Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Van

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    Peter addresses his letter (1 Peter) "To God's elect." To be elected is to be chosen. Christ was Chosen and all those "in Him" are chosen by God. When God formulated His plan of redemption, He chose His Redeemer, and as a consequence, chose corporately anyone subsequently redeemed. During our lifetime, God chooses us as specific individuals and baptizes us into Christ, thereby setting us apart, and thus “in Christ” we are saints.

    Paul addresses his letter (Romans) to those "called to be saints." Saint, like sanctify means to be set apart, so those that respond to (gladly receive) the gospel are those called to be saints. When God chooses them, He sanctifies them, sets them apart.

    Paul addresses his letter (1 Corinthians) to "those sanctified in Christ Jesus." So to be chosen as one of God's elect, we are set apart in Christ Jesus.

    Paul addresses his letter (2 Corinthians) to "all the saints" in the area. So again referring to those that heard the gospel and believed in Jesus Christ, and whose faith God crediting as righteousness, and therefore set apart in Christ.

    Paul addresses his letter (Galatians) to the church and does not specifically mention they are part of God's elect, but they are.

    Paul addresses his letter (Ephesians) to "the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus." Here we see that the saints are those who are faithful in Christ Jesus, that their faith continues and does not fall away." This is the test that all those saved must take to have confidence they are one of God's elect.

    Paul addresses his letter (Philippians) “to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi.”

    Paul addresses his letter (Colossians) “to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse.” Here Paul adds to our understanding of a saint, he or she is set apart from unholiness and together the saints are brothers (we share the same Lord, the same Spirit, the same call to holiness) and as before we are faithful.

    Paul addresses his letter (1 Thessalonians) to the church of the Thessalonians, but adds in verse 4, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” The reference to power, conviction and the Holy Spirit means that Paul brought the message personally, not just via a letter. Individuals filled with the Holy Spirit have deep conviction, power and the Holy Spirit. Nothing beyond the straightforward understanding of the text is necessary for the correct understanding of the text.

    Paul addresses his letter (2 Thessalonians) to the church.

    Paul addresses his letters (1 and 2 Timothy) to his son in the faith, Timothy.

    Paul addresses his letter to Titus as follows, “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time….” Here Paul introduces several additional concepts. Paul’s job, given him by Christ, was “for the faith of God’s elect.”
    By spreading the gospel message, those that placed their faith in Christ and His gospel, would be individually chosen by God, based on His accepting their faith, becoming His elect. Paul was also teaching the Word of God so that newborn believers would gain an understanding and grow toward godliness. And finally, the faith and knowledge were based on accepting God’s promise of eternal life for whoever believes in His Son. God’s predetermined plan, which contained the promise of salvation for whoever believes in the name of Jesus, was established before time began.

    Jude addressed his letter (Jude) “to those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” Here, again, we see that those who accepted the gospel (those called) are kept by Jesus Christ. We have been set apart and nothing can pluck us out of God’s hand. We do not sustain our salvation through the power of our faith, we are kept by the power of God who protects our faith. Thus saints are faithful, not perhaps in their walk, because we stumble, but in our devotion to Christ Jesus.

    In summary, sanctification refers to more than one activity: (1) being set apart, our individual election; (2) being guided by our indwelt Holy Spirit into godliness, the sanctification process that conforms us to the image of His Son; and (3) our bodily resurrection.

    With reference to the first usage of the term (positional sanctification), our election occurs when we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit which means we are chosen by God, based on His crediting our faith in His Son, and then baptized into the body of Christ where we are converted and then as a new creature indwelt with the Spirit of God. As we live our born again life, we undergo progressive sanctification, where we mature as Christians, becoming more Christ-like, and serve Him as ambassadors, earning eternal rewards. Ultimate sanctification will occur when we are bodily resurrected in glorified bodies, free of our corrupt flesh.

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