You said: “I am reading a recommended book called Systematic Theology 2 and 3 written by Dr. Norman Geisler. Do you know of it?”
I know of Dr. Geisler, and have read sections of his Systematic Theology. I've enjoyed his book on skepticism.
You said: “His all-goodness: I am sure some say his goodness is an attribute and love is an act of his goodness. But 1 John 4:16 says GOD IS LOVE and that term applies to his essence. The definition of love is willing the good of its object. So the term used for God's love is omnibenevolence, means all-good. So if God is omnibenevolent and whatever he is he is completely, then God is unlimited goodness. Granted that love is a characteristic of God , he must be all-loving. To change that would be to imply God has parts. Then we would destroy God's essence.”
God is certainly a loving God, but this is not His only attribute. God is also described as holy. In fact, “holy” is the most common adjective describing God in the Bible. God is “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6). However, the numerous times God is described as “holy” does not mean God is more holy than He is loving. No, God is both holy and loving. This does not divide God up into “parts,” as if to say that God cannot have more than one attribute.
You said: “So God cannot choose (which implies less then ALL) to have special love for some and not others. That would be a contradiction of his very own character.”
I’m glad you have clearly stated your presupposition that God lacks the ability to choose to give His special love to some.
Romans 9:10-13 defends God’s right and ability to love whom He wills: “10And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." 13Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."”
Paul uses Isaac’s children, Jacob and Esau, as his example. Before the twins were born, before they had done any good or bad works, God chose to love Jacob and hate Esau. God’s choice was not based on their works, but solely according to His own purpose. God did not have to choose to love either of the twins. But God decided to be merciful upon Jacob (notice the next few verses in the passage).
So when you say that God cannot choose to love some and not others, doesn’t this contradict Paul’s argument in Romans 9?
You said: “No, we don't deserve anything of GOD. Including his all-loving character. He offers his love because He is love and no other reason, not because of anything we do or didn't do.”
I’m glad we agree on this =).
When I asked if all people receive God’s special love, what I meant was: “Does God give His special love to all people?” You answered this above by stating your presupposition that God is incapable of not loving everyone equally.
You said: “I read the words form Ephesians 2:1 and 2:5. I do not believe I can change myself alive spiritually.”
Again, I am glad we agree that spiritually dead people cannot raise themselves to spiritual life.
Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus. He describes their unconverted state as “dead in trespasses and sins.” Unconverted men are “dead,” that is, they cannot make positive steps towards God. Dead men have no spiritual understanding, and cannot believe. This is why the Apostle says in verse 5 of this chapter: “5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
We were dead, and God made us alive.
You said: “Can sinners dead in sin repent or believe? It depends on how you define dead. If you mean dead as in a corpse(physically dead) then they can not respond to anything because they are in a morge, they have no life in them. But if you mean dead(spiritually dead) as in seperated from God, then due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit one can answer the call and receive the gift of salvation.”
Yes, I was referring to the “dead in trespasses and sins” that Paul uses in Ephesians 2 … spiritually dead. All people are born dead to the things of God. They cannot make themselves alive. They cannot choose to make themselves alive, because spiritually dead people cannot make positive spiritual choices towards God.
You said: “I don't get Deut. 29:29 and its relation to this subject but isn't that about Moses asking the Israelites to recommit their obedience to the law of God? I guess you can explain this to me and how it applies to Gods special love.”
Moses’ wrote that there are secrets only God knows, and there are things He has revealed to us. When you asked me how one can be sure if God has predestined you to be one of His elect, I cited Deuteronomy 29:29 because God has not revealed to us who He predestined. That is secret knowledge. I challenged you to examine yourself and see if you have repented and believed. If so, then you have reasonable assurance of your salvation. If not, then you should beg God to have mercy on you, a sinner.
Thanks Dee, I look forward to your response,