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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Feb 28, 2011.
Helpful piece by A. W. Pink.
You do realize this verse is saying we are chosen because of faith (belief of the truth)?
Sanctification of the Spirit is speaking of God's word (John 17:17).
You do realize you couldn't be more wrong, don't you?
In the text, God's choice comes first. His choice leads to our faith, etc. But, the choice on His part comes first.
I agree here. He Chose..
But what must be asked.. if possible.. is why did He choose you over another?
If it is not arbitrary (as all believe it is not, at least that I know of) so, why?
There must be something about you makes you distinct from the others.. otherwise it 'is' arbitrary.
hehehe (I'm bad, I know.. I keep muddying the waters )
The Jamieson Fausset Brown Commentary agrees with me;
JFB understands this as I do, that sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth is the conduit through which this choice to salvation was made.
More importantly, the Word of God agrees with you!
How could Paul know that these believers at Thessanolica were "elect"? Could he (Paul) see into the hearts of the believers, or know the mind of God prior to creation? Yet he was confident that they were indeed elect? How?
By being saved. That's how anyone knows that one is elect or not. But that isn't what we need to be focusing on. We are to preach the gospel to all.
Salvation, not the choice, is through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth.
I disagree, and I have shown that some scholars agree with my interpretation.
God's decrees (notice I didn't say "choices") ARE arbitrary IF the definition of arbitrary is: a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority <an arbitrary government> .
God's decrees ARE NOT arbitrary IF the definition of arbitrary is: b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will <when a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary — Nehemiah Jordan> (definitions from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arbitrary)
Ok, and your point? I'm just reading what the text says, and it says that we are chosen to salvation. It also says that salvation is through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth.
It is SOOoooo good to "see" you again. I hope all is going well with you and your church.
So, the big question: Why did God choose? The only answer I can offer is this: For his own good pleasure.
Specifically, as to your question, why did he choose me? Perhaps it displays His glory more to choose to save a worthless, impulsive, sinful, lustful, faithless, rebel like me and change me into a son of the King.
Of all the questions I want an answer to when I get to heaven--like why is the platypus a mammal, why do you put up with humanity, why do you ordain that evil be, why Hitler--I want to know "Why me?"
But that is not what it is saying, it is saying that sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth is necessary to receive this election to salvation. From Matthew Henry;
Do you see what Matthew Henry is saying? He says sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth are the MEANS, being chosen to salvation is the END.
So, I have showed another scholar that agrees with my interpretation.
Unfortunately, you only read one entrance in the JFB. Allow me to post the JFB for you:
13. But—In delightful contrast to the damnation of the lost (2Th 2:12) stands the “salvation” of Paul’s converts.
are bound—in duty (2Th 1:3).
thanks … to God—not to ourselves, your ministers, nor to you, our converts.
beloved of the Lord—Jesus (Ro 8:37; Ga 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25). Elsewhere God the Father is said to love us (2Th 2:16; Jn 3:16; Eph 2:4; Col 3:12). Therefore Jesus and the Father are one.
from the beginning—“before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4; compare 1Co 2:7; 2Ti 1:9); in contrast to those that shall “worship the beast, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). Some of the oldest manuscripts read as English Version, but other oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, “as first-fruits.” The Thessalonians were among the first converts in Europe (compare Ro 16:5; 1Co 16:15). In a more general sense, it occurs in Jam 1:18; Rev 14:4; so I understand it here including the more restricted sense.
chosen you—The Greek, is not the ordinary word for “elected,” implying His eternal selection; but taken for Himself, implying His having adopted them in His eternal purpose. It is found in the Septuagint (De 7:7; 10:15).
through—rather as Greek, “in sanctification” as the element in which the choice to salvation had place (compare 1Pe 1:2), standing in contrast to the “unrighteousness,” the element in which Antichrist’s followers are given over by God to damnation (2Th 2:12).
of the Spirit—wrought by the Spirit who sanctifies all the elect people of God, first by eternally consecrating them to perfect holiness in Christ, once for all, next by progressively imparting it.
belief of the truth—contrasted with “believed not the truth” (2Th 2:12).
Of course you neglect JFB's comment on "Chosen." What is more, we are not chosen to be saved "through" sanctification--as JFB is pointing out. JFB is, however, pointing out the the translation of "through" may not be the most accurate. The literal reading is "in sanctification." The "in sanctification" can be understood as a dative of means and I think "through" is fine when it is understood that salvation is through sanctification--God's choice is not because of sanctification. The reason for this is grammatical.
The flow of the passage contains one verb--He (God) chose. Whom did God choose? "You," the believers to whom Paul is writing. God chose them for what? To be saved (supplying the "to be" verb, which is perfectly legitimate in Greek as it is often omitted). How is one saved? Through sanctification.
The simple sentence is: God chose you into salvation. It is "into salvation" because the word for salvation is accusative and is governed by the preposition "eis."
You would have us believe that one is chosen because of sanctification. This is not the case. One is chosen to be saved.
The choice to save, on God's part and His alone, comes first. Salvation and sanctification follow. This is the clear flow of the passage and the grammar.
Whether right or wrong, JFB is no substitute for being able to read the Greek for yourself.
He didn't say that at all.
The means to obtaining what? salvation.
YES. Salvation is by faith. We obtain Salvation sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth. It is the means necessary to obtain that end. What end? Salvation. Nobody denies this at all. Nowhere did Matthew Henry say that the reason God chose us was because of sanctification of the spirit and belief in the truth.
And here I thought you only took scripture out of context to suit yourself.
Here's the whole passage of M. Henry:
The means in order to obtaining this end—sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth. The decree of election therefore connects the end and the means, and these must not be separated. We are not the elected of God because we were holy, but that we might be holy. Being chosen of God, we must not live as we list; but, if we are chosen to salvation as the end, we must be prepared for it by sanctification as the necessary means to obtain that end, which sanctification is by the operation of the Holy Spirit as the author and by faith on our part. There must be the belief of the truth, without which there can be by true sanctification, nor perseverance in grace, nor obtaining of salvation. Faith and holiness must be joined together, as well as holiness and happiness; therefore our Saviour prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail (Lu. 22:32), and for his disciples (Jn. 17:17), Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth.
The parts you quoted are underlined. Notice how you conviently skipped this phrase I've emboldened (which I reproduce here): We are not the elected of God because we were holy, but that we might be holy.
So, when you say "He says sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth are the MEANS, being chosen to salvation is the END." you simply could not be more wrong.
Either you have misread M. Henry or you have deliberately misquoted him. In any case, he dose not mean what you are saying and the emboldened passage, you left out, shows that M. Henry believes election produces holiness; election is not because of holiness.
Now you are being illogical and nonsensical. How can you be elect if you do not have salvation?
You must believe to have salvation, and you must have salvation to be elect.
Are you saying an elect person can die a lost sinner?
Because you were elected before the foundation of the world. You were saved, well many years later.
NO! Election was BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!
No. All the elect will come to him. But that isn't on topic here as we are discussing this passage as it pertains to election and the reason for us being election.