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Unconditional Election

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Jack Williamson, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. No one disputes the fact that God elects those who will be saved. The Scripture makes that quite plain, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4). The grammar of the verse makes the holy and blameless status the result of the choosing by God, and the us is Paul speaking to Christians about Christians. The word chosen is a translation of the Greek word where the English term election comes from. It should also be noted that this election by God took place before the foundation of the world. The controversy over election involves its basis. Was it conditional; did God look down through the ages and see who would choose Him and then, as a result, He elected them? Or, was this election unconditional; the choosing of God was the result of God’s sovereign choice and the basis is never revealed in Scripture?
    God has a sovereign right to bestow more or less grace upon any subject He wishes as grace is unmerited favor. In Romans 9:21, in a passage dealing with salvation, Paul wrote, “Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?” There have been times when God exercised this sovereign right among men. Speaking of Paul, “He is a chosen [elected] instrument of Mine, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
    There are also direct statements of unconditional election of God in the Scripture. “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” (Acts 13:48). The word appointed here is TETAGMENOI and is used to describe military orders. It is a participle in the perfect tense meaning completed action in the past with results lingering on to the present. Hence, it was because of their appointment by God that they believed to eternal life. “We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). The word in this passage rendered chosen is a different term altogether. Thayer, in his Greek lexicon renders it “to remove by force.” In secular literature of Bible days it is used of picking fruit. It is always used in the Scripture in the middle voice meaning it is done in the self-interests of the one choosing.
    In his explanation of the various steps of salvation, Paul began with the foreknowledge of God in Romans 8:29. Keep in mind that God’s knowledge is eternal and complete. There is nothing God does not know at all times. As a result, He does not learn anything from his creation because He has always known everything. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Ro. 8:29-30). The grammar of the passage makes the conforming of the sinner to the image of His Son the result of the predestination.
    Hence, I would conclude that the election of God is unconditional and is the action that results in using choosing Him. Having said that, I’m sure this entire matter is one of great controversy and should ignite some lively posts.
  2. Jack...........it seems that we are beating the Election Doctrine to death.

    Election only concerns the saved NOT the lost. Predestination never has any referrance to the lost. Predestination means that when God save you He will see you through. Whom He presdestinated He foreknew and them He called and whom He called He justified and then He glorifies them.

    Isn't that God's eternal purpose?

    If we go down to the lake and find 10 turtles. We say to the turtles, "I would like to teach all of you to fly".

    9 of the turtles say "No thnaks, we are not interested. We like here and we are comfortable where we are".

    But 1 turtle say YES, I want to fly. THAT is the ONE who was called and it is that one who learns to fly.

    This has nothing to do whatsoever with the other 9. They are turtles because they are turtles. The LOST are lost because they want it that way. There is not one single person on this earth that is being forced to be lost!!!!!!!
    They are lost because they have chosen to be lost.
  3. I abolutely agree with here there. Glad you used turtles for that example and now flying cows!
  4. I heard one pastor made this analogy… . he said he also heard it from another pastor and i forgot the name... and I happen to agree.

    It is like a gate with the word “Welcome” at the front…. and that person chose to enter, and after the person entered and look back on the gate, at the back of the gate… he sees “You were chosen since the beginning of time”…

    That is how I see it and how I should be thankful*

    1 Corinthians 4:7
    7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

    That is, there is nothing to be boastful , and if someone wants to boasts…

    2 Corinthians 10:17-18
    17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
    18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

    *Note, I usually use “first person” if about doctrine… my intention is not to teach somebody, just stating what I personally believe in in a forum…. teachers will be held more accountable : )
  5. I think it was the late J. Vernon McGee who use to say, "If you're saved, you're of the elect." Same idea! I don't know if you realized it or not, but you raised a very good point that salvation is not from man. Paul wrote, "For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God not of works, least any man should boast." The Greek that is rendered "...not OF yourselves..." is the word where the English word "exit" comes from. Salvation doesn't come out of man.
  6. I dispute your assertion in your OP JW.
    Ephesians 1:4 is in the context of Ephesians 1:1-12 and in that light, shows Paul praising God for all He has done in his life and the life of the ones who accompany him and minister with him. The fact is that Jesus DID choose Paul. The fact is Paul understands that God predestined him for adoption through Jesus. This Paul had already made clear in Romans 8:28-30, where he shows that predestination is predicated on God's foreknowledge and in fact all God does is based on His foreknowledge. God is not reactionary, He is proactive. There is a reason God calls the time from Jesus' birth, the New Covenant, however it is not new in the sense that it is reactionary to the Old Covenant or to the original sin of Adam and Eve. It is proactive because God used ALL that He is, His Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence, to make His plan that we see in His word. This is NOT a patchwork, it is ONE plan and as part of His Omniscince, God used His foreknowledge in putting this plan together. God is a God of order, as Paul attests to in 1 Cor 14.
    1. Acts 2:23
      this Jesus, delivered up according to the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you, at the hands of those outside the law, executed by nailing him to a cross;
    2. Romans 8:29
      because those he foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    3. Romans 11:2
      God has not repudiated his people whom he foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
    4. 11 Peter 1:2/span>
      elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by being set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be yours in ever increasing measure.
    Clearly in the above scriptures, GOD does not just do things because He FEELS like it. He may be a sovereign GOD, but He does not act the way earthly sovereigns act. He is perfectly complete in that regard and to presume God does things for NO reason is to presume God is influenced by emotions, or anger or hate or indifference.

    1. Romans 8:29
      because those he foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    2. Romans 8:30
      And those he predestined, these he also called; and those he called, these he also justified; and those he justified, these he also glorified.
    3. Ephesians 1:5
      he predestined us for adoption as his own sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    4. Ephesians 1:11
      In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will,
    In ALL the scriptures that deal with believers being "predestined", as noted above, GOD in doing so has a reason or a plan. See for yourselves. The fact is that not all scriptures are about ALL believers. Some are about certain believers, like Paul in Ephesians 1:1-12, or even just Jesus as in Acts 2:23. The Apostles were also chosen, based on God's plan and knowledge, including Judas who God knew would betray Jesus. Romans 9:21 on it's own does not convey the context of Romans 9; or the immediate part of that scripture in verses 14-29. I definitely don't accept this as proper hermenuetical exegesis.
    The Greek word used in Acts 13:48 is tassō, as indicated in Strong's, and has more than the one connotation you supplied.
    1) to put in order, to station
    a) to place in a certain order, to arrange, to assign a place, to appoint​
    1) to assign (appoint) a thing to one​
    b) to appoint, ordain, order​
    1) to appoint on one's own responsibility or authority​
    2) to appoint mutually, i.e. agree upon​

    Vine's indicates it is translated "to ordain," in Act 13:48
    This does NOT indicate 'unconditional'. This indicates a reasoned selection, one based on a response by the hearers.
    2 Thess 2:13 also does not convey unconditional election if you read as indicated; But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
    This is how we ALL are saved...God draws us and we choose to believe. God does NOT choose to believe for us. Of course those who support Unconditional Election, do NOT believe we have a will, free or otherwise. Again another error completely unsupported in the Bible.
    Romans 8:28-30
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

    Now let's look at the proper order in this passage.

    1. THOSE who God foreknew who would love Him.
    2. THOSE He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.
    3. THOSE many brothers and sisters, of whom Jesus would be the first born.
    4. THOSE He then called.
    5. THOSE He then justified.
    6. THOSE He then glorified.

    This is NOT unconditional election. This is God predestining Jesus' brothers and sisters based on His foreknowledge of who would love and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Even salvation has conditions. Romans 9:9-11
    If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

  7. In the very limited scope of this analogy Major, I agree. The lost are lost because they choose to be lost. The saved are saved, because they CHOOSE to be saved. Nothing unconditional about it at all. ;)
  8. My pleasure Stan.
  9. Correct! J. Vernon was the best.

    He said........"If you are saved, you are the elect and if you are elected you are saved".

    Even an old country boy like me can grasp that!
  10. STAN:
  11. Jack I suggest you use this site's tools the way they are intended and not try to style it your way. Your last post is all mixed up and kind of messy now.

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