A question about Romans 9


#1

14

  • What then are we to say? Is there injustice on the part of God? Of course not!l
    15
    For he says to Moses:
    “I will show mercy to whom I will,
    I will take pity on whom I will.”m
    16
    So it depends not upon a person’s will or exertion, but upon God, who shows mercy.n
    17
    For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “This is why I have raised you up, to show my power through you that my name may be proclaimed throughout the earth.”o
    18
    Consequently, he has mercy upon whom he wills,p and he hardens whom he wills.*
    19
  • You will say to me then, “Why (then) does he still find fault? For who can oppose his will?”q
    20
    But who indeed are you, a human being, to talk back to God?r Will what is made say to its maker, “Why have you created me so?”
    21
    Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for a noble purpose and another for an ignoble one?
    22
    What if God, wishing to show his wrath and make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction?s
    23
    This was to make known the riches of his glory to the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared previously for glory,
    24
    namely, us whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.

I feel like I might be a vessel of wrath. My past definitely would suggest this. I wonder if I was created for destruction to make known the riches of his glory to the vessels of mercy. My past is full of intentional sin, impulsiveness, poor choices, cursing and shaking my spoiled fists at God at times. I am wondering if I was prepared for wailing and grinding of teeth. If I was formed to show the justice of God. The consequences of my sin has effected my friendships declining in terms of phone calls and visitors, I have two friends, I rarely see or talk to them, I broke up with my girlfriend because I didn’t feel like she trusted me to move onto the next stages of life, I live with my parents, I barely talk to my brother, I have not be a successful teacher and have gone to working at Home Depot part time. My faith and prayer life is in shambles. I see my friends, brother, and exgirlfriend prospering. It seems like my sims have caught up to me and that I am an example for all to witness. Is this possible? Can I what I think I was created for?


#2

Your thinking leaves out the whole part about God’s mercy. God does not use people in this manner. And also it sounds as if you are depressed and need to talk to someone. God is waiting for you to accept his forgiveness and love–please seek spiritual and even medical help if necessary. This is something you can’t handle alone.


#3

I agree.

Timothy, I will pray for you. God loves you infinitely and desires to show His Mercy to you.


#4

Is it possible that this is what I was created for? The Bible passages above would seem to suggest this to be the case. It says that He has mercy and pity on those he chose and those that are not chosen have nothing to complain about because it is Gods decision that they are to go down this road and who are they to question God.


#5

You said your past life was full of sin. I think that is key. You see the destruction sin has caused and you are looking for a better way; to turn your life around. It takes time. You might want to read, or reread about the lives of some saints who were in the same situation, like St. Augustine, or St. Francis of Assisi. Our will is not set until our last breath. Remember the good thief on the cross next to Jesus?


#6

I think the fact that you’re concerned about this could indicate that you may not be a “vessel of dishonor”. Being saved does not mean we never sin again. However, God works in our lives and leads us so that we are more cautious about what we do, and, while we do occasionally sin, it’s not a life style. Keep studying your Bible, and if you want to talk more, you can PM me any time.


#7

Guess who’s back from the dead!


#8

Thanks for the responses. When I read the Romans 9 passage, I felt like it was speaking to me. I once heard a lady I worked with talking about how there was a girl in high school that everyone adored. She was a popular girl who was involved with everything social. After high school she became nobody. The lady went on to say “look at me, I was totally not social and now my life is the complete opposite of hers.” I went somewhere, became something, and that girl is still at home living with her parents.

I listen to my best friend talk about how he grew up and couldn’t stand being a kid and having his mom bother him on every single thing. He loved coming over to my house and seeing how my mom would make dinner and we could eat when and where we wanted. At his house they ate at a certain time as a family. I told him I thought that was so cool. There was no exceptions. It made my mind explode that this was a priority in his household. He also told me he thought it was cool how daring and adventurous I was while I look back and thought it was cool how scared he would get by what his parents would say when we got in trouble and how I shrugged my shoulders and said it was no big deal.

When I read the passage, it seemed like everything is going against me now. It is a reflection on my choices. Sometimes I think I was put on earth to show others what a smuck looks like so that others can learn from my poor example.


#9

Timothy524, it’s a good thing that you are concerned about how you’re living your life before God, and that your conscience is being pricked by His word. Read some of Paul’s letters, and you’ll see what kind of life he had before and after God saved him. Pray about it and ask God for direction. Read Jeremiah 18 for more info about the potter and the clay. Pay attention to verse 4 and note that the potter can remake a pot.

We’re all in God’s hand. He already knows our end, all our sins, all our choices (good and bad), and the outcome of it all. The good news is that everything works out for His glory! Heb 3:15 says, ‘As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”’. You’re hearing His voice (through the Scriptures), don’t harden your heart!

James248, this is off topic, but what do you mean?


#10

Hi, Timothy!

…yeah, it may seem like that’s the catch…

I’ve highlighted the verse which centers this passage of Scriptures…

Rather then focusing on the vessels, we must focus on the Creator…

It is God Who extends His Mercy.

Man (“good” or “bad”) can do nothing to compel God to dispense His Mercy.

What you have personally experienced (as millions in the world have) is life. There was an old saying that goes something like: ‘there will always be someone smarter/richer/taller (insert whatever adjective) than you… and there will always be someone less…’

The choices we make, the opportunities that present themselves, our natural abilities and inclinations, our immediate environment, our family, our religious belief, and the society to which we are born/live in, has a part on our development and status…

From your description it seems that you have squandered opportunities, rejected God, and have alienated all but your parents (though there could be a dose of self-preservation attached to this particular relationship).

God did not single you out for destruction so that others may be “saved” by your demise!

Rather what St. Paul is gearing towards is that it is God’s Providence to allow man to reject Him so that His Mercy can abound; till Jesus Israel sought itself the “people” of God and everyone else excluded from God’s Fellowship. St. Paul is addressing this issue and he seeks to demonstrate that it is up to God to dispense of His Mercy… that neither Israel nor the Gentiles can compel God to Bless them… that it is God Himself that has determined to suffer both wrongs (the rejection of the Gentiles and the rejection of Israel) in order to allow His Mercy to abound for both:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

(Romans 11:32)
Clearly, how we enter into God’s Covenant will also have repercussions on how we behave in life… which in turn will determine how we embrace or reject unrighteousness and, most importantly, how we handle each facet of our life’s experiences.

Maran atha!

Angel

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#11

Hi, Timothy!

…I don’t think that we are getting the whole picture here…

…I think that St. Paul is addressing an issue that is developing–Israel, is jealous of the Emerging Church… I think that there’s all this grumbling going on… something to the effect of “how can God allow this… why would God bend-over-backwards for such ruffians who worship idols and commit the worst of atrocities?..”

…remember, the Jewish Converts began to demand that Gentiles must first Convert to Judaism before they could become Christians… there was a lot going on that was not set to Scriptures.

…so it is about God’s Mercy not about God creating some for destruction…

St. Paul is chastising them: ‘Why do you begrudge God for having Mercy on the Gentiles? Is it not up to God to determine how to dispense of His Mercy? God has allowed all to be disobedient so that His Mercy may be shown to all!’

…you said that you shuck you fist at God… God allowed for your rebellion…

The moment you turn back to God, actually and truthfully, He Will welcome you in His Love and Mercy:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

(Isaiah 1:18-20)

Say to them, ‘As I live,’ declares the Lord Yahweh, ‘Surely I have no delight in the death of the wicked, except in the wicked returning from his way, and he lives. Turn back! Turn back from your ways, O evil ones, for why should you die, house of Israel?’ (Ezekiel 33:11)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (St. John 3:16-21)
It is not God’s Design to save some by condemning others. Return to God. Go to your local parish, Confess your sins, make restitutions/reparations, amend your heart and mind, begin the new walk with Jesus!

Maran atha!

Angel

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#12

I was researching your posts and you didn’t comment for less than 4 years.


#13

Hi, Timothy!

…sadly, that’s not the case… hollowood has infiltrated the mind of the youth, and the not so young 40, 50, 60+ something; the whole deal is about rebellion–turn against God, the social order, the family, mom & dad, siblings…

…what awful thing your friend’s family was forcing upon him: ‘be a family’ or ‘you are valued’ or ‘we need you.’ …yeah, love and concern–bad!

…there’s an old saying: ‘a friend in need is a friend in deed.’

…popularity is about peer pressure… the same people that sell that also sell: ‘you need “xyz” to be popular, healthy, intelligent, cool, respected, loved…’

…bottom line? They want money or power–it’s like a pride of lions… they single out one individual from the heard in order to make a meal of it… so society has developed that mentality: separate the family members, demoralize them, hype them up, do what it takes to make that buck!

The more we buy into the social values the deeper we get into the hole and the thinner that handbasket gets as we spiral, in it, into hell.

The Church offers you the Peace of Christ… it will not make you smarter, taller, thinner, younger, handsomer, sexier, richer, stronger… it will make you God’s Friend–did you know that God’s Friends have a leg up on the world?:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]13 I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.

(Philippians 4:13)

Because of this very understanding St. Paul can state:

11 I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith. 12 I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound: (everywhere, and in all things I am instructed) both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need.

(Philippians 4:11-12)
…the freedom, joy and happiness that the world cannot help you achieve is found in Jesus:

8 But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds, 10 And putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him that created him. 11 Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: 13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. 14 But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection: 15 And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. 17 All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(Colossians 3:8-17)
Maran atha!

Angel

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#14

Hi jcricton. I refered to Romans 11 as you pointed out. I looked at the passage in a wider scope.

Triumph of God’s Mercy.
30

  • Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
    31
    so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may [now] receive mercy.
    32
    For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.y

Verse 30 confuses me. They (the gentiles or disobedient) have received mercy because of another group of people being disobedient. So the disobedience of one group leads to God having mercy on another group? That doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Another thing I see being a problem with me is how you put it: “Rather then focusing on the vessels, we must focus on the Creator…” My focus drifts from Him often. My focus veers towards others and myself. I focus on what is fair and what is not fair, I focus on how is it that some people deal with unfairness so much better than I do. Why do I let circumstances effect me so much. The whole time I am distracted from God. I’m inside myself and feel like I am going deeper and deeper. This provokes anxiety. It provokes self pity. It provokes loneliness. It makes me stay in bed longer that necessary in the morning. It makes me want to hover where ever my parents are if they are at home, especially my mother. It’s no good. I tell myself when I lose focus of God, I will say a prayer (Our Father or Hail Mary). However, I frequently don’t catch myself for quite some time. And if I did catch myself, I would have to be praying ever second of the day and not be able to focus on anything but God. Do you or does anyone else have any suggestions on how I can find balance?

Jcrichton could you also assist me with the following verse:

20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

I am ashamed of my deeds in the past and do not feel like I can step into the light. This of course will only keep me in the darkness, but I don’t know how to step out of the shadows. And truth me told, I don’t know if I am truly ashamed. At times I believe it is more self pity than shame.


#15

Hi, Timothy!

In Romans 9 through 11 St. Paul is addressing the issue of the Jews and Gentiles–Jesus spoke of two different sheep (Jews and Gentiles); He stated that He would make of them One Fold… that He would Be their Shepherd and they would be His sheep.

When we read through the Old Testament we find the development of Romans 9 through 11: Yahweh God chooses Israel (Jacob) as His Firstborn and forms a pact (Covenant) with them where He would be their God and they would be His people… the Gentiles (pagans) could always join Israel–they would have to become as Israel in Fellowship with Him… few of the pagans sought the Light. This was the period of the Gentiles’ disobedience and Israel adherence to God.

However, Israel allowed the nations around them to separate them from Yahweh God–to the extent of practicing their customs, inclusive of idolatry (accepting the religious practices and idols).

God Promised that, in spite of their rebelliousness, He would retain a Remnant–through this small group of Israelites He would bring about the Promise (God’s Salvific Plan through Jesus). Through Moses Yahweh God prophesied that He would Send a Prophet liken to Moses (High Priest, King, Prophet) and it would be in Him that the Gentile would seek their Hope (find God’s Mercy, Grace, and Salvation).

God allowed Israel to become fully disobedient, to the point of rejecting the Messiah (St. John 1:1-14) so that in their disobedience He could turn to the Gentiles. This is the reason why Jesus Came to Israel and did not venture into the surrounding nations… yet, as the Corner Stone was rejected, when He Instituted His Church, Jesus Commanded His Apostles to go into the world, to bring them the Good News, and to Baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

St. Paul formulates these events in those three chapters of Romans. Yet, he insist that God’s Love has not been removed from Israel–that at the appointed time, just as the Gentiles were able to see the Light, Israel will Come to Know God’s Salvific Plan and in deed there will Be One Fold!

Another thing I see being a problem with me is how you put it: “Rather then focusing on the vessels, we must focus on the Creator…” My focus drifts from Him often…
how I can find balance?

…this is not new and it is not experienced only by you:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

(Ephesians 6:12–read the whole chapter, slowly, drink it in!)

Jcrichton could you also assist me with the following verse:

20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

I am ashamed of my deeds in the past and do not feel like I can step into the light. This of course will only keep me in the darkness, but I don’t know how to step out of the shadows. And truth me told, I don’t know if I am truly ashamed. At times I believe it is more self pity than shame.

…all of this ties in with your previous paragraph…

When man sin he is separating himself from God; even people who claim not to believe in God have a deep seated sense of moral justice; that is, they know when they or others are not being treated fairly… this is specially so when one commits to the act… have you ever noticed how toddlers become invisible when they are up to no good? …and how manipulation and lies begin to take hold on them? They advance from total oblivion to innocent manipulation to skilled poppet masters… during the initial stages their eyes gives them away… then it’s only their physiology (body language, voice, anxiety, perspiration); in the final stages they are pros–the hardest proof does not sway their efforts to deny culpability… during each stage their Conscience bothered them… yet, they learned to put it aside and allow only their objectives to dictate what and how they do things…

…as the saying goes: “practice makes perfect.” The more we practice to reject God the more we can manipulate our will–silencing the Holy Spirit (our Conscience) in us.

Darkness rejects the Light because God is the Light.

When man gives into the darkness, Satan begins to whisper sweet nothings into his ears–to the tune of “you are useless,” “God cannot forgive you even if He wanted to,” “you know you prefer ‘xyz’ to God and His Rules,” “the Church condemns you, so God will not want you–no matter what!”

Do you recall Jesus’ definition of Satan? Jesus said that Satan was a murderer from the Beginning and that he is the father of all lies!

How can you turn back to God? Isaiah 1:18 and this way:

7 Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into sorrow. 10 Be humbled in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

(St. James 4:7-10)
I think you have began that trek!

Maran atha!

Angel

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#16

jcrichton I think about many of the things you brought up quite often. When I think about such things I wonder if I should be thinking about them or if by thinking about them I am taking my focus away from God. Again I don’t want to turn my focus inwards, it seems like it is only a removal of focus on God.

The way you put emphasis on how some children can progress along the pathway of manipulation until they can hide all visible traces of their deviant behavior. They hear the Holy Spirit but block it out to satisfy their immediate objectives. Eventually, you said that we can get to the point where we silence the voice of the Holy Spirit and find the voice that we can hear in place of the Holy Spirit is that of the deceiver who will whisper lies about ourselves.

This feels like what I am experiencing presently. It seems like the voice of the Holy Spirit is faint and the voice of the evil one tries to torment me into believing his lies. “I am no good.” “I am stupid.” “I messed up.” “I’m a loser with no friends.” “Everyone else has it better, because they did things right, but I’m stuck now and things will only get worse with time.” It is like sometimes I feel like Judas, throwing back the silver, but it being too late.

Also I am obsessed with trying to follow rules in present times. I feel like I always bended, swayed, and manipulated rules to meet my wants as a kid.

As far as the passage from James about letting your laughter turn to sorrow and your joy turn to mourning, I feel like that is where I am at right now. I miss laughter and joy though. I wonder if I am to mourn in this was for the rest of my existence.

No one else seems to be tormented like my soul. I feel alone and depressed.

Any further ideas about fighting the good fight and trying to hold onto my sanity. Thanks.


#17

Hi, Timothy!

…the fight…

There are two very specific passages that allows us to win the war, even if we lose some of the battles:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]4 Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

(1 St. John 4:4b)

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world. (St. John 16:33)
Jesus stresses that our Peace is found in Him and though the world brings us distress, we can be confident of becoming winners because He Has Overcome the world!

St. James tells us that we can do anything in Christ, Who is our Strength, and St John states it in a slightly different way: God, Who is In us, is greater than Satan, who is in the world–you see? Satan cannot come into the Believer… he can only manipulate our surroundings… he can only obfuscate things that are of the world–he cannot control God!

…so we have a few advantages… we know the final outcome, we know that God is Greater than the Enemy, and we know that the battle is never lost if we hold on to God because it is God Himself Who wants us to Win:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth; because he asketh for the saints according to God…

…If God be for us, who is against us? 32 He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? 33 Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword? 36 (As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) 37 But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:26-39)

10 Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. 11 Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. 13 Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16 In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17 And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). 18 By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: (Ephesians 6
…perhaps your error is two fold:

  1. Rules – Christ did not institute the Church to confound Believers; rather, He instituted the Church to provide for the Believers: 7 Sacraments, Doctrine, Bible, Unity, Fellowship. When we avail ourselves of these measures provided by Christ… well, as that movie worded it: ‘Death is only the Beginning!’
  2. Alone & Depressed – all lies (remember *who *is injecting such feelings onto the world); Jesus Promised that, if we Love Him, He and the Father Love us and that He, the Father and the Holy Spirit will abide in us (in first place the Church and secondly in the individual Believer). So we certainly are not alone… when we feel the burden of the world on our shoulders… well… Jesus is waiting with OPEN ARMS!

Maran atha!

Angel

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#18

Hello again Jcrichton. Thanks for the lengthy reply. The first concern and fear that I have is about Satan being able to enter us. You said that it is not possible and that he can only manipulate our surroundings. However, there are places in the Bible where it sugggests that he has entered into people.

Luke 22:3-6

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. 4And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. 5They were glad and agreed to give him money. 6So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

Matthew 16:21-23

21From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s."

The cases seem very different. In Judas’s case it seems like Satan literally enters his body. In Peter’s case, it seems like Peter is overtaken by thoughts of concern and confusion. All that is required is a reality check from Jesus before Peter is back on track. Judas’s incident terrifies me, because Jesus even says out loud whoever dips his bread into this cup after I dip mine will be the one that betrays me. It is like Judas is not even present mentally when this alert is given, otherwise why would he go on to dip his bread into the cup. It’s like, “Dude, snap out of it!!! Didn’t you just hear what was said? If you dip you bread in that cup you are leading our Savior to the first steps of his death? You have gone so far deep into your darkness that you cannot even hear the Savior’s words.” It is like let’s say he did hear His words and refrained from dipping in his bread. Although this may have suggested he was still in debate mode, that there was still a remnant of his self still present, it would not have suggest that he was engulfed completely by evil. Yet it seems like every shroud of his existence is destroyed, taken over, and consumed when it is obvious that he no longer is attentive to what is going on around him.

Where Peter seems to be thinking outside of himself, Judah seems to be thinking within himself. Peter just wants what he thinks is best for the savior even though he is not thinking like God does but instead as man. To Peter’s defense he is a man and not quite able to grasp the ways of our Lord even if verses back God blesses him with the knowledge that Jesus is the messiah.

I believe I tend to think within myself a lot, especially lately. Some may call it a form of self centeredness or self pity. I would lean more towards self pity, but I guess it is fair to say that each has threads of the other found within them. This is very troubling to me.

I read more about Romans 8:14-15

14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

I’m kind of freaking out. I feel like I have a lot of fear in me. It is fear I have never had before and it feels like it has grown with time. The passage says “fear again”. I see others that are close to me who do not seem to fear things. They had pasts where fear was present. This passage almost seems like it speaks to them. Like they are not to fear again because they are the sons of God. For me I question if I have received the Spirit if I am in this state.


#19

Hi, Timothy!

…I think that I expressed that Satan could not enter the “Believers;” though I may nor have clarified the point exactly.

St. John (1st Jn. 4:4) is speaking to a body of Believers… Greater, is God, Who is in us–Satan cannot enter the Believers because the Believers are the Temple of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell in God’s Temple).

When man changes allegiance and welcomes the ancient serpent into his life… well, Satan is a spiritual being…

The cases seem very different. In Judas’s case it seems like Satan literally enters his body. In Peter’s case, it seems like Peter is overtaken by thoughts of concern and confusion. All that is required is a reality check from Jesus before Peter is back on track. Judas’s incident terrifies me, because Jesus even says out loud whoever dips his bread into this cup after I dip mine will be the one that betrays me. It is like Judas is not even present mentally when this alert is given, otherwise why would he go on to dip his bread into the cup. It’s like, “Dude, snap out of it!!! Didn’t you just hear what was said? If you dip you bread in that cup you are leading our Savior to the first steps of his death? You have gone so far deep into your darkness that you cannot even hear the Savior’s words.” It is like let’s say he did hear His words and refrained from dipping in his bread. Although this may have suggested he was still in debate mode, that there was still a remnant of his self still present, it would not have suggest that he was engulfed completely by evil. Yet it seems like every shroud of his existence is destroyed, taken over, and consumed when it is obvious that he no longer is attentive to what is going on around him.

…yeah, Judas was in overdrive… he never truly believed Jesus was the Messiah… so the term “in one ear…” actually applied to him; he went along for the ride and departed when things did not seem to go his way… but Juda’s experience is quite difficult to understand: the Suffering Servant, Jesus, could not but experience the prophecies–including the abandonment of His Followers and the Betrayal of one of His friends… Jesus calls Judas the ‘son of perdition;’ there’s nothing for Judas to do but to fulfill his part in God’s Salvific Plan.

I personally believe that Juda’s case is quite particular and that God’s Mercy will collaborate greatly in Judas’ favor… the rest of us… well, Jesus’ Sacrifice was once and for all times, so other than Judas, we have no excuse! Further, we have the advantage that Judas did not have: we are fully able to accept Christ Word!

It took Jesus’ apprehension, mistreatment and expedient judgment for Judas to realize that he had gone to the dark-side… in his spiritual infancy he could have deduced, from Christ’s warnings, that he could do nothing but surrender his life for his part in the taking of the Just Life.

Where Peter seems to be thinking outside of himself, Judah seems to be thinking within himself. Peter just wants what he thinks is best for the savior even though he is not thinking like God does but instead as man. To Peter’s defense he is a man and not quite able to grasp the ways of our Lord even if verses back God blesses him with the knowledge that Jesus is the messiah.

I believe I tend to think within myself a lot, especially lately. Some may call it a form of self centeredness or self pity. I would lean more towards self pity, but I guess it is fair to say that each has threads of the other found within them. This is very troubling to me.

I think that what you are experiencing is an examination of conscience–the practice of reviewing our thoughts, actions and/or omissions in the light of our Faith/Christ’s Commandments… Judas did not Believe so he would have quite a difficult time coming to such understandings; Peter and the rest of the Believers do experience the urgings of the Holy Spirit to both keep away from evil acts and to review and judge ourselves in the Light of Christ.

I read more about Romans 8:14-15

14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

I’m kind of freaking out. I feel like I have a lot of fear in me. It is fear I have never had before and it feels like it has grown with time. The passage says “fear again”. I see others that are close to me who do not seem to fear things. They had pasts where fear was present. This passage almost seems like it speaks to them. Like they are not to fear again because they are the sons of God. For me I question if I have received the Spirit if I am in this state.

Judas began to feel this fear… he acted quickly… but he was truly up the creek without a paddle–you and I on the other hand, have all the Teachings of Jesus, the Church, and the Holy Spirit to rely on… but Jesus tells us that we need not fear, that He has overcome the world!

So instead of being frozen in fear, we must act in Christ. Go to your local parish, Confess your sins, Receive the Eucharist, and engage God in a Life of Prayer and Service in His Church!

…as St. James tells us “Come near to God and He will Come near to you!”

Maran atha!

Angel


#20

God doesn’t condemn, and the catechism teaches that He certainly predestines none to hell anyway. And another teaching on predestination explains how our choices are still always involved in any so-called hardening, etc:

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

God may well use people and their choices, good or bad, for His purposes but realize that even then we don’t know, for example, Herod’s and Pilate’s ultimate fate. Either way we can’t second-guess God. None of us get it right perfectly. The idea is that, from wherever we’ve been, we simply keep trying to make our next steps the right ones, rather than giving up. God will always honor and aid us in that.


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