Tag: Paul (page 1 of 2)

Did God Hate Esau?

Ruth D – Please explain Romans 9:13 – “I loved Jacob but hated Esau.” Does that mean certain people will never be saved, because God has not chosen them, or does it go back to faith and works?

Dave – Thank you for your question. It is not an easy one. Romans 9-11 are difficult chapters to grasp. After rereading all of Chapter 9, I can share some ideas with you. Overall, we must remember that God knows the future. He knows who will have the right attitudes and saving faith before they are even born. For example, He knew what Esau and Jacob would be like before their birth, and the reason He hated Esau was because he was not man of faith and spirit but rather a “man of the world,” i.e., tough, strong, good hunter and, most importantly, he did not value spiritual things.

Paul is also revealing something God said repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, that only some Jews will be saved (“the remnant”), most would not. Paul is making clear that physical lineage does not determine who obtains eternal life. It seems as though there are only two “philosophical” options regarding human life – either we trust that we are good enough for Heaven or we are not and need saving by God’s mercy. Humans can will to do this or that, but the bottom line is this – have they found God’s mercy? I know that verses 15-16 in Romans 9 make it sound like God selects people on earth to be saved and also chooses some to go to destruction. Some Christians believe this concept of predestination where God just does what He does and individuals have no choice. But I contend that even when people are chosen or called they can renege on the invitation like Judas Iscariot did. Saul/Paul was chosen as demonstrated by a strong vision that most people never get, but he still could have walked away from the Lord. I further believe that God’s mercy is willing and waiting for sinners to repent and find Jesus. I do not believe that if such a person does this that God will say “No, you have not been chosen by Me.”

I further think that the idea of predestination in Romans 8:29 means that as God saw the future and He decided to make those willing souls to become like Jesus eventually. In other words, before He made everything, He made the decision to do what was necessary to make evil disappear forever, knowing full well what He had to do to accomplish this. Those souls who would respond to His Truth (mercy), would therefore be predestined to eternal life.

Again, this is difficult to deal with and I am not saying all I’ve said is totally the Truth. It’s just the way I have dealt with your question for the 44 years I’ve known Him.

QA #38 Feedback on concept of predestination:

Nels F (10/7/13) – So interesting–thanks!

Timothy’s Circumcision

Ruth D – In Acts16:3, why did Timothy have to be circumcised?

Dave – Because of the Jews in that area. I think Paul was trying to avoid offending these Jews as much as possible. Timothy’s father was a Gentile and mother was Jewish, so that was one strike against him already in the eyes of Paul’s countrymen. I think Paul figured if “half-breed” Timothy was also not circumcised, there was no chance of these people listening to them. This certainly was not an endorsement for circumcision being necessary for salvation.

Feedback so far:

NF (9/19/13) – Great answer which totally agree with! Have Blessed day Dave!

CL (9/19/13) – Right on.

Galatians 1 Verse 8

Ruth D – What does Paul mean in Galatians 1:8 KJV – “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” What angel would he be referring to?

Dave – Paul may be using an extreme example to rivet home the idea how solidly true the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. In other words, he is saying that even if a good angel should proclaim a contrary message, then that angel is in big trouble. This is not to say that an angel of God would ever do this. Paul is simply taking his example to that extreme degree to make his point. Therefore, to answer your question, I do not think Paul had any specific angel from heaven in mind (again because no good angel would do this). He also could be saying that if some supernatural being appears to be holy, it may try to fool us. Therefore we need to use the Word of God laid down by Paul and others as the measuring stick to determine truth from lies. We need to be mindful of 2 Corinthians 11:14 where it says that even Satan can appear as an angel of light. Visions must be accountable to the Word of God. Over the years, people with inflated egos and demonic spirits of error have taught many off-the-wall doctrines that simply do not line up with Scripture. Some of these people have even claimed to have had visions of supernatural beings that were the source of their “revelations,” i.e., Joseph Smith who started Mormonism. Scripture tells us to not believe every spirit but to test it to see whether or not it is from God (1 John 4:1).


Mark D – Great answer, David!

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