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“Election”

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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NetChaplain
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“Election”

Postby NetChaplain » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:41 pm

The proper standpoint from which to get a saving view of the death of the Lord Jesus is not election, but the consciousness of our ruin. This is an unspeakable mercy, inasmuch as I know I am a lost sinner; but I do not know that I am one of the elect, until I have received, through the Holy Spirit’s testimony (Rom 8:16) and teaching (1 Cor 2:13), the glad tidings of salvation through the Blood of the Lamb.

Salvation is preached to me, not as one of the elect, but as one utterly lost, guilty and undone; and when I have received this salvation, there is conclusive evidence of my election. “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God; for our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance” (1 Thes 1:4, 5).

Election is not my warrant for accepting salvation; but the reception of salvation is the proof of election. For how is any lost sinner to know that he is one of the elect? Where is he to find it? It must be a matter of divine revelation, else it cannot be a matter of faith*. But where is it revealed? Nowhere in the Word of God*. My only title to salvation is, that I am a poor, guilty, hell-deserving sinner.

Hearken to the risen Savior’s commission to His first heralds: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Is there so much as a single point in these words on which to base a question about one’s election? Assuredly not! “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). If I am a sinner, then I am entitled to apply to my own soul the benefits of His precious sacrifice. “He loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

But then, some may feel disposed to ask, “Do you want to set aside the doctrine of election? God forbid! We only want to set it in its right place. Paul never preached election. He taught election, but preached the Lord Jesus Christ*. This makes all the difference. The grand business of the evangelist is to set forth, in his preaching, the perfect love of God, the efficacy of the Blood of Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Spirit. The evangelist’s spirit should be entirely untrammeled, and his Gospel unclouded. He should preach a present salvation, free to all, by the very Word of God.

And then as to anxious souls who harass themselves with questions about election—God addresses them in the exact state in which He sees them and in which they can see themselves. He addresses them as sinners. There is nothing but salvation for a sinner, the moment he takes his true place as a sinner. “God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

To raise questions about election is sheer unbelief in the heart of a sinner. God has revealed Himself in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 2:9), so that we may know Him and love and trust Him. Moreover, He has made full provision in the atonement of the Cross for all our need and all our guilt.

Hence, instead of perplexing myself with the question, “Am I one of the elect?” it is my happy privilege to rest in the perfect love of God, the all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Spirit by the Word of God. “Elect according to the knowledge 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” (1 Pet 1:2).

- C H Mackintosh

Poster’s Notes:
* “matter of faith”: there can be no faith in election without its reveled knowledge and understanding first.

* “Word of God”: Scripture nowhere teaches that an unregenerate can know whether or not he is of “the elect,” which assurance comes to revelation in an individual through the Word and regeneration.

* “taught election . . . preached the Lord Jesus Christ”: preaching the Gospel of salvation is to the unsaved. Teaching growth in the Gospel of salvation is to the saved.


Daily Anthology – Miles J Stanford: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

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carpenterdaughter
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Re: “Election”

Postby carpenterdaughter » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:43 am

I am so glad you posted this! Let me share why . . . and smile while I am doing it because it is, for me, just another little smile--another of the daily examples of God's provision along the way. Some call it "coincidence." I call it "Providence."

I have a truly remarkable open door in my eleventh grade English classroom this year--and believe it or not, it is thanks to the common core. (Shhh . . . don't tell anybody . . . who knows how long the door will remain open? But that's another story altogether . . .) We are studying the literature of the early American settlers--and with that, we automatically have to study Puritan thought. Yes, in a public school. :D We are actually going to be reading Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and it is one of the exemplar texts suggested by the common core.

Where it gets a little "tricky," though is in knowing what to do with such a text. Already, we have had some small class discussion about the Puritan doctrine of election. Our literature textbook, of course, gets it mostly wrong . . . My students immediately keyed in on what their textbook said Puritans believed: that the Puritans lived in fear, unable to know until the very end whether or not they would be "one of the elect." I dared to challenge what the textbook says, telling my students that their book is wrong--their book is history's misinterpretation of a controversial doctrine. I told my "young'uns" that they shouldn't simply take the textbook's word--that to really understand the Puritan belief, we had to read the writings of the Puritans, themselves.

So . . . what you have provided for me here, is "back up" for what I have already inserted into the discussion my students have begun. I told my kiddos, that, yes, Puritan belief included the doctrine of election--but the "not knowing who" part that the textbook got wrong is that the Puritans never intended for their belief in "election" to be seen as excluding--but that they believed that THEY were not the final deciders of another soul's eventual fate. They could be certain of their own election, but that certainty did not extend to another person.

In the end of all the discussing of the doctrine of election, I smile because WHAT MATTERS MOST is inevitably going to be a part of the discussion: the message of the gospel. Puritans believed that salvation came by grace--through faith--and that was a direct result of THE HEARING of the gospel. Puritans believed that "the elect" would respond to the hearing. That is why they preached it to whomever would hear and believe. "The Elect" don't keep the message of the gospel to themselves, they EXTEND IT, in the faith that God will keep His Word and every lost sheep will respond to the call of the Shepherd. That's why they kept on preaching it--and still do today. :D

No doubt, as is often the case in this broken world, there is an enemy who constantly seeks to confuse and quiet the Truth that will one day silence him forever. BUT . . . a Puritan would rejoice in the Sovereignty of His God, knowing that salvation is of the Lord and NOTHING can stop God's purposes. Election just might be the most comforting doctrine there is--but the enemy seeks to twist it into something it isn't. He has already lost that battle--we are just living out the unfolding of that loss and being called to wake up and be ready for our inheritance. :D

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Re: “Election”

Postby NetChaplain » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:46 am

carpenterdaughter wrote:I am so glad you posted this! Let me share why . . . and smile while I am doing it because it is, for me, just another little smile--another of the daily examples of God's provision along the way. Some call it "coincidence." I call it "Providence."

I have a truly remarkable open door in my eleventh grade English classroom this year--and believe it or not, it is thanks to the common core. (Shhh . . . don't tell anybody . . . who knows how long the door will remain open? But that's another story altogether . . .) We are studying the literature of the early American settlers--and with that, we automatically have to study Puritan thought. Yes, in a public school. :D We are actually going to be reading Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and it is one of the exemplar texts suggested by the common core.

Where it gets a little "tricky," though is in knowing what to do with such a text. Already, we have had some small class discussion about the Puritan doctrine of election. Our literature textbook, of course, gets it mostly wrong . . . My students immediately keyed in on what their textbook said Puritans believed: that the Puritans lived in fear, unable to know until the very end whether or not they would be "one of the elect." I dared to challenge what the textbook says, telling my students that their book is wrong--their book is history's misinterpretation of a controversial doctrine. I told my "young'uns" that they shouldn't simply take the textbook's word--that to really understand the Puritan belief, we had to read the writings of the Puritans, themselves.

So . . . what you have provided for me here, is "back up" for what I have already inserted into the discussion my students have begun. I told my kiddos, that, yes, Puritan belief included the doctrine of election--but the "not knowing who" part that the textbook got wrong is that the Puritans never intended for their belief in "election" to be seen as excluding--but that they believed that THEY were not the final deciders of another soul's eventual fate. They could be certain of their own election, but that certainty did not extend to another person.

In the end of all the discussing of the doctrine of election, I smile because WHAT MATTERS MOST is inevitably going to be a part of the discussion: the message of the gospel. Puritans believed that salvation came by grace--through faith--and that was a direct result of THE HEARING of the gospel. Puritans believed that "the elect" would respond to the hearing. That is why they preached it to whomever would hear and believe. "The Elect" don't keep the message of the gospel to themselves, they EXTEND IT, in the faith that God will keep His Word and every lost sheep will respond to the call of the Shepherd. That's why they kept on preaching it--and still do today. :D

No doubt, as is often the case in this broken world, there is an enemy who constantly seeks to confuse and quiet the Truth that will one day silence him forever. BUT . . . a Puritan would rejoice in the Sovereignty of His God, knowing that salvation is of the Lord and NOTHING can stop God's purposes. Election just might be the most comforting doctrine there is--but the enemy seeks to twist it into something it isn't. He has already lost that battle--we are just living out the unfolding of that loss and being called to wake up and be ready for our inheritance. :D

Hi CD - Sis, with great gratitude to the Lord and yourself do I share with you in your being used by Him in the position of your occupation (I also was a teacher for 8 yrs), and for sharing what you have blessedly encountered. I am highly moved by much of what you've shared because with me, it is always among the greatest of encouragements to learn of what God is doing among those in society, as it is a medium where His sovereignty is not too often realized.

If I may share on what you've mentioned concerning the Enemy's attempts against those of God, they can only address the strength of the believer's faith, not the permanency of faith, which is not "allowed" (1 Cor 10:13).

Once saved, the believer's objective is glorifying God, and this is most manifested in the believer's strength of faith pertaining to the assurance of God's salvation and daily "provisions" (as you've so faithfully shared).

Scripture irrefutably instructs--more than any other truth, that the security of the believer will ever be "irrevocable" (Rom 11:29 NKJV), and because this is (to which you've alluded) the most significant Bible doctrine concerning spiritual growth, I believe it is the Enemies prime target in the believer's faith (he cannot brake you, but he can weaken you).

The Enemy already knows all there is to know concerning the security of the believer, that there is no possibility of altering faith in Christ, only the strength of faith, which is determined according to the level of knowledge, and mostly so, the understanding of "what the Holy Spirit teaches" (1 Cor 2:13) from God's Word.

I'm certain that you are aware there is no possibility of altering "eternal salvation" (Heb 5:9), so I suspect you may agree that the most significant issue for the believer now concerns the growth within salvation, as this will determine the effectiveness of fellowship with God, with one another, and the effectiveness of outreach to others in the witness of our lives.

To sum up my objective, I believe it is of great significance that how the believer identifies and addresses the "old man" ("flesh" or sinful nature) will determine the spiritual growth in Christ. Today (by God's providential knowledge as you've seasonally mentioned) I'm posting a personal article that touches on this subject, where I believe is the weakest point in the believer's "wrestle" with all of the opposition (self e.g. old self, Satan and society).

Thanks again to God for the use of your availability to Him, and please excuse me if my reply seemed like anything other than encouragement, because this is always my sole intention when I post.

God's blessings to your Family and classes!
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

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Re: “Election”

Postby carpenterdaughter » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:47 am

Just wanted to share that I am greatly strengthened and encouraged by reading John 16 and 17--especially 17. We have Jesus' prayers for us written out . . . we have a glimpse into His heart, which is automatically a glimpse at the Father's heart for us.

(John 17, ESV)
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


Whenever, we are wondering what God's will is for His Church, we can look right here at what Jesus prayed . . . Whenever we are wondering about what God's purposes are . . . THIS is the place we are going. This is what God is working together . . . This is our inheritance--and Jesus' prayer declared it just the same as He spoke creation into existence. It isn't dependent upon "us" getting and doing everything according to plan--it IS about us doing everything according to His plan because it was spoken by Him from the foundations of the world. The "plan" comes together because it has always been HIS plan. Our joy comes when we see it happening and gladly endure the process because our gaze is on being one with the Father.

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Re: “Election”

Postby NetChaplain » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:51 am

carpenterdaughter wrote: It isn't dependent upon "us" getting and doing everything according to plan--it IS about us doing everything according to His plan

Amen, even the Lord Jesus Himself declared, "not My will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). As you've mentioned, everything God knows (which of course is everything) He has always known and never requires learning anything (though some Scripture passages may not appear to support this, but it is for our learning) and this can be encouraging because we can be assured He always has everything prepared beforehand, thus it is just a matter of time and maturity until the believer is taught to appropriate what has been provided (2 Pet 1:3).

Though all who are saved are one with the Father and Son ("that they also may be one in Us") in union, there is also growing (being conformed by the Spirit) towards the ever-increasing close fellowship for which They have planned in our union with Them.
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

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Re: “Election”

Postby Colswann1 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:00 pm

Coming from another angle of election and predestination:

http://www.gospelway.com/salvation/predestination.php
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

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Re: “Election”

Postby NetChaplain » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:05 pm

Colswann1 wrote:Coming from another angle of election and predestination:

http://www.gospelway.com/salvation/predestination.php
Hi Colswann - Second only to the mystery pertaining to the truth that God has always existed and has never had a beginning, is the difficult-to-comprehend paradox concerning God's supposedly selectivity of only certain individuals to salvation.

I presently believe that the primary understanding of predestination of all things by God is solved within the understanding of His omniscience, e.g. His foreknowledge (from eternity past - He has always known everything with learning anything) is the chief attribute which I believe most lends to understanding predestination, which to me is related more to His knowing those who will perish, rather than Him appointing anyone to eternal damnation.

It's possible (but not definite in my opinion, this being my speculation for a long time now) for one to correctly assume that since God foreknows all who will come into creation, and the destruction of those who will perish, and does not intervene, it could seemingly be that He is also predestining them, by virtue of allowance. That is, since He is not intervening, He is predestining, which is a concept still in speculation for me.

In brief, I believe He is allowing man to choose, and this is my stand presently because the entirety of Scripture contains much material which seems to support man's choice concerning Soteriology, i.e. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." I believe God knowing your end does not incur His appointing you there. I believe if He could trespass everyone's will and desire, there would be no one going to damnation.

Therefore, it comes down to one of two possible conclusions. Either He is prejudiced (truth forbidding - 2Sa 14:14; Gal 2:6, et al), or He desires man autonomy in choice, which seems to collate with Genesis 3:22, in that God desired for Adam and Eve to comprehend the contrast of good and evil, which clearly manifests His holiness.

Also, I believe it significant to always mention that it is advantageous to realize that since spiritual growth doctrines are essential towards maturing in Christ, there is no necessity of pressing agreement in them, which attitude would only be rightly so concerning essential doctrine, e.g teachings that are directly related to receiving salvation, i.e. Hebrews 10:9.

Thanks for your reply and concern. God's blessings to your Family!
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS


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