Election before Time?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Van, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Reformed Theology makes two assertions concerning their doctrine of Election before Time, first that God chose a particular number of foreseen individuals before creation to be the recipients of His salvation, and two, God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, but not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals.

    These assertions are mistaken teachings. But what are the actual teachings concerning election found in the Bible?

    First, Election is a sound doctrine, and so the argument that the Bible does not teach election is also a false teaching. However, to support or refute the Reformed Theology premise of Unconditional Election unto Salvation before time, passages that address God’s election of groups or individuals for other purposes are not best evidence.

    Second, an Election taught in scripture is the Old Covenant election of Israel, a corporate election, and while this election is a valid teaching, it is not the only election taught in scripture.

    And the third misconstrued view of election is that God elected foreseen individuals based on their foreseen faith.

    This also misses the mark, but it does not miss the mark because God Almighty is unwilling to enter into covenants with men. God tells us what He desires, and tells us the consequence if we obey or if we disobey. This does not make God’s plans and actions the result of our actions, but rather God’s actions toward us no matter if we obey or disobey are consistent with God’s purpose and plan. He sets before us a choice between life and death, and exhorts us to choose life. No, the premise misses the mark because God chooses us individually after we have lived without mercy, after we have lived not as a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9-10), so God’s individual election is based on accepting our existing faith (Romans 4:4-5), not foreseen faith.

    Before we delve into the biblical support for the Reformed doctrine of Unconditional Election before time, let’s pause and identify the scriptural references to Election doctrine of all kinds. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word (transliterated) “bahiyr” appears 13 times. Here are the references:

    2 Samuel 21:6 uses the term to identify King Saul as God’s “chosen one.” This election is of an individual but not unto salvation in accordance with the New Covenant.

    1 Chronicles 16:13 uses the term to identify the seeds or descendents of Jacob as His “chosen ones.” This election is the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 89:3 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 105:6 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 105:43 uses the term to identify the corporate election of those He brought out of Egypt, “His chosen ones.”

    Psalm 106:5 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 106:23 uses the term to identify Moses as God’s “chosen one,” and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 42:1 uses the term to identify God’s Servant, and according to Matthew 12:15-21 is a reference to Christ Jesus.

    Isaiah 43:20 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 45:4 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:9 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:15 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:22 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    In summary, the Old Testament Election’s provide illustrations of God choosing individuals according to His purpose and choosing the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as His chosen nation. But most important, Isaiah 42:1 refers to Christ as God’s chosen One, and thus refers to His election before time.

    However election in accordance with the New Covenant is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, so lets look at some of these verses.

    Psalm 65:4 says some are blessed because they are chosen by God to be brought near to God, and to dwell in God’s courts. This certainly mirrors the idea of being spiritually placed “in Christ” and thus receiving the blessings of being “in Christ” which include spiritually being in God’s heavenly places (courts) and being made alive together with Christ (brought near).

    Jeremiah 31:31 says God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. These “houses’ are made up of individuals who believe in God and believe in God’s promises, and so the New Covenant is with individual believers. Paul teaches in Galatians chapter 3 that even Gentile believers that belong to Christ become “in Christ” children of the promise .

    Turning now to the New Testament, the Greek words (transliterated) “ekleklos” and “ekloge” appear a total of 30 times and are translated “chosen,” “elect” or “election.”

    Matthew 22:14 uses the term to identify that while many are called or invited, few are “chosen.” The idea is that while some might be willing to come to Christ based on hearing the invite, not everyone is “chosen” because not everyone’s heart fully trusts in Christ.

    Matthew 24:22 uses the term to identify that the tribulation of end times will be cut short for the sake of those chosen by God who are alive at the time.

    Matthew 24:24 uses the term to identify during end times, false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders sufficient to deceive even the “elect” living at the time, if possible.

    Matthew 24:31 uses the term to identify that at Christ’s second coming, His angels will gather the “elect” from wherever they are. Thus the “elect” of the New Covenant belong to Christ.

    Mark 13:20, 22 and 27 mirror the Matthew 24 usages.

    Luke 18:7 uses the term to identify that God will give justice to His “elect” who cry to Him day and night. The idea here is that after we are in Christ, Christ intercedes for us, and thus we can confidently approach the throne of grace.

    Luke 23:35 uses the term to identify that Jesus is the “Chosen One” of God, the Christ.

    Acts 9:15 uses the term to identify that Paul was God’s “chosen” instrument to bear His name before Gentiles, Kings, and the sons of Israel.

    Romans 8:33 uses the term to identify that the “elect” are “in Christ” and therefore holy and blameless, so that no charge can be brought because we are justified by God Almighty.

    Romans 11:5 uses the term to identify that a remnant has come to be according to God’s gracious choice, indicating that the choice that produced the remnant occurred in the present.

    Romans 11:7 uses the term to identify that while the blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the Jews) were seeking to obtain the fulfillment of the promises of God, only those whose heart was committed to God were chosen and the rest hardened.

    Romans 16:13 uses the term to identify that Rufus was a choice man in the Lord, signifying not only that Rufus had been chosen and placed spiritually in the Lord, but also he was a faithful and diligent servant, thus a choice servant.

    Colossians 3:12 uses the term to identify that the Colossians had been chosen of God, and therefore as someone predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, they should put on a heart of compassion, humility and patience.

    1 Thessalonians 1:4 uses the term to identify that Paul knows that God chose them, because He personally witnessed their conversion. This verse is directly applicable to God’s election of individuals to salvation in accordance with the New Covenant.

    1 Timothy 5:21 uses the term to identify that angels affiliated with Christ, the Chosen One, are referred to as chosen angels.

    2 Timothy 2:10 uses the term to identify that Paul endures all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it, eternal glory. The idea here is that Paul plants and waters, enduring all sorts of hardships, for the sake of those whose faith, nurtured by Paul, God accepts and credits as righteousness for the purpose of salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus.

    (Continued in next post)
     
  2. Van

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    (Continued from prior post)

    Titus 1:1 uses the term to identify that Paul is a bondservant of Christ because his ministry is for the faith of those chosen by God.

    1 Peter 1:1 uses the term to identify that the people living at the time had been chosen by God according to His foreknown plan by means of being set apart by the Holy Spirit, after having believed in Christ, who is called Truth.

    1 Peter 1:20 uses the term to identify that Jesus was chosen as the Christ before the foundation of the world, and therefore God has known this from before the foundation of the world.

    1 Peter 2:4 uses the term to identify that Jesus is choice and precious in the sight of God. Paul’s description of Rufus mirrors this usage by Peter concerning Christ.

    1 Peter 2:9 uses the term to identify that we were once not a chosen people, and therefore we once lived without mercy, but now we are God’s chosen people, and we have obtained mercy.

    2 John 1:1uses the term to identify that either a particular lady, or figuratively the local church being addressed was chosen by God.

    2 John 1:13 uses the term to identify that either another lady with John or figuratively the local church with which John was fellowshipping at the time of writing

    Revelation 17:14 uses the term to identify that those gathered by Christ at His second coming are the called and chosen and faithful, clearly indicating born again believers were first invited, then chosen based on responding to the invitation, then faithful serve our Lord, demonstrating our faith by our works.

    Now, having provided snippets of the passages that address God’s election according to the New Covenant, lets revisit the Reformed Theology false premises, (1) that God elected before the foundation of the world, a particular group of foreseen individuals, and (2) God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, and not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals.

    Because of limited time, lets just review some of the supposed support for these false teachings. Firstly does Psalm 65:4 address when God chooses individuals and causes them to be united with Him? No. Does Jeremiah 1:5 say when Jeremiah was chosen? Yes, before God formed him in the womb. Does this point toward before conception or simply during the 9-month period of going from an unformed but fertilized human egg, to a full term baby ready to be born? Because of the parallel construction of Jeremiah 1:5, with the second clause pointing to the period of development, the period of development is the most sound exegetical position. Thus this verse does not support individual election before the foundation of the world.

    Next does Acts 13:48 say that God foreordained His chosen ones to believe the gospel? Nope. It says that when the Gentiles heard that the promise of salvation was for them and not just for the Jews, they rejoiced and accepted Paul’s presentation of the gospel, and submitted to his direction, and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. Thus the phrase appointed to eternal life refers to the Gentiles agreeing to the conditions laid out by Paul, and thus they were appointed to eternal life. Compare with the contrasting verse, Acts 13:46. Note that the Jews were not appointed because they rejected the gospel, but the Gentiles were appointed because they accepted the conditions laid out for eternal life, and therefore they believed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Next does Ephesians 1:4-5 say that God chose us as foreseen individuals before the foundation of the world? Nope. It says that among the spiritual blessings given to us who are “in Christ” is the grace granted us “in Christ” that comes from the Word being chosen as the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. Thus, when we are spiritually “in Christ” we share in His election. Therefore “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” because the redeemed were chosen corporately as a consequence of Christ being chosen as Redeemer.

    And finally does 2 Thessalonians 2:13 support the idea that we were chosen individually before the foundation of the world? Nope, it says we were chosen from the beginning, and therefore even if the “beginning” has the creation week in view, rather than the inauguration of the New Covenant, which is what the “beginning” actually refers to, it still nullifies the idea we were chosen individually before the foundation of the world or before the beginning, or from all eternity.

    Were the names written in the Lamb’s book of life written in simultaneously with God decreeing His chosen ones before the foundation of the world? Nope, Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 say names were not entered (implying the names of the chosen were entered) from the foundation of the world which refers to the period starting with the creation week of Genesis 1, and extending to the end of the ages of Revelation 20.

    In summary, the very passages used to support election of foreseen individuals before the foundation of the world, either do not address the timing, or are equivocal, such that an alternate understanding of the passages is equally as logical, or in the case of the last three, actually demonstrate that the premise is invalid.

    Turning now to the second false premise, that God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, but not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals, lets review the supposed supporting passages.

    Does Romans 9:10-13 support being chosen before the foundation of the world, or being chosen as less than fully formed children existing in Rebekah’s womb? The most sound inference is that they were chosen as existent pre-born children, see verse 10. Were they chosen according to the New Covenant for salvation? Nope. The fallacy of trying to support the Reformed Theology premise of Unconditional Election before time with this passage is the fallacy of proving “A” (chosen without regard to their characteristics or beliefs) and then asserting “B” has been proven (that God chooses those He puts spiritually “in Christ” also without regard to their faith or love of God.) And while the babies had done nothing good or bad, the choice was based on the age characteristic so the older would serve the younger. Also note that God’s choosing of Jacob for one purpose, and His choosing of Esau for another purpose demonstrates that it is satisfying God’s purpose that dictates His choice according to His pleasure, and so if God desires to have mercy on those who love Him, “God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls.”

    Thus we are chosen by God, and we do not elect ourselves to eternal glory. We obtain mercy according to God’s gracious choice, and not by our will or works, Romans 9:16. But God can have mercy on whom He has mercy including those who believe in His Son with all their heart.

    And so, at the end of the day, the biblical support offered for the two false premises of Reformed Theology, actually demonstrate both premises are invalid. The Election of Ephesians 1:4 refers to our corporate election before time, as a consequence of God choosing His Redeemer before time, thus we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. On the other hand, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 teaches we were chosen individually during our lifetime by God setting us apart in Christ, the sanctification by the Spirit, and making His election based on Him crediting our faith as righteousness, thus through faith in the truth.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    Thank you so much for explaining as a created being the inner workings of the Creator.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    Thanks but the explaining is all done by God through His word, I just referenced His revelation. We are not only to study His word, but we are to reason together for steel sharpens steel.
     
  5. BaptistJG

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    Good read, Ill have to give it a once over a few more times.

    just to clarify your closing statement of:

    -Please forgive what is probably going to be poor wording -

    If I said 'our faith is the choice to receive our elected nature in Christ to be called righteous (which is not us taking credit for salvation just as we dont thank ourselves for when we see a Dr. to fix us from sickness, but rather accepting the internal surgery we need), does that agree with your above statement?
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    Hi BaptistJG, thanks for trying to decipher my view of Election.

    Our faith is more than just our choice to accept or receive the gospel of Christ. The finished product, what we made our own, what we believe from our heart, is in view. It is God who credits our faith, as flawed as it may be, as righteousness or not. Those in Matthew 7 who said, Lord, Lord were not set apart through faith in the truth, for Jesus said, I never knew you, meaning you were never given to me, set apart in Me.

    Referring to "our elected nature" I assume you mean our born again nature, after we are put spiritually "in Christ" undergo the circumcision of Christ, and arise in Christ a new creation.

    So we do not decide to "receive" our elected nature, we decide to believe and follow Christ with all our heart, mind and sole. Whether or not God accepts our flawed faith is up to Him. Romans 9:16, it does not depend on the man that wills or the man that runs (i.e. does works) but on God who has mercy upon whom He chooses.

    1) Yes we must come to the realization that we are sinners, condemned to Hades and Gehenna.

    2) Yes we must come to the realization that nothing we can do, can save us, all our works of righteousness are as filthy rags.

    3) Yes we must believe in God and His justice before we can believe in Christ Jesus as our means of reconciliation with God.

    4) Yes we must humble ourselves before our Lord and Savior, knowing we are wretched sinners worthy of damnation, seeking God's mercy through trust and not works, in Christ Jesus.

    If we do, God is faithful to keep His word and keep His promise to those who love Him, James 2:5.
     
  7. BaptistJG

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    So, you would you state that there are some who genuinely serve God and put their Faith in Him that wont be saved?

    Isnt that still kind of Calvinistic though, you mentioned in your first post that you disagree with reformed theology so Im confused.

    Just getting in all straight in my brain

    all the best!
    Jordan
     
  8. webdog

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    The entire 'before creation' idea is a fallacy in itself, as with creation came time. Nothing can occur 'before' the advent of time, meaning 'before the foundation of the world' is by default not literal.
     
  9. Winman

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    This is where Van and I disagree. I believe that anyone who believes on Jesus is saved, therefore the thorny soil and the rocky soil in Luke 8 is saved, only they produce no fruit. They will be saved, so as by fire. (1 Cor 3:15).

    The problem arises over the definition of the word "believe". You can "believe" in Jesus, that is, you can believe he is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose from the dead, but that is not the same as "believing ON Jesus", that is, to depend or rely on Jesus to save you.

    The persons in Matthew 7 believed in Jesus as the Son of God, they called him "Lord, Lord", but they trusted in their own works to merit salvation.

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    These people are not athiests, they believe Jesus is the Son of God. But they are depending on their own works, notice how they boasted that they prophesied in Jesus's name, cast out devils in his name, and did many WONDERFUL WORKS in his name.

    These are Lordship Salvationists if ever there was one.

    But to believe on Jesus means to depend on him entirely and only to save you, like the poor publican.

    Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    The Pharisee was not an athiest, he sincerely believed in God, but he trusted in his own righteousness to merit salvation.

    The publican made no such claims, but confessed he was a sinner and cast himself upon God's mercy. He depended on God and God alone to save him. This is saving faith, this is what it means to believe on Jesus.

    Anybody who comes to Jesus in their heart for salvation will be saved, and no person cast out for any reason (Jhn 6:37). Trust in Jesus ALONE.
     
  10. HankD

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    God created time so that everything would not happen all at once.

    I believe the only thing we can understand with any depth concerning our "election" is:

    Ephesians 1
    9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
    10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

    HankD

     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Yes Confused Doctrine causes Confusion

    1) I would guess that there are some who believe they are serving Jesus, like those of Matthew 7:21-23. But Paul tells us when we consider if we are of the faith, that our own hearts will convict us. Jesus does not want part of us, He does not want hypocrites, or folks who are white-washed on the outside but out for themselves on the inside.

    2) God sets the standard of acceptance, and it is not having all our ducks in a row theologically, it is having a love for Christ and a love for the lost in our hearts. Remember the story of Peter and Jesus in John Chapter 21. Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agape=sacrificial love) Him, and Peter answers I love (philo=affectionate brotherly love). Jesus asks Peter again and gets the same answer, falling short of the high standard. But then, when Christ asks Peter for the third time, He says, "Do you love (philo) Me? Feed my sheep. We do not start out willing to put our hands out and go where we do not want to go (die upside down on a cross) but with the love of Christ in our hearts, all we can muster, Jesus will take us and begin a good work in us.

    3) Your view sounds Calvinistic? Yes, but it is biblical. The TULI of the TULIP are mistaken doctrines. But on the other hand automatic salvation when we profess Christ is also a mistaken doctrine. We do not put ourselves in Christ based on us believing to whatever degree we do; it is God who credits our faith as righteousness or not, for He knows our hearts. Romans 4:4-5,24. God chooses us for salvation through faith in the truth. It is His action based on His assessment. 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    webdog


    This is a falsehood and contradicts several key verses and teaching.

    Your statement as written is not according to reality.As God always was and is...I would say that your statement needs some work.You do not know any time frame for angelic creation which was before the fall.
    Jl Dagg:
    (2) Election and eternal purpose or choice, on God's part. Another important fact to be shown is the eternity of election in opposition to the idea that it was in time. The proof on this point is two fold. There are passages which show that the election took place before existence in this world or before the world began, and there are those which actually declare that it was eternal. Between the two classes of passages there is really, however, very little difference, as from the nature of the case, what took place before time must have been in eternity, and besides, the object of proof of an eternal election is simply to show that it was not dependent on human action, but simply on the will of God alone.
    That God had a plan and purpose should not be described as ..nothing can occur????
     
    #12 Iconoclast, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2013
  13. BaptistJG

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    If this be the case though, Couldn't someone feel like they are saved though, and live in sin still.. You hear it all the time when you watch Way of the master vids. That statement just sounds a bit sketchy. especially since the hear is deceitful and wicked above all things.

    Ok so then this wouldn't be election then as you stated in your first post, this would be a coming to Love Christ and the things that He loves. Right?

    Again though sir, you mentioned in your OP about election Pre-Time. That sounds like Limited atonement

    In your opinoin How does someone have assurance they are saved then? if we cant use a profession that we have "put our hope and trust in Christ" as a way to say that we are saved, How does one KNOW and sleep easy at night knowing they are saved.
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Van
    Not really....you put your own novelties as superimposed over the texts....
    for example...

    So very wrong in two different ways...wrong view of God,wrong view of man.

    Nope...still wrong on both counts

    completely backwards and anti scriptural

    If you are trying to purpose to get it all wrong, you are on a roll.


    This is criminal to steal the true meaning of the verses away and replace them with......twaddle...is a BB crime.

    you guessed it...wrong again.....fiddlesticks:wavey:

    How can you expect anyone to take this seriously:confused::confused:


    God is .....unwilling to enter into covenants with man?????? Please stop!
     
  15. Van

    Van
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    Hi BaptistJG,

    1) Yes, the folks of Matthew 7:21-23 claimed to believe, yet practiced lawlessness. Pretty sure folks do not practice lawlessness without being aware they are not faithfully serving Christ. Paul's teachings are not sketchy, 2 Corinthians 13:5. The heart being deceitful speaks of us deceiving ourselves, i.e. right in our own eyes, but God's word is dynamic and cuts right through the bunk, do you love others like you love yourself. Do you love Christ more than anything. We know the answers. If you are not striving to be more Christ-like, it is not a good sign. :)

    2) You need to read not only the first post, but post #2 as well. The election before time, Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. It does not say whether this election was individual, i.e. of foreseen individuals, with or without foreseen faith, the Calvinism and Arminianism views, or corporate, the target group of God's redemption plan. Because our individual election for salvation occurs during our lifetime through faith in the truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, then the Ephesians 1:4 election must be corporate. Otherwise you have God choosing us individually twice. Not rational.

    3) Sorry but I cannot follow your reasoning to Limited Atonement. I assume you are talking about the "L" of the TULIP which is mistaken doctrine. Does God desire all men to be saved? Yes. Did Christ lay down His life as a ransom for all? Yes. Did Christ become the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world? Yes. Therefore Christ died for all men. The corporate election is not an individual election, thus it does not select some individuals for salvation and leave others out, i.e. a limited election. The target group is comprised of "whoever believes in Him." Thus when God chooses individuals during their lifetime and puts them in Christ, they (including us) are blessed to become part of the corporately elected group in Christ, the redeemed by the Redeemer. When God chose His Redeemer, His lamb of God, before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20) He corporately chose whoever His Redeemer would redeem, thus He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4.

    4) No we cannot use our profession, the second soil of Matthew 13:1-23 professed belief but fell away. When we give our testimony, we stress our "changed life." There should be a radical change, not in our outward behavior, but in what feels Christ-like inside. Do we want to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit or do we think it is ok to treat others with malice? Trust me, if you are really wheat, and not a tare, your life will change. God has started a good work in you. You will want to be caring, thoughtful, one who builds up the body of Christ, and not a blowhard tearing others down.

    5) Discipleship programs, and even a book on discipleship, are needed to ground you in sound doctrine. Something published and recommended by your Pastor. Remember this, Jesus does not judge you on whether you know the right doctrines, He judges you as a good and faithful servant by your love for the least of His.

    God Bless
     
    #15 Van, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2013
  16. Van

    Van
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    Folks, disregard post 14, it references no scripture, asserts the opposite of scripture and its last point completely misreads my post. Calvinists have nothing to support their mistaken doctrines, so they make general statements, like oh that is wrong. LOL
     
    #16 Van, Jun 22, 2013
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  17. BaptistJG

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    Hey Van,

    Thanks for your responses, Interesting read for sure. :)

    I agree with discipleship for sure!, It was something I enjoyed going through and something we encourage for new converts in the church.

    Thanks again for your time in your write ups.
     
  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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  19. Iconoclast

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    It is scripture you request....

    THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION


    By JAMES PETIGRU BOYCE

    (1827-1888)



    Founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville); president of the Southern Baptist Convention 1872 — 1879, 1888. Boyce is regarded as one of the outstanding Baptist theologians of the nineteenth century.


    THE CALVINISTIC THEORY



    1. THEORY STATED. The theory of Calvinists as to election is that God (not man) of His own purpose (in accordance with His will, and not from any obligation to man, nor because of any will of man), has from eternity (the period of God's action, not in time in which man acts), determined to save (not has actually saved, but simply determined so to do, and to save, not merely to confer gospel or church privileges upon) a definite number of mankind (not the whole race, nor indefinitely merely some of them, nor indefinitely a certain proportionate part; but a definite number), as individuals (not the whole or part of the race, nor of a nation, nor of a church, nor of a class, as of believers or the pious; but individuals), not for or because of any merit or work of theirs, nor of any value to Him of them (not for their good works, or their holiness, or excellence, or their faith, or their spiritual sanctification, although the choice is to a salvation attained through faith and sanctification; nor for their value to Him, though their salvation tends greatly to the manifested glory of His grace); but of His good pleasure (simply because He was pleased so to choose).



    An analysis of the foregoing statement will show that this theory holds as to election, that: (1) It is an act of God, and not in any sense the result of the choice of the elect. (2) It has been with God an eternal purpose. (3) It is an election to salvation, and not to outward privileges. (4) This election, or choice, is one of individuals and not of classes. (5) It was made without respect to the action or merits of the persons elected. (6) It was made simply according to God's own good pleasure.



    2. PROOF. Whether we should believe this doctrine or not depends entirely upon whether it is taught in the Scriptures. We have no other possible way of knowing anything upon the subject. We must therefore look to the Scriptures alone for the truth.



    Before proceeding, however, with the direct proof that the doctrine of election, as stated above, is taught in the Scriptures, it should be remarked that the words election and elect are used in the word of God in various senses. They sometimes signify a choice to office, whether made by man or God. Compare: Luke 16:13 (Christ's choice of the twelve apostles), Acts 1:21-26 (the selection of an apostle in the place of Judas), Acts 9:15 (Saul as a chosen vessel), I Peter 2:6-3 (Christ spoken of as the cornerstone, elect, precious, etc.). They sometimes signify the choice of Israel to their peculiar national privilege of being the chosen, or separated people of God: "The God of this people Israel chose our fathers" (Acts 13:17). Again they are used of a choice of salvation made by an individual: "Mary hath chosen the good part which shall not be taken from her" (Luke 10:42).



    But in a large majority of cases these words have reference to the choice of salvation either in the purpose of God or the act of choice by God.



    We will now take up the proof that the words are used in this last sense. Our aim will be to sustain, point by point, the doctrine of election as stated above.



    (1) Election an act of God, and not in any sense the result of the choice of the elect. The inquiry here is not an inquiry into the reason for the election, but simply as to the agent. The simple question now is, does God choose

    the elect? We are not concerned at this point whether it is of His own purpose, or because He foresees that they will believe, or for any other reason. The sole question now is: Is the election an act of God? The fact on this point would appear more clearly if we were to exchange the common word choice or chosen with the equivalent word elect. The following passages are sufficient, though the examples are far more numerous.



    John 13:18: "I know whom I have chosen."



    John 15:16: "Ye did not choose me but I chose you" (not to their offices as apostles but) "that ye should go and bear fruit."



    Rom. 8:33: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's chosen ones?"



    Rom. 9:15: "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy."



    Eph. 1:4: "Even as he chose us in him."



    Eph. 1:11: "Having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will."



    2 Thess. 2:13: "God chose you from the beginning unto salvation."



    (2) Election and eternal purpose or choice, on God's part. Another important fact to be shown is the eternity of election in opposition to the idea that it was in time. The proof on this point is two fold. There are passages which show that the election took place before existence in this world or before the world began, and there are those which actually declare that it was eternal. Between the two classes of passages there is really, however, very little difference, as from the nature of the case, what took place before time must have been in eternity, and besides, the object of proof of an eternal election is simply to show that it was not dependent on human action, but simply on the will of God alone.



    a. Those which show that the election took place before man's existence, or before the world began:



    Jer. 1:5: "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, and before thou earnest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee."



    Matt. 25:34: "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."



    Eph: 1:4: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world."



    2 Thess. 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks to God alway for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."



    Compare also the language used as to the names written in the Lamb's book of life.



    Rev. 13:8: "And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him (that is the beast), every one whose name has not been written in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world."



    Rev. 17:8: "And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast how that he was, and is not, and shall come."



    Referring to the adherents of the Lamb as persons "with him," it is said in verse 14, "They . . .that are with him are called and chosen and faithful."



    Rev. 21:27: "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."



    b. The passages which distinctly declare that this, which may be thus inferred to have been an eternal election, is really such:



    Eph. 3:11: "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."



    2 Tim. 1:9: "Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal."
     
    #19 Iconoclast, Jun 22, 2013
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  20. Iconoclast

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    here is some more....
    (3) Election to salvation, and not to mere external privileges. The next point to be proved is that this is an election to salvation, and not to mere external privileges. This is proved by such passages as the following:



    John 10:26-27: "Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."



    Rom. 8:28-30: "We know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose." Paul now proceeds to tell who these are. "For whom he foreknew he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren: and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."



    This passage shows that foreknowledge, foreordination to holiness, calling, justification, and a state of glory, are inseparably connected, and hence that the election from which they proceed is to salvation.



    Eph. 1:4-9: This passage speaks of our being chosen before the foundation of the world, "That we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved: in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him."



    2 Thess. 2:13: After referring to others who were to have the same outward privileges, but upon whom God would send Strong delusion, the apostle says in this verse, "For we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation" etc.



    I Peter 5:10: "The God of all grace who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ," etc.



    Here the apostle is speaking of that effectual calling, which is the result of election, and tells us that it is a call unto eternal glory.



    (4) An election of individuals and not of classes. This position needs to be explained. It is not denied that the elect that are to be true believers, and that true believers are the elect. The character of the elect does not, therefore, enter into this question. The issue is simply, does God choose all who shall believe? And are they as such His elect? Or, does He choose His elect, and will they, as such, believe? Is belief the result of God's election, or is God's election the result of man's faith? Upon this point the proof is very clear:



    Acts 13:48: "As many as were ordained to eternal life believed."



    This is a historical statement made subsequent to the event, not by man's knowledge, but by inspiration.



    Eph: 1:4, 5: "Even as he chose us in him . . . having foreordained us unto adoption as sons."



    2 Thess. 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks to God alway for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."



    Here the choice is made to salvation, and the means to salvation, sanctification and faith are indicated, no prerequisite or means being stated as to election. It is not as believers that they are elected, but as elected, that they are saved.



    Rom. 8:29: "Whom he foreknew he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son."



    The foreknowledge here is of persons, not of personal acts, not of those whose faith He foreknew, nor, as would be essential to their theory, is it of the class of believers as such. The Arminian theory would require the substitution of the words "as believers," or "you as believers," instead of those which are used.



    It is not, therefore, to the class of believers, but to individuals, that election refers. But, it may be asked, does it not refer to them in that character? Did not God choose those whose faith He foresaw? This will be fully answered before this discussion is closed.



    (5) Without respect to the action or merits of the persons elected. This is merely a negative form of the same fact stated by the next point affirmatively. It is better therefore, to unite this with the succeeding one, which is,



    (6) Simply according to God's own good pleasure. The last point to be noticed in this theory is that the election was made through the mere good pleasure of God. Of course it is not meant that God acted arbitrarily or capriciously in electing certain persons out of the universal ruin to make them objects of His special constraining grace. God never acts without good and sufficient reasons. And if God had seen fit to tell us why He chose some, with the purpose that whatever the rest might do, these at least should certainly be brought to salvation, we should, doubtless magnify and extol His wisdom in so electing. But He has not seen fit thus to explain. He has acted of His own sovereign will, according to His own good pleasure. One thing we do know, He has not made the election because of any action or merits of the persons elected. He has made it because, as sovereign, He had the right so to make it, and because, for reasons satisfactory to Himself, it was His good pleasure to do so.

    Several classes of passages may be cited in proof of this point. Some of these simply affirm a choice by God's sovereign will; others, while asserting this, also deny merit in those elected; and still others represent the fact of sovereignty by asserting a choice of such persons as would not ordinarily be chosen. The following are some of the passages which prove these points:



    a. Such as simply assert sovereign will. Such are Matt. 24:40-41 and Luke 17:33-36. These declare the sovereign choice of God by showing such choice exercised as to persons in the same situation, so that the one shall be taken and the other left; "two men on one bed"; "two women grinding at the mill"; "two men shall be in the field"; one of each shall be taken and the other left.



    John 3:3-8: Regeneration is here spoken of as essential to entrance into the kingdom of God. This precedes any act on which election is said by any to depend. Yet the sovereignty of God in this is declared in verse 8:



    "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit."



    John 6:37, 39, 44, 64, 65: "All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me . . . This is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing ... No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him . . . Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him. And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father."
     

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