II Thessalonians 2:13-14

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Oct 12, 2002.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Ken,

    You introduced this passage in the thread about Acts 13:48. I will here deal with it separately. It says,

    "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. Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

    You take this as proof that people are chosen before they believe, yes, even from "the beginning" of the world. Your interpretation of this statement is based the assumption that the phrase "the beginning" refers to the beginning of the world.

    It cannot be proved that "the beginning" necessarily refers to the beginning of the world. For example, in Mark 1:1 we find "the beginning" of the gospel with reference to the initiation of John the Baptist's ministry and Christ's subsequent ministry. We have very good evidence that the term is so used in II Thessalonians chapter 2. It is found in Philippians 4:15-16 which says,

    "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica yet sent once and again unto my necessity."

    We see here that Paul considered his departure from Philippi as a "beginning" of sorts and it is directly tied to his ministry in Thessalonica, which was his first work upon departing Philippi. He mentions this also in I Thessalonians 2:2 when he says,

    "But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you [the Thessalonians] the gospel of God with much contention."

    I contend that "the beginning" mentioned in II Thessalonians 2:13 is "the beginning" of Paul's Grecian ministry. With this understanding, the text not only is rescued from the clutches of John Calvin, but becomes a positive statement that election is in time. The Thessalonians were chosen when they were called by the Spirit of the Lord and answered that call by believing the gospel preached by Paul in the beginning of his Grecian ministry. As Jesus truly said,

    "Many are called, but few are chosen."

    So falls, like a domino, another in the row of odd texts lined up by the followers of John Calvin.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
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    Mark, you are wrong as can be on this. Election happened way back in eternity, calling happens in time. Twisting the meaning of verses such as Acts 13:48 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 will promote false teaching but it certainly won't promote the truth in Christ Jesus.

    Another unScriptural tenet of Arminians and their fellow travelers falls under the weight of Biblical truth. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ October 12, 2002, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  3. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Following close to Biblical exegesis insures that we come to know that God has and still is sanctifying His people because they believed His truth. How has He chosen His people? Because we have believed the truth He has sanctified us by the Spirit unto everlasting life thereby becoming one of His chosen. The responsibility is left to human beings. Believe or perish! [John 3:16-17].

    No where in His sacred Word has He clearly told us that He selects some for Heaven and the rest for eternal damnation. This view is a deviant perspective from His Gospel and His ways of dealing with the lost. [​IMG]
     
  4. KenH

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    You are partially correct, Ray - on the damnation part. But God's Word does clearly tell us that He is rescuing His elect from this corrupted world and those that reject Him are damned by their own sin.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  5. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Ken Hamilton,

    Did you go for theological training at St. Augustine's Seminary in Italy, or John Calvin Seminary in Zurich, Germany. Having part of the truth is better than none at all. Just kidding.

    Regards,
    Ray [​IMG]
     
  6. KenH

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    Uh, Ray, don't you mean Zurich, Switzerland?

    Actually, the major influence on my theology is...can you guess?...

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  7. Sovereign Grace

    Sovereign Grace
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    I can prove that "in the beginning" in II Thessalonians 2:13 means in eternity, before the foundation of the world because Proverbs 8:23 uses the phrase in the same way. Ephesians 1:4 says the choice was "before the foundation of the world." Keep your freewill, I'll keep Christ. ;)
     
  8. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    While you are at it throw in Romans 9:11 for good measure... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Sovreign Grace,

    You man have proved that "in the beginning" can mean eternity, but you have proved nothing about what it means in II Thessalonians. I quoted two passages (Mark 1:1 and Philippians 4:15) where "the beginning" cannot possibly refer to eternity and the Philippian passage refers to the very "beginning" of which Paul spake in II Thessalonians - the beginning of his ministry in Thessalonica.

    That this must be the "beginning" to which Paul referred is further proved by the fact that he said the Thessalonians were chosen "from the beginning" through "sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." Now surely you don't think the Thessalonians were believers since "the beginning" of the world or in eternity past.

    No, Sovreign Grace, no matter how hard you try to force Calvinism into this text it just isn't there - to the contrary, the passage is one of the strongest passages against Calvinsim.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  10. KenH

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    If that's the case then Arminians and their fellow travelers had best lay down their debate swords as their cause is absolutely hopeless and without value. [​IMG]

    Even if one accepts your "from the beginning" definition, it is still God who chose. [​IMG]

    Since you have failed in attempting to explain away the Biblical teaching of Acts 13:48 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, do you wanna try this one, Mark? Wanna try to explain it away to fit into your tradition and presuppositions? -

    (Eph 1:3-14 NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, {4} just as He chose in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, {5} having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, {6} to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. {7} In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace {8} which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, {9} having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, {10} that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him. {11} In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, {12} that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. {13} In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, {14} who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite [​IMG]
     
  11. Sovereign Grace

    Sovereign Grace
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    Exactly Ken. Brother, you haven't proved anything either. "In the beginning" is used in both ways, so you can't MAKE it mean what you are saying no more than I can MAKE it from eternity past. It looks like neither one of us can. However, with the other abundant Scriptures to support what I believe, and go against what you teach, my interpretation fits the context. Why can't you just affirm that God is sovereign and lose your free-willism?
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

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    Sovreign Grace,

    I can and did prove that "the beginning" in II Thessalonians was the beginning of Paul's ministry in Thessalonica. It must be because the whole idea conveyed is that they were elected when they were called and when they believed, and not even Calvinists assert that anyone beleived in God from the beginning of the world.

    Ken, you said,

    "Even if one accepts your 'from the beginning' definition, it is still God who chose."

    So who is denying that "it is still God who chose." You never once heard me say God doesn't choose. What I deny is that God choses unbelievers. What I deny is that God's election is unconditional.

    The debate here is not between election versus non-election. It is about conditional election verses un-conditional election.

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ October 13, 2002, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  13. KenH

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    God does not give His glory to another. God receives all of the glory for a man's salvation for it is God, it is God, it is God, who is responsible for the actions involved in salvation from the beginning before time began to the consummation in the new heavens and earth after time ends.

    Therefore, election is unconditional in that man is regenerated by God, born again, born from above, before he repents and believes and lives faithfully before God.

    You will convince me otherwise when you can show me one of two things:

    1) A dead corpse raising itself by its own power and volition.

    or

    2) A baby bringing about its own conception and birth by its own power and volition.

    To be born again literally means to be born from above, not born by man's own power.

    People want some credit for their own salvation in spite of the clear teaching of Scripture that they cannot bring it about -

    (John 1:13 NKJV) who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    (Romans 9:16 NKJV) So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ October 13, 2002, 01:55 AM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    These verses merely state that Man can do nothing to save himself. We are born again from God, and it is God who shows mercy, but to accept that, we must believe.
     
  15. Mark Osgatharp

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    Ken,

    As far as the "birth" aspect of our salvation, it is a work of God. I have no more power to will a new soul into existence than I did to create myself to start with. Notwithstanding, even the text you quote works against you, if you would quote the whole thing. It says,

    "As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

    This explicitly states that the ones in whom God willed to beget a new creature were those who "received him." Receiving Christ is a condition of receiving the new birth, not the result of the new birth. Nothing could be more plain. Nothing could be more destructive of the Calvinistic system. This, by the way, is backed up by James who said,

    "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth."

    Since we are begotten by the truth, the faith must come before the birth, for the word can have no power at all for the one who does not believe it. Likewise Jesus also said that,

    "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and they which hear shall live" (John chapter 5).

    Again, we see the faith clearly before the life, and in this instance we have a spiritually dead man hearing God's voice, all the Calvinist rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. Again,

    "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3).

    Faith then life, not life then faith - no matter how hard the Calvinists try to pervert God's order. This statment is an outright denial of Calvinism for it plainly declares that a man who does not believe will never see life, and yet the Calvinists teach that an unbeliever get's spiritual life imparted to him.

    Oh, by the way, I've had this discussion a few times before, and I suspect that your next move, after having hung your whole theology on the theory that the new birth precedes faith, will be to say that they are just almost so very closely associated as to be just very near just about almost nearly simultaneous.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  16. KenH

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    Nope. You obviously have overlooked something in the passage we are discussing. Do you see that little word there - "were"? That's a past tense word. That means that being born preceded receiving and believing.

    Your attempt at reading your scheme into the Scriptures has failed one more time. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  17. Mark Osgatharp

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    Ken,

    Of course the "were" is in the past tense. The whole passage is in the past tense.

    The fact still remains that only those who first received were given the power to become the sons of God. That puts the becoming a son of God after the receiving. And I note that you did not even attempt to address the three other passages I cited which put life after faith.

    "Of his on will begat he is by the word of truth."

    "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they which hear shall life."

    "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  18. KenH

    KenH
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    1) I see nothing about timing in this passage. And God works through His Word to bring His sheep to Himself. That's why He has commanded us to spread the gospel throughout the earth. No problem for a Spurgeonite here. So...what's your point?

    2)I totally agree. And we know that the natural man cannot understand spiritual truth. Only those that God is drawing can hear spiritual truth.

    (1 Cor 2:14 NKJV) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Again, we see the plain teaching of Scripture that man cannot come to Christ through his fallen nature. So...what's your point?

    3) I totally agree. One must repent and believe to be saved. So...what's your point?

    So, Mark, the teaching of Arminians and their fellow travelers fails miserably once again to make a dent in the Biblical truth of the doctrines of God's sovereign, amazing grace. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  19. Mark Osgatharp

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    Ken,

    You do not believe one must repent and believe to be saved. You believe a man repents and believes because he has already been saved. And more to the point, you believe a man repents and believes because he has been born of God, when the Bible plainly teaches that a man is born of God because he repents and believes.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  20. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Ken Hamilton,

    I stand corrected as your post on 10/12 10:19 . . . indicates. Zurich, Switzerland is right.
     

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