Monday, October 13, 2014

Election and Predestination: Pure Fallacy or Pure Doctrine?


I am often struck by some of the things I hear other Christians say. I seem to regularly encounter believers who react violently to the notion that God chose a people to show mercy upon and that he predetermined that heaven would be their eternal home. While I will admit that I was raised in an environment that never questioned the doctrine of election and predestination, and thus was never poisoned against this biblical truth, I still find myself astounded by the degree of opposition that some Christians have regarding this very clearly taught and repeatedly articulated biblical doctrine. One recent objection follows:


"I am a Baptist, but I don't believe in this primitive doctrine of predestination. Pure fallacies." (Anonymous)
To such a statement I can only respond:


  • Do you believe that God's people have obtained an inheritance in Christ being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will? (Ephesians 1:11) Paul certainly did. 
  • Do you believe that God predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will? (Ephesians 1:5) Paul certainly did. 
  • Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given unto him? (John 17:2) Jesus certainly did. 
Correct answers to those questions make it absolutely certain that the eternal salvation of God's people is the direct result of God having chosen a people upon whom to show undeserved mercy, and hath predestinated their salvation as a matter of certainty by covenant.

This so-called "primitive doctrine of predestination" is a crystal clear teaching of the word of God. To regard it a "pure fallacy" is really nothing short of an out-and-out denial of an unavoidable element of gospel truth found in the bible. For any who would oppose the notion of election or predestination, I would ask you to soberly revisit the matter and ask yourself the question: Do I really reject election and predestination because the bible does not teach it, or do I reject election and predestination because I have been TAUGHT that the bible doesn't teach it? There are a great many people who upon closer examination are surprised to discover that they are in the latter group.

I would encourage everyone to search the scriptures to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11) Below you will find a number of the scriptures upon which this much-maligned but well-founded doctrine is based for your consideration...





PREDESTINATED 

Ephesians 1:5 - Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 

Ephesians 1:11 - In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 




PREDESTINATE

Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 

Romans 8:30 - Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 


ELECT

II Timothy 2:10 - Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 

Titus 1:1 - Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 

I Peter 1:2 - Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 

II John 1:1 - The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 

II John 1:13 - The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. 




ELECTION 

Romans 9:11 - (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 

Romans 11:5 - Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 

Romans 11:7 - What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 

Romans 11:28 - As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 

I Thessalonians 1:4 - Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 

II Peter 1:10 - Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 



CHOSEN

Matthew 20:16 - So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. 

Matthew 22:14For many are called, but few are chosen. 

Mark 13:20 - And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 

John 6:70 - Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 

John 13:18 - I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 

John 15:16 - 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. 

John 15:19 - If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 

Acts 9:15 - But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 

Acts 10:41 - Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 

Acts 22:14 - And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 

Romans 16:13 - Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 

Ephesians 1:4 - 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: 

II Thessalonians 2:13 - But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 

II Timothy 2:4 - No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 

I Peter 2:4 - To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 

I Peter 2:9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 

Revelation 17:14 - These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 


DEFINITIONS


PREDESTINATION - to predetermine, decide beforehand, eternally decree, foreordain, or appoint beforehand.  It has respect to God's monergistic acts involved in the eternal salvation of his covenant people (Ephesians 1:4-5), not to every single solitary event in human history (Ecclesiastes 9:11).


ELECTION - the act of picking out or choosing. As in the selection of a people upon whom God would show mercy (Romans 9:11).

11 comments:

  1. It is a marvelous thing that we are God's children.

    We are strangers in a strange land. In Jeremiah, the LORD promises to write the law on their hearts -- that is, those in Israel who are children of the covenant. In Romans, the LORD say that gentiles who do not have the law show that the law is written in the hearts when they do the things the law requires.

    Who is able to write laws on peoples hearts by His own hand. Man seeks holiness in his own way through outward appearance. But in Romans, Paul writes those truly justified are done so internally through circumcision of heart, "in the Spirit .... whose praise is not from men, but from God."

    Who but God can do these things. Romans 9:19 "You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"

    "22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"

    He has prepared His children "beforehand for glory."

    Kindest regards,
    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, brother Gary!

      Salvation is a miracle performed by a covenant making (Genesis 15:5) and covenant keeping God (Titus 1:2). I believe that even many of God's regenerate sheep fail to ever lay hold of this truth with any real clarity in their lifetimes, but the covenant promises of God do not depend upon the imperfect understanding of the mutable creature in order to find their saving efficacy. They are fulfilled by a perfect intercessor apart from any assistance from the sheep whatsoever (Hebrews 1:3).

      That's the gospel truth - O that more would come to enjoy it!
      teth

      Delete
  2. Excellent review. Thanks for this kind of article.
    Download Predestination

    ReplyDelete
  3. If we have no choice in the matter, then God is a LIAR.
    The "WHOSOEVER" of John 3:16 is FALSE.
    The CLAIMS of God that He wants ALL to be saved
    is BALONEY.
    Believe as you will (wink) but you are wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary,

      Thanks for stopping by and interacting with my blog. You make some comments that I'd like to provide feedback on...

      MS: If we have no choice in the matter, then God is a LIAR.

      TETH: There is no verse in the bible teaches that eternal salvation is a matter of man's personal choice. There are several, however, that make it clear that man's will has nothing to do with eternal salvation (John 1:12-13,Romans 9:16). So to state that "if we have no choice in the matter, then God is a LIAR" is categorically false - because God never said that we did.

      MS: The "WHOSOEVER" of John 3:16 is FALSE.

      TETH: The phrase "whosoever believeth" is a present tense statement that literally means "the one believing." It does not say "if you will believe" or "all men can believe" but rather affirms that one who is in a present tense state of belief is one who will not perish but who has everlasting life. Apart from making the ludicrous assertion that all men believe, it is impossible to substantiate the claim that "whosoever believeth" designs all of humanity. Your misunderstanding of what is meant by this phrase, while very common among professing evangelicals, is not consistent with the phrase actually means.

      MS: The CLAIMS of God that He wants ALL to be saved is BALONEY.

      TETH: There is no text of scripture that teaches that God desires the salvation of all men, though there are a couple which seem to state that if they are considered in isolation from the rest of the bible's testimony (I Timothy 2:4-6). The bible teaches that God chose a people before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before him in love (Ephesians 1:4-5) and that He sent his Son to save them from their sins (Matthew 1:21). It also teaches that the eternal salvation of His people is based on the work of God (Romans 5:19) not the works of man (Titus 3:5) as a result of an everlasting covenant (Jeremiah 32:40). The bible also teaches that God does as he pleases (Psalm 115:3), and that some men are sent to hell (Matthew 25:41). It is therefore unavoidable that it was not God's pleasure or desire to save all men, else they most certainly would all be saved.

      MS: Believe as you will (wink) but you are wrong.

      TETH: Search the scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).

      May God bless our studies and understanding of his word,
      TETH

      Delete
  4. How can God simply deem the whole of humanity guilty of sin when it was Adam and Eve who made the decision to sin and not us? I mean, we were born in sin. We had no choice to be born in this sinful nature. I mean, it's not as if we were the one who disobeyed God, we inherited Adam and Eve's sinful nature. So aren't we actually innocent? The innocent is charged guilty because what Adam and Eve did. It makes no sense. How many people are actually in hell? They are so pathetic and pitiful. They have to endure eternal condemnation because of what Adam and Eve did. Because of their foolish actions, the whole of humanity is damned. It's like I charge your children guilty of crime because of what you did, even though they did nothing wrong. It makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TETH ANSWER 101

      First off, thanks for taking a minute to leave a comment on my blog. I’ll provide my thoughts on your comment below…

      ANON: How can God simply deem the whole of humanity guilty of sin when it was Adam and Eve who made the decision to sin and not us?

      TETH: It is because Adam’s sin tainted the fountainhead of the human race from which all of humanity flows. When Adam fell into sin his nature was changed from its original state wherein he had the ability to obey God as well as the ability to rebel against God as well into a state of abject depravity and separation from God. Mankind from that time forward is said to be dead in trespasses and in sins (Ephesians 2:1) and by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Adam then subsequently passed this nature along to his progeny.

      ANON: I mean, we were born in sin.

      TETH: That is correct.

      ANON: We had no choice to be born in this sinful nature.

      TETH: What spiritual law or precept gives you the impression that you have any say in the matter of how you came into being? The bible teaches that man has NO SAY in such matters. God is the creator and this his universe to administer as he sees fit. Paul says it this way, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:20-21)

      ANON: I mean, it's not as if we were the one who disobeyed God, we inherited Adam and Eve's sinful nature.

      TETH: That’s true but the clay is not at liberty to question the potter. That is fundamental to the God-Man / Creator-Creature relationship. I’ve heard the point emphasized by saying, “If you don’t like God’s universe or the way that you were created, you’re perfectly at liberty to create your own and administer it as you see fit.” The absurdity of hope in such an arrangement does a good job of underscoring the fact that God may do with his creation as he so desires and we are in no place to take exception with it.

      ANON: So aren't we actually innocent?

      TETH: No. We are not innocent (Romans 3:10,23) and the bible never refers to us as such. We were shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) and our nature is to drink down iniquity like water (Job 15:14-16).

      ANON: The innocent is charged guilty because what Adam and Eve did. It makes no sense.

      TETH: If you taint the fountainhead, the downstream effects will be likewise tainted. God set up Adam as the representative of all humanity and his fall affected us all (Romans 5:12,19). It makes perfect sense because God’s rules allow for imputation. Adam’s sin was imputed to us and what’s more we’ve all added our own sins to the mix as well. Though you may find this arrangement objectionable, nevertheless this is precisely how the bible explains the matter and we’re playing by God’s rules, not by how you or I think it should be.

      Delete
    2. TETH ANSWER 102

      ANON: How many people are actually in hell?

      TETH: I don’t know. From the looks of things there must be quite a few there.

      ANON: They are so pathetic and pitiful. They have to endure eternal condemnation because of what Adam and Eve did.

      TETH: No. They committed their own sins and they are justly condemned based on their own behavior, not merely through imputation.

      ANON: Because of their foolish actions, the whole of humanity is damned.

      TETH: Not exactly. Because of their actions all of humanity fell into a state of damnable wickedness and depravity, but they’re not ALL damned. God chose a people to show mercy upon based on his own good pleasure before the fall even occurred (Ephesians 1:4-6). While these people would have been justly condemned for the sins they willfully committed in life were it not for intervening grace, that electing grace anticipated their need of redemption and instead placed their sins upon a worthy substitute via imputation (II Corinthians 5:21). So there will be some of humanity damned, but God has graciously chosen to save a vast multitude out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation (Revelation 5:9).

      ANON: It's like I charge your children guilty of crime because of what you did, even though they did nothing wrong. It makes no sense.

      TETH: No. It’s not like that. It’s like all of humanity would stand justly condemned for their own actions (because all have sinned) and God is under no inherent obligation to save them, but because he is merciful he covenanted to save some of them (Titus 3:5) in spite of what they are and their rebellion.

      TETH: The part that I can admit makes no sense, or at least that I will never fully grasp in this lifetime, is why God would be merciful to an awful and sinful person like me when I am totally undeserving of his grace.

      TETH: I have a few questions:

      1. Do you believe there is such a thing as good and evil?
      2. Do you believe there is a God?
      3. How would you describe this God?

      God bless,
      TETH

      Delete
  5. 1. Yes I believe there is good and evil
    2. Yes there is a God
    3. I don't know. I know he is just and holy. But from the way he judge the whole of humanity because of what Adam and Eve did, doesn't seem to me so. I can't see how a JUST God would charge someone of their sins because of imputation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANON: Yes I believe there is good and evil.

      TETH: That is correct and the bible defines what things are good and what things are evil.

      ANON: Yes there is a God.

      TETH: That is correct. There is a God and the Bible is his revelation to us that tells us about who God is and what he has done to save his people from their sins.

      ANON: I don't know. I know he is just and holy.

      TETH: That’s a good start for someone who doesn’t claim to know and it is biblical as well because the bible uses these same words to describe the Lord (Acts 3:14).

      ANON: But from the way he judge the whole of humanity because of what Adam and Eve did, doesn't seem to me so.

      TETH: Then your assessment of what is just and holy is wrong. I don’t say that to be rude but to be clear that the bible is God’s word and it defines what is holy and just, not our whimsical opinions of such. What’s more, while it’s true that the sin nature was inherited from Adam, you’re persisting in the error that people will be condemned for Adam’s sin when in reality those who will be condemned will be condemned for their own sins. What’s more, the notion that had you been created without a sin nature that you would not have sinned is impossible to sustain. Adam was genetically and intellectually superior to us all and he didn’t last long. I rather suspect that none of us would have done any better.

      ANON: I can't see how a JUST God would charge someone of their sins because of imputation.

      TETH: Adam’s fallen nature was passed on to us, but this does not eliminate our obligation to serve God our creator. Those who will be punished will be punished for their own sins, not the sins of Adam. The fall simply made their will evil. The fact remains, all that are saved are saved by God’s grace, irrespective of whether Adam or one of his fallen progeny. So again, it’s God’s rules and this is how the bible describes the arrangement (Romans 5:12,19). To state this bluntly, it’s an incredibly foolish notion to have contempt for imputation because were it not for imputation NO ONE would be saved (II Corinthians 5:21). God is under no inherent obligation to prevent his creation from rebelling against him. He gave them sufficient rational capacity to obey him and a command to do so but also the free-liberty for them to make choices that were not consistent with his stated commands. The blame for the fall is on humanity: on Adam initially but we are not without blame for we have sinned willfully against God in our fallen state even as Adam did in an unfallen state.

      TETH: Do you regard the bible or any spiritual text as the authority on truth? Or is truth determined by what you or I think is fair or just? That’s an important question. If the bible is the source of truth, then we do well to press into it and understand it, even when we find some aspects of it counterintuitive or objectionable to the flesh. If, on the other hand, there is no objective source of truth, then the whole matter resolves to meaninglessness. While truth may masquerade as a viable moral construct, it is really nothing more than a personal whimsy devoid of objective truth.

      Important questions to consider,
      TETH

      Delete
  6. I believe everyone is guilty of sin because all have broken God's law. But at the same time, I believe everyone is also innocent because we had no choice but to sin. I'm not saying we are forced to sin. What I mean is our desires, will, thoughts etc have been corrupted by sin. We would only want to sin. So if there is no imputation, we wouldn't sin as well.

    ReplyDelete