Who are the elect?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by BobRyan, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    When the Bible speaks of "the elect" - who does it identify and on what basis?

    A fairly common Arminian position on this is that God has absolute foreknowledge and based on knowing the choices in the future - God's elect are said to be "chosen".

    This group (my kind) of Arminians would claim that although God has perfect foreknowledge - and knew all that Christ would ever do on earth - yet STILL Christ had free will while on earth.

    In this same way - the "elect" and the wicked lost ALSO have free will IN the context of God knowing absolutely everything about the future.

    The Bible never mentions the "elect" being among the "presently unsaved" or "presently unconverted" for whatever time period it is using as "context".

    1. Do any Calvinists here consider that election/predestination is only in the context of God's foreknowledge that includes the future and all choices made in that future?

    2. Do Calvinists claim that the term "elect" today must ALSO include those unsaved people today that will one day in the future "be saved"?

    (And do you ever find a Bible text supporting that?).

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Bob Ryan,

    Those who in this lifetime receive Christ (John 1:12) become the sons and daughters of God. God Almighty has ordained through His sovereignty to cause human beings to make a choice to either receive the Son or neglect or deny Him.

    All of the elect have to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; there is no other plan.
     
  3. koreahog2005

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    Speaking from the perspective of a three-pointer (TUP, not TULIP), it seems to me that there are two Arminian positions on election. In both cases, however, it can be said that Arminians believe that they are elect because they believe. Five-point Calvinists say that they believe because they are elect. In other words, Arminians see election as based on God’s foreknowledge of belief. Five-point Calvinists see foreknowledge as based on election. They don’t believe that God can know something will happen in the future unless He has decided to cause it to happen, directly or indirectly (determinism). As a three-pointer, I don’t believe that one precedes the other. Rather, I believe that both election and foreknowledge have existed from eternity (Ephesians 1:4-5; 1 Peter 1:20). Arminians often use 1 Peter 1:1-2 to say that God’s choice is dependent upon His foreknowledge (conditional election), but the phrase “according to” (the Greek preposition katá ) can also mean “in accordance with, corresponding to.” An example of this usage is 1 Peter 1:15: “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” The word “like” is the Greek word katá.

    Bob, I agree with you that election and free will can peacefully coexist. Adam and Satan are examples of that. God knew they would sin, but He in no way caused them to sin. Their freewill decisions fit into His sovereign plan for the universe. You seem to be taking position number one below:

    1. Many Arminians say that God’s election is not unconditional. They say that God’s election is totally dependent upon the foreseen faith of the elect who are actually created, not upon His sovereign plan that is in accordance with the foreseen faith of the imagined elect who would actually be created. According to many Arminians, God first decided to actually create a group of people. Second, He looked into the future to see which ones would accept His offer of salvation. Third, He elected individuals He knew would accept His offer. This view makes election meaningless because the individuals would accept His offer of salvation whether God elected them or not. In essence, the people elect themselves, and God confirms their election.

    Remember that God’s election and foreknowledge have always been in existence. He has always known which humans He could possibly create who would accept His offer of salvation with their free will, and He decided to actually create the ones from that group who would best fit into His sovereign plan. Thus, God’s election is unconditional. It does not depend on the foreseen faith of the elect people that He actually creates. Their election depends on His plan, not upon their choices. Election is only in accord with God’s foreknowledge of their choices.

    2. Other Arminians say that God’s election is corporate, not individual. They say that God elected the universal church as a group or class of people, but they also say that He did not elect Christians as individuals. They use the example of Israel as a group that was elected by God. It is true that Israel was an elect nation. It is also true, however, that individual Jews were elected within the nation of Israel. Not every Israelite will go to heaven.

    Because God is omniscient, He has always known the identity of all the individuals in the group who will have eternal life. In Ephesians 1:4-5 the apostle Paul said that God chose us and predestined us. When Paul used the word “us,” he was speaking of himself and other individuals, not a group of unknown individuals. If a Christian could possibly lose his salvation, as Arminians believe, then Paul would not have known for sure whether he was a member of the elect group until he was physically dead. It is impossible to be a temporarily elect person. God has always known an individual’s eternal status as elect or non-elect. His election, predestination, and foreknowledge of an individual are seen in Psalm 139:16:

    “Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
    And in Thy book they were all written,
    The days that were ordained for me,
    When as yet there was not one of them.”

    God is able to sovereignly control the universe in spite of the decisions made by individual humans utilizing true free will. Some five-point Calvinists underestimate God’s power and knowledge when they say, “God has absolute control over the universe; therefore, He cannot give humans true free will.” Some Arminians also underestimate God’s power and knowledge when they say, “God gives humans true free will; therefore, He cannot have sovereign control over the universe.” It may not seem logical to humans, but the truth is that God can absolutely control all situations and not violate the true free will that some humans sometimes have. In fact, He utilizes the foreseen human choices made with free will to maintain His control as Lord of the universe. God’s absolute control does not imply that He directly causes evil, but it does imply that He allows it to occur in certain circumstances. His glorious plan for universal history includes His eternal triumph over the evil He allowed to exist.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    I heard a 3-pt Calvinist pastor give an argument for predestination last Sunday based on the Arminian argument about absolute foreknowledge.

    You seem to agree that this Arminian position is well known to Calvinists. I was simply surprised that a Calvinist would use it.

    And in fact "in accordance with" works fine with me. What does not work is "independant of". The Arminian position is that predestination - or chosing the Elect is ONLY in the context of "absolute foreknowledge of how they will respond".

    That is the Arminian position. Nothing "made them sin" - nothing about the way they were made, nothing about God overriding their will with His, nothing about the environment that God placed them in "caused them to sin".

    So then - 3-pt Calvinists ARE Arminian??

    Spot on brother!

    This view of "election" shows the BROADER view where God's sovereign choice to DRAW ALL mankind, and His sovereign choice to have that drawing ENABLE choice, and His sovereign choice to die for our sins - RESULTS in the salvation of "the FEW of Matt 7", and as Isaiah 53 points out - He VIEWS that result, and decides to go with the plan that does obtain that result.

    The only becomes "meaningless" if you conclude that
    "choosing to die for us,
    and choosing to enable our free will
    and choosing to engage in a course of action that He knows will require His death to save those who will choose Him"
    --- is nothing.

    In other words - the ELECTION is in the form of making all these sovereign choices and making the ultimate sin sacrifice - IN ORDER to obtain the foreseen result of such a sacrifice.

    A result that is not obtainable any other way.

    Only if you divorce the act of electing - from the act of choosing to give His Life.

    Arminians do not do that.


    Now THAT is the Calvinism I am used to seeing.

    "Election in a vacuum". The idea that in the ABSENCE of God's foreknowledge of the future - God simply SELECTS the future that He wants and then WILLS that future to happen.

    In other words - God selects each sin, each crime, each injustice AND each act of kindness - and then merely "CREATES PEOPLE" to do them.

    That is the Calvinism I am familiar with.


    This gets to my second question. Can you provide any text that shows the Calvinist idea of "elect" that are not in fact born-again, saved Christians?

    The quote from Ephesians 1 does not do it.

    This is not true since in the Arminian model - ONLY the saved, only the born again ARE the elect. If Paul chooses to fall from Grace (Gal 5) by ceasing to persevere "I buffet my body and make it my slave LEST after preaching the Gospel to others I msyelf should be disqualified" 1Cor 9 -- then the elect are STILL chosen and STILL saved, he is just no longer one of them.

    He does not change the status of the elect - by failing to stay with them.


    There is a Calvinist notion that "
    It is impossible to be a temporarily elect person. God has always known an individual’s eternal status as elect or non-elect.
    [/quote]

    However the Bible never used the term in that sense. IT never says that the elect "will always persevere firm until the end" - rather it URGEST them to make that choice - and to continually make it.

    As we See in Romans 6 Paul argues with those ALREADY born again - to CONTINUE presenting themselves as slaves to God - slaves to righteousness. He URGES them not to fall away.

    He never argues "yes but you ARE the elect - so falling away is no more possible than your turning into a pink elephant. AND I won't be urging you not to turn into pink elephants any time soon".


    Foreknowledge yes. But election? Where did you see that in that text?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. koreahog2005

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    Bob, thanks for your good, detailed post in response to mine.

    You said:

    I agree. God’s election is not independent of His foreknowledge.

    You next said:

    Well, many five-point Calvinists say that. They say that anything less than five points equals Arminian. I have a different classification system. I think that someone who believes that humans always have free will is Arminian. I believe that some humans sometimes have free will, so I would not be classified as an Arminian. So, I cannot speak for all three-pointers, but I would not classify myself as an Arminian. I don’t call myself a three-point Calvinist anymore. I got tired of five-pointers telling me I’m not a Calvinist. So I call myself a three-point Baptist. I guess I’m sort of a hybrid.

    I gave what I supposed to be the order for Arminians:

    According to many Arminians, God first decided to actually create a group of people. Second, He looked into the future to see which ones would accept His offer of salvation. Third, He elected individuals He knew would accept His offer.

    You said:

    The Arminian order I mentioned, however, is not the same as the order espoused by three-pointers like me. The Arminian order I mentioned left out God’s knowledge of an infinite number of imagined, non-actual worlds and individuals. Out of an infinite number of imagined people, God has always known that He would create a finite number of actual persons (the elect) whom He knew would freely choose to become Christians if they had the opportunity under certain circumstances. He has also always known that He would create a finite number of actual persons (the non-elect) whom He knew would freely choose to reject His offer of salvation if they had the opportunity under any circumstances. Thus, in this three-point Baptist view, God controlled what decisions would occur in the conversion process by creating elect individuals whom He knew would react positively with their free will to the influences that He would put around them. This view allows for the coexistence of God’s sovereignty (His ultimate control of everything) with true free will.

    The knowledge of what would certainly happen under non-actual circumstances is sometimes described as “counterfactual knowledge.” The three-point Baptist concept described above is in some ways similar to the middle knowledge concept first made popular by a Spanish man, Luis Molina (1535-1600). The term comes from the view that, if one put things in logical order, God first considered an infinite number of imagined worlds and circumstances that determined what an infinite number of imagined persons could do. Second, He knew exactly what free choices would be made by an infinite number of persons in those imagined worlds and circumstances (a second type of knowledge, middle knowledge), and thus, He knew exactly what any imagined person would do. Next, He decided to actually create the imagined world with the imagined beings and circumstances that glorified Him the most. After that decision, God had a third type of knowledge—a complete knowledge of the world that He actually created. Arminius agreed with the middle knowledge concept. The three-point concept I described is different from the middle knowledge concept in that God’s decision to create the actual world was not dependent on middle knowledge. His election and foreknowledge are both from eternity, so one does not precede the other, and thus His decision to create our universe was not dependent on His knowledge of all imagined universes; rather, His counterfactual knowledge is in accordance with His election. An example of counterfactual knowledge is found in 1 Samuel 23:9-13 where God knew exactly what would happen if David remained in Keilah, and this was knowledge of a non-actual, imagined event because David did not remain in Keilah.

    You also said:

    I agree. God sovereignly arranged the circumstances, including the crucifixion and other circumstances leading to it, so that the foreseen results of the foreseen circumstances would occur. God did not create all the elect and non-elect individuals He imagined. He created the ones who best fit His sovereign plan. He has always known that He would create those imagined individuals who would make the choices (freewill and otherwise) that He has always foreseen as best fitting His plan.

    I made the following statement:

    This view makes election meaningless because the individuals would accept His offer of salvation whether God elected them or not.

    In response, you said:

    God’s election of a finite number of individuals and His crucifixion both fit into the sovereign plan that He has always had. The freewill decisions of those elect individuals, however, in no way forced Him to elect them. Rather, His plan included their election. We know that the people God chose to create were a better fit for His sovereign plan than were other imagined people, but we do not know exactly why they did fit better in His sovereign plan. As mentioned earlier, God has always had foreknowledge of freewill decisions, and the elect have always been chosen. One did not precede the other. Thus, we can conclude that election is best described as unconditional; there were no conditions forced on God by foreseen, actual persons that would have caused Him to elect particular individuals. God can imagine other individuals who would choose to accept Him under certain conditions, but He has always known that He would not create them because they would not fit into His sovereign plan.

    You said:

    I think the three-point concept of unconditional election is different from the five-point concept you have seen so often. The three-point concept does not occur in a vacuum. It is in accordance with foreknowledge. God has always known the future He wants, and that future occurs because He has exact foreknowledge of what will happen under certain circumstances. He makes sure that the circumstances are in place. Nothing unexpected happens. “God causes all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28). “All things” are all circumstances.

    You asked:

    Why does it not do it?

    Ephesians 1:4-5 – “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”

    We have always been elect. We were elect before we were created. We have been elect from eternity (before the foundation of the world). We were predestined to be saved (adopted as sons) in accordance with His sovereign plan.

    2 Timothy 2:10 – “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”

    Notice that Paul wanted to be used by God to help the elect obtain salvation in verse 10.

    Acts 13:48 – “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Notice in verse 48 that the appointment to eternal life happened before the belief.

    You said:

    I think 1 Corinthians 9:27 refers to being disqualified to preach the gospel, not to losing one’s elect status. If a person could lose his elect status, then election loses its meaning. The elect will be gathered when Jesus returns (Matthew 24:31). Again, Acts 13:48 makes it clear that the elect were appointed to eternal life. Eternal life is possessed at the moment one surrenders in repentance and faith: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). If eternal life could be lost, we could not call it eternal life. An elect person cannot lose his elect status. There is a group of elect people, but God knows every elect individual in that group, and no individual can be lost from the group:

    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”
    (John 10:27-28)

    You said:

    In Romans 6, Paul was talking about the reality of the influence of indwelling sin. He told them to “consider” themselves to be dead to sin (Romans 6:11). Indwelling sin can still influence the Christian to commit unintentional sins of ignorance (Romans 7:17). These sins are not willful, unpardonable sins. The falling away discussed in Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-29 involved willful sin committed by non-Christians under the special conviction of the Holy Spirit.

    In regard to Psalm 139:16 you said:

    It took me a long time to find the Hebrew word for “ordained” (yasar) in Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, but I finally did. For the pual, passive form for "yasar" in Psalm 139:16 the lexicon says it means, “to be predestined.” (Gesenius, page 361) The word "yasar" is also used in Genesis 2:7 when it is translated as “formed”: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground.” Kenneth Matthews, professor of Old Testament at Beeson Divinity School, commented on Genesis 2:7:

    The word “formed” (yasar) is used of a potter’s activity (e.g., Isa 29:16; Jer 18:4-6) and the making or wooden images.

    (Kenneth Matthews, “Genesis 1:1-11:26,” The New American Commentary, vol. 1a, 1996, page 196)
     
  6. BobRyan

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    As "Hank" says - "a distinction without a difference."

    Both views concede that God looks into the future and sees the result of His actions in the lives of free will (supernaturally given free will) human beings.

    This gets to my point that God's infinite sacrifice was done "Because" He looked and valued that Isaiah 53 future "result".

    The inclusion of "imagined worlds" does not change that. It looks, walks and talks like the Arminian explanation for "chosen".

    But then you seem to "argue the opposite" when you claim that He is NOT choosing on that basis.

    You can't have it both ways.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. BobRyan

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    non-Christians "Can not fall" they are already spiritually dead.

    Heb 6 makes it clear that they "have been enlightend". And as Paul teaches in 1Cor 2 - it is impossible for the unsaved to be "enlightened" for the things of God are spiritual and spiritually discerned.

    He writes to those who have been "partakers of the Holy Spirit" - and in Romans 8 Paul confirms that this is what gives the Christian "assurance" Rom 8:16.

    It is written to the church - not to the lost world that is not reading Christian texts.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. koreahog2005

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    Bob, you said the following:

    Millard Erickson, 2002 president of the Evangelical Theological Society, discussed the difference:

    It might seem that the divine choice we have argued for is in part the same as the Arminian idea of foreknowledge. There is a significant difference, however. In the Arminian understanding, there is a foreknowledge of actual existing entities. God simply chooses to confirm, as it were, what he foresees real individuals will decide and do. In our scheme, however, God has a foreknowledge of possibilities. God foresees what possible beings will do if placed in a particular situation with all the influences that will be present at that point in time and space. On this basis he chooses which of the possible individuals will become actualities and which circumstances and influences will be present. He foreknows what these individuals will freely do, for he in effect made that decision by choosing them in particular to bring into existence.

    (Erickson, Christian Theology, 1999, page 387)

    The differences can be seen in the logical order of events:

    Arminian Conditional Election

    1. God first decided to actually create a group of people.
    2. He looked into the future to see which ones would accept His offer of salvation.
    3. He elected individuals He knew would accept His offer. Thus, His election was based on His foreknowledge of their faith.

    Three-Point Unconditional Election

    There is no logical or temporal order. God has always known what an infinite number of people would do under an infinite number of circumstances. The elect have always been chosen by God. His election has always been in accordance with His foreknowledge, but His election was not based on His foreknowledge. One did not precede the other. The finite number of elect and non-elect people that God has always known He would create (out of an infinite number of imagined people) have always fit better into His sovereign plan than have the people that He knew He would not create. God’s counterfactual knowledge, His ability to know what an infinite number of imagined people would do under an infinite number of circumstances, is essential to the coexistence of God’s sovereignty and human free will. Without it, the Arminian view says that God had to elect already created people solely on the basis of their foreseen choice. With it, the three-point view says their foreseen choices are in accordance with His plan rather than determining His plan.

    You said:

    Scripture says that foreknowledge and election are both from eternity. One is not based on the other. One does not precede the other. They have both always been. That’s both ways, isn’t it?

    You also said:

    It's true that 1 Corinthians 2:14 says the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually appraised. I agree that total depravity implies total inability. Arminians say depravity is counteracted by common grace. Five-point Calvinists say it is counteracted by regeneration. As a three-pointer, I believe it is counteracted by the special conviction of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us that a non-Christian under special conviction is a taster, not a swallower. He tastes the gift, the word of God, and the powers of the age to come. If he falls away, it is impossible to renew him to repentance; he has committed the unpardonable sin of rejecting Jesus in an ultimate, final, willful way. The Hebrews 10:26-29 passage speaks of the willful sin of rejecting Jesus this way.

    The Bible uses eating and drinking as an analogy to explain faith. We can identify with this analogy because we often face particular eating or drinking dilemmas in our lives. If a stranger places a food or beverage in front of us, we should pause and carefully consider the situation. The food or beverage could be poisoned. We know it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get all of the food or beverage out of us if we swallow it. The ingested substance could become part of us and possibly change us. Thus, we would be wise to taste the food or beverage before swallowing it. If the substance does not taste good to us, we may decide to spit it out of our mouths. If the substance does taste good to us, then we will probably commit ourselves to the substance by swallowing it, and it will remain inside us. Notice the passages below:

    “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

    “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51)

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:54)

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:56)

    “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ ” (John 7:37-38)

    Jesus said that those who eat or drink Him would “live forever,” that the eaters and drinkers would “abide” (remain) in Him and He in them. Thus, because repentance and faith are requirements for salvation, we can affirm that the spiritual eating and drinking mentioned in the passages above refer to the commitment one makes to receive Jesus by repentance and faith.

    The author of the letter to the Hebrews also used the drinking analogy. In Hebrews 6:7-8 the tasting is described. Again, notice the passage below:

    “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”

    Those who swallow are saved and eventually produce fruit. Those who taste, but don’t swallow, end up being burned. In the parable of the soils, the tasters who don’t swallow are represented by the rocky and thorny soils. The swallowers are represented by the good soil that produces fruit. Examples of the rocky soil people in Scripture include false teachers who overtly fall away. An example of a thorny soil person is given in the parable of the talents. The third person that was given a talent buried it. He never surrendered his entire life to Christ; rather, he tried to compartmentalize the talent. He produced no fruit, and the Master cast him into hell (Matthew 25:30).

    It's bedtime in Korea. [​IMG]
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Arminian election.

    #1. God decides to create a material universe with Angels, intelligent life etc. He knows exactly who He is going to create.

    #2. God sovereignly decides to use a Free Will system in that universe. This means "making people a certain way does NOT CAUSE one individual to CHOOSE a certain option.

    #3.God knows exactly what this will cost.

    #4. God knows the exact result of the price paid and considers that the price and the result are justified.

    Arminians never argue that God can not know one thing until he waits to think up the next thing - because Arminians " are not God".

    However - Calvinism loves to crawl inside the mind of God and "take over for a while". It continually argues from the stand point of "thinking God's thoughts in exact sequence".

    Calvinism is therefore nothing more than a "failure to actually think God's thoughts".

    Calvinism also continually supposes that people choose what they are MADE to choose. Because of this -- it must have God decide to MAKE the person SUCH THAT they will CHOOSE life though others are MADE such that they DO NOT - He must therefore elect to MAKE such a person from the very start.

    This "I chose this because I was MADE to choose it" problem is never cured in the Calvinist system.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. koreahog2005

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    Bob, you discussed the price paid on the cross. I’ve been trying for a while to accurately portray the views of Arminians and five-point Calvinists in regard to the atonement, and a while back I used the following three illustrations. Let me know if you think I got the Arminian view right. Your input will be helpful. Maybe not all Arminians agree on this point.

    1. Arminian blood illustration: Let’s suppose that God created 100 drops of blood for use on the cross, and only 100 people (besides Jesus) have existed in the history of the world. Fifty of them are elect, and fifty of them are non-elect. Each of these 100 people could have eternal life upon receipt of a drop of blood. There is sufficient blood for each of them. At the redemption center a drop of blood is available for distribution to each person, and 50 elect people receive a drop of blood. Fifty non-elect people, however, either are not aware that a drop is available for each of them or refuse (veto) the drop placed at their disposal. Thus, there are fifty wasted drops of blood. The blood was sufficient to save all 100 people but efficient to save only the 50 elect people. It was inefficient to save the 50 non-elect people.

    2. Five-point Calvinist blood illustration: Let’s suppose that God has created 50 drops of blood for use on the cross, and only 100 people (besides Jesus) have existed in the history of the world. Fifty of them are elect, and fifty of them are non-elect. Only 50 of these people could be bought with a drop of blood, and each bought person would then have eternal life. There is insufficient blood to buy all 100 people. At the redemption center only the 50 elect people receive blood. Thus, there are no wasted units of blood. The blood was insufficient to save all 100 people but efficient to save the 50 elect people.

    3. Three-point Baptist blood illustration with a counterfactual knowledge perspective: Let’s suppose that God has always known what the 100 created people could do and would do under any circumstances. He has always known that under a variety of circumstances, if 100 drops of blood were provided to potentially buy them, all 100 people could potentially receive eternal life. He has also always known, however, that only 50 people would actually choose to receive the blood under various circumstances. Those 50 people who would choose to receive it are also the 50 elect people that God has always intended to save. At the redemption center in the actual world, blood is offered to a few non-elect people, but they refuse to take it. After their rejection, the blood is no longer potentially available to them (Hebrews 10:26, 29), and their rejection hastens their hardening, which somehow fits into God's plan. God has always known that the 50 non-elect people would choose to reject the blood under any circumstances. Thus, in the actual world, God only created 50 drops of blood for use on the cross. These 50 drops are efficient to save the 50 elect persons. There are no wasted drops of blood. The 50 drops of blood are potentially sufficient to save 100 people because God has always provided an extra 50 drops in His counterfactual knowledge. The 50 drops could be offered to all 100 people, but there would be no danger of a shortage of blood.
     
  11. npetreley

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    Back this up with scripture. I want to see the passages that say God sovereignly chose to implement a free will system in the universe. No implications. No imagination. Real scripture.
     
  12. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
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    Hi Nick;
    If we were invited to come to Christ we'd
    be expected to accept or deny that invitation. In that invitation Christ is revealed to us, it's up to us to accept, .

    Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
    Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    If it's Gods will that all men be saved and not all are you have to know there is a reason not all are saved.It could be God's fault or it could be our own. If it be God's then God shot himself in the foot by not giving man a choice. If it be man's fault then man made the wrong choice and he has no one to blame but himself.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  13. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    The Lord speaking through Proverbs 1:29 and 1:23-27 indicates that God in His wisdom has allowed/ordained men and women to 'choose' by their free will either salvation to life or neglecting this gift of eternal life through Jesus. This is one aspect of His sovereignty or sovereign will.

    The Israelites as all other sinners ' . . . did not choose the reverence of the Lord.' {1:29} Choices indicate the fact of the theological idea of a 'free will.'
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    Err umm -- I think Nick wants a Bible text for each "possible person".

    So do you have a text about "people that will never exist"?

    Somehow Nick thinks that pressing this point will support Calvinism -- so, I will go for it -- where is the text about "possible people that will never exist"?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    Back this up with scripture. I want to see the passages that say God sovereignly chose to implement a free will system in the universe. No implications. No imagination. Real scripture. </font>[/QUOTE]I have to admit - I was not aware that Calvinists doubted...

    1. That God decided to create a real physical universe.

    2. That Lucifer and the perfect angels were not "MADE to sin" and were not "FORCED to rebel" nor MADE defective.

    Now I DO understand that the fact that God did not "make sinners" for the purpose of blasphemy against God and rebellion against God, is a point very confusing to some Calvinists...

    But you would think they could easily get the first two points above.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. koreahog2005

    koreahog2005
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    Bob, you said the following:

    Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”

    In our universe, there are a finite number of people. If God’s understanding is infinite, however, then He is capable of imagining an infinite number of people in an infinite number of universes. This is a characteristic of His omniscience. I think that both five-point Calvinists and Arminians agree that God knows what imagined people and actual people “could” do in imagined, non-actual circumstances. Even humans can create fictional works of literature in which we imagine what people "could" do. Five-point Calvinists, however, apparently do not believe that God can know with certainty what people “would” do in imagined, non-actual circumstances. They believe that God can only know with certainty what people will do under actual circumstances because He will cause those things to happen, directly or indirectly. They cannot explain how God could know in advance what Adam and Satan would do without His causing them to do it in some way, thus making Him the author of sin. Millard Erickson, by the way, is a four-point Calvinist, denying only limited atonement. Texts that deal with God knowing what would happen in imagined, non-actual circumstances include 1 Samuel 23:9-13, Jeremiah 23:22, Jeremiah 38:17-20, 2 Kings 13:19, 1 Corinthians 2:8, and Acts 27:22-31. Bob, you and the others let me know what you think about my blood illustrations. I want to get that right.
     
  17. npetreley

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    Assuming we're "invited" (and I don't think that's a valid assumption), that proves nothing about free will or choice. The OT is filled with commands by God to man, while God was fully aware of the fact that we were unable to obey them. Giving people a choice does not prove that they have the ability to make the right choice.

    Regardless, you completely ignored what I was asking for. Support with scripture the fact that God sovereignly chose to implement a free will system in the universe. In other words, show me the verse that says...

    And God created a system where man would choose his own eternal destiny. And looked upon that set of rules and said that it was good.

    But you can't, because there is no such verse. In fact, there's nothing even CLOSE to a verse like that. The best you can do is come up with a "free will" concept based on a humanistic way of interpreting a verse -- you "reason" that God would not command or ask someone to do something unless we had the ability to comply of our own free will. But that's only your fallen brain reasoning things according to the way your fallen brain thinks (everyone's brain is fallen, by the way). It's not what scripture says.

    For example, scripture doesn't say "whosoever chooses to believe of his own free will", it says "whosoever believes", and humans add what they want to that verse.

    But then scripture DOES say those God foreknew He predestined -&gt; called -&gt; justified -&gt; glorified. And nobody needs to add their opinion to get the message from that.
     
  18. koreahog2005

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    How about 1 Kings 18:21 as an example of a freewill choice in the Old Testament?

    "And Elijah came near to all the people and said, 'How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.' But the people did not answer him a word."

    The people obviously were not committed toward Baal or the LORD. Elijah asked them to commit one way or the other. After the people committed themselves, they would thus be followers (disciples) of either Baal or the Lord. After God's power was demonstrated, the people committed themselves to Him and said, "The LORD, He is God" (1 Kings 18:39). They were then obedient to Elijah's command to seize the prophets of Baal in front of Ahab.

    Another instance of this hesitating was the third slave in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:24-27). The third slave buried the talent (compartmentalized it), and later the Master threw him into hell (Matthew 25:30). Craig Blomberg, associate professor of NT at Denver Seminary, commented on the third slave's laziness mentioned in Matthew 25:26:

    (Blomberg, "Matthew," The New American Commentary, vol. 22, 1992, pages 373-374)

    It seems to me that the third slave is like the thorny soil in the parable of the sower and the soils. There was no overt rejection of the word, but he never surrendered his whole life in repentance and faith. The word "hesitating" indicates that there is not a strong inclination in either direction. The person is able to form a bias from equipoise (neutrality), which is the essence of free will.
     
  19. Me2

    Me2
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    the righteousness found only "in Christ" cannot be equated as being within any OT saint.

    the OT "saints" were promised righteousness. they never received it in their physical lifetime.

    they were NOT a part of the elect. at best, we could identify the OT saints as carnal "babes" that didnt have the spirit within them. and we know that carnal babes are not a part of the Elect.

    what does Hebrews state.

    Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
    Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
    Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
    Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.


    Hebrews, galations and corinthians were specifically speaking about carnal babes not moving forward. not obtaining saving faith only found in the spirit of the resurrected Christ.
    these were not as yet an identified member of the elect.
    they were being identified as carnal babes by paul.

    Paul in hebrews were paralleling the inadequate faith found in the OT saints with that found on the carnal babe. We can also see that it was not the faith found in the Elect but in the non resurrected carnal Spirit of man.
     
  20. koreahog2005

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    Old Testament saints were saved by faith just like New Testament saints.

    Romans 4:3, James 2:23, Galatians 3:6 -- "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

    Romans 4:9 -- "FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

    Galatians 3:9 -- "So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer."

    Hebrews 11:1-2 -- "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval."
     

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