The Apostle James on Particular Election of the Apostles

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, May 4, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    James 1:1  ¶James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

    James here identifies his audience, they are not apostles.


    18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


    Of this group he states that they were begotten of the will of God with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. The firstfruits of a harvest never experience a different development than that of the harvest.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  2. William C

    William C
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    By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His creatures.

    How did he give them new birth?
    By the message of truth.

    Not by the secret inward irresistable calling of the Holy Spirit as some presume when reading their views into this text.

    That would be enough said, but I think its also important to point out that the term "firstfruits" was used in reference to the Jews who were first presented the gospel and the first Christians who were entrusted to reproduce a harvest. Read what Adam Clarke's commentaries say on the subject:

    A kind of first fruits] By creatures we are here to understand the Gentiles, and by first fruits the Jews, to whom the Gospel was first sent; and those of them that believed were the first fruits of that astonishing harvest which God has since reaped over the whole Gentile world.
     
  3. Frogman

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    Yep. God is always the object of the action verb.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Salvation is of the Lord. Yes, it was and is God who brings us to life through our reception of His truth. If we reject His truth then we go away like the 'Rich Young Ruler.' Only the Lord God can bring a sinner into grace, eternal life and into Heaven. He desires that all people will make Heaven their final home. [I Tim. 2:4 & 6] Only those who believe enter the realm of the saved. [John 3:16 7 18 a] His ever achieving will causes us to become the sons and daughters of the living God. [I John 3:2] The New Century Version says, 'God decided to give us life through the Word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things He made.'

    Dr. A.T. Robertson in his "Word Pictures In The New Testament says, 'The message is marked by truth . . . . A kind of first-fruits of that age.' See Romans 16:5 which says, 'Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.'

    The question is did God 'ramrod' sinners into saints? Or did God begat them via their response to His Words of truth? The answer is in the sentence that starts, Or did God . . . Although God initiated the call to faith it was not without that personal response to His offered gift of everlasting life. So this verse speaks against "Particular Election," and locks in the truth of "Election Conditioned By Faith." Without a human reponse to the truth, there could be nothing called responsibility to Almighty God.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Let's compare ...

    Ray: God begat them via their response to His Words of truth
    James: Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth,

    Notice the difference?? I do.
     
  6. Harald

    Harald
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    God has never ever regenerated anyone by or through the written Bible, whether as preached or as read. He always regenerates spiritually dead sinners by His only begotten Son, the living Word who is God (John 1:1, 14), the Lord Jesus Christ.

    It is unfortunate that the KJV in some instance appears to teach Bible regeneration, cp. James 1:18, and I will briefly address it here.

    1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (KJV)

    The original Greek Testament of Christ has no definite article in front of "word". The Anglican KJV translators were usually conscientious to indicate this by italics, but here for some reason they refrained to do so. Secondly, the verb the KJV renders "begat" is apokueô (# 616 in Strong's numbering system), meaning primarily "to bring forth". Gennaô (# 1080) would have been used by the Spirit of God if regeneration (begetting from above, cp. John 3:3, 5, 6, 7, 8) had been in view. Formally rendered it would look as follows:

    "Having purposed He brought forth us by a word of truth, for us to be a certain firstfruit of those His creatures."

    Cp. LITV:

    "Having purposed, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, for us to be a certain firstfruit of His creatures." (italicized word in the LITV, without counterpart in the underlying TR)

    This verse speaks about deliverance ("bringing forth", as when a mother is pregnant) from darkness into light by the Biblical Gospel of truth, cp. Acts. 26:18, 1Thess. 1:4-6, 9. The expression "a word of truth" does not mean one single word from out of God's word accomplished the said bringing forth. The phrase refers to the true Evangel of Christ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. The underlying word logos, rendered "word", could here in this context also legitimately be rendered "discourse". The Gospel of God is the means of "bringing forth", but not the means of begetting from above (regeneration) into spiritual life. The means of regeneration or quickening of chosen and redeemed sinners is the Spirit of God. These interrelated things, begetting from above & bringing forth, are not the same.


    Harald
     
  7. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    If God only brought us to faith by His own will, minus the Word of truth, His salvation could have been accomplished by Divine decree alone. Why the injection of the words, ' . . . the word of truth?' Truth has to be responded to in order for regeneration to be activated in the heart of the sinner. We are not allowed to select only one half of the verse that says, 'By His own will begat He us . . . ' Truth has to be responded to one way or the other. This is what makes Election conditioned by faith as opposed to God only electing men and women to Heaven and Hell, and/ or "Unconditional Election."

    Did Jesus knock at the backsliders hearts door? or did He unlock the door and enter via His own will alone? [Revelation 3:20] God respects the human will/ the human agent in matters of salvation and eternal life.

    If God is not pushy in the life of the backslider, we are not far off by saying that neither would be be overbearing in the life of the sinner. 'He knocks!'
     
  8. Frogman

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    I understand your post and respect you as a brother, yet what you are speaking of is a 'backsliding believer' one who's will has been changed because of the regeneration, not the same eternal position or condition as a lost person.

    BTW, what do you believe is the 'word of truth'?

    Rev. 3.20 does not have in view matters of salvation and eternal life, man has placed that view there not God.

    Bro. dallas
     
  9. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I agree. God does not accomplish salvation or regeneration apart from the word of truth. But the point of James 1:18 that you contradicted was that regeneration is by the will of God, not by the response of man.

    This is not what the text says. We have not selected only half of the verse. We believe that God gives new life in conjunction with the believing of the word of truth. You are the one who selected only half the verse. You completely blew over the part off his will being the operative force.

    God never works against the will of the individual (we have said that over and over:( ). He changes their will. And God is downright pushy sometimes ... just ask Saul. He was knocked right off his horse. Or ask Jonah ... he had a whale of an experience. Okay, that was bad ... but you get the point. God accomplishes all things after the counsel of his will, not man's.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Brother Dallas,

    The Word of truth I believe are those words which represent Divine verities as to God's plan of salvation through Christ's death on the Cross. He has done everything necessary for our salvation including cleansing away a sinner's sins, if that penitent one merely believe in Jesus and trusts Him for this experience of salvation/regeneration. [John 3:16]
     
  11. KenH

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    I really am saddened that the human pride of Arminianism affects so many people who must carve out at least some little niche for man to have a say in his salvation. The Bible does not teach that God has simply done what He can do, washed His hands of the situation, and left it up to man to do whatever he can do to save himself, as Arminianism teaches.

    According to the Bible, salvation is an accomplished fact by God on behalf of all of those for whom Christ Jesus suffered in their stead. The rest is brought about by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. If man would simply realize that his salvation or damnation is totally in God's hands, he would be much, much better off.

    I urge everyone who reads this to simply accept the fact that you are the creature and God is your Creator and you are in His hands to with as He wills. To refuse to do this is simply human pride rearing its ugly head.
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    Jeremiah 18:5-10

    Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD . "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

    Hmmm... Sounds like God acquiesces to the will of man here.
     
  13. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Where is Jonathan Edwards? He was put out of his pastorship for preaching close communion. [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas

    (Sinners in the hands of an Angry God) In which is reference to the fact that God is all that keeps their feet from slipping at any moment.
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    And what you need to understand is that Arminians believe that God is the Creator. He has willed to allow us the choice for salvation. That is what he wills. It's not about pride - it's about what the Word teaches about the responsibility of human decision.

    Go back to the previous post regarding the potter. God doesn't fail to be the Potter, even with man choosing to repent or not, just as man doesn't fail to be the clay.
     
  15. KenH

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    I urge you, Scott, quit kicking against the goads. Simply admit that you are in God's hands to do with as He wills. You can be satisfied in Him alone and not in your self-effort. It's wonderful to rest in Christ and Him alone, and not in failed human effort. [​IMG]
     
  16. William C

    William C
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    Jeremiah 18:5-10

    Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD . "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

    Hmmm... Sounds like God acquiesces to the will of man here.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I would like to see your Jeremiah quote and raise you a Jesus quote:

    ""O Jerusalem! Jerusalem that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing! "

    Hmmm, yep it sure seems God allowed man's will to override his own here too. Awww, what do Jeremiah and Jesus know about it? They were probably just speaking anthropomorphically! ;)
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    I think that passage communicates what I have said from teh beginning. If man repents, then God will act. But why does man repent? Because God gives him repentance and opens his mind to see his sin. This passage doesn't help you. The clay in the potter's hand belongs to the potter to do with as he wishes.
     
  18. William C

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    I wanted to chime in on the issue of "the word of truth" debate.

    I think Eph. 1:13 answers the question for us:

    In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation--in Him when you believed--were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

    The word of truth is the gospel, which is heard. Faith comes by hearing.

    Larry, in your rebuttal of Ray's post you emphasize that James says it was by God's will and not by our will that we are brought forth. I think you are missing the point. We agree that it was and still is God's will that all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, are brought forth by the word of truth, but as you can see in Eph 1:13 you must hear the word of truth and then believe the word of truth before the Holy Spirit is given.

    [ May 06, 2003, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: Brother Bill ]
     
  19. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Brother Bill,

    Your answer was excellent! Why? Because you answered their confusion Biblically.
     
  20. William C

    William C
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    Wrong. God acts first by giving them the truth and expressing to them His geniune desire for them to come to him in repentance. That what it means to grant repentance, which btw he has granted to the Gentiles, not just to the elect.

    Look at Matt. 23:37. God acts first by "longing to gather" and they are unwilling. You presume to say they were unwilling because God didn't grant them repentance, but how can you not grant that which you command of them?

    That is like saying, "Come into my home," while the door is locked and you refuse to give out the keys. It cannot be a geniune call. It makes God into an deceiver of men.
     

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