Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 06) - Prerequisites - All Men - Mat 5:29-30Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 11. Universal language A. All men i. The phrase "all men" doesn't always mean the entire human race. ii. "All men" is used many times in scripture to refer to all men in a given context, such as time, area, class, etc. iii. Consider the following verses in which "all men" doesn't refer to the entire human race: a. Mat 10:22 - Would the apostles hate themselves? b. Mar 1:37 - Were the Mayans and the Aztecs seeking for Jesus? c. Mar 5:20 - Were the new born babies in China marveling when Jesus cast out a legion of devils out of a man? d. Luk 3:15 - Were the Druids in England musing about whether John the Baptist was Christ? e. Joh 3:26 - Were the Aborigines in Australia coming to Jesus to be baptized? iv. In all these verses, "all men" clearly refers to all men in a given context which was only a portion of the human race. v. Since it is a fact that "all men" doesn't always necessarily refer the entire human race, each time "all men" is used, the context must be considered to determine who is included in "all men". B. Every man i. The phrase "every man" doesn't always mean the entire human race. ii. "Every man" is used many times in scripture to refer to all men in a given context, such as time, area, class, etc. iii. Consider the following verses in which "every man" doesn't refer to the entire human race: a. Mar 8:25 - Did the man see the people on the other side of the earth clearly? b. Mar 15:24 - Were Jesus' garments parted into millions of infinitesimal pieces so that every member of the human race could have a piece? c. Luk 16:16 - Were the American Indians pressing into the kingdom of God? d. Joh 7:53 - Were the Eskimos traveling back their igloos in the arctic after this meeting? e. Act 2:45 - Were the disciples providing for the needs of the entire human race when they parted their possessions? iv. In all these verses, "every man" clearly refers to every man in a given context which was only a portion of the human race. v. Since it is a fact that "every man" doesn't always necessarily refer the entire human race, each time "every man" is used, the context must be considered to determine who is included in "every man". C. The world i. "The world" doesn't always mean the entire human race. ii. World - III. The inhabitants of the earth, or a section of them. iii. "The world" is used many times in scripture to refer to a section of the human race. iv. Consider the following verses in which "the world" doesn't refer to the entire human race: a. Luk 2:1 - Were you taxed by Caesar Augustus? b. Joh 12:19 - Had the Pharisees gone after Jesus? c. Rom 1:8 - Were the Incas discussing the faith of the Christians in Rome? d. Act 19:27 - Were the apostles worshiping Diana? e. 2Pe 2:5 - Were Noah and his family members of the world that was destroyed in the flood? v. In all these verses, "the world" clearly refers to a portion of the human race. vi. Consider the different worlds the Bible speaks of: a. The Jewish world (Joh 15:18-25). b. The Gentile world (Rom 11:12,15). c. The reprobate world (Joh 17:9). d. The people under the control of the Roman Empire (Luk 2:1). vii. Since it is a fact that "the world" doesn't always necessarily refer the entire human race, each time "the world" is used, the context must be considered to determine what "world" is under consideration. III. Problem texts 1. Mat 5:29-30 A. Are these verses teaching that our deliverance from hell is dependent on physically removing parts of our body by which we sin? i. If Jesus was literally saying to pluck out your eye and to cut off your hand every time they offended you, all of us would all be blind, deaf, dumb stumps in short order. a. Scripture elsewhere instructs us to not neglect our bodies (Col 2:23) b. The Lord nourishing and cherishing His body, the church, is based on how men should take care of their own bodies (Eph 5:29). c. There are no contradictions in scripture (see section II,1,A). ii. Furthermore, dismembering oneself is a work (Something that is or was done; what a person does or did; an act, deed, proceeding) and we are not saved by works (Tit 3:5) (see section II,7,A,i). iii. Taken literally, these verses would contradict Arminianism as well as the doctrine of sovereign grace. B. Based on the preceding points, Jesus was clearly speaking figuratively in Mat 5:29-30. i. Paul used very similar language when he spoke of mortifying sinful actions which he referred to as our members (Col 3:5). a. Mortify v. - 1. trans. To deprive of life; to kill, put to death. b. Member n. - 1. a. A part or organ of the body; chiefly, a limb or other separable portion (as opposed to the trunk). c. To pluck out an eye or cut off a hand would be to put that member of the body to death. d. The members that Paul was referring to were not the physical members of the body such as eyes and hands, but the sin which those physical members commit such as fornication, covetousness, etc. e. Jesus was speaking metaphorically by speaking of the sins that need cut off as the body members which commit them. C. Will one go to hell if he doesn't mortify his sinful actions? i. These words were spoken to Jesus' disciples (Mat 5:1-2). a. His disciples were those who left all and followed Him (Mat 4:18-22). b. His disciples already had eternal life when he uttered these words to them (Mat 19:27-29). c. Their eternal life could not be lost (Joh 10:27-28) (see section II,6). ii. Eternal salvation is not of works, but by grace alone (Tit 3:5) (see section II,7,A,i). iii. But someone who continues in sin indicates that they are not one of God's elect who have been saved by grace (Rom 6:1-2; Rom 3:8). iv. A corrupt tree is known by its evil fruit (Mat 7:15-20) and a reprobate is known by his evil works, and both will be burned (Rom 2:8-9). v. On the other hand, those who have eternal life are known by their good works (Rom 2:7,10). vi. Jesus was therefore speaking evidentially, not causally; those who mortify their sin show the evidence that they will enter into life (Mat 18:8-9), but those who don't mortify their sin show evidence that they have hell awaiting them. vii. There is no sin that is worth holding on to - as important as our eyes and hands are to us, it would be better to cut them off and live without them than to keep them and go to hell. viii. It's better to deny yourself and your sinful pleasures now and have the assurance that you are a child of God with eternal life than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and have the prospect of hell awaiting you. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace