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On what basis Does God Elect?

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by RobertZ, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. RobertZ

    RobertZ Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I know election to be true because the Bible teaches it but where I am still confused is the area of how and why God elects certain individuals and not others.

    The way I was tought growing up was that God calls and then its up to us to respond to his call, so if this is the case then does God elect upon the basis of knowing who would respond to his offer of salvation and who would not?

    To me thats the only way I can see it and because we are told in the scriptures of warnings against hardening our hearts etc so apparently when God calls we have the choice to respond to his call or to turn away and harden our hearts.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. jax5434

    jax5434 Member

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    Robertz.

    Calling and election are clearly taught in scripture. Scripture is also clear that our salvation is a sovereign act of God and not based on any work of our own.That much we know to be true. beyond that lies human speculation as to how God works out that calling and election in a believers life.

    The two primary schools of thought are Calvinism and Arminism and a smaller group that believes neither Calvin nor Arminus got it completely right. There are plenty of threads on these boards whereby you can find explanations of each system so i will not go into them here.

    The discussions of these ideas always get quite heated as i imagine you will soon see. I have come to the conclusion that these arguments are nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. In the end what matters is that all who are saved are saved solely God's grace no matter how it is applied.

    God Bless
    Jax
     
  3. His_disciple3

    His_disciple3 Newbie

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    choose ye this day, heaven or hell, death or life, He elects by His foreknowledge, He knows who will believe in His only Begotten Son and who will not believe He knows who will receive His grace and who will reject it!!!
     
  4. LadyBikerButterfly

    LadyBikerButterfly Member

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    Election means that he elected. In 1 Peter 2: 6 we read:
    1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

    The Greek word for elected here is the same word used in the other areas of the New Testament. God did not look into the future and see that Christ was going to accept himself so we should not tamper with or try to change the meaning of the world. Elect means to elect. Foreknowledge means - well just a minute let me go find Arthur Pinks article on The Foreknowledge of God - it says it way better than I can.

    The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink-The Foreknowledge of God
     
  5. DeaconDean

    DeaconDean γέγονα χαλκὸς, κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον

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    I have to disagree.

    Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Edited by: Gerhard Kittel, Translated by: Geoffery W. Bromiley, Vol. V, “prognwskein”, p. 457, Rudolph Bultmann commenting.

    If God uses His vast "foreknowledge" of who will and who won't accept and believe, then scriptures lie to us.

    In Acts we read:

    "...Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:" -Acts 10:34 (KJV)

    If God uses "foreknowledge" of who will and who will not accept and believe and then uses that as the basis for election, then salvation is no longer a work of grace. It is of merit. God looked forward in time, saw that "Sam Spade" would accept and believe and elects him on that basis, then Sam Spade has merited God's favor by a future, forseen act.

    Paul said:

    "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." -Rom. 11:6 (KJV)

    All we know for sure is that for whatever reason, only God knows the details, God choose us.

    "...according to the good pleasure of his will" -Eph. 1:5 (KJV)

    God Bless

    Till all are one.
     
  6. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    we are elected to certain tasks and roles based on our God-given abilities, we are elected to salvation on the basis of God's sovereign mercy.
     
  7. faceofbear

    faceofbear Veteran

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    Robert,

    God elects on the basis of Him opening the eyes of the blind to see the soul sufficiency of Christ. That's it. Will you be hardened, well, how can you be more hardened, when you're dead in your trespasses and sin? We were dead, but He called us to be alive together with Christ.

    When Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, did Lazarus have a choice? Did Christ say, "Lazarus, rise." And the corpse of Lazarus debated to itself, "Hmmm, I can either choose to become alive, or I can choose to remain dead. What shall I do?" No. Christ is God incarnate, with authority. He says to this one, "Rise," and it rises (cff. Luke 7:8).

    Robert, I am still a terrible sinner. A blasphemer. A wretch, a hypocrite. The Bible speaks so many things against me, giving me no hope, save one, Christ. I honestly, TRUTHFULLY, have NO HOPE, if ANY PART of my salvation depends on me. AT ALL. Even responding in FAITH! You should read Martin Luther on Galatians. He, too, says, that even if all the Bible testifies against us teaching us that we must work, we must remember, "We are justified by faith" (see Galatians 2:15-16). I really recommend just getting a copy of his commentary on Galatians.

    At any rate, I do not intend to teach you, or enlighten you, but to tell you, I have no hope but Christ. And, I think, the same goes for you. If I die RIGHT now, I know that I will go to hell, UNLESS, Christ is sufficient. So, the real question is: Is He?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  8. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

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    Slight quibble: In my experience, the vast majority are neither Calvinist nor Arminian, and there is a small minority that steadfastly hold to the positions of Calvin or Arminius. In fact, until posting regularly on the Baptist board at CF, I had only ever met a handful of Christians who accept 5-point Calvinism and even fewer who would fully embrace Arminianism. And, this, having lived a good chunk of my life in an area that was VERY Dutch (complete with Reformed theology).


    :thumbsup:

    :thumbsup:
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
     
  10. faceofbear

    faceofbear Veteran

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    Robert,

    You are trying to understand something that people have been debating about for centuries. I think it no so important to understand election as to understand if Christ is enough. And if He is enough, you'll understand election. I disagreed with election according to predestination until I saw the sole sufficiency of Christ for the first time. Then, election was clear, predestination was clear, and it wasn't a condemning doctrine, it was a GREAT doctrine because I could not be saved unless He first loved me and first chose me. You don't need to understand election to be saved, but once you experience salvation, you understand election because you experience. I am now, a predestinarian. But, Robert, as you know, I still have doubts. I still waver. I still sin. I still feel condemned. Thus, my only hope is in Christ through predestination, through election, etc. Because UNLESS this be the case, I have NO HOPE.

    Paradoxically, do I know if I'm elected? No. Do I worry about if I'm elected, I guess. But again, I can't sit and wonder if I'm elected. I can only hope in Christ. And when I hope in Christ, I experience assurance in election. In the same sense, I am faithless. The only time I experience faith is when I consider the faithfulness of God. Why? I have nothing to commend myself, and my faith wavers. Thus, I must hope in God, through Christ, that His blood has justified me in the sight of God. Not because I deserve it, but because He loved me and chose me. How do I know that? Again, I only know that if I see the sufficiency of Christ. I don't know that when I wonder if I'm elected, only if I see Christ as my only means of righteousness.
     
  11. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    The only place in the bible where any author gives a reason for God's choice of us, it attributes it to his grace , his purpose, and his will.

    It never says he elects based on foreseen faith.

    See Eph 1:4-11
     
  12. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    He knows who will believe because by His grace he gives the gift of faith and moves on the heart and will so that it becomes willing and able to put trust in Christ.

    Not because he simply passively "knows" who will, of their own power, conjure up some faith. God is active in salvation.

    Arminians say "I owe my election to my faith"
    Calvinists say "I owe my faith to my election"

    One gives God all the credit and glory, the other doesn't. It's that simple.
     
  13. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

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    Of course, this could also be interpreted as Calvinists say, "I am super special cause God elected me and not you", while most non-Calvinists (including both Arminians and non-Arminians) would say "I am nothing special, as I simply accepted what God freely offers to all."

    Or to use your terms, "I owe my salvation, which is available through faith to God's grace alone." Of course, this skips the controversy, which I suppose isn't all that important anyway if one accepts salvation by grace through faith.
     
  14. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being[c] might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him[d] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

    The bible is clear: God's choice of us is not because we are special, but rather, he chose the weak, foolish, despised. The un-special.
     
  15. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

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    I agree, and that is EXACTLY why I do not agree with individualist predestination and election. :thumbsup:
     
  16. RobertZ

    RobertZ Well-Known Member

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    Arminians do not say that they conjure up their own faith.
     
  17. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    In Romans 8:28-30, who gets called?
     
  18. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Robert, could it be that what is "confusing" you is that you are seeking an answer to this question with Calvinistic presuppositions. I may be wrong with this assumption. Please correct me if I am.

    If you were open to this view, perhaps you would become unconfused. This view is that I cannot find any teaching in the Bible that saving faith is for a select few people. The Bible assumes that "whoever believes" is available to all. Anyone who says "yes" to Jesus and receives Him, exercises saving faith. This is what is taught in:

    Note especially the words of Acts 17:30 where God "commands all people everywhere to repent".

    Isn't this the answer that you are seeking? Since God commands all to repent, those who choose to respond positively to God's command when the Gospel is presented, are saved. Those who reject, are damned.

    Sincerely, Oz
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  19. dies-l

    dies-l Guest

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    Those who believe. Notice that the passage uses plural pronouns through out
    "those who love him", "those God foreknew", "those he predestined". Nothing here to indicate that he predestined any one individual to salvation or condemnation. Rather, this shows a grouping of people who were predestined, that group being those who would believe in Christ.

    I can see how you would see this verse as supporting individualistic predestination, but it only does so if you approach Scripture with a relatively modern individualistic worldview. Individualism is simply not a biblical concept.
     
  20. Hupomone10

    Hupomone10 Veteran

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    I believe there are so many facets involved in God's election that it cannot easily be put down in a couple of sentences, and that this is why Scripture merely says that God elects without greatly explaining the basis other than to say it is not based on man's attainment, achievement or progress, inherent goodness (or inherent badness).

    Of one thing I'm pretty sure: an election scenario similar to the one where a bunch of criminals are lined up in a row, and God picks one to elect and the others not to elect, with the implication that all other factors are equal, is way to simplistic. And because of that, it is also in error. God doesn't just look at people all lined up, and pick one but not pick another.

    H.

     
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