Election

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rufus, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. rufus

    rufus
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    Election did not occur by virtue of Christ’s merits, foreseen faith, or anticipated good works. These are fruits issuing forth from election. They are not the causes of election. They do not precede election but are a consequence of it. There is nothing which necessitates God to do anything. Nothing which would be in man, nor any future deeds, moved God to elect a person. The reason for election is nothing but the sovereign good pleasure of God. “. . . according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself. . . . having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:9, 5).
    This alone is the fountain of election. In its execution, however, God uses means. God, having permitted the human race to become subject to sin and punishment, in time draws His elect out of this state and is gracious to them. Election is therefore called the election of grace. “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works” (Rom. 11:5–6).
    Because God has elected some, He grants Christ to them in order to bring them to God and salvation in a manner consistent with His divine Being. “Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me” (John 17:6). It is in this respect that election occurred in Christ. “According as He hath chosen us in Him. . . . Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself . . . wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4–6).
    This election is not a consequence of any foreseen faith or good works. These issue forth out of election, being the means to make the elect partakers of the salvation ordained for them. This is true for faith: “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). Therefore faith is called the faith of the elect (Titus 1:1). Consider also what is stated concerning good works in Ephesians 1:5,4, “Having predestinated us [not because we were such and such or because God viewed us as such but] . . . that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). These He called, justified, and glorified (Rom. 8:30)

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  2. rufus

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    The Extent of Christ’s Satisfaction: Particular or Limited

    We must consider this aspect of Christ’s suffering: the limitation of the satisfaction of Christ for the elect only. Here we must do battle against Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Amyraldians. The question is not whether all men will be saved, nor whether Christ’s death could have been efficient for all if He had so willed it. The question is also not whether Christ became substitute for all men, taking upon Him all their original and actual sins and thus satisfying the justice of God for them all, thereby bringing them all into a reconciled state, granting them the right and possession of eternal felicity.

    Rather, the question is:
    (1) Whether Christ by His suffering and death has atoned for original sin, and thus has brought the entire human race into a reconciled state.
    (2) Whether Christ made satisfaction for original sin and for all actual sin committed prior to baptism, which is the view of the Roman Catholics.
    (3) Whether it might be proposed that Christ had the salvation of men in view, to make them partakers of it— His objective being only to satisfy the justice of God in order to enable God to transact with men concerning their salvation in a manner pleasing to Him. This would then either be by way of a new covenant of works, or by grace, replacing the law with faith, so that Christ would achieve His goal even if not one person were saved. Christ would thus have died for everyone, that is, for the entire human race, and would have merited restoration in the state of grace, thus acquitting them from guilt and punishment due to original sin. This means that Christ’s death would be sufficient for this, not only due to its inherent efficacy, but also due to it being sufficient indeed. Christ would thus have merited salvation, but He would not have applied all of it. Since God has determined that faith, conversion, and good works are to be the cause of man’s salvation, and since man has the power to fulfil these conditions but does not do so, salvation is not applied to all men. Such are the sentiments of the Arminians.
    (4) Whether Christ has died for all men upon condition of faith and repentance; and since man is unable to fulfil these conditions, God by a different decree has determined to grant faith and conversion to some and thus save them through Christ. These are the sentiments of the Amyraldians. Such is the variety of sentiments and therefore we have presented them individually.

    We maintain, however, that Christ, in conformity to His Father’s and His own objective, has become the Substitute only of some— the elect, and not for others. He has truly taken upon Himself as Surety all their sins (original as well as actual) which have been committed from the beginning to the end of their lives, and by His suffering has made satisfaction for both temporal and eternal guilt and punishment. He has so perfectly delivered all the elect, and them only (to the exclusion of all others), granting them in actuality the right and possession of eternal felicity, as if they themselves had perfectly satisfied the justice of God for their sins and had perfectly fulfilled all righteousness. Thus, Christ will most certainly apply to them the salvation which He has merited only for them.

    We therefore reject the first propositions mentioned above as errors which reverse the very nature of the work of redemption. However, that which is comprehended in the last paragraph above we embrace as divine truth, deeming it to be full of comfort and to the glory of God. This is evidenced by the following considerations:
    First, Christ has suffered as Surety, becoming the Substitute for those for whom He suffered, taking upon Himself all their sins; that is, original sin and the actual sins committed from the beginning to the very end of their lives. Thus, by His suffering and death, He satisfied the righteousness of God on their behalf, removed all temporal and eternal guilt and punishment, merited eternal life for them, and made them heirs of eternal salvation. The others do not perceive it as such; otherwise they would not promote universal redemption. They understand the suffering of Christ to have an entirely different meaning, one being of this opinion, and the other having that opinion, as we have expressed in the questions previously proposed. If, however, the suffering of Christ is to be understood in the manner we have just stated, others will readily have to admit that Christ did not make satisfaction for all men. It is, however, in harmony with divine truth that Christ’s satisfaction is such. This we have clearly and lucidly demonstrated a bit earlier in this chapter. This being infallibly true, it follows that Christ did not make satisfaction and die for all men. All men, never having been in such a state of felicity, will not attain to it. They will not all be saved, but many will suffer eternal damnation, which could not be true if all guilt and punishment temporally and eternally had been atoned for and if they had been made heirs of eternal salvation by the meritorious suffering of Christ. God is just and will neither punish where guilt is absent nor refuse what has been merited.

    Secondly, Christ’s high–priestly office consists of sacrifice and prayer. These two elements are inseparable. It was not sufficient for the High Priest to sacrifice only, but he had to proceed into the sanctuary, and he could only enter this sanctuary with the blood of the sacrifice. This is true for the entire priestly ministry in the Old Testament, and can also clearly be observed in the high–priestly ministry of Christ (cf. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25, 27; 9:12; 1 John 2:1–2; chapter 21 above). From this we conclude that for those whom Christ is High Priest He performs the two parts of this office: sacrifice and prayer. It is now evident that Christ excludes many— yes, the majority of men— from His intercession, limiting it to some only. “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me” (John 17:9). Consequently, His sacrifice, suffering, and death are not for all men, but are limited to those whom the Father has given Him, to the exclusion of all others in the world.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  3. 4study

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    rufus,

    Christ is unrelated/irrelevant to the cause and/or origin of election.

    Is this a correct summary of your statement?
     
  4. rufus

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    4study, rufus says "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world...."

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  5. 4study

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    rufus,

    So does this mean my previous summary is accurate?
     
  6. 4study

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    rufus,

    To ensure I'm understanding this are you're saying;

    Atonement, the appeasement of Christ's blood, removes guilt.

    And;

    The propitiation is made only for the sins of the elect.
     
  7. Primitive Baptist

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    The elect were chosen in Christ, their head and representative, before the foundation of the world. Election was according to the good pleasure of the will of God without any respect to faith or works in the creature. When the fulness of time was come, God sent His Son into the world to redeem the elect. I do not believe that election was with respect to the atonement.
     
  8. rufus

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    4study , your summaries are incorrect.

    Please pay careful attention (as I'm sure you have)to my posts and be sure to observe the nuance of every statement made.

    God Bless

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  9. 4study

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    rufus,

    I understand this statement to say that Christ's merits, forseen faith, or anticipated works issue forth from election. They are not cuases of election but are consequences of it.

    Is this correct? If so, then are you stating that election occurred "before" thus "unrelated to" Christ? If not, then why do you say Christ's merits, forseen faith, and anticipated works "issue forth from election"?
     
  10. 4study

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    rufus,

    So does this mean that the atonment of Christ removes guilt?

    If "His sacrifice, suffering, and death" are "limited to those whome the Fahter has given Him" then it would seem you maen that the propitition is only for the sins of the elect. Is this still incorrect?
     
  11. Primitive Baptist

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    Election is "in Christ." Consequently, it is very related to Christ.

    God chose His people without respect to the atonement, that is to say, God did not choose His people because He saw their justification by His "foreknowledge," in the Arminian sense. There had to be an elect before God could send His Son into the world to die for them. God sent His Son into the world to establish a perfect righteousness for His people, not to make some His people who previously were not.
     
  12. 4study

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    Primitive Baptist,

    So what came first in the purpose of God, the election or Christ?
     
  13. Frogman

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    Christ of course.

    His people were in view when He covenanted with the Father, as the Son to perform the covenant of works that man could not and provide the Covenant of Grace.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. rufus

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    God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

    Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

    By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

    Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto: and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

    As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

    The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  15. 4study

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    rufus,

    Your latest post states your position more clearly. The first post had me a little confused and I thought you were proposing that the election took place "before", "irregardless of", or "unrelated to" Christ.

    I would still be interested in your response about atonement.

     
  16. rufus

    rufus
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    4Study said: "...the propitiation is only for the sins of the elect...."

    My answer is:

    I John 2:2. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  17. 4study

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    rufus,


    I wasn't making my own proposition. I'm simply attempting to understand what you're saying by reiterating it.

    You said in the last paragraph, last sentence of your second post...

    It seems to me you're saying that the propitiation is only for the elect. However, as you have quoted I Jn. 2:2, I'm curious how your statement above is compatible with the aforementioned scripture?
     
  18. rufus

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    Election (as well as reprobation) is individual, personal, specific, particular. Ephesians refers repeatedly to "us" and "we" in connection with election (1:4-5, 12). In Romans, Paul refers to "those" whom God foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (8:29-30). Rom. 9 indicates that personal election unto salvation was operative within the election of Israel. Paul states that "not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" (9:6, 8) and he shows that "God's purpose in election" distinguished between Isaac and Ishmael, between Jacob and Esau (9:7, 11-13). This is also the implication of the expressions in John 6:37-40; 10:14-16, 26-29; 17:2, 6, 9, 24. Hence the Canons of Dort refer to election as the selection of "a certain number of specific men" (I.7) and also state that "not all men are elect but that certain ones have not been elected" but passed by in God's decree (I.15).

    The Arminians held to an indefinite, conditional election, the election of those who believe. The Reformed view took the above Scripture references seriously as well as the comforting assurance that nothing "shall separate us from the love of Christ" and that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Rom. 8:35-39). Particular, personal election leads to the believer's comfort and does not promote carelessness or false confidence.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  19. rufus

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    4Study, please read the following: Thanks.

    Propitiation is the turning away of wrath by an offering. In the NT this idea is conveyed by the use of hilaskomai (Heb. 2:17), hilasterion (Rom. 3:25), and hilasmos (I John 2:2; 4:10). In the OT the principal verb is kipper, usually rendered in the LXX by exilaskomai. Outside the Bible the word group to which the Greek words belong unquestionably has the significance of averting wrath.

    The idea of the wrath of God is stubbornly rooted in the OT, where it is referred to 585 times. The words of the hilaskomai group do not denote simple forgiveness or cancellation of sin, but that forgiveness or cancellation of sin which includes the turning away of God's wrath (e.g., Lam. 3:42-43). This is not a process of celestial bribery, for the removal of the wrath is in the last resort due to God himself. Of the process of atonement by sacrifice, he says: "I have given it to you" (Lev. 17:11). Note also Ps. 78:38: "Many a time turned he his anger away."

    While God's wrath is not mentioned as frequently in the NT as the OT, it is there. Man's sin receives its due reward, not because of some impersonal retribution, but because God's wrath is directed against it (Rom. 1:18, 24, 26, 28). The whole of the argument of the opening part of Romans is that all men, Gentiles and Jews alike, are sinners, and that they come under the wrath and the condemnation of God. When Paul turns to salvation, he thinks of Christ's death as hilasterion (Rom. 3:25), a means of removing the divine wrath. The paradox of the OT is repeated in the NT that God himself provides the means of removing his own wrath. The love of the Father is shown in that he "sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10). The purpose of Christ's becoming "a merciful and faithful high priest" was "to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:17). His propitiation is adequate for all (I John 2:2).

    The consistent Bible view is that the sin of man has incurred the wrath of God. That wrath is averted only by Christ's atoning offering. From this standpoint his saving work is properly called propitiation.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  20. npetreley

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    4study,

    I'm not sure where you're going with your line of questioning, but my intuition tells me "you can't there from here."

    If, as Arminians prefer, "whole world" (holos kosmos) means every man who ever lived and ever will live, then God's wrath should be turned aside completely and forever, since every man's sins have been propitiated. We know this isn't true, however. So, IMO, that interpretation must be incorrect and there must be another answer.

    I honestly don't know for certain what that answer may be. IMO it could mean that the propitiation is all-sufficient -- that, if God chose to do so, He could save everyone, and there would be nothing lacking in the atonement. It could also mean something much more simple -- that John is saying that Jesus is the propitiation not only for the sins of those elect to whom the letter is addressed, but also for the sins of the elect all over the whole world.
     

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