Does God Hate Sinners?

November 4, 2014

** This article was originally posted by Dr. Adam Harwood on his website www.adamharwood.com and is used by permission.

Dr. Adam Harwood is: Associate Professor of Theology (occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology), Director of the Baptist Center for Theology & Ministry, and Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 

Learn more about Dr. Harwood HERE
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Does God hate sinners? Certain biblical texts in the poetic sections contain those statements. Consider, as examples (quotations from the NASB, emphasis in bold is mine):


Psalm 5:5-6, “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”

Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Hosea 9:15, “All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.”


Consider also the words of the Lord Jesus in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Do we read Luke 14:26 as a command to hate our parents, wife, children, and ourselves? No. Instead, proper hermeneutical methods lead us to an interpretation which is more faithful to the meaning intended by the original author. In this case, a command to hate our parents would contradict clear commands by God to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12). Similarly, a command for a husband to hate his wife would contradict clear commands to love her (Ephesians 5:25-33). Similar texts could be cited which contradict the notion of hating one’s children and yourself.

When seeking a faithful interpretation of any biblical text, it is necessary to recognize literary devices and types of literature. In this case, we understand hating our family to be a literary device which makes a statement of comparison—a call to be more devoted to God than to our family. This is the view of Darrell Bock on Luke 14:26, “Here ‘hate’ is a rhetorical term. It means that a person’s loyalty to following Jesus has priority over family or acceptance by them.”[1] Bock affirms that the word “hate” is used in this verse as a literary device. If Luke 14:26, which states that we are to hate people, is better understood another way, then is it possible that the statements about God hating sinners in the poetic material is better understood another way?

The poetic material in the Bible is a type of literature which is a gift from God because in those texts, God accurately portrays human emotion. This gives us permission to be honest with God. In the poetic material, however, some statements occur which were not intended to be doctrinal affirmations or commands to obey. That is not the nature of this type of literature. For example, David asks in Psalm 13:1 how long God will forget him. Do we think David despaired because God had literally forgotten him? No. David closes Psalm 13 with praises to the God who saves him and has dealt bountifully with him (verses 5-6). Instead, we understand Psalm 13:1 to be David’s declaration that he felt as if he had been forgotten by God.

Similarly, the Psalmist prays a blessing on the one who dashes Babylonian infants on the rocks (Psalm 137:9, “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.”). Do we read this as a command to be followed? Do we regard this to be a proposition concerning the nature of God? In answer to both questions, no. The poetic material includes community laments or imprecatory psalms, of which Psalm 137 is an example. This material captures the community’s grief expressed to God, but this text would not justify killing our enemies’ infants because of the many New Testament commands to love our enemies.
These examples are not meant to imply that there are errors or that we cannot trust the Bible. Instead, these examples remind us that the Bible is comprised of a variety of literary devices and types of literature. We must recognize different types of literature and literary devices in the Bible and interpret them accordingly.

Rather than reading the statements of God’s hatred for sinners literally, they are better understood as instances of anthropopathism, a figure of speech denoting analogically a truth about God. As Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology explains, “Anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms are figures of speech that transmit theological truths about God to humankind. Only when taken literally are they misconstrued.”[2] The statements that God hates sinners are rare in the Bible, occur only in the poetic sections, and are misunderstood when they are interpreted literally.

It is necessary, however, to take seriously God’s righteous indignation against sin and sinners. Millard Erickson writes, “Although God is not the enemy of sinners nor does he hate them, it is also quite clear that God is angered by sin.”[3] God’s wrath (org?) is “revealed from heaven against godlessness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18, ESV). Notice that His wrath in these verses is not against godless and unrighteous people, but against their godlessness and unrighteousness. In this way, it would be accurate to say that God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.

According to Romans 3:25-26, the Cross of Christ demonstrates God’s righteousness. According to Romans 5:8, the Cross of Christ demonstrates God’s love, not His hatred, for sinners. In John 3, we learn that God sent His Son into the world to save the world, not to condemn the world (v. 17). God’s wrath is already on all people because of their sin; and only those who believe in the Son will have eternal life (v. 36). But God’s wrath should be distinguished from this idea that He hates sinners. Wrath is God’s settled disposition against sin, which flows from His righteousness and holiness. In this way, our condemnation is already set because of our sin. But out of love for these objects of wrath, God acted to rescue those who were already perishing and under His condemnation.

At the Cross, God judged His only Son, one who had no sin. He did so out of love for sinful people. These are the actions of one who loves sinners, not one who hates them.


[1]Darrell Bock, Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 279.

[2]Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, s. v. “Anthropomorphism.”

[3]Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013), 552.

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rhutchin

Dr. Harwood writes, “Do we read Luke 14:26 as a command to hate our parents, wife, children, and ourselves? No. Instead, proper hermeneutical methods lead us to an interpretation which is more faithful to the meaning intended by the original author. In this case, a command to hate our parents would contradict clear commands by God to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12). Similarly, a command for a husband to hate his wife would contradict clear commands to love her (Ephesians 5:25-33).”

It is clear that the statement of Luke 14:26 is truth spoken by Christ (the original author whose intent seems clear) – one cannot be a disciple of Christ unless he hate his family, even his own life. We find this truth confirmed in John 12:25, where Christ says, “He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” This truth cannot be negated by Ephesians 5, despite Dr. Harwood’s seeming desire for such to be so. These statements are made by Christ (one through the apostle Paul), and they are true statements that cannot be undone.

Dr. Harwood seems to argue that Christ really did not mean what He said. Our attitude should be that Christ meant exactly what He said and not try to negate what he said.

Dr. Harwood writes, “In this case, we understand hating our family to be a literary device which makes a statement of comparison—a call to be more devoted to God than to our family.” Does he mean “more devoted to God than to our family” or should it be “devoted to God and not to our family”? Should we soften what Christ has said as Dr. Harwood has done.

It appears that there is much to be investigated in Luke 14:26. However we are to understand the verse, it is clear is that it is not easy to be a disciple of Christ.

    Robert

    Rhutchin you made this claim:
    “It is clear that the statement of Luke 14:26 is truth spoken by Christ (the original author whose intent seems clear) – one cannot be a disciple of Christ unless he hate his family, even his own life. We find this truth confirmed in John 12:25, where Christ says, “He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

    Ok so that is what you claim, why not put money where your mouth is and tell us all here how you actually practice this hatred.

    Do **you** hate your own family?

    Do **you** hate your own life?

    Tell us what actions that you do that demonstrate this hatred for your family and life.

    What exactly do you do that proves your hatred for your own family??

    I don’t believe your claim here at all, I want to see proof that your claim is true.
    I think your claim here is false and that in reality your are utterly confused on these things.

    Robert

      rhutchin

      This is the way we define hatred and put it into practice.

      “No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

      This can be extended to say, “You cannot serve both God and X (where X is anything else)”. But, of course, you are free to deny that which the Scriptures say.

        Robert

        Rhutchin your answer is a total cop out and evasion. You claimed that we are to hate our own family and our own life. I then asked you for examples of actions that you actually do to fulfill this hatred of your family and your life. Your response is merely to misquote more scripture. You have given no evidence whatsoever that you hate your own family and life as you claim that we should. Regarding being “free to deny that which the Scriptures say” that is exactly what you do with your incredible abuse and misinterpretation of scripture. Scripture properly interpreted as the main post made clear does not command us to literally hate our family or life. Your view is an alternative to the scripture properly interpreted and it is completely off base and false. If you are correct that we should hate our family and life then you should be able to easily provide examples of how you do in fact do this. You cannot do so, because in fact you do not hate your own family and life as you claim.

        Robert

          rhutchin

          It seems to me that the issue before us is whether the Bible actually says that we are to hate family, etc. I noted two verses where Jesus stated this to be the case. You do not appear to like this, but have not shown that Jesus said otherwise.

          I then used a verse to show that the love/hate relationship was based on our loving God (serving him)and hating all others (not serving them).

          You have expressed a lot of emotion here (not surprising since Jesus’ words are harsh) but seem reluctant to offer any substantive argument against what I have concluded.

            Robert

            You wrote:

            “It seems to me that the issue before us is whether the Bible actually says that we are to hate family, etc.”

            And Harwood’s main post showed very well that we are not to literally hate our own families. He gave good reasons not to take this too literally including that we are told in other scriptures to love our families (i.e. if we take it too literally we end up with scripture contradicting itself). No reason for me to reinvent the wheel here as Harwood has already presented a good case for the proper interpretation of the text.

            In my previous posts to you I asked for you to back up your view with real evidence and you have failed to do so.

            You claim that we **are** to literally hate our own families, so give us examples of actions that YOU do in which you hate your family.

            If that is what we are to do, then prove it with actions that you actually do. You have presented nothing, no shred of evidence whatsoever that you hate your family.

            “I noted two verses where Jesus stated this to be the case. You do not appear to like this, but have not shown that Jesus said otherwise.”

            It is not a question of “liking” what Jesus said, I believe everything that Jesus says. And we are to obey what he says without question. But it must be interpreted properly, something you have completely failed to do and Harwood as done well.

            “I then used a verse to show that the love/hate relationship was based on our loving God (serving him)and hating all others (not serving them).”

            “Hate” is not defined as “not serving them” so your use of this passage is an abuse of scripture and a bad interpretation of the text.

            “You have expressed a lot of emotion here (not surprising since Jesus’ words are harsh) but seem reluctant to offer any substantive argument against what I have concluded.”

            Harwood provided the “substantive argument” so again no need for me to reinvent the wheel.

            Your “arguments” are irrational and baseless claims (e.g. that we are to literally hate our families). You have no evidence that we are to hate our families and have provided no evidence that you do so yourself. So your whole attempt here is a failure. Rhutchin you appear to be on thin ice, you have repeatedly presented bizarre and unsubstantiated views here. I am surprised you are even allowed to post here, I would not have been surprised had you been banned from posting here long ago.

            Robert

              Paul N

              This has to be one of the strangest dialogues I have ever read. I’m scratching my head right now.

              Robert, you are obviously right. That is important because we are dealing with what God is saying to us. If we are to literally hate our families, what do we do with Matt 22:39 (love your neighbor as yourself) and John 13:34-35 (Jesus gives a new commandment, love each other as I have loved you)?

              This has to be the we

              rhutchin

              Robert wrote. “In my previous posts to you I asked for you to back up your view with real evidence and you have failed to do so.”

              For real evidence, we have the words of Jesus. Nothing complicated about what he said. What evidence is more real than that which the Bible tells us simply and directly?

              Robert also wrote, “You claim that we **are** to literally hate our own families, so give us examples of actions that YOU do in which you hate your family.”

              Let’s use a Biblical example. Genesis 22 tells the account of Abraham and Isaac when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham loved God to the extent that he would kill his own son. Abraham offered no objection, no complaint. Abraham is our example of loving to the exclusion of all others such that it could be said that Abraham loved God and obeyed God and hated all else.

              What we see in the Scriptures are at least three types of love. There is the emotional love where Robert resides where the cares of this world consume him. Then, there is the love that God has commanded as man’s duty – to love his neighbor. Finally, there is the love that God requires of those who would serve Him and it is this love that we are not to express to any but God so that it could be said that we, even as Abraham, loved God and hated all else.

              Your arguments are emotional. But, then, you are probably a young man and still have much to learn.

                Robert

                Rhutchin you continue to fail in making your case for your aberrant view that we are to literally hate our families.

                Because you have failed to deal with my arguments and have presented no evidence whatsoever in support for your aberrant view apparently all that you have left is to resort to personal attacks.

                And your personal attacks like your other claims are without any support or evidence whatsoever.

                You gave one new “argument” for your false view:

                [[Robert also wrote, “You claim that we **are** to literally hate our own families, so give us examples of actions that YOU do in which you hate your family.”
                Let’s use a Biblical example. Genesis 22 tells the account of Abraham and Isaac when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham loved God to the extent that he would kill his own son. Abraham offered no objection, no complaint. Abraham is our example of loving to the exclusion of all others such that it could be said that Abraham loved God and obeyed God and hated all else.”]]

                This is as off base as everything else you have said.

                Abraham was willing to obey God to the point of killing his own son Isaac, but NOWHERE IN THE TEXT OF GENESIS OR ANYWHERE ELSE DOES IT SAY THAT ABRAHAM HATED ISAAC AS GOD COMMANDED HIM TO DO!!! You are reading in your false concept into the text.

                Since you cannot support your argument with evidence you have now turned to personal attacks instead so you wrote:

                “What we see in the Scriptures are at least three types of love. There is the emotional love where Robert resides where the cares of this world consume him.”

                You don’t know me personally so what is the basis for your claim????

                So now you are claiming publicly with no evidence that I am a worldly person and that “the cares of this world consume him.”

                How do you know that to be true rhutchin?

                What is your evidence for this claim?

                I should also remind you that 1 Tim. 5:19 applies in my case and you are violating this scripture in your public claim here.

                And there are your last lines, again no evidence for your claims just personal attacks:

                “Your arguments are emotional. But, then, you are probably a young man and still have much to learn.”

                What is your evidence for this claim?

                Robert

Norm

Thank you, Dr. Harwood, for elucidating the Scriptures, illuminating our understanding, and engendering a deeper love for the One who died for all. In reading this excellent piece a second time, I was struck with this thought: Whereas we affirm God’s love for all, would to God that we all would have the kind of hatred for sin in our lives that we could crucify it. May we reckon the old man dead, constantly; and let us mortify the flesh, routinely; for would God not be much more likely to bring revival to our churches if God’s leaders strove for a purity of life?

Rick Patrick

Dr. Harwood,

Thank you for explaining with such clarity that “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so.” All praise and glory to our God who hates sin but loves sinners!

Andrew Barker

Dr. Harwood,

Thank you for tackling another topic which I guess some inexperienced Christians may have problems with. Their reaction is often characterized by veering from one extreme to another. Or worse still, by polarising God’s love, so that he loves some more than others. But it was the same Jesus who told his followers to ‘hate’ their own lives and their families who also told them to love their neigbours as themselves! It may require a greater deal of understanding to correctly interpret what the Bible is saying, but the use of hyperbole etc. and other forms of speech help to bring a depth of meaning which might otherwise be difficult to convey. Fortunately, we have verses such as “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. If that’s how much he ‘hates’ sinners ….?

Dennis Lee Dabney

Great article. This reminds me to hate the same “sin” in my “life” as much as I already hate the same in yours. May we truly love what God loves and hate what He hates as dear children.

rhutchin

–Fortunately, we have verses such as “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

The “we” and “us” are the ones to whom the letter is written – To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints – thus, it has reference only to the elect.. It should not be extrapolated to encompass all sinners, elect and non-elect. Another verse should be sought that similarly expresses God’s love toward the non-elect.

    norm

    Note the verses Andrew Barker cited:
    Prov. 26.4-5: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

      rhutchin

      I don’t consider Andrew to be a fool. A little opinionated, maybe.

      Otherwise, I didn’t really understand the purpose for your comment.

Andrew Barker

I was going to reply to a comment and then the words of Prov 26:4 came to mind. This was further complicated by Prov 26:5 which, well, it appears to contradict verse 4 although I think i can see what it’s driving at. In the end, my eyes rested on verse 17 and I have decided, on this occasion, that I shall let this stray dog slip quietly by! :-)

    Andrew Barker

    Having taken a day or two to consider my earlier comments, I would like to add following. There is a tendency when blogging to trade remarks for the sake of it. Sometimes people resort to trading insults. Prov 26:4 encourages us to think wisely before replying to what we may see as a foolish point because it’s all too easy to end up looking stupid ourselves. But if we leave comments unchallenged, the person may wrongly think they are correct and so Prov 26:5 would encourage us to take corrective action for that person’s own good. I think the new testament version of this is speaking the truth in love?

    So when rhutchin tries to argue that Romans is written only with the ‘elect’ in Rome in mind I would suggest the passage says otherwise. Verse 14 mentions Greeks and Barbarians as well as the people in Rome itself. Paul then writes verse 16 to confirm that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to EVERYONE who believes. Now I’m well enough versed in the Calvinist mindset to know that they will be thinking, ah yes, but “who can believe?” They will tell you that only the ‘elect’ can believe so they are quite happy with verse 16 so long as the word ‘everyone’ really refers to the elect. But there is not one shred of evidence to say the passage supports this interpretation.

    The same is true of Rom 5:8 while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Saying that the ‘we’ and the ‘us’ refer only to the elect is just bringing preconceived ideas to the table but there is no evidence given to back up this assumption. The weight of evidence is against any treatment of the book of Romans which tries to apply it’s teaching only to the ‘elect’. Furthermore, many of Paul’s letters are written to specific people and or churches. Are we to assume also that the message in these is somehow only for the ‘elect’ or just to those to whom it was written? Paul uses this personal approach in much of his teaching eg Gal 2:20 but nobody is suggesting that Paul is teaching some form of uber limited atonement when he says “the son of God who gave Himself up for ME!” If we applied this kind of reasoning, half the new testament would be redundant including John’s letters to the churches in Revelation. This kind of reasoning is little short of nonsense.

    I would suggest that rhutchin is confusing context with content. The context of Romans is that it is written to the people in Rome but the content is very much to all, Jews, Greeks and those Barbarians whoever they were! As for the word ‘elect’, it is so important in Paul’s thinking that he uses it at least 5 times in his letters!? The concept of election should not be used as a blunt instrument for winning an argument by saying that such and such a verse only applies to the elect.

rhutchin

Andrew Barker writes, “So when rhutchin tries to argue that Romans is written only with the ‘elect’ in Rome in mind I would suggest the passage says otherwise.”

Paul addresses his letter “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:” and then says,”I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” It is clear that Paul writes to the elect. There is no otherwise in this respect. While there is a “content” v “context” issue, Paul always comes back to the personal touch because he has a Pastor’s heart. Paul cares about the people to whom he writes regardless the heavy doctrine he may write about.

We see this in Romans 5 where Paul writes expansively, “in due time Christ died for the ungodly,” but then he gets personal, “But God commended his love toward us…” When Paul uses “us” or “we” he does so to add the personal touch; he has those in mind to whom he is writing. There is no reason to think otherwise. We should let Paul speak for himself.

As Paul appears to be writing to Jews as well as gentiles, we are not surprised to see him contrast the Jews with the gentiles and making them equally sinners, “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” and then to teach the Jews what it means to be a Jew, “…he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter…” This is consistent with the great mystery revealed to him in Ephesians 3 which we should expect to have influenced his thinking and be expressed in the letters he writes.

Andrew also writes, “Saying that the ‘we’ and the ‘us’ refer only to the elect is just bringing preconceived ideas to the table but there is no evidence given to back up this assumption.” This is not assumption. This is merely following the rules of the English language. When dealing with pronouns, one merely looks back to find that which they represent. The very terms, “we” and “us” include Paul, himself as there is no other way to understand it. When Paul writes, Christ died for us, he means Christ died for me and He also died for you with the you being traced back to those to whom he writes.

While there are distinctions between context and content in Paul’s letters, I am not confused and Andrew has offered nothing to show that I am. He is, of course, always free to offer his opinions as he does above but opinions are not to be confused with arguing one’s position.

Andrew Barker

rhutchin writes: “This is not assumption. This is merely following the rules of the English language. When dealing with pronouns, one merely looks back to find that which they represent. The very terms, “we” and “us” include Paul, himself as there is no other way to understand it. When Paul writes, Christ died for us, he means Christ died for me and He also died for you with the you being traced back to those to whom he writes.”

Firstly, I would be careful about following the rules of English grammar since the text was written in Greek. Of course, the English is hopefully a good enough translation for most purposes but sometimes the Greek can be more revealing. The Greek word for elect is a very specific word, not very often used and for you to try and argue that Rom 5:8 is referring to the elect is quite frankly ridiculous. Is there a verse which says clearly that Jesus died only for the elect? (ekloge) No, there is not! In which case it either isn’t true or it isn’t that important! But you know all this anyway.

Paul clearly identifies himself and his readers/listeners in verse 6 with the helpless and ungodly. So it was while we (that’s all of us) were in that state that Christ died for us. This shows the extent of God’s love which was the whole point of this topic and it contrasts markedly with the idea that God hates sinners! That is the point which was being made.

The only reason why anybody might seek to view the phrase ‘Christ died for us’ as anything other than applying to all ‘sinners’ is if they hold to a view of limited atonement. But you certainly can’t establish that from this text. Neither is it particularly relevant to the discussion in hand. Neither do I wish to enter into a protracted discussion with you on this point, so please don’t bother!

rhutchin

Andrew Barker writes, “The Greek word for elect is a very specific word, not very often used and for you to try and argue that Rom 5:8 is referring to the elect is quite frankly ridiculous.”

My argument is that Paul uses the terms, “we,” “us” and “you,” in Romans 5:8 and those terms trace back to those to whom Paul writes the letter. From Romans 1, we see that Paul identifies them as, “beloved of God, called to be saints:” and further says that their, “faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Such language describes the believer and the believer can also be called God’s elect as the term, believer, is identical to the term, elect.. Nothing ridiculous here.

If one wants to show that Christ died for the non-elect, other verses will have to be used. It is poor exegesis (i.e., eisegesis) that makes Romans 5:8 encompass all people. Again, you voice your personal opinions and not arguments for a position.

    Andrew Barker

    rhutchin: I don’t think your response comes anywhere near close to being an argument. To say that the words ‘we’ and ‘us’ in Rom 5:8 trace back to the opening verses of Rom 1: is nonsense. For example included in the intervening passages is Rom 3:23 all have sinned. Now are you going to argue that the ‘all’ refers only to the elect? I somehow doubt it. What you are doing is simply picking and choosing when you want to use the term because it is convenient for your ‘argument’ at a given time.

    In addition you have signally failed to come up with a supporting verse for your assertion that Christ died only for the elect. Instead your response is to ask me to provide a verse to show that Christ died for the non-elect! 1 Tim 2:1-7 should be enough but I suspect it will not convince you. Prayers for all men and all in authority; desires all men to be saved; Jesus Christ a ransom for all. Same word for ‘all’ throughout and no hint of an elect group. And if you don’t like it, then call Paul a liar, after all that’s what he says in verse 7!

    Now I have indulged you and answered you (Prov 26:4-5) not according to your ‘folly’ but how your ‘folly’ deserves. I will say no more …. probably.

    rhutchin

    Andrew Barker writes, “Instead your response is to ask me to provide a verse to show that Christ died for the non-elect! 1 Tim 2:1-7 should be enough but I suspect it will not convince you. Prayers for all men and all in authority; desires all men to be saved; Jesus Christ a ransom for all. Same word for ‘all’ throughout and no hint of an elect group. And if you don’t like it, then call Paul a liar, after all that’s what he says in verse 7!”

    Here, Andrew provides another opinion. His opinion is that Paul, in using the term, “all” in 1 Timothy 2 certainly means each and every individual. That is nothing more than Andrew’s opinion.

    In Ephesians 3, Paul writes, “…by revelation [God] made known unto me the mystery;…Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,…That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”

    The impact of this is seen in Romans where Paul continually argues for God’s plan to have always included the gentiles as well as the Jews. Examples:
    Romans 3:9 – What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
    Romans 3:29 – Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
    Romans 9:24 – Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
    Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Where Greek is a synonym for Gentile in line with Ephesians 3.)

    So, there is no reason to think that Paul’s thinking changes when he writes other letters. In 1 Timothy, Paul is saying the same thing.

    1:15 – This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners [not just the Jew but the gentile also];
    1:16 – I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them [not just the Jew but the gentile also] which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
    2:1- I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men [not just the Jew but the gentile also];
    2:4 – [God] will have all men [not just the Jew but the gentile also] to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    2:6 – Who gave himself a ransom for all [not just the Jew but the gentile also], to be testified in due time.
    2:7 – Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles… [because the gentiles are included in God’s plan]

    Andrew opines that Paul really wants the reader to understand that he is speaking of each and every individual in the above passage. So, let Andrew show us from Paul’s writings how he came to this conclusion. Let’s see if Andrew has anything substantive to offer in his “exegesis” of this passage besides the opinions he offers in an attempt to put his own words in Paul’s mouth.

rhutchin

Andrew Barker writes, “To say that the words ‘we’ and ‘us’ in Rom 5:8 trace back to the opening verses of Rom 1: is nonsense.”

Again, we must deal with another of Andrew’s opinions and not an argument.

In Romans 5 we read:
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we…
2 By whom also we have access by faith…
3 …we glory in tribulations.
5 …by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6 …when we were yet without strength…
8 …while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Paul’s meaning is clear. The “we” are those to whom he is writing. “We” and “us” cannot include each and every individual within the context in which v8 appears.

Having no argument Andrew offers further opinion, “For example included in the intervening passages is Rom 3:23 all have sinned. Now are you going to argue that the ‘all’ refers only to the elect?” and seeks to deflect down a rabbit trail that adds nothing to our understanding of Romans 5:8.

    John H. Gregory

    Mr. Rhutchin! I recognize you
    From away back. I have been
    Following this site for a long
    Time & I do not remember you
    Ever agreeing with anything!
    From what I remember, you
    Are a hard core Calvinists,
    Which makes it very diffucult
    For me to agree with you at all.
    Your primary purpose is argument.
    Arguing with you is a waste of
    Time. But, God bless anyway.

      rhutchin

      John,

      The purpose of an argument is to explain one’s position. By writing down an argument, we are forced to express ourselves and do so in a logical, constructive manner. If you conclude that arguing against my position is a waste of time, then I must conclude that you find yourself unable to articulate an opposing argument or to explain the logical fallacies in my argument. Developing arguments and writing them down can be frustrating, but the gains are tremendous.

      Please make the attempt to express your arguments and let’s help each other to come to a knowledge of the Scriptures or, at least, identify what the sticking points are between us.

    Norm

    In my estimation, Andrew’s opinions are as good as any other arguments when rebutting you, Hutch, since you consistently evade issues wherein you are cornered. E.g., I have not yet read your answer to Robert per his request that you cite instances of your hatred for your family.
    And your citation of Andrew above is a discredit to your style of hermeneutical gymnastics, which most Calvinists must employ so their system appears consistent. I.e., your theology drives your exegesis and not vice versa.
    Given your long history of such endless debate tactics w/o substance, and your standard evasion when cornered, I must agree with Mr. Gregory in that giving any time to your vain ‘arguments’ is indeed a waste of time.
    Henceforth, the best attention accorded to you by anyone on this blog is no attention at all.

      Andrew Barker

      Norm: Thanks, I have to agree with you. The verses in 1 Tim 2:1-7 are a prime example. I’m self taught but the Greek word used for ‘all’ is the same throughout the passage. If it’s anybody’s opinion it’s Strong’s! I don’t always quote my background study as it can make the blog too wordy! I do have opinions and I’m happy to state them as such when appropriate.
      But unless people actually engage there is no point.

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