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This is a classic juridical view of God and salvation. I would respond that God is love. Love is not just another of God's attributes. It is the essence of God's being. Those "rules" you think bind God to some cruel form of justice are, in fact, expressions of God's love. And so those who reject God's love have brought hell upon themselves. As CS Lewis has said, they have locked themselves in from the inside.
The problem here is that much of Western Christianity has anthropomorphized God. Especially since Anselm, who thought that God must operate on some sort of judicial system similar to ours. I think that the scriptures absolutely refute this sort characterization of God. The scriptures tell a story of God's love for humanity and his plan to rescue us from sin and death (not from God himself as in Western Christianity). In the Calvinist system, God's love is marginalized and explained away. This takes away much from the gospel in my opinion.
God never contradicts Himself and never changes. The "Rules" that you refer to, are reflections of God's own attributes. There is no higher authority setting the rules for God.
God has been gracious to reveal His "rules" to us. However, since Adam sinned against God, thereby losing his free-will, he and all his descendents have been ruined by his sin. We all know, deep within our heart, that God exists, and we have a conviction that there is right, and there is wrong. But, we reject that truth, as Adam rejected God's word. Therefore, we have no excuse, by claiming ignorance. Read Romans, chapter one, in the new testament. While you are in Romans, read at least the first eight chapters. God has provided a remedy for our rebellious attitude toward God, and offers you the solution. Already paid for, and all the details filled in.
If you will Try it, you will love His solution.
Simon; So, there is no more sin and death? This victory over sin and death applies only to believers, beginning at our resurrection.
PS; Did you read the first eight chapters of Romans?
No, God does not overlook sin. On the contrary he defeated sin and death at the cross.
Christ having risen from the dead has defeated sin and death. We await his coming when all will be raised. The righteous will enter paradise, the wicked to eternal destruction. At his return, Christ will be "all in all". There will be no escape from his love. For those who love God, his presense is warmth and light. To those who hate God, his love is like a consuming fire. This is what is meant by the "wrath" of God. This is the interpretation given by the fathers (all of the eastern fathers), and modern theologians like NT Wright and apologists like CS Lewis.
Yes I did read the first 8 chapters of Romans - including those bits where it says that we will be judged according to our deeds. And the parts where it says that Jews and Gentiles are one family in Christ (the true descendents of Abraham and heirs to his promise). Including where it says that the whole creation is groaning for the revelation of the Sons of God. And the part where it says that God condemned sin (not sinners) in the flesh (of Christ). Perhaps a dose of NT Wright is in stall because he has shown that the traditional Protestant reading of Romans is highly deficient.
Jesus Christ stated: "everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin." John 8:34 ESV (that includes Adam, you, and me)
Ryan O'Neil said:
I'm not familiar with the scripture that states Adam lost his free-will after the fall.
Free-will being limited does not mean that free-will does not exist. (John 6:37-44) is a verse about God's grace and (John 5:40) is about human will. The first does not rule out the other.
I believe grace and fee will work together in 6:44. I don't believe verse 37 says it is an irresistable force as you claim. I believe it will happen but it doesn't say man does not cooperate with the drawing.
Ryan; Moreover, Jesus said, in John 6:44: "No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him..."
This declares man's inability to choose Christ, unless the Father causes it to happen.
The fact that this does not refer to a universal "drawing", is proven by verse 37: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me..." This shows that God works with an irresistible force to bring rebellious sinners to Christ.
Man cannot choose Christ, unaided by God, neither can he fail to come to Christ, if the Father gives him to Christ.
This limits "Free-will" pertaining to salvation.