Corporate Election

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Van, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Van

    Van
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    First lets define “corporate” election as God making a choice to deal with a group of people according to His purpose. Thus, whoever is “in the sphere” of His choice is chosen, and therefore anyone who enters that sphere becomes chosen or elect. The concept does not include a specific way to enter that sphere, so it is consistent with the Arminian idea that when a person sincerely puts their trust in Christ, they enter that sphere and become “elect” but corporate election does not preclude denial of human choice as the means of entry. The means must be an additional stipulation.

    Secondly, it is a false dichotomy to say if God does sometimes choose to deal with a group for some purpose, that means He does not ever choose individuals for some related purpose. Corporate election does not require the denial of individual election, and individual election does not require the denial of corporate election.

    As we wade into the subject of corporate election, our first question might be, do we see in the Bible the notion of corporate election or individual election. The answer is both. As Dr. Daniel B. Wallace wrote, “Individual and corporate perspectives are intertwined in Paul.”

    Next, to paraphrase Dr. Wallace, “whether individual or corporate election is in view, the election is initiated by God and effected by God. Those who are chosen become what they were chosen for.” Judas was chosen to fulfill the betrayer prophecy, and that is what he became.

    Next can there be corporate election without first being individual election? The answer to this depends on how one understands the question. For example Abraham was chosen and then within his descendents the line leading to Christ was promised, the world being blessed through Abraham’s seed. So this would be an example of an individual election resulting in a corporate election. On the other hand God might choose to order the destruction of a people who are in the way of God’s people from fulfilling His purpose. So the answer is there can be corporate elections that are the consequence of individual elections, and there can be corporate elections not as a consequence of an election of some individual from the group.

    Which brings us to the crux of the matter, are we chosen corporately to salvation or individually to salvation? Dr. Wallace again correctly pointed out that Romans 8:33 clearly addresses charges being brought against individuals, saying if they are elect, no charge can be brought. Why not? Because they were chosen by God to salvation, and no plan of God can be thwarted. If all has been forgiven by God, no lesser entity can bring any charge. If you have a Presidential pardon, no state governor can charge you with the pardoned crime. Secondly, and this point was definitely not made by Dr. Wallace, if a person was chosen to salvation, they would be elect, but if they had not been saved, then a charge could be brought against them. Thus this verse requires that election to salvation and salvation go hand in hand with no delay between the two.

    And if as required by Romans 8:33, there is no delay, when are we chosen? Since many verses clearly teach before we were chosen, we were sinners; our individual election to salvation has to occur during our physical lifetime. In 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 we see God chose what the world saw as weak and foolish, requiring those chosen to be in and therefore known by the world. Second Thessalonians 2:13 says we are chosen through belief in the truth, requiring that we were alive and believing in Jesus when we were chosen. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says once we were not a people but now we are a people, requiring that we lived before becoming part of God’s chosen people, and also once we had not received mercy but now we have received mercy, again requiring that we lived without receiving mercy, and then we received mercy. Lastly we have God choosing the poor of this world, again requiring people being chosen while living, James 2:5.

    In summary, when God chose Christ to be His Redeemer, that was an individual election that resulted in a corporate election, everyone subsequently redeemed was chosen in Him, as the target group of His redemption plan, thus He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world corporately, but we enter that sphere when God individually credits our faith as righteousness and places us spiritually in Christ, the sanctification by the Spirit, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 being our individual election to salvation.
     
  2. Van

    Van
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    It would seem Romans 8:33 teaches we had not been chosen before we lived without mercy, by nature children of wrath. Plenty of charges can rightly be applied to us before we were washed with His blood. There, individual election occurs during our lifetime, but once individually placed in Christ, we enjoy the blessings of being chosen corporately before creation, thus His purpose and grace was granted us from all eternity.
     
  3. Van

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    Ephesians 1:4 contains the phrase, "chose us in Him." What is the idea being expressed? Could we already be "in Him" before being created? No. Could, when God chose Him as Redeemer, His Lamb, some consequential action be in view? Yes. When God chose His Redeemer, He chose corporately all those His Redeemer would redeem. Thus we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world corporately.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    Individual election for salvation is through the sanctification by the Spirit. God, using the agency of the Holy Spirit, sets us apart by baptizing us into Christ. Since no one could be baptized into His death, before He died on the cross as the Lamb of God, no one was set apart in Christ individually before Christ died.
     
  5. Van

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    When are we enrolled in heaven? When God puts us in Christ. For only when we are in Christ do we become part of the general assembly. Hebrews 12:22-23
     
  6. Van

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    Individual election to salvation during our lifetime is the teaching of scripture, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 2 Timothy 2:13, but individual election to salvation before creation is false doctrine.

    Salvation has always been by grace through faith. John Calvin was wrong when he rejected this truth when he invented the doctrine that salvation is by grace through unconditional election.

    Grace can be understood as God granting mercy to those who deserve justice. Thus our faith does not merit salvation for if by grace through faith, we deserve justice not salvation, but God credits our faith, as depraved as it may be, as righteousness, giving us the right to become children of God.

    James 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 both clearly show God choosing existing people based on their characteristics for salvation, therefore unconditional election to salvation is false doctrine.

    Paul clearly teaches salvation by grace through faith is not salvation by good works. RT mistakenly asserts if the faith is ours, then our salvation is merited. But it is God who credits our faith as righteousness, so the merit is bestowed by God, not by our faith.

    Since God chooses those who love him, and faith comes before regeneration the assertion that no one can love Christ before initial salvation is false doctrine.

    Only Christ was individually chosen by God before creation, but everyone saved is individually chosen during their physical lifetime when God accepts their faith in Christ and credits it as righteousness.

    Scripture offers a seeming paradox concerning fear of the Lord, but the solution is that fear is used in two different ways. We are to fear God, which means to treat Him with deference, with reverence and obedience. And we are not to fear anyone else, not other gods, or men. So when scripture says love tosses out fear, the idea is when we love God, we do not fear his wrath, but at the same time we still fear (venerate) God and obey Him.

    Our pre-salvation faith can never save us, because it is God alone who saves us, but our pre-salvation faith provides our access to God's saving grace, Romans 5:2.

    Every poster is expressing his or her opinion, and so when someone flames another, the flame is his or her opinion. To state that anyone's posts are opinions is simply stating the obvious, a waste of words. To state an opinion concerning what the bible says without providing support by expositing referenced scriptures does not carry much weight, but with the scriptures provided which demonstrate the validity of the position, the stated opinion becomes profitable for instruction and rebuke.

    If scripture indicates that all men do not suffer from total spiritual inability, does that indicate that some men do not suffer from total spiritual inability? No. There is a vast range of conditions between all and none, and it is in this range where we find the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 13:1-23. Some men cannot hear the gospel, but others hear it and respond to it in various ways. Some commit to Christ superficially, and others fail to turn away from the treasures of this world, whether possessions or relationships, but still others fully commit and are saved by grace through faith. And these who are placed spiritually in Christ, abide in Christ and Christ in them, and they produce much fruit.

    God's revelations, through others, through His word, or through the guidance of our indwelt Holy Spirit are forms of revealing grace which can be accepted or rejected. But when God chooses us, because He has accepted our faith and has credited it as righteousness, He alone places us spiritually in Christ, and this grace cannot be undone, once saved, always saved.

    And finally conditional election as described in James 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 does not quite mesh with the Arminian view of condition election before creation, but it is biblical, and not the mistaken doctrine of Calvinism
     
    #6 Van, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2013

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