What Is First ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    On another thread someone disagreed with me about my contention that the church is synonymous with the Body of Christ , sheep , elect , the bride , saints etc. There are a host of related expressions referring to the same group of people . Those specific folks and only those are the ones entered into God's royal logbook -- the Lamb's Book of Life .

    It was said that believers have to exercise faith to be so distinguished as believers . Indeed , believers do believe , savingly . But God causes them to believe . The elect are His from eternity past (the word past is a contrivance for us ) . In Acts 13:48 it says that all who were chosen for eternal life believed . They were appointed or ordained for this before the foundation of the world . They only become believers because they were elected before the world began .

    I think many on this board are confused about the priority of election . Now election is not Christ's sacrifice . But it is the mechanism whereby God causes them to be brought to Himself . Adoption ,calling and foreknowledge are "in there too ".

    I have asked this before . Do you non-Cals mind being called elect ? Or do you elect ( pun intented ) not to be called this word ? Why , or why not ?

    Will any non-Cals admit that our election is prior to believing ? And further will you concede that if it were not for God's election of you -- you would not believe ? Okay , I know I am asking for too much . But the Bible , to be believed insists on the same . The Lord called the elect with a special drawing . He effected a means that that certain undeserving ones would be brought to a saving kowledge of His Son .
     
  2. Brother Bob

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    No, I won't admit that our election was prior to my believing as the following Scriptures will affirm
    I have no problem being called the "elect" after He chose me out of the world but according to the last half of the following Scriptures it was talking to two different kind of people. I happen to fit into the ones "after you believed then were you sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise".

    Ephesians, chapter 1


    "1": Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

    "2": Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "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:

    "5": Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    "6": To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    "7": In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

    "8": Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

    "9": Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

    "10": That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

    "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 usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    "20": Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

    "21": Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

    "22": And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

    "23": Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rippon

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    Before the foundation of the world isn't early enough for you Brother Bob ?

    2 Thess. 2:13 -- But we ought always to thank God for you , brothers loved by the Lord , because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth .

    2 Tim. 1:9 -- who has saved us and called us to a holy life -- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace . This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time .
     
  4. Brother Bob

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    be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. (this is what it is saying to me) I believe certainly that the "plan of salvation was before the foundation of the world, so the Apostles being a part of that plan and some others, but I believe the plan included salvation to all for time and chance has happened to all.
    "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.

    Revelation, chapter 2
    "21": And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

    Rip I am not going to go around and around with this. You ask if we were brave enough to say it and I did, you will quote and I will quote and in the end you still believe what you do and I will still believe what I do. I do want you to know that the predestinated believers are all around me and I love everyone of them and we call each other brother and sister, we just never get on the subject for we both know we will not change. As a matter of fact, the Association I belong to was at one time a part of Mate's Creek Association which is Primitive Baptist and we split over this very issue but we still hold each other highly esteemed.

    [ April 23, 2006, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: Brother Bob ]
     
  5. Rippon

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    All believers are in that group Bother Bob .
     
  6. JackRUS

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    I think Rippon that Bob is saying that in Eph. 1:13 we have a clear sequence of events inspired by the Holy Spirit to show that the Holy Spirit doesn't come into the believer until he/she believes.

    Notice the sequence:

    "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,"

    So first you trust Jesus at His word.

    Then you heard the Gospel and believed it.

    And only then are you filled with the Holy Spirit for all eternity. (i.e. saved)

    The Holy Spirit chose to add the "after that's" to this verse for a reason. And it means just what it says.

    I could agree with you though that we do get a better understanding of our faith after we get saved. But God wants us to make an effort to bring glory to Christ by not caling Him a liar at His word.

    And it is true that God chose us before the foundation of the world. But it was according to His forknowledge. Not His for-choosing as you suppose.
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    Amen JackRUS:
     
  8. Rippon

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    The only people who believe are the elect . They are not regenerated until the sphere we call time . I am not a proponent of eternal justification .

    And Jack , true foreknowlege is about as close to the understanding you folks have of it as " forknowledge " .
     
  9. npetreley

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    Rippon, you're not going to get anywhere. Free willers have no choice (no pun intended) except to rationalize away every verse that states election clearly. Those verses have to apply to someone special (apostles, Jews, etc.), and not all believers. Why? The verses state election so clearly that to face what it says in black and white would demand that they give up their views on free will, and that would never do.
     
  10. DeeJay

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    Interesting that you will talk about "freewillers" explaining away verses. But then feel free to explain why the word WORLD does not realy mean world and tell us what it realy means so that it can more closeley fit your theology. And all with a straight face I bet.

    No, Calvinists never try to explain away verses.
    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Rippon

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    You are so right npetreley . Plain Scripture is set before them constantly and it is like a veil is over their eyes . I think 2 Cor. 13:5 needs to be invoked here . : Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith ; test yourselves . Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -- unless , of course , you fail the test ?

    2 Peter 1:10 is also important : Therefore , my brothers , be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure . For if you do these things you will never fail .
     
  12. DeeJay

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  13. Rippon

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    Aye , eyes that don't see !
     
  14. npetreley

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    I think those are hard words, yet potentially true.

    Here's my thinking on this.

    I used to believe in free will. Many "Calvinists" used to believe in free will. Why? Probably because we live in an age where that is the predominant view preached from the pulpit, and taught in bible studies and sunday school.

    Unfortunately, when we are just babes in Christ and haven't learned the scriptures, we aren't equipped to distinguish between sound doctrine and what people tell us is sound doctrine. So - at least at first - we simply accept the teaching.

    It is not surprising to me that many of us who were once free willers were haunted by the topic until we came to a knowledge of the truth. God's Glory is at stake, and I believe it is for that reason He makes sure we stay uncomfortable with our false doctrines and drives us to find the truth.

    I could see this in action in my sister. She was a rabid free willer who argued with me constantly. Then one day she told me that she was coming to terms with the sovereignty of God, and although she was not at peace when it came to much of the rest of her life, you could she was finding a peace for the very first time when it came to the idea that God is in control.

    Although she spent years arguing in favor of free will, it was obvious in the long run that she was "driven" in the same way that I once was, unsatisfied to drop the topic until she found out what was true. I believe God was working on her for His own Glory.

    Is that what's happening with some of the free willers here? Maybe. I hope so, because it shows God relentlessly drives them to deal with these issues.

    I am glad I don't have to decide who is saved and who isn't. I do think that the doctrine of salvation by free will choice robs God's Glory, and that can't be a good thing. I also think that in some cases it is evidence that the person is unsaved, but I don't think it's a litmus test. But when you are stealing God's Glory, it would be wise to "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -- unless, of course, you fail the test?"
     
  15. doulous

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    Good morning Brother Bob,

    Not debating, just giving insight into my exegesis of this text. I am in the middle of teaching a series on Ephesians. What a blessed book! We just finished chapter 3 yesterday.

    I see a direct link between verses 4-7 and verse 13. Verses 4-7 are a forensic description of our election, predestination and adoption. In verse 13 we see the reaction of man. Man must trust and believe. For the record, I believe that too. So did the Reformers (I suppose I am in good company! [​IMG] ). I just don't believe man can trust or believe until after God has done the work of regeneration in his heart. But I do not deny that man must trust and believe, by faith. Rippon was posting what is the classic view of Reformed soteriology: God elects, regenerates and man believes by faith.

    Anyway...like I said, not a debating, just explaining.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread. Keep at it. [​IMG]
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    Good morning to you too doulous;
    Says after you have believed, then are you sealed. Otherwise, we are on the same link. Maybe I can explain, I don't think man can do anything without God which includes breathing and I also believe that God is striving with the sinner to repent and every man shall know Him from the least to the greatest but they "must believe" and if they will believe then God will lead them to being sealed with the Holy Spirit.
     
  17. doulous

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    Brother Bob, I believe we are closer than most on this "debate." I agree with most of what you wrote. All who come to faith in Christ must believe. Of course, as one of those dreadful Calvinist's, I believe that God is the one who does the work first and then man must believe (excercise faith).

    We may not reside at in the same theological "house" but I think we are on the on the same street! [​IMG]
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    At one time we were in the same house but in 1883 we chose different houses with the understanding that we were still brothers and sisters. [​IMG]
     
  19. doulous

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    Boy brother Bob, you seem to be doing very well for your age considering you changed homes back in 1883. Can I sit by your knee and have you tell me what it was like back before electricity and indoor plumbing? [​IMG] Hey...I'm 44 and my 15 year old daughter believes I was born in the dark ages!
     
  20. Timtoolman

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    It is much better, easier to follow a debate without all the pot shots. And even more than that it is very refreshing too.
     

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