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Romans 8

posted Sep 2, 2012, 5:03 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Sep 3, 2012, 9:14 AM ]
Having recently heard Ro. 8 taught by an excellent teacher (Arminist), I'm amazed ... Doctrines of Grace versus predeterminism within Calvinism.  Our backgrounds usually contain a confused mix of details that cause us no small amount of angst.  I suppose a good amount of that ill-at-ease sense is wasted energy.

A favorite Speaker elsewhere says "The main things are the plain things, and the plain things -- the main things."  Which resonates with a personal sense that an average intellect must be able to process scripture effectively.   A smart 8th grader should be able to draw out the truth.

Once saved always saved -- not a doctrine appreciated by those who are unwilling to reckon the absoluteness of God.  It was put thus:  "If God loves us enough to die for us, and he is unchanging -- how would He change his position on our salvation based on what we do?" 

Put another way:  "Is there anything I can say or do to change a promise of God?"  Well ... actually, no.

It's the sinner who's being transformed into an image of God.  This by definition occurs in our walk with Him.  Not at an instant based on something we mutter fearfully from a foxhole somewhere.

"By faith, not by works" is the effective portion of Ephesians 2:8.

Sins of ignorance versus sins of presumption -- again, it must be what we "practice" ... for almost any born-again person at least most of our error is presumptive.  We know what's right and what's wrong.   And so the issue of walk recurs.  Are we walking in sin?  Or is sin incidental (if intentional sometimes), do we feel pangs of guilt and shame?  

It therefore seems that among the amazing attributes of God that we so dimly appreciate are two that must be utterly ignored to arrive at a doctrine that says our actions affect God's results.  His love and His unchangeability.  As an above average 8th grader, I think I can grasp that.

"...Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition..." John 17:12
 
As faulty as all of the disciples were -- Jesus kept all of them.  Judas' intentional betrayal determined his fate.  A willful separation is remains possible -- even after we've heard the good news, we can choose to walk away.
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