How is it Biblical?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by SaggyWoman, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. SaggyWoman

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    Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus died for only the elect? Especially when the Just died for the unjust?
     
  2. Chris Temple

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    Limited or Particular Atonement – THIS IS THE BELIEF THAT CHRIST DIED ONLY FOR THE ELECT OF GOD.

    The main component of this belief is that Christ’s death atoned for the sins of only the elect. He did not make salvation possible, but actual. The specific texts define the general texts.

    It is better named Particular Redemption – and is both historically Christian (Reformed) and even Baptist (Particular Baptist).

    It is the position of Calvin and the Puritans, as well as historic Baptist Fathers as well as the Founders of the SBC.
    It is also the position of solid present day scholars like R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer, EE’s D. James Kennedy, John Piper, Albert Mohler and many others.

    The problem with the GENERAL ATONEMENT view is that it logically leads to hypothetical universalism, because everyone then:
    1. has had their sins atoned for
    2. everyone has been redeemed
    3. everyone has been propitiated before God
    4. For anyone to then go to hell who has had their sins atoned for would be double jeopardy.
    5. It makes faith a necessary component of the atonement, and thereby is salvation by works.
    6. If faith is a necessary component of attaining the atonement, then it is theoretically possible that some may never have believed. In that case Christ would have died in vain.

    Scripture says that Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the elect only.

    Eph 5:25 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

    John 10:15 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

    1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Eph 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

    Christ did not die to make salvation possible, he died to actually save the lost elect.

    Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (KJV)

    Gal 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    Interesting argument, but I find it hard to stomach.

    All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Not just a few have sinned. Romans 3:23

    God has placed on Christ the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

    Not everyone who calls out Lord Lord will be saved... and not everyone will even call out Lord Lord.

    But that doesn't direct that Christ only died for the elect.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    The question though is, Did the atonement accomplish salvation or did it simply make it possible?

    For the particularist, the atonement accomplished salvation. For the "generalist," the atonement simply made it possible. The verses Chris quoted show that salvation was accomplished by the atonement.

    However, a particularist does not deny that the atonement was sufficient for the sins of the whole world. He simply acknowledges that it did not accomplish atonement for the sins of the whole world. The atonement is efficient only for the sins of the sheep.
     
  5. Buster

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    SaggyWoman asks an interesting question "How is it Biblical...?" and Chris makes a very learned reply with excellent textual support, but I'd like to ask an ethical question. I'm brand new to this list and am aware that this subject may have been raised before (I've enjoyed reading past posts but have not [and probably won't] read them all). So here goes, The Calvinistic doctrine of election presumes a doctrine of double predestination. In other words, if God chose some to be saved He must therefore have also chosen some to be damned. I have a hard time justifying this in my mind in light of my strong belief in the "soul competency" of the believer. I look forward to your reply

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Buster ]
     
  6. Brother Adam

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    I think that it is impossible for us to know the mind of God and what He was thinking when he created the world. We know that it is in His will that none should perish, and yet we know that some are elect and some are not. I believe that it is a paradox that we will never fully understand here on earth.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Buster:
    So here goes, The Calvinistic doctrine of election presumes a doctrine of double predestination. In other words, if God chose some to be saved He must therefore have also chosen some to be damned.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First, welcome.

    Second, you have drawn a false dichotomy here. God choosing some to be saved does not necessitate that he chose others to be damned. You seem to start with the assumption that everyone was neutral and that from a neutral pile, God chose some to go one way and some to go another.

    However, the pile was not neutral. Everyone born into sin (which is all men born after Adam) is already damned. They are on their well to separation from God for all eternity. If God does nothing at all, they will continue to go the way they have chosen.

    From the "pile" of hellbound sinners, God chose some for salvation in order to make known his glory and to bring praise to his grace. The rest he simply let go the way they are going. This is commonly called preterition.
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SaggyWoman:
    Interesting argument, but I find it hard to stomach. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What is that, Saggy? Election, or Limited Atonement? The doctrines of TULIP are the most humbling, God-glorifying doctrines of theology, showing our total incapability to save ourselves, and God's divien sovereignty and grace . Of course, finding something "hard to stomach" is not the test of truth; Scripture is.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Not just a few have sinned. Romans 3:23<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Of course. And that is why no one can approach the throne of grace without Christ.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>God has placed on Christ the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Who are the all? Are the eternally lost propitiated before God, and then sent to hell?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Not everyone who calls out Lord Lord will be saved... and not everyone will even call out Lord Lord.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Assuredley true. But that is a greater argument against general atonement than limited ;)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But that doesn't direct that Christ only died for the elect.[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not in and of itself; but comparing Scripture with Scripture it does.
     
  9. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Buster:
    SaggyWoman asks an interesting question "How is it Biblical...?" and Chris makes a very learned reply with excellent textual support, but I'd like to ask an ethical question. I'm brand new to this list and am aware that this subject may have been raised before (I've enjoyed reading past posts but have not [and probably won't] read them all). So here goes, The Calvinistic doctrine of election presumes a doctrine of double predestination. In other words, if God chose some to be saved He must therefore have also chosen some to be damned. I have a hard time justifying this in my mind in light of my strong belief in the "soul competency" of the believer. I look forward to your reply

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Buster ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Buster:

    I may possibly be a stronger double predestinarian than is Pastor Larry. I think Scripture shows that some were created for the purpose of being lost, to the glory of God. However election unto salvation is active election and election unto reprobation is passive (passing over) election.

    John 17:12 (ESV)
    While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

    Romans 9:17-18 (ESV)
    For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." [18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    And the answer to your objection is also in Romans 9:

    Romans 9:19-23 (ESV)
    You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" [20] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" [21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? [22] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, [23] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

    However there is no contradiction with "soul competency", as every man chooses sin or God based upon his own will and nature, under the sovereign control of God. This is a theological tension, but true nonetheless.

    Considering the perfect prophetic nature of Scripture, which covers the actions and results of actions of both good and evil men, it seems clear that the evil mustfulfill their duty in history in order to bring about the redemption of the elect. In other words, Herod, Pilate, Pharaoh, Haman, etc, etc never had a chance of repentance and of upsetting the redemption apple cart.

    The London Confession of Baptist Faith, Chapter III

    Of God's Decree


    III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ,[7] to the praise of His glorious grace;[8] others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.[9]

    7. I Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:34
    8. Eph. 1:5-6
    9. Rom. 9:22-23; Jude 1:4

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

    From the "pile" of hellbound sinners, God chose some for salvation in order to make known his glory and to bring praise to his grace. The rest he simply let go the way they are going. This is commonly called preterition.[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What source do you derive this information from?
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    The question though is, Did the atonement accomplish salvation or did it simply make it possible?

    For the particularist, the atonement accomplished salvation. For the "generalist," the atonement simply made it possible. The verses Chris quoted show that salvation was accomplished by the atonement.

    However, a particularist does not deny that the atonement was sufficient for the sins of the whole world. He simply acknowledges that it did not accomplish atonement for the sins of the whole world. The atonement is efficient only for the sins of the sheep.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But in the particularist view, you aren't leaving room for interaction. What kind of relationship is that?
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    Chris sates "What is that, Saggy? Election, or Limited Atonement?"

    I don't have near the hard time election because of the foreknowledge of God, but I do have trouble with limited atonement. And not in the sense that I think all will be saved, but the provision for all to be saved has been made.

    Chris states "The doctrines of TULIP are the most humbling, God-glorifying doctrines of theology, showing our total incapability to save ourselves, and God's divien sovereignty and grace ."

    I agree that we are totally depraved. I agree that any salvation from our pitiful existanc is definitely a God glorifying event and very humbling. And indeed, it is all about God. Anything more would be our act--even our faith isn't of ourselves.


    Chris states "Of course, finding something "hard to stomach" is not the test of truth; Scripture is." What makes it hard to stomach is the fact that I am not reading this the same way, for some reason.


    Chris states, "Who are the all? Are the eternally lost propitiated before God, and then sent to hell?"

    So, when are you saying propitiation is made?
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SaggyWoman:
    What source do you derive this information from?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That humanity is a "pile" of hellbound sinners?? Rom 1:18-32; 3:10-17; 5:12-21; 8:1-17; Eph 2:1-3; Isa 53;

    That God chose us from that pile?? Eph 2:4-5; Col 2:13-14; etc.

    What do you mean by "not leaving room for interaction"? Perhaps if you explain your objections so that I can better understand, I can answer in a more direct way.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I know that we are hellbound sinners, but I do not believe that God rummaged through a pile of sinners to decide which ones he was going to save.

    Calvinism, to me, does not allow for any kind of responsiveness on my part.
     
  15. Buster

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    [QB]

    However there is no contradiction with "soul competency", as every man chooses sin or God based upon his own will and nature, under the sovereign control of God. This is a theological tension, but true nonetheless.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks all for the welcome and the warm response to my quest. I want to focus on one part that troubles me in Chris' response. The quote above indicates that man chooses within the Sovereign control of God. How is it possible to reconcile these 2 diametrically opposed options. It seems to me that it would be impossible to indicate that a person had the possibility of choice when that choice is subject to the control of another. It's possible that I don't have the same understanding of the term "soul competency" that you do. In order to explain my understanding of this term I'd like to use a rather extensive quote from Herschel Hobbs' commentary on the "Baptist Faith and Message". Hobbs says, <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> What then is this distinctive belief (of Baptists)? It is 'the competency of the soul in religion." Mullins hastened to point out that "this means a competency under God, not a competency in the sense of human self-sufficiency. There is no reference here to the question of sin and human ability in the moral and theological sense, nor in the sense of independence of the Scriptures."

    Mullins declares this to be a New Testament principle. Certainly it finds its clearest expression there. However, the principle itself is evident from the beginning of the Old Testament. It is rooted in the nature of both God and humans. God is the infinite, Supreme person. He created people in His likeness. Thus humans are endowed with understanding and the privilige of choice. Persons are not puppets. God does not coerce humans against their wills. People are free to choose, but are responsible for their choices. However, their ultimate responsibility is to God, not to other humans. This principle runs throughout the Old Testament in God's dealings with humans.

    However, this principle finds its fullest expressionin the New Testament. It involves the very essence of people's relation to God as taught by Jesus Christ. The entire Bible entails God's revelation of Hinself and people's ability to receive, understand, and respond to the revelation. For the Christians it involves the presence of the indwelling Christ through the person of the Holy Spirit who guides believers into all spiritual truth.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> _The Baptist Faith and Message_ Convention Press, Nashville Copyright 1971 page 11.

    I'm a great fan of Hobbs and E.Y&gt; Mullins. For more on "soul competency" I refer you to Mullins' _The Axioms of Religion_, especially the chapter on the Moral Axiom. It is Mullins' contention (and mine as well) that "to be responsible, man must be free".

    To the point of this response to Chris' post. I don't understand how there can be any reconciliation between the ideas of choice and choice under God's will. A choice that is constrained and foreordained is not a choice and without choice there cannot be responsibility.

    Thanks for the opportunity to spout off here.

    buster

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Buster ]
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SaggyWoman:
    I know that we are hellbound sinners, but I do not believe that God rummaged through a pile of sinners to decide which ones he was going to save. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think "rummaged" is a different word than I would choose. However, if we are all hell bound sinners, then how do people get saved? Scripture describes man as spiritually dead. He is making choices according to his nature; he is therefore willfully and freely rejecting God. If God reaches down to that pile to choose some to save, then nobody would be saved.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Calvinism, to me, does not allow for any kind of responsiveness on my part.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To the contrary, Calvinism demands a response on your part. However, if God does not intervene, that response is impossible due to man's nature.
     
  17. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Buster:
    To the point of this response to Chris' post. I don't understand how there can be any reconciliation between the ideas of choice and choice under God's will. A choice that is constrained and foreordained is not a choice and without choice there cannot be responsibility.
    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Buster ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Someone once asked Spurgeon the same thing; how do you reconcile Divine election and human responsibility. Spurgeon replied "I do not try to reconcile friends". Both are biblical truths.

    One analogy I have found helpful in teaching this to folks is that of the inspiration of Scripture.

    God infallibly, inerrantly gave his perfect word through the biblcal writers, so that every word, every jot and tittle written in the autographs was the very Word of God. As The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy, Part II, Articles of Affirmation and Denial says:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Article VII.
    We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.
    We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.

    Article VIII.
    We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
    We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Similarly, God has chosen the elect from out of sinful humanity to be saved. Yet in doing so "We deny that God, in sovereignly choosing the elect, overrode their wills in doing so. The mode of divine election remains largely a mystery to us."

    God freed the elect to believe. Every regenerated person will by definition, believe and be saved.
     
  18. Buster

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:


    God freed the elect to believe. Every regenerated person will by definition, believe and be saved.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This seems to put the cart before the horse. How is it possible for a non-believer to be regenerate?

    Buster

    ps, thanks for your response
    b
     
  19. Eric B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Romans 9:17-18 (ESV)
    For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." [18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    And the answer to your objection is also in Romans 9:

    Romans 9:19-23 (ESV)
    You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" [20] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" [21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? [22] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, [23] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Everybody uses Romans 9, but this is out of it's context:
    Predestination page <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This passage is discussing Israel, a nation of people God was judging as opposed to Gentiles whom He was spreading His grace to, not individual people or everyone in a particular group being predestined for wrath as opposed to other individual people being elected for grace. (Obviously, many Israelites have gotten saved, so this can't be treating individuals as vessels of wrath). The passage also mentions God's hardening of Pharaoh, but this is still not talking about salvation or ETERNAL punishment. Paul uses the example of Isaac, Jacob, Esau and Pharaoh to show how the people were chosen ("elected") by God and not by their own will in the first place, and how God raised them up to show his power, and then hardens, all according to His will, and chooses others. The Jews, of course, would be offended by this, and one of them might ask "why does He find fault" [i.e., with the people], and then Paul says "Who are you O man, to reply against God"? The Jews had been opposing the Gospel and the apostles all along, for among other things, criticizing the Jews for their hardness in rejecting Christ, as well as opening up to the gentiles; yet, possessing the Law (v.4), they should have known better, so this is why Jesus and the apostles were often harsh to them, criticizing their "stubbornness". They had no right to question why God would find fault with the people as a whole, but as an individual, that person could still forsake his part of the national sin and repent. We cannot just lift a statement out of its context like this and just move it over and apply it to something it was never intended for. Calvinists will point to the verse "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" and "children of the flesh, not children of God" (v.6ff) to try to prove this is talking about the "elect" and "non-elect" within Israel. The distinction between those who obtained salvation and those who didn't was whether they sought it by faith or works. Verses 6 and 8 are simply supporting this, proving that faith is what makes one the faithful remnant, not physical inheritance. This is why Isaac is mentioned. All of the Jews were Isaac's seed also, but where Abraham represented the physical inheritance, Isaac was the child of promise through whom Christ came. Lest one says "but faith was granted through 'election'", the passage pictures people having sought salvation. They did have choice. The whole debate here was "faith" versus "inheritance", NOT "election" versus "free will"! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  20. Karen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:


    Similarly, God has chosen the elect from out of sinful humanity to be saved. Yet in doing so "We deny that God, in sovereignly choosing the elect, overrode their wills in doing so. The mode of divine election remains largely a mystery to us."
    .....
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    One of the reasons I often find it hard to follow your discussions is that sometimes you admit that it is a mystery, and then sometimes you and the authors you quote seem to insist on the idea that election is almost a celestial dart board.
    And then you appeal to the concept that if God does something that would be unfair in human terms, it is okay, because God's ways are higher.
    Sometimes, all non-Calvinists are saying is that we see the mystery faster than you do,
    and we leave it at that.

    Karen
     

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