Election: A Glorious Truth for all Christians

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Dec 14, 2009.

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  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    Election
    A Glorious Truth for all Christians


    Election is a topic that is (choose one):

    1. Tiresome.
    2. Unbiblical.
    3. Difficult.
    4. An in-house debate.
    5. All of the above.
    6. None of the above.

    Maybe you chose more than one. My view on this has gone through several of these responses. Perhaps your's has too. Mostly the whole teaching - especially when framed as a debate against free-will - seemed to be a tiresome and fruitless agitation among otherwise rational and gentle Christians. A doctrinal minor that has been promoted to an irksome major among those who dearly love debates, who love generating more heat than light.

    But then I noticed something - the Bible's testimony on election.

    Far from being just a source of fruitless argument, this topic of God's sovereignty and our election, is something that Bible writers allude to often. Consider, for instance, 1 Thess. 1:4:

    "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God."

    In Paul's very first epistle he puts election front and center. He did not believe - as many do today - that this topic should be an "in-house debate", or that it is for mature Christians only to look into, or - even less - that it is one of those "secret things" of Deut.29:29 that belong to God and not to us. A careful study of the Bible shows, rather, that it is one of those things (as Deut 29:29 goes on to speak of) that "belongs to us". Not an in-house debate at all, but the very foundation of our house! Do a study of this word (EKLEKTOS, "elect"; EKLOGE, "election"), especially in the Epistles, and see if what I say isn't true.

    To know this, to be really sure of our own election - something the Bible commands for us, 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Cor.13:5 - marvellously strengthens our walk with God. When I finally realized - and truly, wholeheartedly embraced the wonderful truth of God's election of me personally it was a real spiritual shot in the arm - in the heart, rather. A cordial medicine. So far from being a badge of smugness and pride - as Calvinists are often mischaracterized as thinking of themselves, it is very humbling. It is also very assuring and a great foundation for lifelong victory in Christ - Peter's very point (read the rest of 1 Peter 1).

    Christian, did you know that you are elect? If your faith is in Christ, if you are a new creature in him, it is because God chose it to be so. He chose you! There were no prerequisites to His choosing, no foreseen response on your part - all of those come out from, and after, election. You were not pre-qualified, pre-disposed, pre-anything - except predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, Rom. 8:29.

    What a glorious truth! Knowing such a thing ought to humble us and make us thankful each and every day of our life!
     
  2. kyredneck

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    Amen! What a glorious truth it is! Your post makes me think of one of my favorites:

    How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said,
    You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

    In every condition, in sickness, in health;
    In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
    At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
    As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

    Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
    Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

    When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
    For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

    When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

    Even down to old age all My people shall prove
    My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
    And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
    Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

    The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
    I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I agree. Even us non-Calvinists can rejoice and be thankful and humbled in God's election before the foundation of the world.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

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    Amen. Christians everywhere should rejoice in this biblical doctrine that is all about the glorious grace of our great God!
     
  5. OldRegular

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    The Doctrine of Election is a most glorious doctrine because it magnifies the Grace of God. Moreover, the truth of election is that if God in His Sovereign purpose had not chosen, before the foundation of the world, some to Salvation in Jesus Christ no one would be saved.
     
  6. Soulman

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    I reconcile election with forknowledge. I mean, if God chose us from before the foundations of the world was it because He exists outside of time and saw our choice? Jesus was the second Adam right? Adam had a choice to disobey or not right? Jesus came to restore man to our origional state. Doesn't that mean that as Adam had a choice that we do also??
     
  7. Paul3144

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    Amen! While all Christians believe in election, I don't think we can know for sure the basis of God's choice.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    The basis ?
    Try Titus 3:5, for one.
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    And if God had not exercised His Sovereign right to choose whom He wants, without any reason other than mercy, there will be no Christ to come in the flesh, and the blood will never be shed.
     
  10. Paul3144

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    Why's that? Please don't take this as rude; that's not my intent, but I'm not following your logic.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Simply because all will be left to face God's wrath, all will be left to their reprobation, and will remain hocked to Satan and owned by him, slaves to sin and Satan, and therefrom were God's people redeemed.

    Do you honestly believe a rebellious mankind is worth redeeming by a Holy and Offended God, had not been for His mercy to those whom He chose in Christ before all that mess happened ?

    He knew Adam and Eve will fall, and He knew He will have to send His own Son to redeem those to whom He chose to be merciful, and the Great One in Three covenanted among themselves, no input at all from the fallen creatures, to save His people: the Father chose, the Son redeemed, the Spirit regenerated. All God's work, none from the sinner, all glory to God alone.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    He who has the power and authority to give redemption gets the credit regardless of what He requires as a response.
     
  13. Paul3144

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    Don't we agree that God has perfect foreknowledge of all things, including those who will come to saving faith in Him? You've said nothing that precludes election based on foreseen faith. I'm not saying that's how it happened, but there's no reason why it couldn't have.
     
  14. Robert Snow

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    I've always felt that God's election are those who choose to respond to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm sure no Calvanist will agree, but that's how I see it.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    That is not Sovereign Election, that is man electing himself!
     
  16. OldRegular

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  17. Winman

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    Yes. I've already spent months arguing with Calvinists, and really do not feel like going through it again. I will submit just one verse that shows God has not pre-determined who would believe and who would not.

    Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

    This verse clearly shows that man is not locked in. A man who does not believe today can turn and trust in Christ tomorrow. It has not been predetermined.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    That is not Sovereign Election by God; that it is man electing himself. Man is in bondage to sin and Satan and cannot of his own will [which by the way is not free] come to Jesus Christ for Salvation. The Apostle John is very clear on this in his account of the ministry of Jesus Christ as is the Apostle Paul in Ephesians and Romans.
     
  19. Paul3144

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    No, it's God doing the electing on the basis of His foreknowledge.
     
  20. OldRegular

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    Winman

    Every person who ever believed at one time did not believe. What caused those who believe to change from unbelief to belief. It was regeneration by the Holy Spirit followed by the Gift of Saving Faith. As the earthly brother of our Savior, James, teaches:

    James1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    Certainly Salvation is a good and perfect gift.

    The Apostle Paul asks us:

    1 Corinthians 4:7. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    So what made you different Winman that you went from unbelief to belief while others remain in unbelief?
     
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