Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Greatest Question Ever Asked

What was the greatest question ever asked?

The very first question that comes to my mind is Matthew 16:26: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Was there ever a more relevant and to-the- point question than this one? Yes, there was, as you will soon see.

The second question that comes to mind is the question that Jesus posed in response to the rich young ruler who called Him “good.” Mark 10:18 states: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Many people suppose that Jesus was a good man, or a good teacher, but certainly not God. Yet, if no one is good but God alone, and if you do not believe that Jesus is God, then how can you call Him “good”? If you agree to call Him good, though not in the way that you mean that God is good, then you are merely calling Jesus nice or kind in common terms. But the fact is that Jesus truly is “good” because He truly is God. So is this the greatest question ever asked? Though it’s a powerful question, it’s not the greatest question ever asked.

So what was the greatest question ever asked?

Adrian Rogers explains: “Pilate saith unto them, what shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? And they all say unto him, ‘Let Him be crucified.’ Now the question comes to you this morning like a javelin into your heart from the palm of God. What will you do with Jesus, who is called Christ?” (The Greatest Question Ever Asked: Matthew 27:19-22)

I agree with Adrian Rogers. That, indeed, was the greatest question ever asked.


SelahV said...

Good afternoon, dear Richard: Another question pops inside my head now that I have done with Jesus as I think I should have done with Him.
Isn't it important to note in this question that we need "DO" something with the Christ? What would that something be that we should "DO?" Receive Him? Reject Him? Wouldn't either of those things be an act on our part?

What would He do in me is my question. What will I allow to be done through me? What can Jesus do? Anything. What will He do? That which is according to my faith, don't you think? And if my faith rests in my hands, doesn't it follow that I must either let it go or hold on to it? Questions, Questions, Questions. selahV
BY THE WAY...when you gonna fix your google box so that a person who is no longer posting at blogger will allow commenters to post their website url?

Richard Coords said...

Hey SelahV,

I'm not sure about the google box. I recently turned off anonymous posting because my brother in law stopped on by, and raised Cain. Now if he posts, I'll know that it's him.

You're exactly correct, in that man does indeed have a role in doing "something." Our "contribution" is 1) the sin for which Jesus Christ suffered and died AND 2) the faith which imputes Christ's righteousness into our account. Calvinists ask where faith arises?, and Arminians answer that "faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. 10:17) Calvinists then posit the question of why do some utilize faith and repent, while others do not? That question ultimately ends in a discussion over the nature of free will.

My former Calvinist pastor, Chip, once shouted from the pulpit: "YOU THINK THAT YOU HAD A HAND IN YOUR SALVATION." But, as I was discussing on the post about "What is the Gospel?", it was mutually agreed that Calvinism does in fact teach that man has a role, though the question that remains is this: If man has a role, then does that mean that salvation cannot be 100% God's doing? It seems to me that for salvation to be 100% God's doing, then it must inevitably be 0% man's doing, and if it really is 0% man's doing, then how can Calvinism maintain anything substantive about man's role? To the Arminian, where God leads, God enables. Thus, God enables a man to believe, but does not unilaterally, involuntarily and unconsciously regenerate someone against his will.

What do you think?

SelahV said...

Richard: I think you are right. I think that although God COULD make man do something against his will, God doesn't. Now I believe God works out circumstances and uses people into my life to guide and direct the course of my life. But He does not push, force or manipulate. His Spirit guides, convicts, teaches, and walks along side me to lend His helping hand. But He doesn't grab me by the nap of the neck and pull me along, nor does He knock me in the head with a two-by-four. am I on-point this time? selahV

Richard Coords said...

Hey SelahV,

I think you're on the right track, but I'd like to look at two quick examples, Jonah and Paul:

In the case of Jonah, God did use force to "encourage" Jonah to get back into His will. If Jonah had not repented and cried out to God, he would have died in the belly of that "fish." So God did not use Irresistible Grace. Rather, God used a whale.

In the life of Paul, on the road to Damascus, God intervened in the life of Saul. God could have simply given Paul Irresistible Grace, and skipped the personal encounter. But instead, God choose to make a personal encounter, rather than Irresistible Grace. So this is where Arminians feel that Calvinists miss the boat.

I'd like to share a quote with you from Adrian Rogers:

Adrian Rogers explains: “God is the author of everything. God made everything perfect, and when God made man, God man His creature perfectly free. Free Will, then, man’s Free Will, is the origin of evil. God did not create evil. God created perfection, and God made man perfectly free, and freedom therefore gave rise to this evil. You see, this is what makes us moral creatures. Somebody says, ‘Why didn’t God just make us where we couldn’t sin?’ Well if God had made us where we couldn’t sin, He could have no more fellowship with me than I could have with that pulpit or that speaker. Because God made us moral creatures; love is the highest good; and God wants us to love Him. This is the first and great commandment: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, with all thy mind.’ Love is the highest good, but forced love is a contradiction in terms. Forced love is not love at all. In order to love, we must be free to love, to choose to love, and to choose to love, we have to be able to choose not to love. And so God gave us perfect choice. Adam chose in the Garden of Eden, and the sons of Adam after him, to sin, and that’s where the heart-ache, and the groan and the moan come from, as we’re going to see in a moment.” (Turning Hurts Into Hallelujahs: Romans 8:8-11)

Richard Coords said...

Hey SelahV,

I've added a section in the writeup on Acts 26:14. Skip down to the blue box at the bottom, and there I have some comments about Joah and Paul, along with the Adrian Rogers quote. Tell me what you think.