Questions about election for my PB pals

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Hi guys,

    I have seen in the other thread all kinds of terminology being thrown around but I wanted to simplify this discussion(at least for my meager mind) and clearify what I want to ask of you:

    Do you believe that someone IS saved because they are elect, or do you believe that someone WILL be saved because they are elect?


    The way I understand the doctrine of unconditional election is that God will bring to him all that are his.

    In practical terms this means that say "John Smith" is elect from the foundations of the world - this means that at a certain(finite) point in time the Holy Spirit will regenerate him and cause him to trust in Christ. He will then be irresistably pulled toward Christ and accept him - thus he is now saved.

    While I do believe regeneration, faith and belief are completely the acts of the Holy Spirit imparting to man, I do not believe they
    happen too far apart.

    In other words I don't see a man being regenerated and then five years later being converted.

    I have gotten the impression(and I could be completely wrong on this) that PBs believe
    someone could be saved and never trust in Christ.

    They are saved simply because they are elect, and God may or may not cause them to actually believe on Christ.

    Please clearify this for me.

    Thanks

    IFBRefomer
     
  2. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    Well, let's see. To answer your question regarding "is saved" or "will be saved" we have to look at what Primitive Baptists believe in terms of salvation.

    With regards to the "is saved" question, yes, I believe that all of God's children are saved because He elected them to be. For the "will be saved" part, you can really look at it in two different ways. When Christ was saying they will be saved, it was because he had not yet gone to the cross. Of course, you can also take the road whereby we find that we will be saved in a timely sense. In other words, when God calls/regenerates His child, they are saved in a timely sense. Also at this time, they come to realize their salvation. So they are saved in that aspect as well.

    As for your statement:
    I don't know that I would say this. We can see in the Old Testament that the Israelites were looking for the Messiah, the Lord. These people were saved and they trusted in the Lord, whom they had never even seen or heard his name. Same with people today. I believe that when a child is regenerated, he will be given the knowledge that there is One who has saved him. There will be that spiritual feeling of loving the One whom you don't even really know. But He knows all of us, and that's what's important. Now, whether God reveals that His Son's name is Jesus Christ is up to Him, but he will still exist in their hearts regardless of whether they know his name or not.

    To my PB brethren:
    If I have left anything out or if I have made an error, please feel free to add or correct me. I'm not above being taught by my elders. (Even though I may act like it sometimes.) ;)

    IFBReformer, I hope this answered some of your questions. I don't claim to know everything about all Primitive Baptists, but I feel that God has grounded me at least somewhat in the faith, that I may defend our position and know what we stand for.

    God Bless. Bro. James [​IMG]
     
  3. Jailminister

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    My question in this matter is always; Does God know everything or is there some things He does not know? If you answer that He knows everything, then He knows who are and will be saved.
     
  4. IfbReformer

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    Brother Reed,

    Your Statement:
    "I don't know that I would say this. We can see in the Old Testament that the Israelites were looking for the Messiah, the Lord. These people were saved and they trusted in the Lord, whom they had never even seen or heard his name. Same with people today. I believe that when a child is regenerated, he will be given the knowledge that there is One who has saved him. There will be that spiritual feeling of loving the One whom you don't even really know. But He knows all of us, and that's what's important. Now, whether God reveals that His Son's name is Jesus Christ is up to Him, but he will still exist in their hearts regardless of whether they know his name or not."

    My Response:
    This is where I have a major disgreement then with PBs. The Old Testament Saints were not responsible to know his name - they saw from a distance, they were only responsible to believe
    what God had revealed to them.

    But now that God has revealed his Son, we are required to believe on the name of his Son. Certainly I believe the Holy Spirit brings the regeneration and the faith to causes to call on his name, neverless we must call on his name.


    "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
    John 20:31(NIV)

    "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    Acts 2:38(NIV)

    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
    Acts 4:12(NIV)

    If are not saved in Jesus's name then you are not saved at all.

    IFBReformer
     
  5. Bro. James Reed

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    IFBReformer, which name for Christ is it we must be saved in? The English version, the Greek name, the Hebrew name, the Spanish name?

    My point is simply this, regardless of whether we know what he is called on earth, all children will know that he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

    BTW, the scriptures you pointed out would be taken in terms of timely salvation, having no bearing on eternal heaven, to a Primitive Baptist.

    For instance, being baptized is saving us in this time. Would you agree that baptism doesn't get someone into Heaven? This scripture is saying that, in answer to a good conscience to ourselves and in obedience to God's will, we must be baptised and join His earthly bride so we can make our salvation sure. (Basically, since we are saved, we should do what He has commanded because we love Him and want to please Him.)

    God Bless. Bro. James [​IMG]
     
  6. InHim2002

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    a very interesting question - i believe that god knows everything
     
  7. IfbReformer

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  8. IfbReformer

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    Your Statement:
    "IFBReformer, which name for Christ is it we must be saved in? The English version, the Greek name, the Hebrew name, the Spanish name?"

    My Response:
    Brother Reed, the PBs stance on church structure, baptism and KJV Only and differing positions on evangelism is one thing, but to me this is a critical issue.

    Which name and what language - that is a straw man argument. It means you must be trusting in the God of the Bible. We are responsible for what God reveals.

    It seems to me that what you are saying is that we are saved "by election through election". I am saying that we saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ which we are brought to by the Holy Spirit because God has elected us.

    The Bible is extremely clear on this point, that while we are the elect of God, we are not included in Christ until we believe.

    Ephesians 1:11-14(NIV)
    "11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will[UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION], 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."


    So verses 11 through 12 teach us about God's unconditional election and choosing of his saints. Thats were you seem to be stopping - but we must hear the whole counsel of God on this most important matter in anyone's life....


    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

    When were we included in Christ? When we heard the word of truth and believed. That is crystal clear from this passage - it was not one second before we believed.

    Now God causes the believe, and regenerates us so we can believe - he even causes us to believe. But we are not saved(timely or eternal or however you want to phrase it) till we believe.

    And as far as trusing in Christ, if we don't have to trust in Christ, but just can believe in some omnious God, why can't we believe in Alah and follow the Koran - after all if we are saved by and through election as opposed to by grace through faith and trust in Christ than anything goes.

    I think the reason people came up with this doctrine of yours is to try and explain how the pigme in Africa can go to heaven without hearing the Gospel.

    The Arminians said we have to send someone to him so he can hear the Gospel and be saved.

    Some like me who believed in the soveriegnty of God, said if God wants him to be saved he will send someone(he will place it on individuals hearts) and we don't need this huge organized missions programs. Or God would allow him to hear or read the Gospel if he is elect and he will be saved. Otherwise he is not elect. We accept that fact.

    It seems that some Calvinists took another approach, not liking the approach of mine and other Calvinists, and just say if they are elect they do not have to believe - they are just saved. Therefore easing their consciences with the Arminian - when there should have been nothing to ease in the first place.


    IFBReformer
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

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    Bro., first of all let me clarify that PBs are not Calivinist.

    Secondly, let me pose a question to you. Do you believe that all of God's children will hear the gospel?

    Do you believe that the thief hanging on his cross next to Jesus went to heaven? Please tell me when he heard the gospel.

    I don't think any of us are trying to ease anyone's conscience. We believe what we do because God has placed that belief in our hearts. Personally, I couldn't care less what any Arminian, or anyone else for that matter, thinks of our doctrine.

    Ephesians 1:
    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
    12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
    15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
    16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
    17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
    18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
    19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    I believe what he is saying here is that, after we believe, we can see the hope of our salvation. Our belief doesn't make us saved. We have it because we are saved. When he says we were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise after our belief, I believe he is saying that our complete salvation, both timely and eternal, has been filled to where we have a complete salvation in all of his saving grace.

    He has saved us eternally, and has given us the ability to be saved timely, but that timely salvation only comes after we believe.

    I believe you can see this in the following verses when he prays for them to be enlightened with the truth of understanding. If they already believe and understand the gospel, why is he praying that they may now get wisdom and understanding from it?

    So, the question still remains, will all of His children believe on Him? Yes, at some time in their life they will be brought into that regenerative state. But the question is now, how do they believe? Because God places that belief in their heart. Does that mean they will have ever seen or heard the bible? No, just look at the thief on the cross, or the Roman guard at the foot of the cross. so, if we are to believe on whom, and it HAS to be on his name, what name do we call him?

    As I've said before, I don't believe it is we who get that belief, rather it is a belief that God places in our hearts. When we do begin to read the Bible and study upon it, that is when his second salvation will come upon us. That is when we are saved here in this world.

    God Bless. Bro. James [​IMG]
     
  10. IfbReformer

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    Brother Reed,

    Before I get to your comments I want to clearify something.

    We both agree that God has predistined the elect since the foundations the world to be saved. We also agree that God regenerates us before conversion, gives us the faith and causes us to believe on his Son.

    Where we disagree is that I believe we must be trusting on the person of Christ. Not some omnious God we know nothing about or we just make up our god and believe on him.

    I don't believe someone needs to know anything from the Bible except that Jesus Christ as the Son God and Savior of mankind. That if they believe on him and not themselves or Jesus plus some other God or way - Jesus Christ they will be saved. Period - nothing more, nothing less.

    Ok now on to your comments:

    Your Statement:
    "Bro., first of all let me clarify that PBs are not Calivinist."

    My Response:
    Understood. I understood this before when you said PBs are more similar to Calvinists but you do not believe in perserverance, but preservation.

    Your Statement:
    "Secondly, let me pose a question to you. Do you believe that all of God's children will hear the gospel?"

    My Response:
    Will they hear it? maybe, maybe not, but they will have to believe it in order to be saved. So I guess if God supernaturally decided to reveal to the pigmee in Africa that his Son, Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins and the pigmee accepted the Gospel that God supernaturally revealed to him than he would be saved.

    Your Statement:
    "I don't think any of us are trying to ease anyone's conscience. We believe what we do because God has placed that belief in our hearts."

    My Response:
    While I acknowledge that PBs are not Calvinists as you say, I do believe the origins of your beliefs are from hyper-calvinists.

    I would suggest that you do as John wrote:

    "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
    1 John 4:1(NIV)

    Is this belief that man does not have believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from God?

    Like I have said, I would consider myself a Calvinist, although I somewhat struggle with concepts of Limited Atonement and Peserverance of the Saints(I would probably be closer to your preservation of the saints there).

    Having said that, I think I and those who believe like me are not afraid to say that in God's electing some to eternal life, his has left others to eternal damnation they rightly deserve for their sin. God does not and did not have to save anyone.

    If the pigmee in Africa never hears the Gospel because God did not call someone and cause someone to bring him the Gospel then so be it. God could have forordained that he would not regenerate anyone in that area and bring them to conversion so he did not send anyone there.

    But I will not change the Gospel and say, even though no one goes to Africa, and even if God does not supernaturally reveal his Son Jesus Christ as Savior, that people are saved even if they don't trust in him.

    Your Statement:
    "I believe what he is saying here is that, after we believe, we can see the hope of our salvation. Our belief doesn't make us saved.[/u]We have it because we are saved."

    My Response:
    In this paragraph you make the most unbiblical statement a professing Christian could make - "Our belief doesn't make us saved. We have it because we are saved." Please show me one verse in all the New Testament that says we were or are saved before we believe. The scriptures are crystal clear that we are predestined to be saved, not that we are before we actually believe.


    Your Statement:
    "When he says we were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise after our belief, I believe he is saying that our complete salvation, both timely and eternal, has been filled to where we have a complete salvation in all of his saving grace."

    My Response:
    I never see him once saying anything anything about "timely" salvation. Does anyone get to heaven without "complete salvation"? Can we be half saved and go to heaven?


    Your Statement:
    "I believe you can see this in the following verses when he prays for them to be enlightened with the truth of understanding. If they already believe and understand the gospel, why is he praying that they may now get wisdom and understanding from it?"


    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

    15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

    18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,"
    Ephesians 1:15-19(NIV)

    So to answer you question "If they already believe and understand the gospel, why is he praying that they may now get wisdom and understanding from it?" -

    He clearly says in the passage that they "were included in Christ" and when did he say this occured? "when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed". Hearing the Gospel, whether God supernaturally reveals it to you in a vision, or God uses a human being to proclaim it and then believing that Gospel is the requirement for salvation.

    Then he says in verse 15 - "15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus" - whose did they place their faith in - the Lord Jesus. And when he says "For this reason" he is refering to what he said in verses 13 and 14 about them hearing the Gospel and believing the Gospel.

    So in verses 15 - 19 he is praying that they will grow in their knowledge of the Lord. He says these things are "for us who believe". Certainly we can grow in our understanding of election. Most people don't understand how they came to the point of salvation when they are first saved. Later they learn and understand God's purpose in election.

    Your Statement:
    "So, the question still remains, will all of His children believe on Him? Yes, at some time in their life they will be brought into that regenerative state."

    My Response:
    Well at least you believe they will be brought to belief in something. But what do they have to believe, can they believe anything saves them and they get to go to heaven. Can they make up their own god?

    One other question, when you say that all the elect will be brought to a "regenerative state", do you also believe they will all be brought to a "converted state". This is the 100,000 dollar question - if skip any of my other questions don't skip this one.

    Your Statement:
    "But the question is now, how do they believe? Because God places that belief in their heart. Does that mean they will have ever seen or heard the bible? No, just look at the thief on the cross, or the Roman guard at the foot of the cross. so, if we are to believe on whom, and it HAS to be on his name, what name do we call him?"

    My Response:
    Like I said at the begining, I agree that belief in Jesus Christ is brought about by God. When we hear the Gospel(whether through a supernatural revelation or by God using a man to preach it to us) and believe it is all the work of God from begining to end.

    But, just because it is God's work from begining to end(our believing the Gospel) that does not negate the point that is must happen in order for us to be saved - that the crux of our huge disagreement here.

    As to your "what name do we call him" straw man argument - let me see if I can help you, and I really want to.

    It is not about the language as much as it is about the person. When the New Testament exhorts us to call on the name of the Lord(Jesus Christ) to be saved, it is not wrapped up in a word - it is the person.

    The thief and the guard trusted in the person of Christ.

    II Corinthians 11:1-4(NIV)
    "1I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough."

    So when we say you must trust in Jesus Christ alone for you salvation, sure you may have a different name for him in your language, but it is still the person of the Bible. Paul was worried because they were allowing people to teach different versions of Christ, and different versions of the Gospel. But if it does not matter who you place you faith in or what Gospel you believe than why was Paul so concerned?

    In fact he proclaims by the authority of God in
    Galatians 1:9(NIV):

    "As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

    Why are people condemned to hell?

    John 3:14-17(NIV)
    "14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
    16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son"

    People are condemed to hell because they do not believe. That is abundantly clear throughout the scriptures. Why are people saved - it is because they believe on the only one who can save them - Jesus Christ.

    Election is how God regenerates us, gives us faith and ultimately belief in his Son. But faith and belief in his Son is what saves us. Belief in anything or anyone else, or even "another Jesus" as Paul writes is not salvation.

    In fact, why are people condemned to hell - John tells us it is "because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son".


    Your Statement:
    "As I've said before, I don't believe it is we who get that belief, rather it is a belief that God places in our hearts. When we do begin to read the Bible and study upon it, that is when his second salvation will come upon us. That is when we are saved here in this world."

    My Response:
    Once again, I agree that God puts the belief in our hearts, but I ask you my friend - what belief is that?

    As far as when we read the Bible, we grow in the Lord. It is not our "second salvation" - no where can such terminology - or even such a concept be found in the New Testament. There is one Gospel, and one Salvation - period.

    So to sum it up, please show me in the New Testament where someone was saved before they believed?

    Also show me this timely verses eternal salvation taught in the scriptures.

    Since you said "So, the question still remains, will all of His children believe on Him? Yes, at some time in their life they will be brought into that regenerative state. But the question is now, how do they believe? Because God places that belief in their heart."
    so you believe that all the elect will believe - but what will God cause them to believe?

    I look forward to you responses.

    IFBReformer

    [ September 13, 2003, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: IfbReformer ]
     
  11. Gunther

    Gunther
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    IFB, in other word, a person could be a follower of Muhammed, a worshipper of Allah, and still be redeemed.

    The PB doctrine isn't perverted at all :rolleyes: .
     

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