You Did Not Choose Me

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin, May 29, 2006.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    I have spent alot of time in recent weeks pondering the doctrine of election. That is, "God's free choice of individuals to salvation" (Ryrie, Basic Theology, pg312). Several passages of Scripture have been included in my unoffical study of this doctrine.

    For example, Jesus told His disciples,

    "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My Name He may give to you" John 15:16

    This verse brings several things to mind.

    First there is the clear teaching that God chose us, we did not choose Him. The Bible is clear that no lost person seeks after God (Rom 3:11), in fact the Bible seems clear that all lost people do everything but seek after the True God (Rom 3:12). People come to Christ because they were chosen by God. A person cannot come to Christ apart from the work of God (Jn 6:44). That work is performed in those whom the Father has given to Jesus and these are the ones who come to Christ and recieve eternal life (Jn 6:37, 10:26-28, 17:2).

    This brings to mind several Biblical accounts of how God did choose a person without that person first seeking Him.

    First there is Moses. God appeared to Moses and gave Moses instructions (Ex 3:1-10). God did not ask Moses's permission, God just sent Moses. Moses had excuses, but God pushed each excuse Moses had aside and sent Moses on the mission God had ordained for him.

    Second there is Abraham. One day God appears to Abram and told him to "go forth" (Gen 12ff). There is no explanation why God chose Abraham and not someone else. All we have is that God, in His wisdom, chose Abraham and sent him out.

    Thirdly there is Saul (ie...Paul). This Pharisee was on his way to the city of Damascus to persecute Christians. He was not seeking the True God, in fact he was fighting against God. Yet Christ appeared to him, knocked him off his horse, and told him what he was to do (Acts 9:1-9). In fact when Jesus appeared to Ananias he told him that Paul was "a chosen instrument" (Acts 9:15).

    In each of these cases God just chose the person, not one of them was seeking the True God. There are also cases such as Cornelius (Acts 10) who "feared God". God sent and angel and Peter to Cornelius in order to get the Gospel message to him. Did Cornelius "earn" God's attention? Was he somehow an exception to Romans 3? I don't think so. Rather this is a case of a man in whom God was at work (Jn 6:44). God was working to bring Cornelius to Himself and the final step in His plan was the angel and Peter. Any other explanation, where Cornelius is said to have earned God's attention, contradicts Scripture. Scripture clearly teaches that the promise is based on grace and not works, it cannot be earned (Rom 9:11, Eph 2:8-9).

    In short God chooses those He will bring to Himself (Jn 6:37).

    Secondly let's note that Jesus not only "chose" us be He also anointed us. For what purpose? To bear fruit. If you are a true believer in Christ you will bear spiritual fruit of some sort. Those who do not bear fruit are not saved and will be cast into the fire (Jn 15:6). Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is at work in the life of each believer. After all Scripture says that Jesus Himself is the "author and perfecter of faith" (Heb 12:2). If God is at work in your life, if the Holy Spirit indwells you, He will show up in your daily life. You show me a person who has no spiritual fruit and I will show you a person who is spiritually dead.

    In Christ,
    Martin :thumbs:
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I only have a slight disagreement here:

    I believe we did choose God...but the only reason we did is because he first chose us.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    If we are to "choose" God (and the Bible says we cannot, no one, etc etc), then there has to be a deus ex machina, an intervening work of God that changes the equation.

    That is HIS first choice of us and subsequent work of the holy Spirit in changing us from a heart of stone to a living heart of flesh, enabling us to respond.

    We love Him only because He first loved us. And those He did not love? Continue merrily on their way to hell.
     
  4. 2BHizown

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    doctrine of election

    Oh yes, you're now really onto finding the truth! How well I remember when this happened to me! I read Acts 13:48 and was stunned! I'd read it many times before but this time I was stopped cold! I then realized I was onto something special and that there must be also many other scriptures that supported this same thought! I prayed and asked God to help me drop aside all the old teachings I'd had in all of my 70 yrs of being in church and to show me His truth! Next I read The Sovereignty of God by AW Pink and the whole read through was jaw dropping. I read it and checked every scripture he used to support his points, even stopping again to pray for God's guidance and help with understanding. Next I prayed that God would lead me to a church where His whole truth was preached and taught with no compromise. The following week I just happened to bump into an old acquaintance in a drug store and was invited to visit their church! After the end of the very first service I knew this was my answer to prayer! The week I joined this church they were beginning a study of The Five Points of Calvinism by Steele. Once more I checked out every scripture and prayed that if I encountered anything that was not of Him I would either forget it or lose interest in it! I became ravenous to know more and more and to read the bible, especially Ephesians, Romans, Thessalonians and on and on! How thankful I am for learning these life changing joy and peace bringing doctrines to my life! I will never cease to thank Him and to give Him all the glory! I became an avid reader of the puritans, websites that search this truth like monergism.com, a puritansmind.com and others. I love reading Spurgeon, Pink, Lloyd-Jones and have built a wonderful library based on these wonderful truths!
    Why do most 'christians' hate calvinism? Because they are so totally God honoring and God centered, rather that being man-centered. God is wholly responsible and yet we too are accountable and responsible! What a wonder to learn and uncover such diamonds of His in this late decade of my life! Soli deo gloria!!
     
  5. doulous

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    After our theology

    Martin,

    Well articulated post. A question I like to ask after a person accepts the Calvinist view is, "How is it going to impact your life?" How should our theology affect our Christian walk? Consider this statement:

    Paul wrote:

    Paul introduces a contrast regarding works. No work can save us (...not as a result of works, that no one should boast.") But Paul uses the coordinating conjunction "For" to introduce the reason God created us. God created us, "...for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We often forget Ephesians 2:10 in light of the tremendous truths of God's grace in verses 8 & 9.

    Let us carry the truth of God's sovereignty to all men, through the good works that He has called us to perform.

     
  6. Martin

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    How should some truth like this affect a person's Christian walk? Whether it is the doctrine of eternal security, election, or the return of Christ it is the same. It should cause a person to live a life of thanksgiving to God, a life of holiness, and a life that reflects the power of God in salvation. A person who has been saved by God will share that experience with others (ie...witnessing). I think Eph 2:10 is a great verse that makes this point.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Amen. Everything I learn in the Word makes me glorify God more. And when I start focusing on the doctrines of God's unmerited grace toward Bob, well I get choked up with amazement, gratitue and love.

    Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

    Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

    Ps 115
     
  8. 2BHizown

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    knowledge

    No matter how well you know the Word, even if you memorized the whole bible, unless the Holy Spirit is in charge of your life, directing your steps, sanctifying your soul, it it all to no avail!
    There are many professors, but not so many posessors!
    One who posesses God in his soul, having been regenerated, Justified will then continue on and be sanctified and then glorified! As Christ said in John 17, (paraphrased) Of all you have given me I have lost none!!
    Once we are His, we are then His forever!!
    Not so with the professors! At some point in their life they will desert and fall away!
    1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

    If you're not for real you will eventually desert!! So we should each, work out our own salvation with fear and trembling! I choose to be a posessor with God's help through Christ! Soli deo gloria!!
     
  9. Askjo

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    The arguement is:

    1. God chose the people for service.

    2. God chose the people for salvation.

    When God chose Moses for service, He commanded him to go back to Eygpt and get all the Jews out of the bondage there.

    When God chose Abraham for service, He commanded him to go forth -- move, move, move and continuing move.

    When chose Saul (Paul) for service, He called him to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    John 15:16 (KJV)

    Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    See the bold above. This purpose of this passage is for the service.
     
  10. Askjo

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    Amen! :praise:
    Prove me -- Show me a verse, please.
     
  11. 2BHizown

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    reprobation

    2Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.

    John Bunyan: These are solemn words: they sever between men and men--the election and the rest, the chosen and the left, the embraced and the refused. By 'rest' here must needs be understood those not elect, because set the one in opposition to the other, and if not elect, whom then but reprobate?
    Also, Rom 11:7
    1 Thess 5:9
    1Pet 2:8
    Rev 13:8, 17:8
    Ps 81:12
    Mt 15:14
    Rom 2:4,5
    2 Cor 2:15:16
    Lk 24:25
    That the Doctrine of Reprobation is a "hard" saying to the carnal mind is readily acknowledged--yet, is it any 'harder' than that of eternal punishment? That it is clearly taught in Scripture we have sought to demonstrate, and it is not for us to pick and choose from the truths revealed in God's word.,AW Pink, The Sovereignty of God
     
  12. webdog

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    Don't hold your breath...
     
  13. 2BHizown

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    to win

    Would you prefer to win or are you clearly desiring of knowing God's whole truth?
     
  14. FollowMeHome

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    I agree with what you've cited. God chooses us, but in turn, we have to respond by choosing him.

    For example, he has chosen the atheist, but the atheist has turned his back on God and does not accept Him.
     
  15. 2BHizown

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    God's choosing

    "Why was I made to hear His voice
    And enter while there's room?
    While others made a wretched choice,
    And rather starve than come.
    'Twas the same love that spread the feast,
    Which sweetly forced me in;
    Else I had still refused to taste,
    And perished in my sin."

    Why did we get interested in Him? Because the Holy Spirit had first touched our heart and caused us to see how great sinners we are and how hopeless we are without a Savior! Before obtaining mercy we first must acknowledge our great sinfulness, else where and why the mercy and grace? Mercy is evident against the backdrop of God's wrath, else there is no need for mercy!
     
  16. BD17

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    If God had chosen the atheist he(the atheist) would no longer be an atheist then would he. Such is the power of God that he can even make an atheist believe.
     
  17. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    Called

    We can be called to Jesus, drawn to Jesus by the Father and still walk away like the young rich ruler did.

    The young rich ruler was chosen by Jesus to walk with Jesus, but walked away.
     
  18. 2BHizown

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    John 6: 37, 44

    "All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away......No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

    The Calvinist says that in the last instance the difference lies with God and not with man. In one man the Spirit is not working in a saving way. Therefore, because the man is spiritually dead, he cannot believe, even though he hears the external preaching of the Word and perhaps reads it for himself many times. In another man, however, the Holy Spirit works irrestibly, regenerating him so that he understands fully that he is a sinner and needs God, and therefore, wants to believe and to be saved.
    Thus according to the Arminian, the reason one accepts and another rejects is that man decides. In the one case, faith is man's gift to God; in the other, it is God's gift to man. Hence we have two diametrically opposed answers to the question why some reject the gospel and others believe.(E.H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism.)
     
  19. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    Spiritual death

    We all our spiritually dead.

    The words of Jesus is the spiritual life we need, it is Jesus's words that is our Spirit and life.

    We cannot do nothing without Jesus's words whose words is not His own, but the Father who sent Him.

    Without Jesus's words, you are Spiritually dead. It is only His words that gives you life.

    We are messengers of Good news.

    What we believe, our faith did not come from ourselves. It came from God through His word.
     
  20. IFB Mole

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    Men are spiritually dead TO GOD, but not dead spiritually because if they were how can the unsaved be punished consiously in hell? The unsaved rich man in hell lifted up his eyes being in torment. Doesn't sound "dead" to me. Unconverted men are not dead spiritually, they have a spirit desiring sin and not God, the converted man is ALIVE spiritually to God.

    The Holy Spirit convicts a man's spirit through the Word of God, either written or spoken. As a man sees more and more his spiritual condition there comes a moment he, by his innate faith that ALL men posses, must make Christ the object of his innate faith or reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit, God's Word calls, the Holy Spirit convicts, man either believes by faith or rejects and then God eternally seals us (author and finisher of OUR faith) and begins a work of Grace to be conformed to the image of Christ. Christian growth is a life long process, we never "arrive" we strive to learn more of God and do more for God our entire life.

    There are simply too many verses in Scripture where God the Holy Spirit DOES convict the sinner and makes Himself known and men reject in unbelief. The Gospel is availabe to ALL men without exception and all inclusive. How was Abraham justified by HIS faith if it wasn't his faith at all, it was a "gift" from God? ALL men inclusively and without exception possess faith. It is the OBJECT of their faith is what determines their eternal destiny. If a man - by conviction of the Holy Spirt - makes the object of his faith Christ, we see salvation, if he doesn't make Christ the object of his faith, he is doomed forever.

    This accepts ALL verses of Scripture - God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility
     
    #20 IFB Mole, Jun 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2006

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