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Featured Elections Before and After Time Began

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Jun 23, 2023.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Due to length, this Opening Post is presented in three posts, Part One below, and Part Two and Three in the next posts.

    Reformed Theology makes two assertions concerning their doctrine of Election before Time, first that God chose a particular number of foreseen individuals before creation to be the recipients of His salvation, and two, God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, but not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals.

    These assertions are false teachings. But what are the actual teachings concerning election found in the Bible?

    First, Election is a sound doctrine, and so the argument that the Bible does not teach election is also a false teaching. However, to support or refute the Reformed Theology premise of Unconditional Election unto Salvation before time, passages that address God’s election of groups or individuals for other purposes are not best evidence.

    Second, an Election taught in scripture is the Old Covenant election of Israel, a corporate election, and while this election is a valid teaching, it is not the only election taught in scripture.

    And the third misconstrued view of election is that God elected foreseen individuals based on their foreseen faith.

    This also misses the mark, but it does not miss the mark because God Almighty is unwilling to enter into covenants with men. God tells us what He desires, and tells us the consequence if we obey or if we disobey. This does not make God’s plans and actions the result of our actions, but rather God’s actions toward us no matter if we obey or disobey are consistent with God’s purpose and plan. He sets before us a choice between life and death, and exhorts us to choose life. No, the premise misses the mark because God chooses us individually after we have lived without mercy, after we have lived not as a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9-10), so God’s individual election is based on accepting our existing faith (Romans 4:4-5), not foreseen faith.

    Before we delve into the biblical support for the Reformed doctrine of Unconditional Election before time, let’s pause and identify the scriptural references to Election doctrine of all kinds. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word (transliterated) “bahiyr” appears 13 times. Here are the references:

    2 Samuel 21:6 uses the term to identify King Saul as God’s “chosen one.” This election is of an individual but not unto salvation in accordance with the New Covenant.

    1 Chronicles 16:13 uses the term to identify the seeds or descendants of Jacob as His “chosen ones.” This election is the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 89:3 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 105:6 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Old Covenant and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 105:43 uses the term to identify the corporate election of those He brought out of Egypt, “His chosen ones.”

    Psalm 106:5 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Psalm 106:23 uses the term to identify Moses as God’s “chosen one,” and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 42:1 uses the term to identify God’s Servant, and according to Matthew 12:15-21 is a reference to Christ Jesus.

    Isaiah 43:20 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 45:4 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:9 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:15 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel, and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    Isaiah 65:22 uses the term to identify the corporate election of the Nation of Israel and not our individual election in accordance with the New Covenant.

    In summary, the Old Testament Election’s provide illustrations of God choosing individuals according to His purpose and choosing the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as His chosen nation. But most important, Isaiah 42:1 refers to Christ as God’s chosen One, and thus refers to His election before time.

    However election in accordance with the New Covenant is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, so lets look at some of these verses.

    Psalm 65:4 says some are blessed because they are chosen by God to be brought near to God, and to dwell in God’s courts. This certainly mirrors the idea of being spiritually placed “in Christ” and thus receiving the blessings of being “in Christ” which include spiritually being in God’s heavenly places (courts) and being made alive together with Christ (brought near).

    Jeremiah 31:31 says God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. These “houses’ are made up of individuals who believe in God and believe in God’s promises, and so the New Covenant is with individual believers. Paul teaches in Galatians chapter 3 that even Gentile believers that belong to Christ become “in Christ” children of the promise .

    Turning now to the New Testament, the Greek words (transliterated) “ekleklos” and “ekloge” appear a total of 30 times and are translated “chosen,” “elect” or “election.”

    Matthew 22:14 uses the term to identify that while many are called or invited, few are “chosen.” The idea is that while some might be willing to come to Christ based on hearing the invite, not everyone is “chosen” because not everyone’s heart fully trusts in Christ.

    Matthew 24:22 uses the term to identify that the tribulation of end times will be cut short for the sake of those chosen by God who are alive at the time.

    Matthew 24:24 uses the term to identify during end times, false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders sufficient to deceive even the “elect” living at the time, if possible.

    Matthew 24:31 uses the term to identify that at Christ’s second coming, His angels will gather the “elect” from wherever they are. Thus the “elect” of the New Covenant belong to Christ.

    Mark 13:20, 22 and 27 mirror the Matthew 24 usages.

    Luke 18:7 uses the term to identify that God will give justice to His “elect” who cry to Him day and night. The idea here is that after we are in Christ, Christ intercedes for us, and thus we can confidently approach the throne of grace.

    Luke 23:35 uses the term to identify that Jesus is the “Chosen One” of God, the Christ.

    Acts 9:15 uses the term to identify that Paul was God’s “chosen” instrument to bear His name before Gentiles, Kings, and the sons of Israel.

    End of Part One
     
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Part Two, Elections Before and After Time Began

    Romans 8:33 uses the term to identify that the “elect” are “in Christ” and therefore holy and blameless, so that no charge can be brought because we are justified by God Almighty.

    Romans 11:5 uses the term to identify that a remnant has come to be according to God’s gracious choice, indicating that the choice that produced the remnant occurred in the present.

    Romans 11:7 uses the term to identify that while the blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the Jews) were seeking to obtain the fulfillment of the promises of God, only those whose heart was committed to God were chosen and the rest hardened.

    Romans 16:13 uses the term to identify that Rufus was a choice man in the Lord, signifying not only that Rufus had been chosen and placed spiritually in the Lord, but also he was a faithful and diligent servant, thus a choice servant.

    Colossians 3:12 uses the term to identify that the Colossians had been chosen of God, and therefore as someone predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, they should put on a heart of compassion, humility and patience.

    1 Thessalonians 1:4 uses the term to identify that Paul knows that God chose them, because He personally witnessed their conversion. This verse is directly applicable to God’s election of individuals to salvation in accordance with the New Covenant.

    1 Timothy 5:21 uses the term to identify that angels affiliated with Christ, the Chosen One, are referred to as chosen angels.

    2 Timothy 2:10 uses the term to identify that Paul endures all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it, eternal glory. The idea here is that Paul plants and waters, enduring all sorts of hardships, for the sake of those whose faith, nurtured by Paul, God accepts and credits as righteousness for the purpose of salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus.

    Titus 1:1 uses the term to identify that Paul is a bondservant of Christ because his ministry is for the faith of those chosen by God.

    1 Peter 1:1 uses the term to identify that the people living at the time had been chosen by God according to His foreknown plan by means of being set apart by the Holy Spirit, after having believed in Christ, who is called Truth.

    1 Peter 1:20 uses the term to identify that Jesus was chosen as the Christ before the foundation of the world, and therefore God has known this from before the foundation of the world.

    1 Peter 2:4 uses the term to identify that Jesus is choice and precious in the sight of God. Paul’s description of Rufus mirrors this usage by Peter concerning Christ.

    1 Peter 2:9 uses the term to identify that we were once not a chosen people, and therefore we once lived without mercy, but now we are God’s chosen people, and we have obtained mercy.

    2 John 1:1uses the term to identify that either a particular lady, or figuratively the local church being addressed was chosen by God.

    2 John 1:13 uses the term to identify that either another lady with John or figuratively the local church with which John was fellowshipping at the time of writing

    Revelation 17:14 uses the term to identify that those gathered by Christ at His second coming are the called and chosen and faithful, clearly indicating born again believers were first invited, then chosen based on responding to the invitation, then faithful serve our Lord, demonstrating our faith by our works.

    Now, having provided snippets of the passages that address God’s election according to the New Covenant, lets revisit the Reformed Theology false premises, (1) that God elected before the foundation of the world, a particular group of foreseen individuals, and (2) God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, and not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals.

    Because of limited time, lets just review some of the supposed support for these false teachings. Firstly does Psalm 65:4 address when God chooses individuals and causes them to be united with Him? No. Does Jeremiah 1:5 say when Jeremiah was chosen? Yes, before God formed him in the womb. Does this point toward before conception or simply during the 9-month period of going from an unformed but fertilized human egg, to a full term baby ready to be born? Because of the parallel construction of Jeremiah 1:5, with the second clause pointing to the period of development, the period of development is the most sound exegetical position. Thus this verse does not support individual election before the foundation of the world.

    Next does Acts 13:48 say that God foreordained His chosen ones to believe the gospel? Nope. It says that when the Gentiles heard that the promise of salvation was for them and not just for the Jews, they rejoiced and accepted Paul’s presentation of the gospel, and submitted to his direction, and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. Thus the phrase appointed to eternal life refers to the Gentiles agreeing to the conditions laid out by Paul, and thus they were appointed to eternal life. Compare with the contrasting verse, Acts 13:46. Note that the Jews were not appointed because they rejected the gospel, but the Gentiles were appointed because they accepted the conditions laid out for eternal life, and therefore they believed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Next does Ephesians 1:4-5 say that God chose us as foreseen individuals before the foundation of the world? Nope. It says that among the spiritual blessings given to us who are “in Christ” is the grace granted us “in Christ” that comes from the Word being chosen as the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. Thus, when we are spiritually “in Christ” we share in His election. Therefore “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” because the redeemed were chosen corporately as a consequence of Christ being chosen as Redeemer.

    And finally does 2 Thessalonians 2:13 support the idea that we were chosen individually before the foundation of the world? Nope, it says we were chosen from the beginning, and therefore even if the “beginning” has the creation week in view, rather than the inauguration of the New Covenant, which is what the “beginning” actually refers to, it still nullifies the idea we were chosen individually before the foundation of the world or before the beginning, or from all eternity.

    Were the names written in the Lamb’s book of life written in simultaneously with God decreeing His chosen ones before the foundation of the world? Nope, Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 say names were not entered (implying the names of the chosen were entered) from the foundation of the world which refers to the period starting with the creation week of Genesis 1, and extending to the end of the ages of Revelation 20.

    End Part 2
     
  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Part 3 Elections Before and After Time Began
    In summary, the very passages used to support election of foreseen individuals before the foundation of the world, either do not address the timing, or are equivocal, such that an alternate understanding of the passages is equally as logical, or in the case of the last three, actually demonstrate that the premise is invalid.

    Turning now to the second false premise, that God chose the foreseen individuals because it pleased Him to do so, but not because of any foreseen characteristic or belief of the selected individuals, lets review the supposed supporting passages.

    Does Romans 9:10-13 support being chosen before the foundation of the world, or being chosen as less than fully formed children existing in Rebekah’s womb? The most sound inference is that they were chosen as existent pre-born children, see verse 10. Were they chosen according to the New Covenant for salvation? Nope. The fallacy of trying to support the Reformed Theology premise of Unconditional Election before time with this passage is the fallacy of proving “A” (chosen without regard to their characteristics or beliefs) and then asserting “B” has been proven (that God chooses those He puts spiritually “in Christ” also without regard to their faith or love of God.) Also note that God’s choosing of Jacob for one purpose, and His choosing of Esau for another purpose demonstrates that it is satisfying God’s purpose that dictates His choice according to His pleasure, and so if God desires to have mercy on those who love Him, “God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls.”

    Thus we are chosen by God, and we do not elect ourselves to eternal glory. We obtain mercy according to God’s gracious choice, and not by our will or works, Romans 9:16. But God can have mercy on whom He has mercy including those who believe in His Son with all their heart.

    And so, at the end of the day, the biblical support offered for the two false premises of Reformed Theology, actually demonstrate both premises are invalid.
     
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  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Ezekiel 36: 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

    Jeremiah 31: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Hebrews 8: 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

    Now tell me Van what did these people ever do to get all these I wills?... Brother Glen:)
     
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  5. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Was God ineffective in doing what He said He was going to do or was it the responsibility of the Jews to follow God?

    If you look at Exodus 24:3-11 we see a covenant made between God and Israel but we see that Israel had to agree to adhere to the conditions of the covenant.

    God will say He is going to do something but we see that there are conditions attached.
     
  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Duh, they did not do a thing!!!! Why do you ask such questions?

    Did I say people earn, or merit, or deserve salvation? Nope, but there you go implying that I did.

    I would for once like to meet a Calvinist with the courage to actually address my views!!!

    How about addressing Elections before and after time? Too much to ask?
     
    #6 Van, Jun 24, 2023
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  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the covenant God makes and keeps for those placed in it, verse 34.
     
  8. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    " Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
     
    #8 Dave G, Jun 24, 2023
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  9. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Speaking as an observer and sitting on the sidelines watching these exchanges for the past 5 years ( after having been involved in many of them over that same time period ), I see that some of those that you call "Calvinists" have... and repeatedly, my friend.
     
    #9 Dave G, Jun 24, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2023
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  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Did this poster address Election before and after time? Nope. Go figure
     
  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    LOL, more nonsense, more taint so, more effort to derail actual discussion of Elections before and after time. And note this poster did not address the topic while claiming sometime in the unreferenced past someone had. :)
     
  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The Scripture is explicit on election. It simply needs to be believed.
     
  13. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    But the time when the Jews are placed into this covenant will be after Christ returns. These will be the Jews that have come through the end time troubles trusting in Christ Jesus as Lord. Notice that this is a new covenant since they broke the old one which they made after God brought them out of Egypt.

    Tyndale seemed to be suggesting that man has no responsibility when it comes to a covenant with God.
     
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  14. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    The topic of when election occurs / occurred has indeed been addressed many times, Van. Here are some of your own threads where it has been discussed:

    The Biblical Doctrine of Election
    Understanding Acts 13:48
    All that the Father gives Me
    The Golden Chain Part II
    Election for Salvation in a Nutshell
    Romans 8:28-30 - The Golden Chain

    Please read through them and I think that you will see this.

    May God bless you.
     
    #14 Dave G, Jun 25, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2023
  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another taint so post, with no content.
    Here is a similar claim, the whole bible, From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 demonstrates the Elections before and after time began.
    See how empty claims are made? :)
     
  16. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Summary, the biblical doctrine of election for salvation is conditional, it occurs during our lifetime; God chooses us individually out of this world, not before the foundation of the world, when He chose Christ. The only way I see to reconcile Ephesians 1:4, He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, with 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and John 15:19 and 1 Peter 2:9-10 and James 2:5 is to understand the phrase “He chose us in Him” as meaning He chose Christ to be His Redeemer, His Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:20) before the foundation of the world, and since you do not choose a Redeemer without a plan to redeem, God’s choice of Christ chose us corporately as a target group of His Redemption plan but not individually. Thus Paul is speaking to those who have been redeemed during their lives, and is letting them know of the many blessings they have received, the first one being the blessing that was directed toward them when God chose Christ.

    How can anyone claim we were "children of wrath" if we had received mercy before we existed? Once we are set apart in Christ we are children of God, a new creation.
     
  17. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry Van, but the Bible does not teach this. Rather, it teaches that believers were chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians 1:3-5 ).
    In addition, they are vessels "afore prepared unto glory" ( Romans 9:22-24 ), and God did not choose them based on their works ( Titus 3:5-7 ).
    They were individually chosen, just as Acts of the Apostles 13:48 and Romans 8:29-30 tells us.
    That is because Christ's sheep were not the children of wrath...
    That is a common misunderstanding of Ephesians 2:3 where many take " and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" to mean that believers were actually children of wrath, instead of by their natures being the same as the children of wrath.
     
    #17 Dave G, Jun 26, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2023
  18. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    From God's point of view, I agree.
    He tells me that I was always set apart, and that I was called according to His purpose ( Romans 8:28 )...

    That the reason that I came to Him, was because it was given to me to do so ( John 6:64-65, Philippians 1:29 )...because I was chosen and caused to approach Him ( Psalms 65:4 ).

    Please read the epistles again, and look closely at the language that Paul and Peter are using.
    The Lord has set apart a people for Himself...we do not "set ourselves apart" by making an agreement with Him or by our belief on His Son. Rather, we as believers reflect God's choice of sinners to salvation, and His work in us by our lives and by our actions.


    Good afternoon to you.
     
  19. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    What does the New Covenant tell us?
    Do we read, anywhere, within it that the covenant is contingent upon God's people doing their part? If it does, then you may have a point. Now, here is the covenant. Does it require a contingent where God's people must fulfill an obligation so that God will fulfill his part of the covenant?

    Please explain this to us.

    *Hebrews 8:7-13*

    For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

    We await your understanding of the New Covenant.
     
  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Once again a post that does not address any of the points made in the OP.
    Did this poster address what "in Him" (Ephesians 1:4) means according to the OP? Nope
    How did God prepare beforehand for vessels of mercy? Did not choose His Redeemer before creation? You bet.
    Does scripture preclude individual election for salvation before creation? You bet, 1 Peter 2:9-10.
    Did this poster address Acts 13:48 as presented in the OP? Nope

    On and on folks, it seems none of the regular posters of falsehood even grasp Elections before and after time began.
     
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