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On the criterion of "election"

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by George Antonios, Oct 3, 2019.

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  1. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    In the thread "what is God's criterion for election?" the consensual answer basically was "we don't know".
    In discussions with Calvinists, Romans 9 is probably the #1 reference.
    When I read Paul's conclusion in Romans 9, he thrice states that the criterion is faith:
    Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
    Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
    Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
    Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    That places the criterion in time, not in eternity-past. [Evidently, we did not believe in eternity-past].
    Now, I can imagine Calvinistic answers to the above, but I'd like to hear what you have to say that I may better understand your position, and also mine.
    Thank you.
     
    #1 George Antonios, Oct 3, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  2. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys does anyone want to kick this off? It's been a little while now.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    If God chooses or elects someone for salvation based on something they do, that is a works based salvation. If God chooses someone for salvation and that person responds to something God has done (drawing, convicting, etc.., of Holy Spirit.), you have grace.

    Peace to you
     
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  4. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the peace but I wanted an answer and I can scarcely see how this was an answer.
     
  5. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    How about you? You are great at asking questions, so why not answer your own? What do you think the criterion for election is?
     
  6. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Well,
    A) For the moment I'm more interested in hearing. Too many of us are certain of their position when they've never been duly challenged. So I seek to see what people who are presumably in the book have to say in order to be sure that my interpretation is correct, that its mettle has been tried, and also hopefully learn a thing or two and receive correction.
    B) I told you my position in the OP, did I not? It's faith.

    How come you're asking me now?
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    And so, again, I disagree with you. You are saying a person must exercise faith in God before God elects them for salvation.

    If God responds to something a person does and elects them for salvation, that is a works based salvation.

    The passage you quoted above (Roman's 9:30 +) is focused on appropriating righteousness, not about God's criteria for election.

    Salvation is appropriated by faith. Faith is the response of someone that has been elected by God for salvation, drawn by Holy Spirit, brought under conviction by Holy Spirit, and so forth.

    If a person responds to what God has done, that is grace.

    Peace to you
     
  8. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Now that is indeed a disagreement, as that is now an answer. Thank you for your input.
     
  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    ok
     
  10. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    So, you believe God's criterion in election is based on foreseen faith?
     
  11. Particular

    Particular Well-Known Member

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    You speak of faith, but you add time into that. I don't follow your OP. What did you comment about time have to do with faith?
    Also, is faith all by itself or is faith the effect of the cause? The cause being God's gracious unmerited favor.
     
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  12. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Part 1
    The criterion looking from man's point of view, is faith.

    Faith in Christ's finished work for them on the cross, and an enduring faith that carries them through thick and thin, through all their trials and tribulations in this life...up to and including the believer's death, whenever and however that may happen.

    Looking from God's point of view, it is His will and purposes.;)

    Apologies in advance for the length of this answer, but I think this really does need to be developed.


    1) For example, from man's point of view, we "exercise faith", and believe on Christ when we did not formerly believe.

    We hear the Gospel... the preaching of the cross ( that we are sinners, Christ died for us, and paid for our sins with His blood, among many other things...1 Corinthians 15:1-7 ), and believe on Christ as our only hope to deliver us from our sins and from God's wrath, from the heart ( Romans 10:18-10 ).
    Plenty of people believe with just the mind; I'll call it, "mental assent"...but very few truly believe it from the heart.
    It is a deep and abiding faith in our Deliverer, that "sticks", and never goes away.:)



    2) From God's point of view, election, predestination, "calling", justification, and a whole lot more are "discovered" in the pages of His word, waiting there for God to show the believer as they study His words deeply ( 2 Timothy 2:15 ).
     
    #12 Dave G, Oct 3, 2019
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  13. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Part 2

    So, true faith is a criterion...

    But it is a gift ( Ephesians 2:8 ) that accompanies the gift of eternal life, authored and finished ( originated and perfected ), by Jesus Christ Himself ( Hebrews 12:2 ).
    It is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen ( Hebrews 11:1 ), and is also delivered to the saints ( Jude 1:3 ), not to all men ( 2 Thessalonians 3:2 ).
    It is a fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-23 ), not a work of the flesh ( Galatians 5:19-21 ).
    It is not the means by which we are saved, but the "vehicle" that carries us through this life...again, through all our trials and tribulations.

    It is the means by which the already-saved carry out His will and works for Him.;)

    The irony is, so many people see faith as the means to eternal life, when in the final analysis, that which God actually provides to His children is what He then credits to them as righteousness.:Sneaky
    For many people, this confuses them...until they recognize that everything that is good, actually comes to them from God ( John 3:27, James 1:17 ).


    He is the wellspring of life, and everything good that the believer has ( and also the good things that unbelievers have ) actually comes from God.

    Those good things lead the unbeliever to repentance ( Romans 2:4 )...though, in their hard-heartedness and rebellion ( Romans 1:18-32, Romans 3:10-18, John 3:19-20 ), they will never repent of their sins.
    Those same good things are deeply appreciated by His children, who have had their hearts changed and now repent in the face of their sins, which are already forgiven ( Colossians 2:13-14 )

    It's all designed to do one thing...
    To bring honor and glory to God for His grace to them that are saved, and bring glory to God for His righteousness and judgement to those who are not.

    The believer ends up loving Him and hating their sins ( Psalms 51 ), and the unbeliever continues in their hatred of Him and His ways, still in the pit of their sins and still loving to commit them ( Romans 1:30-32 ).
     
    #13 Dave G, Oct 3, 2019
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  14. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Part 3

    Therefore, the criterion of faith actually points back to God and His choice to open the eyes of the blind ( the new birth ), and reveal their sinful condition to them.

    Then He reveals the remedy for that condition...Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for them.
    After that, they believe "on" that remedy...Christ and His finished work.
    Finally, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption ( Ephesians 1:13 ).

    Faith, the criterion "needed", is not what actually justifies ( makes righteous ) them in God's eyes.
    Christ's blood is what justifies them ( Romans 5:9 )
    The blood that cleansed their sins when He was on the cross, then makes it possible for the Father to bestow the "white garment" of Christ's imputed ( credited ) righteousness to them.

    Jesus took on their sins, and they took on His righteousness...in God the Father's eyes.

    Faith is the outward indicator of that justification and of that imputed righteousness, and includes good works ( Ephesians 2:10, James 2:14-26 ).
    Faith ( with good works ) is the "visible evidence" of a person's being made righteous by the blood of his Son.
    Many argue against some of this, and overlook this important passage:

    " Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth." ( Romans 8:33 )

    God justifies...not our faith in what God did.
    The believer's faith did not purchase anything...it is a by-product of His grace and mercy towards them.

    So,
    When it comes to salvation, God looks upon men for the "indicator" of faith...an "indicator" that He ultimately made possible by His creating a new heart in them ( Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26, John 3:3 ) that now responds to His will and His words...and then grows it, bit-by-bit through trials and tribulations.

    You really gotta love that, huh?:Cool
    How He made my salvation sure, always amazes me... every time I think about it.:)



    Therefore and finally:

    Salvation of men and bestowing the gift of eternal life are ultimately according to the counsel of His own will.
    Whoever has true faith owes it all to God and God alone for choosing them and causing them to approach Him ( Psalms 65:4 ).


    I hope that this lengthy explanation, from my point of view, provides a bit of insight into why this subject is so important for those of us who are accused of being followers of John Calvin, and not Jesus Christ.

    We "Calvinistic Baptists" believe that salvation is the work of God alone, and is based on nothing that a man can do.
    That is what we see when we read Scripture, in context ( 3 types...immediate, intermediate, and greatest, with Scripture always defining and "interpreting" Scripture ), and according to the very words.
    It takes awhile to come to the knowledge of, but it really is both amazing and sobering to know that believers in Jesus Christ are the recipients of such an unspeakable gift...

    To know God and His Son ( John 17:3 ), and eventually, to be with Him for the rest of eternity.


    May God bless you, sir.:)
     
    #14 Dave G, Oct 3, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  15. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    If possible, please briefly tell me what is scripturally incorrect about the following statements:
    We believe in time, not in eternity-past; therefore our election (which is based on our faith in Christ according to Romans 9:30-33, which faith, keep in mind, happens in time) also happens in time, not in eternity-past.
    Ephesians 1:14 does not say:

    "According as he hath chosen us before the foundation of the world"
    but rather:
    "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world".

    Evidently, according to the scriptures, we were not in him (in Christ) before the foundation of the world.
    We were nowhere.
    Then, at best, we were in the loins (Heb.7:10) of our father father Adam.
    At least when we were born, we were in Adam (1Co.15:22) [did we fall out of Christ if we were already in Christ before that?].
    Then we got in Christ the day we believed on him (Gal.3:26-28).
    Therefore, whatever Ephesians 1:14 means, and it is not the clearest verse in the Bible, I must understand: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world in the light of the above clear points.
    That's my approach.
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...you read it WRONG.

    11 for the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, Ro 9

    4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: Eph 1

    How does one have faith before they ever existed?

    ELECTION IS UNCONDITIONAL!
     
    #17 kyredneck, Oct 4, 2019
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  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Neither can you be "in Him" before the foundation of the world.
     
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  19. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    @George Antonios , I am still waiting for your answer.
     
  20. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    " Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
    4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
    ( Ephesians 1:4-6 ).

    Believer's were chosen "in Him".
    When?
    Before the foundation of the world.

    Why?
    So that the believer should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

    They were made accepted in the beloved...when?
    Before the foundation of the world.

    By who?
    By the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...
    He
    has made the believer accepted in the beloved, not the believer.

    He has also predestinated the believer to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself.
    According to what?
    The good pleasure of His will.

    Why?
    To the praise of the glory of His grace.

    When?
    Before the foundation of the world.
    That is what is written.;)


    Faith comes later, in real time...when Christ's sheep "hear" the word of God ( Romans 10:17 ), believe it, and are sealed with the Holy Spirit ( Ephesians 1:13 ).


    Best wishes to you, sir.:)
     
    #20 Dave G, Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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