Election

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by wwr 82, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. wwr 82

    wwr 82
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    I was preparing a Sunday School lesson today and it would seem I've opened a huge can of worms titled the doctrine of election or predestination. After reading countless notes, commentaries, scripture etc... I seem to have found 2 distinctly different views and would like to hear thoughts about these 2 views:

    1.- God knew from the beginning who would acccept Salvation
    2.- God chose who would accept Salvation.

    I know this primarily deals with the Arminian/Calvin viewpoints, and I don't think I'm going to get into it with my teens this week, but I would still like your opinions.
     
  2. exscentric

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    "God knew from the beginning who would acccept Salvation" - "God chose who would accept Salvation" is another way of putting one position.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Scripture teaches that God the Father chooses or elects those who, in Jesus Christ, will be saved. That choice or election is the role of God the Father in the Covenant of Grace. Those who are chosen in Jesus Christ will become the Saints, the ‘true believers’.

    The Apostle Paul, writing to the Saints at Ephesus, summarizes this doctrine as follows:

    Ephesians 1:3-6, KJV
    3. Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
    4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


    What does Scripture mean when it teaches that God has chosen us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world? Please note again the statement He chose us in Him [that is, Jesus Christ] that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Also please note in particular the statement he hath made us accepted in the beloved. It is God the Father who has made us [the elect] accepted in the beloved [Jesus Christ]. It does not say that we through any action on our part made us accepted in the beloved. I repeat the Scripture states that God, Himself, made us accepted in the beloved.

    James P. Boyce, co-founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Seminary, defines election to salvation as follows [Abstract of Systematic Theology, page 347]:

    “God, of His own purpose, has from eternity determined to save a definite number of mankind as individuals, not for or because of any merit or works of theirs, nor of any value of them to Him; but of His own good pleasure”.

    John L. Dagg in his Manual of Theology [page 309] defines election to salvation simply as:

    “All who will finally be saved, were chosen to salvation by God the Father, before the foundation of the world, and given to Jesus Christ in the Covenant of Grace.”

    John I. Packer, an Anglican theologian, writes about the doctrine of election as follows [Concise Theology, page 149; see also the New Geneva Bible, page 1784]

    “The biblical doctrine of election is that before Creation God selected out of the human race, foreseen as fallen, those whom He would redeem, bring to faith, justify, and glorify in and through Jesus Christ. This divine choice is an expression of free and sovereign grace, for it is unconstrained and unconditional, not merited by anything in those who are its subjects. God owes sinners no mercy of any kind, only condemnation; so it is a wonder, and a matter for endless praise, that He should choose to save any of us; and doubly so when His choice involved the giving of His own Son to suffer as sin bearer for the elect.”

    W. T. Conner, a professor at the Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary early in the 20th century writes of election as follows [Christian Doctrine, page 155]:

    “It [Election] means that God has decreed to bring certain ones, upon whom His heart has been eternally set, who are the objects of His eternal love, to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. When a man is saved he is not saved as a matter of chance or accident or fate; he is saved in pursuance of an eternal purpose of God. God saves man because He intends to. He saves a particular man, at a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, because He intends to.”
     
  4. just-want-peace

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    I taught the SBC lesson last week (18th) on Romans 11, and faced that same apparent dichotomy of free will and predestination/election.

    This has always been a bug-a-boo for me, but I think some light was shed in my preparation for this lesson.

    Basically I now believe that both are true, but neither to the exclusion of the other.
    Luke 1:14-17; Judges 13:7; Jeremiah1:5 are 3 scriptures that, to me anyway, show that God had predestined these three people, prior to birth, to be His. If true, then they really had no choice as to their service to God.

    You will notice that Samson was anything but a dedicated servant, BUT he still eventually fulfilled God’s plan for his life.

    As far as I can tell, I had no such predestination/election other than God’s desire that I be saved, so I had to make the conscious choice to accept His Son or face the pit of hell.

    Now I COULD have been predestined like one of the three above, but my life has shown no such mission thus far (I’m beating on the door of 70) so I therefore concede that I was not a predestined one!

    This concept is new to me, but it does allow for the two ideas to exist simultaneously with no conflict in His word, so for now, anyway, I’ll go with it.
     
  5. StraightAndNarrow

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    just-want-peace

    I was very much against the concept of election for years. I found that I couldn't disregard the scripture which supported it but neither could I disregard the large body of scripture supporting free will. Like you, I now believe that both are true in a way perhaps known only to God.
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    wwr82 did not specify which scriptures he was teaching from, and all the other posters have given scriptures which they know.
    I think it will be helpful to this discussion if wwr 82 specified which Scripture he is referring to.
    That being said, all I can say is that in as far as that salvation which was covenanted between the Triune God is concerned, there is only one principle: man, the recipient of that salvation, has a passive role. he has nothing to do with it, from the beginning to the end, that is, from planning, to his possessing such salvation. It is all OF God, by God, and from God. God was alone in eternity past when he planned it, God was alone at the cross in Christ when He executed it, and God was alone at the tomb when He confirmed it by raising the body of the Savior for all to see.

    Now, in as far as salvation from evil generations is concerned, as far as salvation from false gospels and doctrines is concerned, God works His will in man (the hearer) to will and to do of His good pleasure.

    Romans 11 speaks of such salvation, otherwise Paul is saying that the salvation from perdition of the Jews depends on him and others like him.

    Romans 11, IMHO, speaks primarily of timely salvation which is what is accomplished by gospel preaching and gospel teaching, and finally, gospel obedience.
     
  7. Robert J Hutton

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    1st Peter 1 v 2 states that we have elect according to the foreknowledge of God. The Lord knew who would be saved and chose them.

    Kind regards to all.

    Bob
     
  8. 4His_glory

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    2Thess. 2:13-14 "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (NKJV)

    God elects men to salvation and this election is unconditional. If it were not for His grace I would never repent and believe in Christ as my Savior. Thank God for His free and sovereign grace.
     
  9. OldRegular

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. just-want-peace

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    Well, at least some of us admit that just because we don't understand it, does not mean it's impossible! [​IMG]
     
  11. wwr 82

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    I was not teaching but preparing to teach a class on salvation. One of the scriptures that pertained to my class was in Romans chapter 8 specifically 38,39. I started reading at verse 28 though, and that's what lead to the start of this thread. The scriptures I looked at on my own are the very same ones that are mentioned above.

    I also went and looked at some of J Mac's thoughts on the subject. I guess I'm leaning more towards the thought of God doing the electing, and not of man making the choice on his own. To me if man chooses himself, that leaves the sovereignty of God out of the equation. To me that's impossible and unthinkable.
     
  12. 4His_glory

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    Good thoughts wwr 82. Its hard to read passages like 2 Thes. 2:13-14 and Eph. 1 and see it any other way than God doing the electing.
     
  13. OldRegular

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. exscentric

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    "To me if man chooses himself, that leaves the sovereignty of God out of the equation."

    Though many hold to this it does not necessarily follow that it is true.
     
  15. wwr 82

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    Please elaborate further, I'd like to hear all opinions on this subject. This is a controversial subject with a vast array of sentiment. I did order a book last night-"Chosen by God" by R.C. Sproul. Hopefully this will give me a better understanding on this subject. I did the best thing though on Monday night when I asked God to grant me wisdom and help me to understand this idea more fully. I guess if he thinks I'm ready, or if I really need to know he'll enlighten me.
     
  16. Preacher @ Bethel

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    The bible teaches us that God chose a certain people unto salvation before the foundation of the world. Man by nature is in such a condition that were it not for God doing this then no man would choose to repent of his or her sins and trust in the Lord. Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. 2Th 2:13 ¶ But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. Romans chapter eight is one of my personal favorites because it shows us God's complete sovereignty in salvation from begining to end. He foreknew them, predestinated them, called them, justified them and glorified them.
    Ro 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    29 KJV For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30 KJV Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
    31 KJV What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    32 KJV He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    33 KJV Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
    34 KJV Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
    35 KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    36 KJV As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    37 KJV Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    38 KJV For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    39 KJV Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I also enjoy Ephesians 2:1-10. Notice that the believers at Ephesus were dead until God quickened them which means "made alive". They were dead in trespasess and sins and God is the one who made the difference. God is the one who makes the difference. Notice after the discription of natural man it says, "but God". Election can be a complicated subject at first but once you dig into it it becomes a great blessing. It humbles man and glorifies God. I highly recomend reading, "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W. Pink.I have a copy of it on my website at http://www.bethelbaptistky.com/library/sovereignty/contents.html . Compare what he says with the bible and see what you think.

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @ Bethel
     
  17. 4His_glory

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    Amen! [​IMG] This has been my experience as I have studied election.
     
  18. exscentric

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    "Please elaborate further, I'd like to hear all opinions on this subject. This is a controversial subject with a vast array of sentiment."

    Look at the books, commentaries, the board, dig out all the Scripture, get alone, read the passages --- all of them -- and see what the Word says.

    The Word speaks of foreknowledge, election, predestination etc. and all, if all are in the Word, are important and involved.

    Find a line of thought that allows for all items mentioned. God is soverign - not disputed by any that I have read on either side of the issue. Some saying the others diminish the soverignty of God does not make it true.

    Many things are said by all sides to diminish the other sides, but what is "said" does not automatically become true because it was uttered.
     
  19. webdog

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    Election can be summed up in Ephesians 1:1-14. Eleven times "in Christ" connects God to the elect. Jesus IS the Elect, chosen before the foundation of the world. All those "in Christ" are therefore the elect. Uncondtional election is false, as faith in Christ is not a prerequisite as the Bible teaches. Remember, everything stems from God's foreknowledge (and this does not mean God has no control over the future as many calvinists would have you believe).
     
  20. Timtoolman

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    Amen! [​IMG] This has been my experience as I have studied election. </font>[/QUOTE]I am not ashamed to admitt I don't understand this. God has created a race that disobeyed him and fell into sin. All His plan we agree, I think. Then leaves most of mankind bound or predestian for hell while saving a few.

    HOw would you two feel if I walk up too either one of you and said "Praise the Lord he has chosen me but your child is headed for hell! Praise the Lord!"
    I mean call me not saved it you want, or carnal but how can I say what a glorious, loving, merciful God, God is that any of my loved ones are predestian for hell with no escape?!

    God's love is too shine through us. I love enough, thanks be to the indwelling of the HS, that even my most spitefull enemy on earth here I do not wish to go too hell. Am I producing a love that God does not have. Do I love my enemy as God commands too while He does not?
     

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