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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 27, 2010.
Often terms are thrown around and never defined. What is your working definition of 'election? '
How about this...
All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
Thanks FOS. You gave us much to consider. I will mull it over as I work tomorrow. Thanks!
Thanks, but not my work.
The first is from the Westminster Confession. The second is from the London Confession. Interesting as to how close these two historical documents define this.
Candidates campaign, voters vote on the appointed day.
I believe the definitions posted by FOS are clearly Calvinistic definitions. I understand them as they are written, and are clearly consistent with Calvinism.
What I would like to see is some like FOS,RM, DHK, and many others express what they might agree with or disagree with concerning those definitions. This would give individuals like DHK, who tries to distance himself from Calvinism yet claims he holds to election, explain to us how they differ from 'election' as believed by Calvinists.
Pelagian and semipelagian election is what? The person with the biggest bank roll or the most hair shirts wins the election? Which is it? Bank roll or hair shirt?
HP: Not for certain Bill. DHK has yet to tell us what his position of election is. Maybe it might be one of those.
The point of election is that God can do whatever he wants and get whatever (whomever) he wants and his decisions are none of our business.
Most, if not all, Free-Will Baptists, Weslyan, Holiness types don't believe in Unconditional Election... but a Conditional Election where the Grace of God is resistible. Where man is given the invitation by God but must come to the foot of the Cross to claim his Salvation by the Blood of the Lamb. Amen.
So, to the Free-Will Baptist, etc... Election consists three synergistic parts...
1.) the Invitation (Grace)
2.) freely answering that call (Repentance)
3.) preserving to the end in Faith (fidelity)
Ultimately, we can't see the hearts of men so this is not something 'we' on the outside can ultimately know or verify. It is even possible that 'we' ourselves my be mislead by our own delusions and mistake our own Salvation but it is something that can be felt and known for those who are open to voice of the Holy Spirit.
HP: If I understand you correctly, you are suggestion one can indeed be deceived as to ones standing before God. Am I understanding you correctly?
I believe that the scriptural concept of election is more general than commonly believed. Many here seem to simply assume that the concept always denotes a choice by God in respect to someone's "eternal fate". But there are clear examples of the word "election" being used to refer to God making a choice that is about something other than where people "go when they die". A classic case is this one in Romans 9:
In Romans 9, the eternal status of Jacob and Esau is nowhere on Paul's mind. The following text does not even address the issue of eternal destinies of Jacob or Esau. Paul tells us what they are "elected to" - that one will serve the other:
Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.
The word election here means "choice". And what is the choice? Well what does Paul say? It is God's choice that the nation of Edom (Esau) will be dominated by the nation of Israel. How do we know this? Paul tells us. He says that Rebekah was told the purpose of God's choice. And he quotes from Genesis:
The LORD said to her,
"Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger
And history shows that this came to pass - the Israelites did dominate the Edomites. And Paul knew this, of course.
Imagine Paul sitting there with his scribe, having just dictated "in order that God's purpose in election might stand". Where does this statement leave the reader? Obviously, it leaves the reader asking "Well, what is that purpose? What is God "choosing" or "selecting" Jacob and Esau for, exactly?"
So Paul answers this question: They were chosen / selected / elected to a state where "the older will serve the younger". Eternal destiny is nowhere in sight.
If Paul is addressing selection or election to eternal life or eternal loss in relation to Jacob and Esau, you have to believe that, after raising the topic of God’s purpose in election, Paul has suffered a sudden bout of amnesia and makes an entirely unannounced and immediate transition to a different subject altogether - the issue of something else that God selected these two for. That is, one serving the other.
What kind of a writer would do that ? First, state that God has one purpose in selection (election) for two people, and then spell out the details of an entirely different election?
I agree with those definitions. One of the problems I see in today's churches is that we are always trying to re-write, re-invent our own thoughts on the matter.
I do not believe Andre, for instance, is inventing anything, do you?
Seems like he's agreeing with Westminster and London Confessions.
No it seems to me that he is denying them, at least on Romans 9
I would disagree with him because of the entirety of Romans 9. I probably couldn't argue if I didn't read the rest of the chapter.
The issue is that God's electing for His sovereign purpose includes salvation.
Paul was elected to be an Apostle, but in order for this election to happen he must be saved and thus Paul is elect. We are elected for many reasons that ultimately bring God's grace the glory.
To keep the argument short, right after Paul speaks on how God chose Jacob over Esau by no basis of his doing he says, "what shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion'..."
God not only chose Jacob to carry out the birth right, but He chooses who He will have mercy on and who He will allow to remain in sin. This is not injustice, but rather justice is served. We all deserve justice, but mercy is offered to those who repent, and those who repent will be forgiven. Those who repent are those being chosen.
What is Paul doing in Romans 9? Well, he is establishing the idea that they are not all Israel which are of Israel. In other words, just because you are a natural Jew, a natural descendant of Abraham, it doesn't mean you are a child of God. He begins with Abraham. He had two sons, but only one was the child of promise. Alright, next generation - Isaac had two sons, but God told Rebecca when they were in the womb (that the purpose of God according to election might stand) the elder would serve the younger. You cannot apply that either in the lives of Jacob and Esau or in their natural posterities with respect to wordly subservience. Obviously God is pointing to favor being bestowed on the younger, which was against custom at this time.
Now, if you make this natural election, God choosing the Jews as a whole rather than the Edomites, then Paul has destroyed his whole argument. His argument up to this point has been they are not all Israel which are of Israel. Now, if Jacob and Esau respect their natural descendants, he is arguing they are all Israel which are of Israel. It just doesn't make sense.
Keep reading and Paul will make a contrast between the vessels of wrath and the vessels of mercy. In describing the vessels of mercy he says, "even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles." Now, again, if he is talking about national election which took place in the old testament, why is he saying "us"? Also, why does he include Gentiles?
The entire context of Romans 9 shows what Paul meant by bringing up Jacob and Esau. He didn't write those verses in a vacuum, he wrote them in the midst of an argument he is putting forward and thus they must be viewed in that light. When they are, it is clear he intends individual election.
> . . . you are suggestion one can indeed be deceived as to ones standing before God . . . .
It is also my conclusion. Why? Because the Bible teaches that we are all liars and that none of us are "seeking after righteousness." Jesus taught that we all are either sons of Satan or sons of God. Would not Satan wish to convince his sons that they are sons of God?
You are basically right in your assessment of my position.
I do not have time right now to get into the details but I believe that Romans 9 has precisely nothing to do with the issue of the pre-destination of individuals to an eternal destiny. Salvation is a theme in Romans 9, but the argument is not at the level of the individual but rather at the level of nations - Paul is saying that the hardening of (most) Jews has made salvation possible for the Gentiles as well.
Hopefully, I will be able to re-enter the discussion later.
Just to let you all know where I am coming from, I do not believe that God pre-destines individual human beings to an eternal destiny.
Well said...and good exegesis of Romans 9 :thumbs: