In Christ

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Amy.G, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    What does it mean to be "in Him"?


    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:


    Would the verse have any different meaning if the words "in Him" were omitted?



    Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us....... before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    One can not be redeemed outside of Him. There is no other justification other than Christ.


    Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    So what does it mean to be chosen "in Him"?
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Sorry I fail to see the distinction. Should you be including "chosen" is that your distinction. Otherwise I spoke clearly to the op.
     
  5. Amy.G

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    I am quoting Eph. 1:4 which says we are chosen in Him. Is there is a difference in being chosen in Him and just being chosen. The Calvinists I have been debating with on another thread seem to leave out the words "in Him". My point is that those who are the elect are so because God made a plan before the foundation of the world that those who believed in Christ would be elected to salvation. The Calvinist view seems to be that God elected individuals to salvation before the foundation of the world apart from any faith on their part whatsoever. They are chosen apart from being in Christ.

    Maybe I am unable to explain myself.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    After reading this post and understanding your motivation for it, it seems to me, and correct me if I miss the mark, that you are wanting to make a distinction based on the responsibility of man to believe. I do not think that Ephesians 1:4 is trying to make that case. I am not arguing against it, it is just not the context of this verse. Also anyone leaving out "in Him" is making a huge theological error and it is quite sad. It may in fact be a defense against a perception that man has any responsibility at all.

    Look at verse 5: "he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,"

    This is about the basis for our justification and not about any responsibility on the part of man. God determined that salvation would come as a result of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. That is why I brought into the discussion Ephesians 4:12.
     
  7. OldRegular

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    No Incarnation, no Jesus Christ, no Salvation.

    The doctrine of the sovereignty of God in Salvation is clearly expressed in the Covenant of Grace. This Covenant, an eternal covenant, is best understood as a covenant in which the three Divine Persons in the Godhead co-operate in man’s salvation [Psalms 2:8; 40: 6-8; 59:3; Isaiah 49: 3-12; John 17:6; Hebrews 13:20; Titus 1:2] and is summarized as follows:

    1. God the Father foreknew and chose a people to be His own before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4].

    2. God the Son agrees to humble Himself, take upon Himself the form of man, and die on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of those whom the Father has chosen to salvation so that none are lost [John 17; Philippians 2:6-10].

    3. God the Holy Spirit agrees to apply the work of the Son to those chosen by God the Father and who regenerates and effectually calls those whom God the Father has chosen unto salvation [John 6: 37, 44; Ephesians 2:1-10].

    Again: No Incarnation, no chosen in Jesus Christ, no Salvation.

    Amy

    Below are some thoughts I put together some years ago on union with Jesus Christ. I have done a quick job of cut and paste so hope it makes sense. Also note that I have included some remarks by Martyn Lloyd-Jones amplified by some scripture.


    When we are regenerated, the initial event in the salvation of the elect, we are brought into union with Jesus Christ. Union of the believer with Jesus Christ is an integral part of God’s election of certain individuals to salvation. We read in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus:

    Ephesians 1:3, 4, 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:

    In this passage [verse 4 which you quoted] we see that God the Father chose us in Jesus Christ, that is union with Jesus Christ is an integral part, a condition, of God’s electing grace and that this union is solely the work of God the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we see [verse 3] that it is through this union that all the blessings of salvation are bestowed upon the ‘true believer’.

    As to the nature of our union with Jesus Christ we must not think of it as involving a kind of confusion of persons. Neither does it mean that our being, our person hood, becomes merged or lost in the being of our Lord. Such is the belief of the eastern religions, Buddhism and Hinduism. Those religions teach that endless reincarnations of a ‘person’ occur until a state of perfection, called ‘Nirvana’, is reached. Upon death such a person who has attained ‘Nirvana’ is freed from further reincarnations, ceases to exist as a person, and is absorbed into their pantheistic god. Such a belief is, in reality, inferior to that of a person who believes that when death occurs the grave is the end.

    Thankfully the Bible teaches that those who have been redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ and are united with Him will continue to exist as individuals in the presence of the Triune God throughout eternity.

    Jesus Christ uses the analogy of the vine and branches to further illustrate the union between Himself and the Believer:

    John 15:5, KJV
    5. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    Jesus Christ further defined this union as follows:

    John 14:19,20, KJV
    19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
    20. At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    The following discussion of our union with Jesus Christ is patterned after that presented by Martyn Lloyd-Jones [God the Holy Spirit, page 108ff]:

    It is a spiritual union. We are joined to Jesus Christ and we are in union with Him by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    It is a mystical union. The best way to demonstrate this mystical union is to use the example of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, the marriage relationship between man and woman. We read as follows.

    Ephesians 5:30-32, KJV
    30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    The marriage union is similar to the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church, that is the ‘true believers’. Although the Scripture says the two shall become one flesh the husband is a man and the wife is a woman and both remain so.

    It is a vital union. Our spiritual life is drawn directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. We are sustained by Him through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that in this life:

    John 1:16, KJV
    16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

    Scripture tells us further:

    John 14:19,20, KJV
    19.Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
    20. At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    It is an organic union. By organic union is meant a union in which we give as well as receive. Perhaps the following Scripture demonstrate this as well as any:

    John 15:4,5, KJV
    4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
    5. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    Ephesians 2:10, KJV
    10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    It is a personal union. Jesus Christ saves each one of us as individuals. He knows each one of us as individuals and deals with each one of us on a personal basis. We may engage in corporate worship as the body of Jesus Christ but that does not alter our individual and personal relationship with Him.

    It is an indissoluble union. This is a bedrock Baptist doctrine and is discussed further under the section entitled Perseverance or Security of the True Believer. Although Scripture supporting this doctrine is abundant perhaps none states it better than the following;

    John 6:38-40, KJV
    38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    39. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Romans 8:28-30, KJV
    28. 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. 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. 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.
     
  8. Jedi Knight

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    Hi Amy! Well what comes to my mind is when Jesus said to Peter"didn't I choose you the twelve and one of you is a devil?" I think there is a difference in chosen "In Him" and being chosen for a different purposes.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    "in Him"..........
     
  10. canadyjd

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    Actually, it would be better to look at the whole context: "chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world...."

    "Chosen us": Paul is speaking of specific people identified as "saints at Ephesus...faithful in Christ Jesus" v.1, along with himself.

    "in Him": Paul is speaking what these specific people were chosen to, referring to the blessing found in v.3 "....who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ...." Again, the blessings take place "in Christ", which is what they were chosen for.

    "before the foundation of the world": Paul tells us when this blessing occurred for these specific people. (us=saints)

    "In love": Paul tells us God's motivation in chosing these specific people to be in Christ

    v.5

    "He predestined us": Paul explains more fully that to be "chosen in Him" means God "set us apart beforehand". Predestined means to mark off, or set apart, for a specific purpose. God chose these specific people before the foundation of the world, and then set these specific people apart for a specific reason.

    "to adoption as sons": Paul explains what these specific people were predestined for.

    "through Jesus Christ": Paul explains the means God used to accomplish His purpose for these specific people. Their chosing (election) and predestination is accomplished through Jesus.

    "to Himself": Paul explains that God the Father has chosen these specific people to be His own children, through Jesus Christ.

    "according to the kind intention of His will": Paul explains to these specific people why God chose and predestined them. It was not according to their will. It was not because He saw they would believe and responded to that act by them. No, the reason God the Father chose these specific people was according to the kind intention of His will.

    v.6

    "to the praise of the glory of His grace": Paul explains to these specific people that the result of God's actions in chosing them, and predestinating them, and accepting them as sons through Jesus Christ...... the result is praise to God for the glory of His grace. (unmerited favor).

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. OldRegular

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    I was not intending to quote Ephesians 1:4. I was simply stating that God chose some to Salvation. That salvation was obviously in Jesus christ as I make clear in the statement: No Incarnation, no chosen in Jesus Christ, no Salvation.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    But, He chose some to salvation "In Him". Anything else is incomplete.
     
  13. Lux et veritas

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    Of course the verse would have a different meaning without the words "in Him"! Every word of God is vital.

    But what would not be changed is the basis upon which God chooses us. Salvation is not human-centric, but Christ-centric. Until we understand the our blessings inherent in salvation are secondary to the primary purpose of God's glory, we will never have the right view of God's "plan" of salvation.

    Every blessing we will ever possess is ours "in Christ" (v.3). In other words, God has nothing good for us outside of, or apart from Jesus Christ ... according as (or even as) He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. . .
     
  14. Winman

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    Amy, I believe your understanding is correct. God did not choose who would believe or who would believe not. But God did choose that those that believe would be chosen (elected). And God did know who would believe and who would not beforehand.

    Does it make God evil to create a man whom God knows beforehand will not believe on Christ? I don't think so. If God did not create that man, then that man would not have a choice. He would not even have a chance to live. How would that be good?

    God knew Pharoah would never repent and believe on him.

    Exo 3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

    Because God knew beforehand that Pharoah would be exceedingly proud and never repent, God chose Pharoah to show his wrath.

    Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

    What does it mean "raised thee up"? I believe that God brought Pharoah to his high position as a king. I do not believe it is saying that God created Pharoah for the purpose of destroying him.

    And God gave Pharoah many chances to repent. How could a person refuse to repent after seeing the many miraculous plagues that Pharoah saw? But he did. So God was very long-suffering with Pharoah.

    Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    So, it is not wrong for God to show wrath on those who refuse to repent.

    And we see this with Jezebel in Revelations.

    Rev 3:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
    21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

    This verse alone shows Calvinism false. God gave Jezebel space to repent. He did not choose her to be unsaved. But Jezebel repented not.

    And the Bible shows that someone who does not believe and has been "broken off" the olive tree can believe and be graffed back in. This makes absolutely no sense if God determines who will be saved and who will be lost before time.

    Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    This verse is speaking of Jews that were broken off because of unbelief. And in verses 8-11 it even says God has blinded them.

    Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; ) unto this day.
    9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
    10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

    But verse 23 says that if they abide not in unbelief God is able to graff them in again. This absolutely disproves Calvinism.

    So God does not determine who will believe and who will not. But God has determined beforehand to show mercy to those that believe, and wrath to those who do not.
     
    #14 Winman, Jul 25, 2009
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  15. Winman

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    I was reading an article from a preacher about God's foreknowledge. He said that God does not determine what happens in time and history, but God knows before what will happen in time and history. And God even knows what will happen in all possible circumstances.

    In other words, God knows what your life will be if you believe on Christ. But if you refuse to believe Christ, God also knows what your life would then be like.

    And God is able to bring circumstances into line with his will regardless of what happens. And I believe there is scripture that argues this very thing.
    And it is shown in the book of Esther.

    Est 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
    14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

    If you know the story, the Jews were at this time captives of the Medes and Persians under king Ahasuerus. Wicked Haman had tricked Ahasuerus in passing a law that would allow the people to destroy the Jews on a certain day. He did this because Mordecai would not bow down to him. So Mordecai requested that Queen Esther his neice go into king Ahasuerus for the Jews.

    But the point is, look what Mordecai said to Esther. He told her not to think she would escape death because she was queen. But what Mordecai also said, is that if Esther refused to go into king Ahasuerus, that God would find another way to deliver the Jews.

    So what I think this teaches, is that God knows everything that will happen, plus God knows everything that COULD happen. Now, it is beyond man's understanding and comprehension that God could know the future. But God is so all-knowing, that he also knows all POSSIBLE futures. And God can bring about his will no matter what the situation.
     
    #15 Winman, Jul 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
  16. OldRegular

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    Amy

    You will have to make up your mind as to who is Sovereign in Salvation, God or man. If God elects a man to Salvation in Christ because that man, of his on volition believes, then Man not God, is Sovereign in Salvation!

    I believe that Scripture teaches otherwise. You must remember that all mankind is deserving of hell. Unless Got takes action then all mankind would be lost. However, God through His Grace chose some, out of fallen humanity, to Salvation in Jesus Christ and left the rest in their fallen state. The Doctrine of Sovereign Election in Jesus Christ magnifies the Grace of God.
     
  17. Winman

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    No, because a man chooses to believe on Jesus does not make man sovereign. It is God who chose from the foundation of the world to save those who believe on Christ, and damn those who do not. So, God's will is not violated whatsoever.

    To believe as you do a person must ignore many plain scriptures that clearly show any man can be saved.

    Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    If it is God's will to allow man free will in choosing to accept or reject Jesus Christ, then God's will is sovereign.

    That man is given a free will is shown many times in the scriptures.

    Exo 35:5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,

    Lev 1:3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

    Lev 19:5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

    You can claim all day that God does not give a man a free and voluntary will, but the scriptures prove otherwise.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Winman

    You are entitled to be wrong if you so choose but you are ignoring Scripture.
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Fallen man does not have free will. His will is in bondage to sin and has been since Adam rebelled against God. And Scripture does not prove otherwise.
     
  20. Winman

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    Nowhere is that shown in scripture, in fact, I just showed you several scriptures that show man has a free and voluntary will. Here is another.

    Eze 46:12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.

    And the Bible does not say that man became 100% evil either. It says they knew both good and evil.

    Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    I trust the scriptures, not the teachings of men.
     

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