Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A bit of a debate from ss class..

In our Sunday school class we have been talking about the 12 disciples. Today, we began to talk about Judas. You know, the one who betrayed Christ. Our teacher gave 4 possible scenarios as to what happened that caused Judas to betray Christ. One of the scenarios was that Judas was merely a pawn that God was using to fulfull prophecy. The other 3 scenarios involved Judas has being subject to free will only. This sparked a huge debate unlike I have ever seen before in this class. A few of the verses mentioned were John 15:16, Ps 41:9, Zach 11:12-13, Matt 27:9-10, John 6:63-64. We came close to discussing predestination, but of course, class time ran short. I am sure we will continue our discussion of Judas in the coming weeks. I am looking forward to more discussion and learning more. How do our poor choices factor in to God's plan? I personally feel that God uses our free will decisions, good or bad, and uses them to give himself glory at some point. I woul love to hear any thoughts on this subject, from my limited information, so I might have something interesting to take to the discussion next time! By the way, I totally agreed with my cousin Stephanie in every comment she made today in the discussion, and that does'nt happen every week;)


Steph said...

I was starting to smile at the nice compliment about agreeing with me today and then you smashed me like a bug on that last phrase...oh well, keeps me humble huh? And of course makes me wonder what you don't agree with me on...hmmm but that is for another day,

Sandy said...

another day, yes;)

Josh said...

The betrayal of Jesus by Judas, and the subsequent mock-trial and murder of the Lord, were sinful acts for which Judas, the religious leaders, Pilate, Herod, et al, will be punished. ("It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed.")

But then Isaiah 53:10 says, "Yet it was THE WILL OF THE LORD to crush him; HE has put him to grief." I take this to mean that God is sovereign, not just OVER our sin, but IN and THROUGH it. And his sovereign will is not fatalism - "what will be will be" - but comes in and through our choices.

Sovereignty is more than control (but not less). It's design. It's not just that God has a trump card for every situation, but that he has ordained what shall be. One of my profs at Moody says it this way: "God is sovereign and man is responsible." I think that's the right tension. God has ordained what shall be before the foundation of the world, yet our choices are real and we will be held accountable for them. We're not asked to undertand, but to believe it.

In my understanding there are two senses in which God wills things: There's his WILL OF COMMAND - his moral will (10 Commandments, Golden Rule, 1st and greatest commandment, the Gospel, etc.), this flows out of his very nature. There's also his WILL OF DECREE - what he decrees to actually happen. His decree includes the breaking of his commands (sin), yet God does not sin himself. You do this as parents. You may decide to bring your kids into a church service, which is a good plan. But the plan will certainly include struggles to help them learn how to behave, right? ("Don't talk. Sit up. Pay attention. Two swats when we get home!") Does that mean you've sinned by bringing them to the service? I don't think so.

So was it God's will before the world began that Judas betray Jesus? No (according to his will of command) and Yes (according to his will of decree).