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« WHEN IS THAT DAY? | Main | GOD'S SOVEREIGN HAND »

May 25, 2007

Comments

Keith Schooley

My own guess, honestly, is that God didn't so much ordain for Saul to persecute the church as He needed that type of person to bring to Himself and use as a great missionary. I think much of Paul's impetus as a missionary had to do with a godly remorse over his past life. Plus, the same dogged determination that he showed in persecuting the church he showed again in enduring all kinds of suffering for the sake of the Gospel.

I don't think God ordains the bad things that we do, but he knows what people will do in a fallen world.

SelahV

Keith: thanks for pondering this. I don't think God ordains bad things we do either. But a quote by Corrie ten Boom has stuck with me for over 20 years.

"Every experience God gives us, every person He places in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."

In this I feel Corrie is saying that all we experience is given by God and used by God for a future He foresees.

I know that the sin in my life and the mistakes I made before Christ came to live within me, are used by Him in multiple ways. I believe part of Paul's diligence was his abundant love for Jesus and knowing the grace he'd received for what he called himself, "the chief of sinners." But the Holy Spirit had to have played the major role in his boldness and willingness to be persecuted for Christ's gain.

I can't comprehend God would use Saul to be the dastardly person he was to bring about a more powerful witness for the gospel. I can comprehend God taking the evil of Saul and making a Paul from the experiences and sin though.
SelahV

Cap Pooser

God's decree as defined in the catechism is:The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained what soever comes to pass. So in the sense of God's decree, he foreordained Paul's former life. All He had to do was not restrain him in his depravity. And God was under no obligation to restrain him. He was not taking a neutral person and forcing him to do evil. He was just not intervening in his sinful acts. Why God acted in this way is known only to him and to the degree he has revealed in His Word.But we do know that it was his eternal purpose to so act, it was according to the counsel of his own will , and it was for his own glory. Dan 4:35 states that all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing and he doeth according to his will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay his hand nor say unto him :what doest thou? Deut. 29:29 sets it in perspective. The secret things belong unto the Lord, but those which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law. Our duty is not to speculate on his decrees. Our duty is to search the scriptures , learn what he has revealed , and do it.
As to Keith,s comment.God can only know what men will do in a fallen world if he has ordained it. A. Strong said it well. Foreknowledge implies fixity and fixity implies decree. To posit otherwise is to fall for the heresy of open theism.

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    An opinion is something we own as ours. What we feel necessary to state publicly could become another's opinion as well. It would be good to consider how much truth is at the core of one's opinion before voicing it. Are we willing to take the time to dig to that depth before we adopt another's opinion as our own? selahV