Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
(12-10-2011, 01:00 AM)Melkite Wrote: Yes, but they believe you are predestined when God makes the offer and you freely accept it.  When God offers salvation, and you choose to receive it, then you are elect.

That "explanation" destroys the very meaning of predestination and election. You're playing around with words.

Election is a sovereign act of God, not of man.

(12-10-2011, 01:11 AM)Melkite Wrote: The disagreement comes when Scripture says God is love, and yet you believe that God has no love for most.  God doesn't owe us mercy, this is true, but we know that God wants to show his mercy to all, or else he would not have said he wills that none should perish.  It's interesting that the Jansenists and Feeneyites here condemn us for ignoring scripture all the while ignoring Scripture to come to their distorted views on predestination and election.

You're the one consistently ignoring Scripture, Melkite. I've already explained to you how that passage about God willing all men to be saved is to be interpreted and I've shown you commentaries on that by St. Augustine and St. Prosper of Aquitaine. Yet you continue to ignore it and, worse, you ignore the other parts of the word of God where predestination and election are clearly taught.

Philippians 2:13 Wrote:"For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will."

God is the primary cause, both of the interior acts of the will (“to will”) and of the exterior acts of our other powers (“to accomplish”). Apart from Him we "can do nothing." (John 15:5)

Romans 8:28-30 Wrote:"And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints. For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified."

Those whom God predestinated to eternal life are called, justified and infallibly glorified by Him. The reason for this election is to be found in the divine counsel alone and not on the foreseen merits of men or on the circumstances they're put in. God is the one who rescues you out of the pond of perdition, enabling you to have faith, to repent of your sins and to do good works. That's the very meaning of election: God elects you, you don't elect God.

It's also a work of profound mercy and love: God loved us first so we could love Him in return. Without His unmerited love toward us to begin with, we could only hate Him and be lost in our sins. The truth is quite simple and liberating. Some are elected unto glory and given the grace to believe until the end, others have divine grace withheld from them and are left to perish justly in their sins.

Matthew 11:21-24 Wrote:"Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida: for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

If God had wrought the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon that He wrought in Corozain and Bethsaida, they would have repented. But yet, He chose not to. Is He being unjust? No. St. Augustine aplty comments thus on the fate of the Tyrians and Sidonians:

Quote:"Tyre and Sidon would not have been condemned, although more slightly than those cities in which, although they did not believe, wonderful works were done by Christ the Lord; because if they had been done in them, they would have repented in dust and ashes, as the utterances of the Truth declare, in which words of his the Lord Jesus shows to us the loftier mystery of predestination. […] But can we say that even the Tyrians and Sidonians would have refused to believe such mighty works done among them, or would not have believed them if they had been done, when the Lord himself bears witness to them that they would have repented with great humility if those signs of divine power had been done among them? And yet in the day of judgment they will be punished; although with a less punishment than those cities which would not believe the mighty works done in them." (The Gift of Perseverance 22, 23)

"This is the predestination of the saints, – nothing else; to wit, the foreknowledge and the preparation of God’s gifts, whereby they are most certainly delivered, whoever they are that are delivered. But where are the rest left by the righteous divine judgment except in the mass of ruin, where the Tyrians and the Sidonians were left? Who, moreover, might have believed if they had seen Christ’s wonderful miracles. But since it was not given to them to believe, the means of believing also were denied them. […] But what the Lord said of the Tyrians and Sidonians may perchance be understood in another way: that no one nevertheless comes to Christ unless it were given him, and that it is given to those who are chosen in him before the foundation of the world, he confesses beyond a doubt who hears the divine utterance. […] ‘To you,’ said he, ‘it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.’’ (The Gift of Perseverance 35)

And what about God willing "all men to be saved" that you keep bringing up every two pages? Calmly read again what St. Prosper of Aquitaine has to say on the matter. It's enlightening:

Quote:"What, then, about the trite objection from the Scripture text, ‘God will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth?’. Only they who fail to see its meaning think it goes against us. All those who, from the past ages till today, died without having known God, are they of the number of ‘all men’? And if it is said, wrongly, that in the case of adults the evil works they did of their own free will were the obstacle to their salvation, as though grace saved the good and not the wicked, what difference in merit could there be between infants that are saved and others that are not? What is it that led the first into the kingdom of God, and what is it that kept the second out of it? Indeed, if you consider their merit, you cannot say that some of them merited to be saved; all of them deserved to be condemned, because all sinned in Adam’s sin. The unimpeachable justice of God would come down on all of them, did not his merciful grace take a certain number unto himself. As to inquiring into the reason and manner of this discrimination hidden in God’s secret counsel, this is above the ken of human knowledge, and our faith suffers no harm from not knowing it, provided we confess that no one is lost without his fault, and no one saved for his own merit, that the all-powerful goodness of God saves and instructs in the knowledge of the truth all those whom ‘he will have to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’. Save for his call, his teaching, his salvation, no man comes or learns or is saved. Though the preachers of the gospel are directed to preach to all men without distinction and to sow the seed of the word everywhere, yet ‘neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.’" (Letter to Rufinus 13)

"And again, at the very moment that the preachers of the gospel were sent out to all the nations, the apostles were forbidden to go to certain regions by him ‘who will have all men to he saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’, with the result, of course, that many, detained and going astray during this delay of the gospel, died without having known the truth and without having been sanctified in baptism. Let, then, holy scripture say what happened: ‘And when they had passed through Phrygia and the country of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia. And when they were come into Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.’ Is there any wonder that at the very beginning of the preaching of the gospel the apostles could not go except where the Spirit of God wanted them to go, when even now we see that many of the nations only begin to have a share in the Christian grace, while others have not yet got a glimpse of that divine gift?" (Letter to Rufinus 14)

"Or should we say that the wills of men obstruct the will of God, that those peoples are of such wild and fierce ways that the reason why they do not hear the gospel is that their ungodly hearts are not ready for its preaching? But who else changed the hearts of believers but he ‘who hath made the hearts of every one of them?’ Who softened the hardness of their hearts into willing obedience but he ‘who is able of these stones to raise up children of Abraham?’ And who will give the preachers intrepid and unshaken firmness but he who said to Paul: ‘Do not fear, but speak, and hold not thy peace, because I am with thee and no man shall set upon thee, to hurt thee. For I have much people in this city?’ […] For none other will have a share in the inheritance of Christ than those who before the creation of the world were elect, predestined, and foreknown, according to the counsel of him ‘who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will.’" (Letter to Rufinus 15)
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Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - by Vetus Ordo - 12-10-2011, 02:06 PM



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