea, they turned back and tested God, and set marks to the Holy One of Israel KJ3

                      It is concerning that you are satisfied with taking one verse out of 72 verses in Psalms 78 in order to attempt to prove man’s will thwarts God’s decretive Will, which can never happen. I took the time to read the whole chapter to examine the context. Rather than go through again my delivering of the systematic scriptural case for unconditional election versus free will, I would appreciate if you would present your positive systematic scriptural case for free will. Psalms 78:41 read in context presents no case for altering the scriptural truth of unconditional election; while supporting God has Absolute control over all things.


                    9. I checked on your kj3 translation and found the work was done by one man. I think his name is Jay P Green.

                      Without a doubt, I am sure he has sought to be true to his own teaching in the translation, but I tend to veer from / avoid bibles that are influenced by a single man.

                      (Golly, I don’t even buy Bibles with study notes, but that is just my conviction.)

                      My friend too many groups have trusted one man in their preferred translation and slowly became heretical. It is a dangerous path to trod I fear.


                    10. Did you mean Psalms 78:41 and not 78:14 like it appeared you did? Both translations have the same meaning. What translation do you use?


                    11. You should give Jay Green Jr a call. He will educate you on translations. His Dad, the translator, passed away in 2008; but he is capable of giving you relevant information regarding translations.


                    12. Again a good question. He asks permission through commanding repentance

                      Acts 17:30
                      And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent:

                      I don’t know if you will consider this permission, but it is a requirement on the part of the sinner, since repentance and belief are required for life. This requirement is the sinners response to the Gospel invitation and shows the sinner accepting the invitation / offer of eternal life.

                      Belief is needed prior to life being granted. Many verses speak of this but the following may be sufficient

                      John 20:31
                      But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


                    13. Once again, God’s will by way of command is not always followed; but God’s decretive will is always done.

                      We disagree on the meaning of John 3:3,5,8
                      I say God has to generate a person from above at His sovereign will to believe the Gospel of Christ and enter the kingdom of God and as result of this sovereign act a person at the same time of generation will change his mind (repent)and stop following a belief that salvation is conditioned on man’s free Will response or a religion conditioned on man.
                      Man repents because God grants repentance 2 Timothy 2:25
                      I think John 3:3,5,8 in accordance with John 6:44, 6:65 has to take place first before belief can come and repentance which happen at the time God imputes Christ’s righteousness; you don’t believe this since you think belief is an act of man that God doesn’t and won’t interfere with. I believe scripture teaches unconditional election and you believe in man’s free will to choose Christ which disagrees with for example 1 Corinthians 2:14


                    14. I understand and see the inference in John 20:31 that you are referring to

                      John 20:31
                      But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name

                      “ believing you May have life” in KJ3
                      I would like to start by focusing on “ these things have been written “that you may believe”
                      Without some form of communication of the Gospel you cannot believe the Gospel. Faith comes hearing (effectually hearing) some hear but don’t perceive (Why?)
                      Romans 10:14

                      Without belief of what is communicated there is no evidence of life. I do see the inference but I don’t think this verse makes it conclusive that belief comes before life and this is why.

                      John 6:64 says Jesus knew some who did not believe

                      John 6:65 Jesus says why they don’t believe is because belief has to be given by the Father.

                      This statement by Jesus equates the lack of belief directly to the lack of the gift of belief from The Father

                      John 6:37-44
                      All the Father gives to Me will come and Jesus will give them eternal life and preserve them so they won’t be lost.

                      Here is the word gift again a direct correlation between gift, coming and belief from above or The Father. All gifts from the Father directly tied to the sovereign will of the spirit blowing where it wills. John 3:3,5,8

                      1 Corinthians 2:14 gives us the knowledge that natural man, a descendant of Adam, has no ability to respond when he hears spiritual things in other words; the words written in John 20:31

                      Then when you look at Matthew 13:16
                      We see the word “Blessed “ are your eyes and “Blessed” are your ears because they see and hear ( Does Blessed infer gifted?)
                      Plus in John 5:24 says he that believes has eternal life inferring the life brought belief since it says He that believes Has eternal Life. It does not say he that believes receives eternal life

                      To say God knowingly created a person with self generated or self willed belief compared to another person he knowingly created lacking this self generated ability to believe that would not believe, is to say God is a respecter of persons and is conditioning salvation on the sinner. Saying salvation is conditioning salvation on man’s free will is to build your house on sand.

                      But Romans 9:11 says unconditional election happens before anything good or bad is done by Jacob or Esau, a representative of the elect and Esau, the reprobate.

                      John 10:26 says you don’t believe because you are not my sheep

                      He did not say you are not my sheep because you don’t believe

                      This says, once again, belief is a gift of The Father

                      The apostle prayed to the Sovereign Lord who sovereignly wills and controls all things and directs the hearts of people in the direction of His choosing Proverbs 16:4 because he was grieved in his heart for the unsaved Israelites after the flesh because he was once one of them and He knew God was responsible for who he will mercy Romans 9:15,16,18 and save just like God unconditionally chose him, The apostle Paul and saved him.

                      God generated in The Apostle Paul a heart from above unto belief of the Gospel Romans 10:1-4. He was saved without any effort or work from him; but only by the handful of Grace of God.

                      Romans 9:16
                      So, then, it is not of the one willing nor of the one running, but of the One having mercy, of God.


                    15. Let’s examine your question Does power equal control ? God has absolute power and absolute control. Absolute power gives you absolute control. You do not have absolute control and power over your kids and will never have compared to God’s attributes. Can you cause your kids to obtain a regenerate heart? No; God can by His absolute sovereign will and absolute sovereign power and absolute control. Does He exercise both ? Absolutely, at His sovereign will and it isn’t determined by man’s Will; according to scripture.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    16. I am comparing the words sovereignty with control, not the extent of either word in relation to man or god. It is a matter of definition. Did you consider the previous comment where I shared the definition of sovereignty?


                    17. Yes, I have no dispute with the definition; but it leads me to the need to use in addition to “Total Absolute Sovereignty “ Total Absolute Control to describe God. His decretive will was set from before the foundation of the world; which demonstrates He has Total Absolute Control so His desires will be fulfilled.


                    18. I would still like someone to answer from the free will perspective; how one person happens to believe and another doesn’t. I have answered that question from the Sovereign Grace position, my biblical perspective; but I haven’t received an answer from anyone from the “free”will perspective.


          2. If you being God promised to save John; and John being a natural man wasn’t interested in being saved, then, your being God and not having absolute control couldn’t save John. This would depict a poor weakling view of God and completely not Biblical.


              1. Why don’t you believe and see God has absolute control over His creation? Proverbs 16:4 says He turns the heart in whatever direction He wants to. Natural man is dead in sins and trespasses. You don’t understand the biblical nature of man and the biblical nature of God. God wants to save a people and He determined this from before the foundation of the world. Man was created by the all knowing God. God is not the clay being molded by man. You say he won’t control the sinner’s heart and cause him to come. The Bible says the sinner has no interest and ability to come when he hears spiritual things and God can’t save an unable sinner that won’t come to Him because man is able to come when the Bible says natural man is unable. It is amazing ! to listen to you Please tell me where this ability in one man versus another to hear and choose the biblical God comes from? It doesn’t come from man according the Bible. The Bible teaches he doesn’t have a clue. Your view of man is not biblical in addition to your view of God.

                It doesn’t appear you went and read “ Gospel atonement”


              2. The Bible does not depict a God that made man with freedom from God. The God of the Bible saves based on His mercy and is not saving by the free will of man. Romans 9:16 or the working of man. Natural man biblically is disconnected from spiritual things due to the fall. He has no interest and is able to come to Christ since he thinks the efficacious and effectual work of the cross is foolishness 1 Corinthians 1:18 1Corinthians 2:14. God is making unconditionally vessels of mercy and making unconditionally vessels fitted out for destruction in order to make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He prepared beforehand for glory. Romans 9:21-23

                It is impossible to make man with freedom from God or free will because God is omniscient omnipotent and omnipresent and made everything to be what it is from before the foundation of the world.

                Since you believe in free Will, whatever that idea is, you never have to admit to being the objector in Romans 9 “ Why did you make me like this?” You are actually the guy that says “Why does He find fault? “For who can resist His will? In order to avoid looking like the objector and the fact you are not trusting the biblical God, You make up the concept of free Will that appears from somewhere outside the scripture which appears to be the ruler of this world.

                A like minded Bible student said it this way

                “They don’t understand the doctrine of man. The sinner hates the true and living God and the Scripture says “no one seeks after God” – this being the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The sinner can be very religious, very pious, and very self righteous. He can also be the exact opposite, but either way the sinner is “dead in his trespasses and sins”, cannot hear”, and “his mind is set on the flesh, hostile to God, and cannot submit to the law of God, and cannot please God.”

                “They are definitely the objector in Romans 9 “

                “They even say it “seems unjust to me”

                “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?””
                ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:14, 19‬ ‭ESV‬‬


                    1. I understand where you are coming from. If you can find the freedom to break loose and read the post “Did Adam and have Eve have free will? It may open a window to consider that may give you something to scratch your head about


                    2. You make a statement in the post

                      “Since God is omniscient, The fall must have been planned before creation by God in order to glorify himself in Jesus Christ”

                      You are attributing to God the rebellion of His creation. This depicts God as a power hungry despot that seeks to play a cruel game on His creation, instead of a loving and gracious Father who sacrificed His Son for us.

                      To say the least, your theology is confusing, and assigns the breaking of God’s character to God Himself, which is a contradiction.

                      As mentioned before, it seems you have your faith, and seem settled/content with it. Go in peace. Thanks


                    3. Do you realize that if Adam and Eve being made upright couldn’t get it right, how is it possible for a natural man, an uninterested, incapable and with no ability to come to Jesus unless the Father gives Him to Jesus, please tell me what makes your “free” man in bondage able to come to Jesus
                      Please please answer that! You have to able to answer to support your theological view of Free Will


                    4. Tell me why one man comes and another man doesn’t in your free Will scheme. Your only answer can be he was specially made by the omniscient God and then, I if I’m one that doesn’t believe can say why you instead of me ? Or if you have inherent abilities built on your own to come then you know darn well you can boast.


                    5. I have to assess in your free Will world view, God is a weak God that is nothing more than a bell hop reacting to the free man he can’t interfere with which when carried out to an inevitable conclusion is nothing more or less than open theistic god ( little g). The creator in the Bible is not a crap shooter giving way to His wondering what his creation will do. That would be a frightening proposition I estimate not having absolute control over His creation.


                    6. God has to juggle 7,000,000+ to protect man’s delusional gifts of the knowledge of good evil received from the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. I really don’t think God ate the fruit with man and became subservient to man’s newly gained Godly attributes of Godly knowledge making him self sufficient . I think scripture says man became dead after eating. Man has not received “ you will be like God” offered by his Father the Devil. Jesus said the ruler of this world comes and he has nothing in me and natural man’s father is the devil. Jesus said unless one is generated from above ( meaning and confirming he is dead ) and given by the Father to Jesus, then he cannot see and enter the kingdom of God. Where these inherent godly attributes inherent in some dead men come from, I would sure make my ears wide open to find out; but this knowledge wasn’t given to the natural man.


                    7. The question remains.

                      Who is the better juggler?

                      For a juggler to control one ball may show absolute control, but a juggler that can oversee (govern) 500 balls all at once, without failure is the greater juggler.

                      7,000,000 or 500. He could juggle 500 times 7,000,000 and still retain His Kingship.

                      We are speaking of One who is all wise all knowing and all powerful, that has given an amount of freedom to His creatures, without any loss of His Kingship over all.


                    8. God doesn’t really juggle I was being sarcastic, he absolutely controls His creation in thought word and deed otherwise he is not the God of the Bible


                    9. In this Free Will scheme man is the center of the universe which was the delusion of Satan and bait from the serpent in the Garden of Eden “You will be like God”

                      Satan said something else similar when iniquity was found in his heart
                      “ I will go up over the heights of the clouds
                      I will likened to the most high” These delusions seem to be generated around self centeredness and lack of trust in God’s word. “ Dying you shall die” and “You are dead in sins and trespasses”A dead person can’t be reasoned with because he is spiritually dead “How did he happen to generate iniquity and the delusion in his heart?
                      God is the creator of all things even the wicked to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known

                      I have beat a dead horse into cremation 😂

                      Amazing Grace goes out the window and back away Free Will is here, the new god


                    10. Again you seem to have an either/or mentality that restricts your thinking. Be that as it may, you are convinced and luckily you are on the right track.
                      Have a good day, and don’t forget to bury that horse!!!


                    11. Let God be true and every man a liar
                      He has the right to make one vessel to honor and to make one to dishonor

                      He determines this before anyone has done anything good or bad so everyone will know it is according to unconditional election

                      He can do no other. He is God.

                      I can only stand on scripture anything else is dung. Thy word is Truth which sets free those in bondage.

                      Adam and Eve didn’t trust his word.

                      They trusted the lie and natural man is worse off with no hope except God shine into the heart The Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He must do this first; otherwise you can never on your own come alive to spiritual things

                      Read Romans 9 it is as clear as a shining bell


                    12. I couldn’t ever give consideration to the concept of a Free Will salvation that God can’t interfere with until someone can tell me within that frame of reference why some are able to believe the gospel of Christ and others are not able to come to belief

                      I have given you how one comes to believe the Gospel of Christ from scripture and why someone else doesn’t come to faith; but so far it appears you have no answer from scripture.


                    13. The reason you don’t understand is because Jesus was given the spirit without limit and Adam and Eve weren’t given the spirit without measure. Jesus came to do the Will of the Father John 6:38 and Adam and Eve under the right circumstances fell short of the glory of God.

                      John 3:34

                      For the One whom God sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

                      John 6:38-39

                      for I have come down out of Heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

                      39 And this is the will of the Father sending Me, that of all that He has given Me, I shall not lose any of it, but shall raise it up in the last day.


                    14. I tried to answer the Adam and Eve comment where you said you didn’t really understand but this system seems to move replies where ever it desires


                  1. If God didn’t have complete absolute control over His creation, why did the Apostle Paul answer the objector in verse Romans 9:20 the way he answered the objector when the objector discovered God was unconditionally making each type of vessel, a vessel fitted out for destruction and a vessel of mercy and that God wills to show mercy unconditionally to some and harden others unconditionally.

                    Why didn’t the Apostle Paul just say , God didn’t make you this way; your free will decisions made you like this?

                    Why did The Apostle Paul appeal solely to His sovereign control? He answered, Who are you to talk back to God? Does the thing say to the one forming it ? Why did you make me like this?

                    Roman 9:19-20
                    (Objector)You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?

                    (Apostle) 20 Nay, rather, O man, who are you, the one answering back to God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this? Isa.

                    Why didn’t the Apostle just say to avoid the objections to God’s control, God didn’t make you this way.

                    Your free will decisions made you this way?

                    So, the apostle is refuting “free will” by only appealing solely to God’s absolute sovereignty and absolute control; demonstrating “free will” is nothing more than dung; giving rise to the fact the objectors worship a god of their own imagination.


  6. Number 2 the Bible says the sinner or natural man or the descendants of Adam cannot respond because they are unable 1 Corinthians 2;14 Psalms 14:1-3 Romans 3:10-12 John 6:44 John 6:65 John 3:3-8


    1. The desire to pray to the true God ( praying to a false god for natural man is no problem) is generated from the Lord’s spirit in acknowledgment of his sovereign control over all things. The more sovereign you believe He is, the more you will pray.
      The Apostle Paul prayed in Romans 10:1-4 to God for the salvation of the unsaved Israelites because they were clueless. He knew being a regenerate believer that God was in complete control of who is saved and who isn’t. If Free Will made the difference, then the Apostle would not need to pray, he could just go and debate the unsaved Israelites to convince them of their error which would have absolutely no effect on them until God generated in them a new heart and a new spirit or in other words cause them to become a new creation


      1. God actually uses His word or commands to harden certain people according to Romans 9

        Pharaoh was a vessel He chose to harden by way of His command to let the Israelites go; but yet, Jehovah was the one who hardened Pharaoh’s heart and turned his heart to sin so he wouldn’t let the Israelites go; so He could bring the plagues on Egypt.


      2. The objector in Romans 9 had the same objection as the Free Will” advocate

        Why does God find fault (make man responsible)?

        For who can resist his will? He was objecting to God in verse 18 hardening who He unconditionally desires to harden and his showing of unconditional mercy to others. Romans 9:11

        The Apostle Paul answers by telling him Who are you the answering back to God? ( questioning His Absolute Sovereignty)

        Verse 21-23 tells He has the right to make out of the same (neutral) lump of clay a vessel of mercy and make a vessel fitted out( by Him) for destruction.

        The Apostle Paul appeals only to God’s Absolute Sovereignty to do with His creation as He sees fit to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known in order to make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy before prepared for glory.

        The objector knew exactly what was being said; God is unconditionally making vessels fitted out for destruction and holding them responsible while making unconditionally vessels of mercy.

        God causes all things for His purpose and He has made the wicked for the day of evil. Proverbs 16:4


    2. Copied from above
      “Sorry my mistake I found the other verse that looks similar your quoted verse was Ezekiel 36:32 but in verse 31 the new heart in 26 will cause them to remember their evil ways and your doings that not good and you will despise yourselves. This is a result of their new heart given to them not their free will”

      Follow through:

      Consequently, verse 26 gives a new heart that causes them in verse 31 to remember their evils ways and their doings that not good and you will despise yourselves; then in your verse 32 it says the result of verse 31

      Ezekiel 36:32

      Let it be known to you that I am not doing this for your sake, a statement of the Lord Jehovah; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel

      They were ashamed as a result of despising themselves in verse 31 a result of the new heart it wasn’t a plea or a request from Jehovah to be shamed


          1. Please examine the context of the flow of verses again I will rephrase it but nevertheless it doesn’t change “ be ashamed” was the result of verse 31 everything God was doing a new heart then they will despise themselves … consequently “ be ashamed” God changed their heart their sin was brought to mind they despised themselves then he says “ be ashamed” which they were now


              1. I better paste the portions or parts of the scriptural flow of verses for you; so maybe it will become clear who is working the willing and the doing for His name’s sake

                Ezekiel 36:25
                “I will sprinkle clean waters on you”

                Ezekiel 36:26
                I will also give you a new heart and I will put a NEW spirit within you
                And I will take away the stony heart …

                Ezekiel 36:27
                And I will put My Spirit within you, and I have done that which is in my statutes for you to walk in them and you shall keep my judgements and do them.

                Question: why will they perform the willing and the doing for Jehovah’s name sake? Free Will? Or the sovereign work of God?

                Ezekiel 36:28
                I will be to you for God.
                Is that a free Will statement?

                Question: Is this because of the new heart and spirit or their “free will”?

                Ezekiel 36:31
                And you will remember your evil ways and your doings that were not good, and you will despise yourselves in your own eyes for your iniquities and for your abominations.

                Question: Why Will they remember? Why will they despise themselves in their own eyes for their iniquities and for their abominations?

                I will answer this easy question; it was because God gave them a new heart and new spirit and this caused them by His hand to remember and despise themselves and change their minds. Yes, this was all caused by God for His name’s sake

                Ezekiel 36:32
                Let it be known to you that I am not doing this for your sake, a statement of the Lord Jehovah; be ashamed and confounded for your ways O house of Israel.

                Now Jehovah just said in verse 31 that they will remember their evil ways and despise themselves in their own eyes for their iniquities and your abominations.

                Please dwell on that fact and consider this question. Do you think for one minute they would not “be ashamed” after Jehovah said they were going to be despising themselves for their iniquities?

                Absolutely they would be ashamed ! Jehovah was following His statements and work to the final conclusion of their future condition based on His work for His name’s sake.

                He was not telling them “be ashamed” as a free will choice. It was a condition He caused by His working in them the new spirit. When Jehovah causes repentance aren’t you ashamed?

                Be ashamed and confounded for your ways O house of Israel


    3. I should be clear natural man cannot respond (favorably) to spiritual things because he cannot discern them because they are spiritually discerned which requires generation from above.


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