Monday, July 13, 2009

"Works" Do They Have Any Value With God?

This One Is For The Serious Bible Student!

Back To This Week's Lesson:
The scripture you use pertains to saints. The bible was written to (the) believer and not non believers. It says a brother that would mean a brother in Christ Jesus. In the end our good works will mean nothing. Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through fait, and not of works, lest anyone should boast. Read also verses 10-13. We are to be about the work of God .What ever we do in word or deed we should do all in the name of Jesus. MJ did not not do these things for the glory of God. To God be the glory. Peace out. K. Nichols~July 13, 2009 9:53 AM


I received this comment in my recent post The SIN Factor In that post the material works of Michael Jackson were pointed out by many of our commentors. Based on a few of the opposing inquiries and assertions it was obvious to see that funadamentalism, as it pertains to works, has taken its toll on certain individual's ability to recognize and understand the relationship of good works to a sinner's life and ultimately the judgement of God. There were two basic assertions made as it pertains to the works of a sinner:

1- A Person's Works Mean Nothing To God. (Although this statement was made without qualification it's easy to see that it was pertaining to the works of a sinner in particular)

2- The Bible Wasn't Written To And For The Benefit Of Sinners.

First of all, the good works of a sinner need not intimidate a Christian although a Christian should be ashamed to serve Christ and not present good works to a God who is worthy of our entire being including our works. Works done by men in general, although are not salvific, they are yet encouraged by God, noted by God and are blessed by God whether one is a Saint or a sinner.

Does God Not Acknowledge The Works Of Men?

The plain and simple fact is that God certainly acknowledges the works of men and mankind among both saint and sinner. Since God acknowledges works of sin to provide eternal judgement of those works, and works of righteousness to provide eternal reward, it is incumbent upon the critic to set forth a biblical case as to why God would suddenly overlook the good works of sinner while simultaneously acknowledging and punishing their bad works called sin.

The heart is an abundant treasure for either good or bad. The best good that can come from the heart is repentance with the intent to serve the Lord. Although this is not the point of this article, it is diffucult for the observer to know when God has accepted the soul and heart of individuals and we are simply limited by human abilities. In some cases there could be repentance which we are unaware of. Such testimony of an instance is found within the book of Acts when Peter encountered Cornelius. I have set forth a clear and biblically centered case regarding Cornelius in Cornelius, Was He Already A Believer? on the Dunamis Word 2.

The scripture records:

Acts 10:34-35~"34-Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35-But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

In Peter's reconciling of the promise of God upon non-Jewish ethnic groups, Peter came to the realization that God had no variance or class agenda "but in every nation"(Gk: ethnos ie: ethnic group of people), that "feared him"(Gk: phobeo- reverence or treat with obesiance)and did righteously, "worketh righteousness"(Gk: ergavzomai - to make righteous their business, labor or work) that God would bless them. The critic asserts that the "blessing" is upon them that "feared him" therefore blessings are reserved for the works of saved folk only. They key here is in understanding how could a nation of people that didn't know him come to fear him, reverence him and give obesience to him mysteriously?

The Unqualified Blessing Of Abraham

One of the first biblical constructs of unqualified blessing is contained within the blessing we find upon Abraham in Genesis 12. There were 7 blessings outlined upon him and his seed:


Genesis 12:1-4~"1-Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2-And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3-And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The 7 blessing were:

1- Make of thee a great nation
2- I will bless thee
3- I will make thy name great
4- Thou shalt be a blessing
5- I will bless them that bless thee
6- Curse them that curse thee
7- In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed

Many people,without cause, immediately reserve the blessing that was pronounced upon Abraham for the saint or one who is in communion with God. If one were to consistently apply that method of hermenutic the "curse" would also have to be reserved for and only upon the saint also. From diligent study we realize that quite the contrary is true however, and efforts to make the scripture apply to only one class of persons do not hold spiritual water and as assertions do not hold value. By virtue of our assessment here, we can also see that scripture is not contained to them that have relationship to God or are within his Kingdom. The word of promise, both blessings and curse extend to and are made available to the whole world, saint and sinner alike.

Anatomy Of The Blessing

The facts are that the first 4 blessings are by God's declaration and are upon Abraham and his seed directly. The last 3 blessings are communal and are upon Abraham as it relates and pertains to the interractions with individuals within the community. For those communal blessings there are no qualifications as to who will receive or qualify to receive the blessing, or who will receive the curse or any limitation upon the families that will be blessed because of Abraham.

Since this verse pronounces "unqualified blessings" and "curses", upon the works of individuals, the works of the sinner in obtaining that blessing or curse CANNOT be excluded.

Quick Note: We know the ultimate blessing is the blessing of salvation that is received through the lineage of Abraham through Jesus Christ, and made available for the whole earth, however the promise here is not to the exclusion of non savific blessings. In other words there are more blessings indicated through this verse than blessings only pertaining to salvation.

The Principle Of Right Judgement Of Works & Actions:

In one of the most compelling parts of an argument like this is the acknowledgement that the judgement of the "wicked' has always been proportionate to the sin committed by the sinner. This is what I call the principle of right judgement. This principle is established in the book of Deuteronomy:

Deut. 25:1-4~1-If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2-And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3-Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. 4-Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn

In order to understand this verse and what is being said we must note the following

1- Not every wicked man is "worthy to be beaten"
2- The wicked is only beaten according to his "fault"
3- The Punishment was not to be to the utter embarassment or humilation of the one being punished.

Jesus acknowledged this same type of sentiment in Luke:

Lk. 12:41-48~"41-Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42-And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43-Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44-Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45-But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46-The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47-And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48-But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

Jesus viewed the unrighteous works of the believer as accounted among the "unbeliever" or the wicked servants. The key here is that the works of both the wicked and the righteous were evaluated, weighed and adjudicated as to what punishment sould be given. Therefore the "works" of an individual mattered whether one was righteous or not.

Works Of Individuals Are Acknowledged By God:

Finally it is not without saying that works of individuals are both encouraged, acknowledged and promoted by God and they too in many instances are without qualification:

In the previous post Oregonsistah set forth these scriptures:

1 John 3:17-18~"17-But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18-My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

This scripture contextually deals with the compassion of the Christian towards another Christian, but one should ask is the intent of this scripture limited to Christian compassion only? It is better understood that this scripture is a model or standard whereby the saved (Christian) ministers to the unsaved both by example and practice and is not a restriction in ministering to the outside community. Once again a radical left wing hermenutic will promote classism even in applying the standard of love. However it is abundandtly clear that the Christian is to both be and show love both within and without the Kingdom of Christ.

Rom. 12:9 ~ "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."

If our standard of love was to be without dissimulation (Gk: anupovkrito ~ unfeigned, without hypocrisy and undisguised) then we cannot justify that this scripture is exclusively for displays of love from Christian to Christian. To insist on that type of treatment for this verse or any contained within scripture is absurd.

Further the New Testament church understood the correlation between works and faith. James set it forth like this:

James 2:15-17~"15-If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16-And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17-Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

To say that God somehow overlooks "works" of anyone at any level is beyond scripture and feeds into conjecture and our desire to compartmentalize the actions and behaviors of God.

In another example, Jesus gave the scenario of the judgement to the disciples. You will see 2 groups of people. Sheeps and goats. Everyone thinks they know who the sheeps are (the children of God)but the question is who are the goats and why were there duties the same as the Sheep's?

Mt.25:31-46~"31-When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32-And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33-And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34-Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35-For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36-Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37-Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38-When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39-Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40-And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41-Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42-For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43-I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44-Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45-Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46-And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

The things we note from this scenario of judgement;

1- Only them that had works were called "righteous" v.37
2- The blessing was extended to them because they had done these works to the "Lord" through serving "the lest of my brethern" v.40
3- Those that were "cursed" were cursed because they did nothing.
4- Those that were cursed failed to serve "the least of these" v.46, which is a language change from v.40

The works of righteousness stand before us and with us:

Rev. 14:13 ~ “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

Comparative Sins, Righteousness & Judgement

In one of the most startling comparisons found in the New Testament Mt. 11:20-24 and Lk. 10:12-16 we find that Jesus compares both the sin and judgements of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum to the judgements of Sodom and Gommorah saying that the latter would be judged greater than the former cities because they rejected Jesus and his word in a more personal fashion.

Mt. 11:20-24 ~ "20-Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21-Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22-But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23-And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24-But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."

From A Humanistic Standpoint

Works, whether of righteous or unrighteous individuals can help save lives and change fortunes of the receipients. Some individuals have tapped into that free flow of of giving without qualification. Paul understood this concept and Luke records his comments toward the principle:

Acts 20:35 ~ "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."

A person's "works" mean something both to God and men as God does not overlook any actions among men. God is not capricious or arbritrary in his judgements towards men...His judgements are right therefore all things and considerations are included within it. If a sinner feeds the hungry that meal should be equally accepted as if the righteous were providing the food. Certainly the good deed will not be overlooked either by god or mankind. Assertion to the contrary are ridiculous notions.

The ultimate judgement of the soul is made on one essential point that cannot be purchased with anything other than repentant faith, however God acknowledges even the least gesture of grace compassion and mercy extended among men toward men because we have been created in HIS likeness and image above all of creation and extension of service towards one another is among the higher calls in life.

Summary Questions:

Does God Despise Blessing Sinners? NO

Does God Have A Covenant Relationship With Sinners? NO, not until the sinner repents, then he/she becomes a Christian.

Can A Sinners Works Save Him? NO. (Ephes. 2:8-9)

Can a Sinner's Works Cause Him/Her To Be Blessed? Absolutely.

Are The Works Of Sinners Acknowledged By God? Certainly. God acknowledges, blesses and even curses individuals for their works.

Do the Works Of Sinners Have Value Before God? Absolutely and without question. In fact in some instances sinners bring blessings into their lives through acts of grace or kindness and noone but God orchestrates true blessings upon the lives of people.

Was The Bible Written For The Benefit Of Sinners? Certainly. The message is the power of God unto salvation (Rom.1:16) unto salvation and blessing for all to adhere to. The desire os that one will be saved by it's message but application of biblical principles in life will even bless a sinner.

Conclusion:

The Christian performs works as an outgrowth of a committment to Christ. As stated works cannot save but as one should be able to see, this is a common sense argument.

Many of us can identifiy sinners in our life that have been blessed, acknowledge that the blessing is from God and are yet unsaved. Still many others can acknowledge individuals who serve the community faithfully and rightfully but are yet not saved. Those things happen around us everyday and those works and actions are very important to many individuals including them that are saved.

It is a shame that many in the church would be so predjudicial as to pervert the biblical message of serving humanity just because certain "works" were not done by persons that served the Lord. Please keep in mind that 2 of the wealthiest men in the United States (Bill Gates & Warren Buffet) do not honor or fear the Lord. Their works will not buy them salvation at any price however, no one can challenge the effectiveness of their gifts, the works that they have rendered to the world and in many cases the benefits that believers and their families and churches have received as a result of the efforts of these men.

God values the works of all men who take the time to selflessly display the kindness and concern for others. The Christian should set the pace for this, but oftentimes falls into the trap of self-righteousness and classism. When will the church turn to bless the world that we live in? I'll tell you when, when we repent and begin to serve one another and all of humanity!

Blessed!

17 comments:

  1. Okay, one quick comment.
    COGIC should have YOU on its writing staff for Sunday School lessons.

    Whew, stir up my pure mind!!

    More later...

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  2. My grandmother used to say, "Right is right, no matter do does it."

    Excellent post. Thanks.

    Eld. Carl

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  3. Another great posts!

    I may need to read it again in order to fully understand. I hope my question doesn't stir up the pot too much. In our world "blessings" are usually related to material things such as money, houses, etc. Of course we know that sinners as well as saints can obtain these things.

    My question is what about those people whose occupation brings detriment to their communities however, they help to build rec centers and give out food to the poor. An example would be drug dealers or Hip Hoppers. They have the resources of the world and they do give them out however; their occupations actually cause more bad than good.

    I think about that movie New Jack City and how Nino Brown would give out air conditioners in the summer and turkey dinners during the holidays. Of course he had material wealth but he was not "blessed" as far as possessing the fruits of the spirit.

    In the Bible Kind Herod was pretty evil however; he built many edifices and pretty much beautified the city. Of course we know his fate but did he ever receive blessings from God?

    Pastor, you have no idea how your posts challenge my thoughts and are helping me with my walk. In reading this post I took a look at myself and asked if I were prejudice against humanitarians. This has also taught me how to acknowledge without worshiping.

    Thanks again, and God Bless!

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  4. Ashley,

    Don't worry about stirring up anything, that's a good thing in my book so we can look at things and be challenged like you said...So Thanks and I'm encouraged by you also...

    You asked: "My question is what about those people whose occupation brings detriment to their communities however, they help to build rec centers and give out food to the poor."

    Yes, there are cases where the same one's that make people sick and ill attach themselves to humanitarian causes. Look at the tobacco industry and even the liquor industry...they give big dollars to healthcare etc annually and they are at least assisting in many of the problems that are in the community...What can we do about that?

    1- We can endorse socially responsible companies ideas and causes. The system of this world is the devil's and creation will not be redeemed until Jesus returns and corrects it all, but our stewardship demands that we do our part...

    2- We, since this world in it's curent state is forever tainted by sin and the devil, must be careful to look beyond evil and see the hand of God and see how the "wealth (not just money either)of the wicked is laid up FOR the saints"

    Now, look at this...you mentioned Herrod and he is the epitome of a topic such as this...It has been reported under Herrod the Great's rule that he had somebody killed EVERY DAY with the assistance of the Roman state. Reports are that people would rather die than live under his rule but yet he ruled, built a beautiful edifice around the Tabernacle known as the Temple of Herrod...

    Did Jesus ever ONCE condemn Herrod or his successor? Did he ever ONCE condemn those that worshipped at the Temple? He prophesied it's destruction, but did he bring a condemnation against it?

    That is challenging to say the least, because most of these "johnny come lately" radical fundamentalist preachers would have been preachin' messages and sellin' DVD's against the Temple and callin' everybody "dirty" that went there to worship and serve God according to his word.

    Here we have a "devil" that reigns and in his lifetime is a tryant...You know what God does? He reserves judgement for himself...Africanus reports that Herrod had VD so bad until his private rotted, but he wouldn't die...He was so ill and stanky and full of bloody excretions that it was horrible to behold. He eventually killed himself, slit his own throat...died like a pig...

    I believed the Jews suffered as a result of this, but we yet see the early church worshipping where? In The Temple at Jerusalem...(Acts 3)

    Yes, we can acknowledge WITHOUT worship. There's more to say but I'll stop there so you can share your thoughts.

    blessed.

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  5. Another thing about Herrod the Great...IF he had someone killed everyday and that report is not an exaggeration, he reigned about 33 years. He would have been responsible for over 12,000 deaths.

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  6. Pastor Burnett,

    I am going to get to the heart of the matter when it comes to works.
    I think that where many Christians miss it when it comes to "works". They want to claim that when they repented, believed, received, and obeyed the Gospel of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, they totally had no part in it...GOD did all the work in regards to salvation and they did nothing on their part. Repenting, believing, receiving, and obeying are "works". Acts of faith are works! These are spiritual laws that causes one to become born again. Now, these same spiritual laws are used in this world system. The LORD JESUS mentioned this when HE said the "lords of the Gentiles exercise dominion."

    Now if murder, prostitution(fornication), stealing, adultery, and bearing false witness(perjury or lying), disobeying your parents is illegal in Muslim, Hindu, Agnostic, and Communist secular nations where the Gospel is NOT WELCOMED or openly preached, why do "Christians" think they have a MONOPOLY on what is a good work or what is an evil work. A man who is married to one wife and is a faithful husband and providing father is a "GOOD THING" whether that man is a Christian or NOT!

    Where many misconstrue when it comes to works, they fully get "IT" that CHRIST did all the work concerning fulfilling the Law, fulfilled the Atonement, fulfilled all of those sacrifices that the OT priests had to perform for the OT saints/covenant, JESUS fulfilled that as the LAMB of GOD. BUT, and a big BUT, they miss it that GOD's "Moral Law" or "Moral Works" DID NOT PASS AWAY! GOD ordained the nations.

    I bear witness that every human being is accountable to the FATHER and the SON, LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the HOLY GHOST. GOD made man a living soul, that includes "sons of promise and sons of Cain". And as far as I know, every human being is birthed through the birth canal of a woman...even some born through IVF, test tube...the semen came from a male. Not to go into another arena, for that's another discussion.

    Back to the point, because GOD created all men, GOD put his laws, moral compass, moral ability to choose/free will(limited), and knowing "right from wrong" in every race of human beings from Adam to CHRIST to now until GOD fulfills Revelation 11:15
    "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

    Now, this scripture clearly states that "evil people" can do "good things" or "good works". If ye being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly FATHER give good things to them that ask HIM?

    Good things are good works. They don't save the sinner, but they do bless the sinner.

    Now, I am going to stir the pot with this statement. Christians who don't have works or fruit after conversion, if they do not STRIVE(sounds like a work to me) to enter in...WILL MISS THE MARK. That's what JESUS said that would happen to the "GOATS!" Amen.

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  7. Oh, Pastor Burnett,
    Excellent article! GOD bless you.

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  8. Enochwalked,

    You stirred the pot..yep YA did, yep YA did, YEP YA DID!

    What you were talking about is synergism. This was one of the tenets that had to be in reformed doctrine to further distinguish it from Catholicism.

    Look, for someone to do the work, give you a check, and that check says, SINS PAID WHEN CASHED...Then you go to the bank and cash it...that's NOT work...that's a reasoned response to what has been given...The reformed bretheren hold that you cashing the check is adding to the finished work and that's a ridiculous notion.

    To say that simply because I excercise my will and cash a check that I have somehow added to the free gift is not even a biblical understanding of grace. I have my suspicions about why it's like that in reformed doctrine BUT, I'll reserve that for a future writing and more research. So YOU'RE right on point.

    Arminius taught that we have a response to what God has done and he was RIGHT. We have a responsibility to respond to grace which in no way assists grace, it's a response and that response should be ultimately toward Heb. 12:14...

    I've written my thoughts about it HERE.


    Also, these that say "works" mean nothing is another silly notion...As if god doesn't honor the righteous behavior that he has ordained in the first place???

    I tell you what, an unsaved husband remains faithful to his wife and a good father to his children and an asset to the community means a whole lot to everybody and is certainly blessed by God. Yes, he should be saved but that's where WE come in at. Sometimes we become so insensitive to the fulness of what God has shared and we keep blessings in our little box and people have to meet our approval before we acknowledge them...that's a mess.

    It's funny how the most insensitive comments came out in church people because of the works of Michael Jackson of all people???

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  9. Amen, Pastor Burnett! Amen.

    Thank you for confirming the truth. You have truly edified me. GOD bless you!

    You said, "Sometimes we become so insensitive to the fulness of what God has shared and we keep blessings in our little box and people have to meet our approval before we acknowledge them...that's a mess."

    Pastor Burnett, when any us, myself included, look at life, others with that viewpoint...Isn't that what got the Pharisees as a whole in trouble with the LORD? Self-righteousness, meaning I am Christian, I am one of the LORD's elect and everyone has to meet my interpretation/standards of Christianity or the denomination. This has got to be the leaven of the pharisees that the LORD warned the Church not to partake in. How many Christians have the spirit of the good Samaritan(which by the way is the righteous way) or do they have the spirit(error) of the priest and levite that passed by the "fallen man". The priest and levite and many Christians today believe that bad things happen to people because they are in sin or that they are sinners...and this is not always the CASE! i.e. Joseph and JESUS and myself included.

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  10. Excellent. Been out of country with no access. Appreciate Enoch walk's input.

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  11. She said "out of the country"...Aiight now!

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  12. Pastor burnett,

    Although we disagree on Monergism/Synergism I will give you my perspective from the Monergistic side pertaining to the article at hand regarding blessings from God and good works from the unsaved.

    I first of all believe in common grace in that God loves ALL in the sense that his blessings can be seen throughout the entirety of creation both saved and unsaved.

    I also believe that the unsaved do many "earthly" good things.

    Where the Synergist and the Monergist disagree is in regards to the extent and degree of God's love towards the unrepentant and the extent of what "good" the unrepentant can do.

    From the monergist perspective God blesses everyone and has a general love for ALL. However, God has a particular and intimate love for the saved.

    As for "good" works both the unsaved and saved can both do "good" works in regards to mankind’s perspective.

    However, from the Monergist view only those who are saved can do "spiritually" good works.

    In closing I hope you and I can agree to disagree. But that being said please understand that most Monergist are NOT hyper-Calvinist. The reason I stress this is because too often there is an assumption on the part of many Synergist that we believe in a Tyrant God who loves certain people and hates the rest, Who is the author of evil, and claims mankind can do no good at all.

    These assumptions are only held by roughly 5% of those claiming they are Monergist. This theology known is Hyper-Calvinism is an anathema.

    Kyle

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  13. Kyle,

    Thanks for stopping once again. You don't have to wear a flack hjacket.-LOL I don't think we're really into specific arguments about synergism/monergism etc, all I want to know is, is your position scripturally supportable and I believe yours is.

    Yes we can debate points and will on occassion, but I thank God for the home team!

    The point raised here was regarding the "respect"(and that's too big of a word) that God has towards even a sinners works and value that natural works have. I think we all know they aren't salvific, but they are not simply and merely cast away as nothing either.

    One thing that is interesting to note is that Mt. 25 seems to suggest that certain works will have their part in eternal judgement and the contrast is between sheep and goats. Who are the goats in this passage? If they are the children of God, how are they goats?

    That may be a theological question, but beyond that it's a questions for believers no matter what interpretive system they apply.

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  14. God does respect the good works of the sinner in its application towards the Saints but only in earthly terms in regards to the unsaved who initiated that earthly good work.

    For example, the owner of the Business I work for is not saved yet he has provided me (Saved individual) a job. This was a very good work indeed.

    Now we can argue that it was God who provides which is ultimately true. However, we can't discount the fact that God uses the works of unrepentant sinners towards the saved.

    And although the above is true we have to really define the word “respect” to get a better understanding.

    For example, Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away”.

    This is true from God’s perspective pertaining to works in regards to salvation. All the good works of the unrepentant will be burned up and useless when they are judged.

    However, the works of the unrepentant would appear to be pleasing to God when applied to saved recipients of the good work. What do I mean?

    Person >>>>>> Action >>>>>> Person
    Unsaved >>Earthly Good Work>> Saved

    I would say it pleases God to bless his Children of which he often uses the unrepentant to execute those blessings as referenced above.

    However, God only respects the good work in terms of its application towards the saved individual and only in terms of its earthly implication.

    As for respect in terms of any salvific application I refer to Isaiah 64:6 stated above in which the good work by the unsaved is useless.

    What you have is the complex nature of God and his views in regard to Heavenly vs. Earthly application.

    Kyle

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  15. Kyle,

    I agree!

    I think sometimes we don't consider that God takes note of the works of the unsaved. He does. Like you said some of the things that the unsaved does directly effect us that are saved and we know that it is God who is the one positioning things in our favor. I believe you've laid out the context of that "noting" wonderfully.

    I also believe that an unsaved individual, by their work and kindness toward those in relationship with Christ can be blessed. Potipher's house was blessed because he aforded Joseph favor.

    Ultimately, I think it's good for the people of God to keep those who have displayed good works and a sincere heart toward them, up in prayer, certainly sharing the truth to hopefully pull their hearts out of darkness. though men will do it, it's a shame to do good things and still be lost.

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