Monday, May 24, 2010

Predestination / Free Will (6b)

Third: Conditional Election

• God chose to save those sinners whom He foresaw having faith (anyone who placed themselves in the group of believers)
• Election to salvation involves both the sinner choosing God and God choosing the sinner. God’s choice was conditioned upon man’s choice, as God chose before creation those whom He foresaw in time believing in Jesus Christ for salvation.
• Conditional Election refers to:
o Individuals, not a particular nation.
o Salvation, not service. (Election to service is unconditional.)
o Based on faith, not unto faith.
• Both sides agree with election and predestination!

• Scripture:
“From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth–he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” (Psalm 33:13-15)
“After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.’” (Acts 15:7-9)
“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 likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout … Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)

• Faith is a condition for election.
The Prescient View: God elects based on foreseeing those who will believe.

• Conclusion: God elects those whom He foresees having faith. The Calvinist suggests that the Arminian view of Election depicts election to salvation as both merited by faith and meaningless, just an acknowledgement of the obvious. What is God’s purpose in election to salvation? Study Romans 9:10-24:

“Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?’ But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?”

Fifth: God’s foreknowledge
Foreknowledge in Greek is “PROEGNO” (pro-gnosis / prognosis). The word appears only 7 times in the New Testament.
“PROEGNO” applies to man in: Acts 26:5: “they have known me for a long time,” and 2 Peter 3:17: “since you already know this.”
“PROEGNO” applies as a verb to God in: Romans 8:29: “those God foreknew He also predestined,” Romans 11:2: “God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew,” and 1 Peter 1:20: “He was chosen before creation, but was revealed in these last times.”
“PROEGNO” applies as a noun to God in: Acts 2:23: “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge.” and 1 Peter 1:2: “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.”

All of these verses suggest an intimate “knowing” and not a foreseen “know about.” See Romans 8:29-30 – The Golden Chain of Salvation. Does God foreknow the person or about the person? How many of those He foreknew were predestined? How many of those He predestined are called? How many of those He called are justified? How many of those He justified are glorified? ALL OF THEM!

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