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Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Iconoclast, Jun 4, 2016.
WHAT ELECTION IS NOT: Not salvation, but unto salvation. 11 Thes. 2:13, 14; Eph. 1:4; Rom. 8:29, 30.
Not exclusive of means. II Thes. 2:14; Eph. 1:5, 13; II Tim. 2:10; I Pet. 1:2.
The calling to be saints includes presenting the claims of the gospel to all men.
This is why there is great confusion in many a church. They have substituted programs for doctrine so the church suffers.
I agree with this:
"The words Elect - Election - Foreordination - Chosen - Foreknow and Foreknowledge demand that we believe the Bible teaches a doctrine of election, of some kind."
I think the whole of Protestantism has misunderstood what Election is unto.
Election unto escape from hell and passage to heaven? But that dismisses the biblical fact that Jesus is Elect, The Chosen One
And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
See, election is unto an inheritance - not escape from Hell. Otherwise, Jesus would have been "chosen" to go to heaven.
Boyce mentions that election is the foundation for missions rather than a facilitator of anti-mission doctrines (I agree). When we look at the mid-nineteenth century anti-mission movement as a responce to the prominence of Methodist theology (and the wider spread of Arminianism among Baptist churches), I think we can see that such errors arise when men take their focus off of Christ. Not only is election unto salvation rather than salvation itself, but any doctrine of election isolated from that end is bound to fall short.
While Jesus was the Elect Servant of God.....and OT Israel was an elect nation, there are elect gentiles also....individual election unto salvation....Paul speaks of those persons....
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Exactly. Salvation is much broader than merely securing a destination.
It's glory with Christ.
THE CANONS OF DORT
FIRST HEAD: DIVINE ELECTION AND REPROBATION
ARTICLE 1. As all men have sinned in Adam, lie under the curse, and are deserving of eternal death, God would have done no injustice by leaving them all to perish and delivering them over to condemnation on account of sin, according to the words of the apostle: “that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” (Rom 3:19). And: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom 3:23). And: “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23).
ARTICLE 2. But in this the love of God was manifested, that He “sent his one and only Son into the world, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (1 John 4:9; John 3:16).
ARTICLE 3. And that men may be brought to believe, God mercifully sends the messengers of these most joyful tidings to whom He will and at what time He pleases; by whose ministry men are called to repentance and faith in Christ crucified. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom 10:14–15).
ARTICLE 4. The wrath of God abides upon those who believe not this gospel. But such as receive it and embrace Jesus the Savior by a true and living faith are by Him delivered from the wrath of God and from destruction, and have the gift of eternal life conferred upon them.
ARTICLE 5. The cause or guilt of this unbelief as well as of all other sins is no wise in God, but in man himself; whereas faith in Jesus Christ and salvation through Him is the free gift of God, as it is written: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith––and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). Likewise: “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Phil 1:29).
ARTICLE 6. That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God’s eternal decree. “For known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). “who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:11). According to which decree He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe; while He leaves the non–elect in His just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the Word of God, which, though men of perverse, impure, and unstable minds wrest it to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.
ARTICLE 7. Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from the primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom He from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect and the foundation of salvation.
This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than others, but with them involved in one common misery, God has decreed to give to Christ to be saved by Him, and effectually to call and draw them to His communion by His Word and Spirit; to bestow upon them true faith, justification, and sanctification; and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of His son, finally to glorify them for the demonstration of His mercy, and for the praise of the riches of His glorious grace; as it is written “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will––to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Eph 1:4–6). And elsewhere: “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Rom 8:30).
ARTICLE 8. There are not various decrees of election, but one and the same decree respecting all those who shall be saved, both under the Old and New Testament; since the Scripture declares the good pleasure, purpose, and counsel of the divine will to be one, according to which He has chosen us from eternity, both to grace and to glory, to salvation and to the way of salvation, which He has ordained that we should walk therein (Eph 1:4, 5; 2:10).
ARTICLE 9. This election was not founded upon foreseen faith and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause, or condition of which it depended;
but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc.
Therefore election is the fountain of every saving good, from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to the testimony of the apostle: “For he chose us (not because we were, but) in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Eph 1:4).
ARTICLE 10. The good pleasure of God is the sole cause of this gracious election; which does not consist herein that out of all possible qualities and actions of men God has chosen some as a condition of salvation, but that He was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to Himself, as it is written: “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she (Rebekah) was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’” (Rom 9:11–13). “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48).
ARTICLE 11. And as God Himself is most wise, unchangeable, omniscient, and omnipotent, so the election made by Him can neither be interrupted nor changed, recalled, or annulled; neither can the elect be cast away, nor their number diminished.
ARTICLE 12. The elect in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not by inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God—such as, a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.
ARTICLE 13. The sense and certainty of this election afford to the children of God additional matter for daily humiliation before Him, for adoring the depth of His mercies, for cleansing themselves, and rendering grateful returns of ardent love to Him who first manifested so great love towards them. The consideration of this doctrine of election is so far from encouraging remissness in the observance of the divine commands or from sinking men in carnal security, that these, in the just judgment of God, are the usual effects of rash presumption or of idle and wanton trifling with the grace of election, in those who refuse to walk in the ways of the elect.
ARTICLE 14. As the doctrine of election by the most wise counsel of God was declared by the prophets, by Christ Himself, and by the apostles, and is clearly revealed in the Scriptures both of the Old and the New Testament, so it is still to be published in due time and place in the Church of God, for which it was peculiarly designed, provided it be done with reverence, in the spirit of discretion and piety, for the glory of God’s most holy Name, and for enlivening and comforting His people, without vainly attempting to investigate the secret ways of the Most High (Acts 20:27; Rom 11:33f; 12:3; Heb 6:17f).
ARTICLE 15. What peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election is the express testimony of sacred Scripture that not all, but some only, are elected, while others are passed by in the eternal decree; whom God, out of His sovereign, most just, irreprehensible, and unchangeable good pleasure, has decreed to leave in the common misery into which they have willfully plunged themselves, and not to bestow upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but, permitting them in His just judgment to follow their own ways, at last, for the declaration of His justice, to condemn and punish them forever, not only on account of their unbelief, but also for all their other sins. And this is the decree of reprobation, which by no means makes God the Author of sin (the very thought of which is blasphemy), but declares Him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous Judge and Avenger thereof.
ARTICLE 16. Those in whom a living faith in Christ, and assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, a glorying in God through Christ, is not as yet strongly felt, and who nevertheless make use
of the means which God has appointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace. Much less cause to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation have they who, though they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please Him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire; since a merciful God has promised that He will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed. But this doctrine is justly terrible to those who, regardless of God and of the Savior Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.
ARTICLE 17. Since we are to judge of the will of God from His Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they together with the parents are comprehended, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39; 1 Cor 7:14).
ARTICLE 18. To those who murmur at the free grace of election and the just severity of reprobation we answer with the apostle “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” (Rom 9:20), and quote the language of our Savior: “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own?” (Matt 20:15). And therefore, with holy adoration of these mysteries, we exclaim in the words of the apostle: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom 11:33–36).
Election and Calling: A Biblical/Theological Study (Dr. Greg Welty, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Election is grounded in God’s will Election is grounded in God’s will, specifically, his will to love us, his will to be gracious to us, and his will to fulfill his purpose for us. Far from some cold, analytical move on God’s part, it was “In love [that] He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself” (vv. 45). It was “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (v. 6) that he so predestined us, indeed, “according to the riches of His grace” (v. 7). Notice that in this passage our will and what we do with it is never mentioned as the basis of God’s choice. In fact, Paul repeatedly and emphatically draws our attention to God’s will as the foundation of our salvation. “He predestined us to adoption as sons,” not according to (or on the basis of) our will to choose him, but “according to the kind intention of His will” (v. 5). What is relevant in explaining the divine gift of salvation is “the mystery of His will” and “His kind intention” toward us (v. 9), not the mystery of our will or our kind intention toward him.7 Paul says “He chose us” (v. 4), and God chose us not because we were holy enough to make the right choice for him, but so “that we would be holy and blameless before him” (v. 4). In other words, election is unto holiness, not because of holiness. Verse 11 is especially clear that election is grounded in God’s will: “having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (v. 11). In other words, God is a certain kind of God – a God “who works all things after the counsel of His will” – and it is “according to the purpose” of that kind of God that we have “been predestined.”
Thus, Paul understands and accounts for the spiritual predestination of individuals in light of the broader, more general truth that God works (‘ενεργεω’) “all things” (not just some things) according to the purpose, intention, plan (‘βουλη’) of his will. Our particular predestination to salvation is just part of a larger purpose that embraces all events. Unconditional election is not some perplexing anomaly in our portrait of God, something to be explained away or passed over in embarrassment. Rather, in v. 11 Paul sees it as a natural consequence of his larger doctrine of God and his providence.
Well, not so fast. The proposed interpretation is neither necessary nor plausible. It’s certainly not necessary, because neither text says that God elects us on the basis of foreseen faith. In fact, neither text even mentions faith as something foreseen at all, much less that election is based upon it.12
Rather, in the “foreknew passages” (Ro 8:29; 1Pe 1:2), what is said to be foreknown are people, not faith or works. What Ro 8:29 says is: “those whom He foreknew, He also predestined…” It is persons who are said to be foreknown, not their acts of faith specifically.
1Pe 1:1-2 is even more ambiguous; it just mentions “foreknowledge” without clarifying whether the object of that foreknowledge is persons, or their faith, or their works, or anything else about them. Not only is the ‘foreseen faith’ interpretation unnecessary (from a textual point of view), it’s also implausible, for it would cut against the grain of everything we’ve already seen in Ephesians 1 and Romans 9. Instead of responding to the imaginary objector, “Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” (Ro 9:20), Paul could have said, “What’s the matter, didn’t you read Ro 8:29? I already told you: all of this is based on foreseen faith. Human choices ultimately determine salvation, not God’s will.” But of course Paul does not say this, though that reply would be ready at hand in Romans 9 if in fact Ro 8:29 is speaking of foreseen acts of faith. In addition, there seems little reason for Paul to say in Ro 9:16, “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy,” if in Ro 8:29 he had just taught that election does depend on the man who wills. I think a principle of hermeneutical charity is relevant here: it is not only implausible but uncharitable to interpret Paul in a way that introduces palpable contradiction into his thought – and that in the space of two chapters – especially if said interpretation is textually unnecessary in the first place.
JL Dagg gets back into it;