Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 5)

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT ELECTION:

The Bible is one BIG document…consistent in all it’s parts. A wonderful document with many difficult passages, and each passage works to clear up misunderstandings about another, allowing us to see a consistent theological theme presented. Election unto salvation must proceed salvation for God is the one who chooses.

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (Ro 11)

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: (Eph 1:4)

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. (1 The 1:4)

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: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 The 2:13-14)

The Apostle Paul endured much trial and tribulation in reaching the elect with the Gospel. He did not strive to reach people who could hypothetically be saved, rather, he took comfort in the knowledge that in his preaching and ministry God would call His elect. I’m not here to brow beat anyone into believing what I believe but following Paul’s example I proclaim the truth knowing God’s will be done in all things.

Therefore I endure all things for the elects sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Tim 2:10)

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT ELECTION IS BASED ON GOD’S MERCY AND NOT OUR ACTIONS:

It is God’s prerogative in salvation to save those whom He will.

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (Ex 33:19)

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: (Deu 7:6-7)

A rhetorical question and the answer is “yes.” If Jesus Christ is God your will is subservient to His divine will.

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? (Matt 20:15)

Our election is based on God’s mercy alone and is the reason why Christ died to save sinners. It’s not Christ + anything = salvation. It’s mercy through Christ alone that results in our salvation.

Emphasis added: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (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;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 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? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Ro 9)

At this point the free will traditionalist will object, “but, but…that’s not fair! Why does God find fault in me if I can’t help it!” Paul replies to this objection with, “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? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” Those are the words of Paul given to him by the Holy Spirit. Read. Ruminate deeply.

The Bible teaches we are saved because of God’s mercy given us in Christ! If not “then it is no more grace:”

But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 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. (Ro 11)

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Ro 11)

God’s mercy displayed in predestination.

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

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT JESUS ACTUALLY SAVES:

The free will proponent doesn’t believe that Christ’s death actually saves but that Christ died to make salvation possible. This is ridiculous. Christ dying in the place of “many” (not all Mat 24) is not a hypothetical answer to the problem of sin. Jesus Christ saves and saves completely. He is the “author and finisher of our faith.” When dealing with passages about the atonement we see that Christ will definitively save all those for whom He died.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat 1:21)

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luk 19:10)

Notice how repentance is given by God for our salvation. This is another reason why Christ’s death will always result in the salvation from whom it was offered.

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31)

The Gospel is about our free redemption by His grace and mercy alone accomplished by Him.

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Rom 3:24-25)

The “us” is in direct relation to “being justified.” If you believe “us” includes all of mankind, with consistent handling of the text, you side with the universalist.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Rom 5:8-9)

Christ our covenant head brings us into a saving relationship with the Triune God of scripture.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Rom 5:10)

Christ alone is our redemption. No cooperation needed.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Cor 1:30)

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:18-19)

Christ was crucified as sin for us. US, the church, not the world. For this reason the underlying principles of Arminian free will tradition on previent grace are false. It is impossible that Christ took the sins of every single person in the world and the wrath of the Father not be appeased for Christ’s death brings salvation…not the promise of salvation…

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor 5:21)

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Gal 1:3)

The work of Christ on the cross results in salvation. Notice that “Christ hath redeemed us”, past tense.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Gal 3:13)

…chosen to be without blame.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: (Eph 1:3-4)

What Christ did on the cross was effectual. (meaning: successful in producing a desired or intended result) That means Christ accomplished what He set out to do which was to abolish in his flesh the enmity that existed between God and man, reconciling both to God in one body.

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (Eph 2:15-16)

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Eph 5:25-26)

Faith is given by God and therefore effectual.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Phil 1:29)

The Bible tells us that Christ delivered us, moved us from a state of spiritual death and decay into His spiritual Kingdom of His dear son. It’s a done deal.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Col 1:13-14)

Christ’s death results in us being reconciled back to God.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Col 1:21-22)

We are redeemed for a purpose. That means our redemption is based on God’s will for it is His purpose we are being redeemed.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:14)

Righteousness comes by faith and this righteousness is brought to us in “the washing of regeneration.” It’s effectual.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (Tit 3)

The Bible teaches that Christ obtained our salvation for us. Salvation is said to be “finished” in Him.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Heb 9:12)

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14)

His blood results in the sanctification for whom it was offered. If Christ died for all than all will be sanctified.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (Heb 13:12)

Peter is speaking to believers and tells them Christ took our sins to cross and His death results in our healing.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Pet 2)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Pet 3:18)

Yours in the Lord,

jm

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