Who are the ELECT?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Wes Outwest, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    I have been able to find in Scripture that the Jews are God's chosen Race.

    I have been able to find in Scripture that the Apostles are God's Elect gift to Jesus, God's Son.

    I have been able to ascertain that the reputed authors of the Old Testament books are God's chosen people, thus they are "of the elect" and these include the major and minor prophets, the priests and kings-good and bad.

    I have been able to ascertain that God has elected nations to punish or discipline Israel. If all the elect will be saved, does that include all the people of these nations?

    I have been able to ascertain that most all of the Hero's and heroens of the Old Testament bible stories are the elect of God, having been "placed" by God's election into the History of Israel.

    What I don't find in scripture is the definition of "the elect" that says that "the elect" are saved without regard to their personal choice and faith. Or that "the elect" cannot resist God.

    Finally I do not find in scripture that there is an "unalterable book of names" written before the foundation of the world. Yes, I know about the "book of life" from before the foundation of the world, but that reference does not say or even imply that the list is completed for all of eternity, and it does not even say that it is "the names of the elect", but rather a "book of life" which could be interpreted as God's plan for his creation.

    So, who are "the elect" where does it specify that only those names written before the foundation of the world are "the eternal elect"? Where does it say that "the elect" cannot resist God?

    Please post the scriptures that prove your point! then include your own point as to why that scripture means what you say it does!
     
  2. russell55

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    Who believes that the elect are saved without regard to their faith? The elect are saved by faith. The elect choose to follow Christ.

    What doesn't happen is that the elect are elected because of their faith. Instead, they are chosen by God "from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

    In other words, the elect (in this particular way the word is used) are chosen for salvation, and the means by which this is brought about is the setting apart by the Spirit and faith in the gospel.

    These "elect", you will notice, were elected "from the beginning for salvation", but they were "called... to this salvation through [Paul's preaching of the] gospel." (2:14)

    They were saved in time and in response to their faith; they were elected for salvation from the beginning--elect to be brought to faith rather than elect because of faith.
     
  3. Wes Outwest

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    That is Paul's way of explaining that God established Salvation throught faith from the beginning. They received the teachings of the apostles and developed faith in God. It does not say that the Thessalonians Paul is addressing in that passage were elected by name in a "book" from before the foundation of the world. Salvation is through faith, not by the prior selection of God, because that would negate the Will of God that we know is "that none should perish but that All should be saved!"

    What Paul describes for the Thessalonians is no different than what happens to any who hear the word of God unto faith. The Context is this, Paul is providing the believing Thessalonians encouragement to persevere.
    You see, Jesus in his pray to the father for His Apostles includes the following passage that clearly states:
    these for whom Jesus is praying were not set apart from the foundation of the world, but did, through the teachings of the Apostles, "tradition's that we taught you", come to believe in Jesus.

    The Thessalonians were "elected through faith". their names were added to the Book of Life in accordance with their faith. They did not come to faith because their names were already in the book of Life.
     
  4. whatever

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    Well, if you can't find it then it must not be there. The scriptures have been posted, and the exposition has been posted, but you cling to your self-made system, so there's nothing more to say.
     
  5. Wes Outwest

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    Well, if you can't find it then it must not be there. The scriptures have been posted, and the exposition has been posted, but you cling to your self-made system, so there's nothing more to say. </font>[/QUOTE]Then why did you say anything?
     
  6. whatever

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    There are at least two possible reasons that I might have said nothing:

    1) If you were correct then I would have said nothing.
    2) If I thought it would have been ignored or distorted then I would have said nothing.

    So, I wanted you to know why I said nothing. If you would really like to discuss this then I will, but it looked like flame bait to me.
     
  7. Wes Outwest

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    As you can see in my reply to Russell55 above, I do not believe the reference she gave in response to my opener is addressing God's Elect. And yes, I did give proper exegesis to it!

    So if you would like to engage in the topic, I am not "flaming" as you suggest.
     
  8. Gina B

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    What are they chosen for?
    Gina
     
  9. whatever

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    OK, sorry about that. It's just what it looked like to me. I was wrong, and I apologize.

    From the OP:

    You won't find that in scripture, but that is not what we believe, anyway. The elect are saved by grace through faith. No one is saved apart from faith. Also, the elect can resist God, but God will ultimately win.

    Concerning the Book of Life - the Bible is ambiguous, so while I think your interpretation is wrong I won't argue about it.

    As for this:
    Salvation is through faith, because of the prior selection by God. I think it is clear from the context that 2 Peter 3:9 is discussing believers, and the point is that God is delaying final judgment until all of God's elect have come to repentance. It seems clear to me that those with whom He is patient with are the same ones who He doesn't want to perish, the same ones who He wants to come to repentance.

    Now, let's look at 2 Thess. 2:13-14.

    I see these truths:

    1) God chose those Thessalonian believers;
    2) He chose them from the beginning;
    3) He chose them to be saved;
    4) He saved them by means of the Spirit and faith;
    5) He called them to salvation by means of Paul's preaching the gospel; and
    6) The goal is for believers to partake of the glory of Christ.

    What I don't see is any discussion of why God chose the Thessalonian believers. You seem to be saying that he chose them because of foreseen faith. I'm sure you will correct me if I am wrong about that. The main problem I have with that theory is that the scripture never says it. This text doesn't say that because God foresaw their response to Paul's preaching He chose them from the beginning. You are reading this into the passage. It simply says that He chose them, and He called them, but it doesn't say why He chose them.

    As for this:
    these for whom Jesus is praying were not set apart from the foundation of the world, but did, through the teachings of the Apostles, "tradition's that we taught you", come to believe in Jesus.</font>[/QUOTE]Again, you are reading too much into this verse. Jesus speaks of the means of our salvation, but here he neither affirms nor denies whether we were set apart from the foundation of the world. It is clear from the Thessalonian passage that the choice and the means are separate issues. We know that we were set apart from the foundation of the world because of other passages. This passage simply isn't relevant to that topic.
     
  10. Wes Outwest

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    I don't agree with your use of the term "elect" in the context of 2 Peter 3:3-10. I do however see the "whosoever believeth" in that context. If you are using the word "elect" in the past tense, meaning those who have already come to believe, then perhaps we are not too far apart, but it doesn't seem that is how you are using it.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    2 Thess 2:13,14 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, (for God so loved the world...)

    "because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved", The Thessalonians that Paul was writing to were "Fruit of the labor of the first generation of the Church" the first to be harvested by the Apostles, thus "the first fruits" to Be saved through faith!

    (How?) "through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth." (Through faith, belief in the truth, they are sanctified by the spirit) To this he called you through our gospel, (hearing the word and coming to faith) so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (which is Salvation, through resurrection into everlasting life)

    So, there is no mention of "the elect" here in this passage. It is a discussion of election through faith!
     
  11. whatever

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    The "elect" and "whosoever believeth" are the same people. All of the elect will repent and believe, and then judgment will come. That's Peter's point.

    When Paul says "God chose you" he is identifying them with "the elect". And he doesn't say that they were elect through faith. He says they were chosen from the beginning, and that they were saved through faith, but he does not say that they were chosen from the beginning because they would someday believe. That just isn't there.
     
  12. Wes Outwest

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    You missed the point in Thessalonians. The key element here is "first fruits" Paul is telling them they are among the first Gentile believers who believed solely upon hearing the word of God and believing.

    It is "THE PLAN OF GOD" that was Ordained from before the foundation of the world, that once the penalty of sin is removed from mankind, ALL who hear God's word and believe in HIS SON, shall pass from death into life eternal with God. That is election by faith.

    "Firstfruits" implies that there was a planted seed, and that the seed grew into a "tree" that produced fruit and that the first of the fruit is the firstfruits. Jesus is the seed that was "planted". The apostles are the tree whose root is in Jesus, the Thessalonians are among the first of the fruits that the mature tree produced! They were not previously "elected", but the church was planned from before the foundation of the world, and the Thessalonian believers became part of the church through their personal individual belief in Jesus. God's plan in action, and it has not changed one iota from that beginning.

    To state that they were elected from before the foundation of the world completely negates the need and purpose of "the church". The church's mission is to give the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and reap "the harvest" of all who believe the Gospel message. The church's mission is not "go out and collect my firstfruits, you know, the ones that I said are mine a long time ago" Those are represented by the "friends and neighbors" of the Father in the parable of the wedding, they were the ones whom the father of the groom had invited long before the feast day. But they all begged off with "other worldly cares", so the father of the bride then opened the feast to whosoever comes at his invitation. Matt 22:1-14
    Were those who were invited "from the main crossroads" the elect? I don't think so. They were the benefactors of the "elect's unworthiness". They were not invited from before the wedding announcement, they were given the word that the wedding feast was open to them and all who believed it came in to the feast, even the one who came not dressed for the occasion, the one who did not understand that you must be clothed in righteousness.

    So, I do not agree with you that there is a "preordained elect" in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. The Thessalonians lived on the main crossroads and were not previously Elected!
     
  13. prophecynut

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    An excellent example of the above is Jacob and Esau.

    Romans 9:11-16 NIV
    11. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad - in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12. not by works but by him who calls - she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13. Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. (Before they were born)
    14. What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15. For he says to Moses,

    "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion"

    16. It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    The N.T. and Wycliffe Bible Commentary in the portion on Romans written by Dr. A. Berkeley Mickelsen, B.D. & Ph.D., Professor of Bible and Theology, Graduate School, Wheaton College, says,

    ‘The historical situation of both individuals and peoples certainly affects their eternal destiny. But election in Romans 9:10-13 is not electionfor eternal salvation or damnation. Rather, it is selection for the roles God has called individuals and nations to play in their earthly life.’

    And I will add that Jacob was chosen because of the purity of the stock which led to our Lord’s birth as the Son of the Promise. Esau was elected to fill a less significant function and, to my knowledge, none of his children ever became one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

    Augustinian Calvinism thinks in another erring way leading to a conclusion in Romans nine. Once you start down that road you will tend to make more errors. These archaic concepts are hardly a reasonable response to a careful study of His Word. The Cross points to His unthinkable sacrifice, His love, justice and mercy. God’s attributes just stated do not suggest Jesus as being an Autocratic :mad: Monarch in His Kingdom.
     
  15. Southern

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    Ray,

    If this is true, how do you explain Pauls train of thought that begins with Pauls concern starting in verses 1-3? As one writer noted:

    "Paul in Romans 9-11 is not merely that Israel has lost temporal blesings, or that its historical destiny has not evolved the way he anticipated. Paul agonizes over the place of Israel in Romans 9-11 because too many in his nation were not saved."

    "The particular question in his mind in verses 1-5 relates to the salvation of Israel, and thus the claim that God's word has not failed (9:6) must be interpreted in relationship to the issue that is at the forfront of Paul's mind-- namely, the salvation of Israel." -Thomas R. Schreiner

    Question- If Romans 9 deals with corporate groups then why does Paul use the "singular" consistantly throughout the chapter? This seems to clearly point towards salvation and not just corporate blessings on groups.
     
  16. Wes Outwest

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    Could it be that Paul is speaking of Israel as a singular entity from chapters 9 through 11." After all, "The Elect" implies a singular entity.
     
  17. Southern

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    Wes,

    Your interpretation does not do justice to the text.There are many problems I see with this interpretation. I will briefly note just a few:

    1.)You would have to say that Paul departs the very issue that he raised in verses 1-6. That is clearly dealing with salvation. That is discussed throughout this chapter (9:32), Not to mention chapter 10(10:1) and 11(11:1,26ff) also.

    2.)How could Paul be speaking of Israel as a whole when He makes a distinction of particular individuals "within" national Israel(vs.6). The selection of a remnant implies that these individuals were chosen out of the larger grouping (national Israel)(9:6;11:1).

    Conclusion-Much more could be said, but these two alone make your interpretation questionable.
     
  18. Wes Outwest

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    All of Chapter 9, 10, and 11 deal with Israel, God's chosen race!
     
  19. Southern

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    Wes,

     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    The same way that we talk of American history by pointing out individuals, and "clans" and states, and....you get the picture.
     

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