God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Below is the video broadcast walking through 2 Thess. 2:13 with a response to Calvinistic pastor, Paul Washer. Or you can download the podcast version HERE.

2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is commonly quoted text by Calvinistic scholars seeking to prove that certain individuals were chosen for salvation to the neglect of all others. I, along with many scholars, believe this is very Western individualized interpretation of the scripture, however. We tend to read texts from an individualized (me, I, my) perspective in our egocentric society. This was not the common way of understanding such texts in the first century’s collectivist society where people were seen as under the headship of their cultural heritage, not merely as individuals.

We must understand that the predominately Gentile congregations of Paul’s day were constantly being told they were not the elect of God, but instead barbarian rejects. The Judaizers of the first century insisted that only Jews were chosen by God and Paul spent much time attempting to debunk this commonly held false belief (see the book of Galatians).

In the “Jew versus Gentile” context of Paul’s ministry (and this passage) he often references himself and the Jewish apostles as “us” and “our” in contrast to the Gentile believers as “you” and “your.” For instance, in verse 14 Paul seems to indicate that “you” (the Gentile believers) were called “through our” (the Jewish Apostles’) gospel. Therefore, it makes perfect sense, in Paul’s context, to thank God for his Gentile audience being chosen, or engrafted (Rom. 11:13-24), into the means salvation through faith. This, after all, is the mystery which had been hidden for generations which is just now being made known through men like Paul (Eph. 3:1-11).

In short, the “Apostle to the Gentiles” is likely combating the false view that the Gentiles were not the elect of God by writing this affirmation of God’s choice to include them from the very beginning.

109 thoughts on “God Has Chosen You From the Beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

  1. Thanks. Yes it is a broad “we” “us” ….much the same as Romans 9-11 is comparing Jew and Gentile, Esau and Jacob.

    These verses are plucked out of context and used individualistically and quoted as some of the 40-50 gotcha verses to prove Calvinism. I am often surprised that scholars allow themselves to be duped like this. But in the case of Washer, he comes to the text “wanting” and needing it to say what he is looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also think a word study of “beginning” as used in the NT, and especially by Paul, might lead others as it has me to see Paul talking about the “beginning” of his gospel ministry in Europe, which included Philippi and Thessalonica (Acts 16-17). God was directing Paul and Silas during that second missionary journey to focus primarily on Gentiles, and Thessalonica was one of the first cities receiving extensive ministry from them.

    Phl 4:15 NKJV – 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the BEGINNING of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.

    But Calvinism also has the continued problem of wanting to hear “before the beginning” in this phrase that only says “from the beginning. They constantly have trouble believing that God is still making choices after creation. They would rather have Him neatly locked up in an immutable determinism of all things forever, where He never makes any more decisions, and they can “freely” control the public perception of the “settled” information of how He does things. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another way to look at “from the beginning” is to take it as a reference to the book of Genesis. I think that when a Jew said that something was ‘from the beginning’ one thing he could mean by that is that it is written in the book of beginnings. Paul’s statement in Gal.3:8 could confirm this understanding: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham, ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ ” So God had chosen to save the Gentiles way back when he chose Abraham, and this was written from the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good suggestion, Troy… I’ve been reading through the Scripture this year with the intention of looking for instances of Gentiles showing some knowledge of and perhaps faith in the true God. It’s amazing how many references I’ve seen so far that confirms God has always chosen from the beginning that Gentiles could be saved by faith in His righteousness.

        Like

  3. Agreed. The many verses concerning God’s election of all WHO WOULD believe in Christ have been perversely distorted into a false claim that God elected a select few TO BELIEVE in Christ. Along with many non-Calvinists, it is not the concept of divine election I reject – I most definitely read and rejoice that God has elected to forgive and redeem all who believe in Christ – but the faulty Calvinist definition of Election which asserts a cruel partiality on the part of God that leads to a deliberate, heartless refusal to save the vast majority of men who could have indeed been ‘elected’ to salvation along with the alleged chosen few.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ts00 writes, “The many verses concerning God’s election of all WHO WOULD believe in Christ have been perversely distorted into a false claim that God elected a select few TO BELIEVE in Christ.”

      ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism. The Calvinist deals with those who reject Christ under ts00’s philosophy and it is from this group that God personally saves some. Thus, Calvinists have God saving more people than would be saved under ts00’s system. Yet, ts00 complains. Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.

      Like

      1. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism.’

        This is a deliberate pretense of ignorance. Rhutchin knows, full well, that ‘the complaint against Calvinism’ is that the number of potential believers is arbitrarily limited under this monstrous system, as opposed to the true gospel, which offers grace to all men. Hence the ‘good news, which shall be to all people’. The issue is not over which system achieves greater numbers, but which system is just and loving vs. which is cruel and partial. Of course, God states that he desires that none perish, but that all turn and live. Impossible to turn such a statement into a limited atonement that deliberately omits the vast majority of men, rather than allowing all the freedom to receive or reject God’s unlimited grace. True, all but Universalism result in less than ‘all’ believing; however, only Calvinism asserts that it is God’s deliberate rejection of men that leads to the alleged damnation of countless millions for whom Jesus did not even die.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ah c’mon TS00 why cant you just be like the rest of us and “be glad that God lets any in at all”?

        After all for their sin (that God determine that they commit) all men deserve never-ending torture, so just be quiet and be glad you are among the chosen. And enjoy eternity with the God who planned that 99.85% go to endless torture.

        He picked you bro, so just relax that God is love.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. FOH writes, tongue in cheek:
        ‘Ah c’mon TS00 why cant you just be like the rest of us and “be glad that God lets any in at all”?’

        I guess I just don’t have God’s ability to ‘love’, you know, the kind that would gleefully torture those who one could just as easily redeem and grant eternal blessing like the lucky elect. I guess I just don’t have the heart to write off mother, father, grandmother, children, neighbors and strangers as potentially hell fodder; created by God with no intention, ever, of offering them any alternative or escape. It’s not easy to love like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You know when I first moved toward Calvinism (after careful tutoring —since I would never have found it by myself), one of the most repulsive ideas to overcome was this “God planned on and gets glory from the 99% being eternally tortured” idea. But like others, I just bit the bullet and said “Well if that’s what the Bible teaches, then I gotta believe it.”

        But that the beauty of the thing!!!

        The Bible doesnt teach it!! In fact this whole blog is about dismantling the scaffolding of the 40-50 key verses that the whole house of cards is built on!

        Like

      5. FOH writes, “one of the most repulsive ideas to overcome was this “God planned on and gets glory from the 99% being eternally tortured” idea. But like others, I just bit the bullet and said “Well if that’s what the Bible teaches, then I gotta believe it.”…The Bible doesnt teach it!!”

        Even the Calvinist knows that the Bible doesn’t teach such things as you have invented. The Scriptures tell us in speaking of Christ in Revelation, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

        Like

      6. ts00 writes, “I guess I just don’t have God’s ability to ‘love’,…”

        No one does until God gives it to them.

        Then, “…you know, the kind that would gleefully torture those who one could just as easily redeem and grant eternal blessing like the lucky elect. I guess I just don’t have the heart to write off mother, father, grandmother, children, neighbors and strangers as potentially hell fodder; created by God with no intention, ever, of offering them any alternative or escape. It’s not easy to love like that.”

        The argument of the Universalist. Well-spoken but ignoring the Scriptures. Rather than “gleefully” Gd says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked…” God certainly offers a way to escape but Paul says, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The sexually immoral, the idolator, the impure, etc. will all die if they do not repent and God will not take pleasure in their death and exclusion from heaven.

        Like

      7. TS00

        Dont fall for it! I know you will be tempted to answer thinking this is legitimate, sincere, rational dialog, but it ain’t.

        1. First of all it starts with the “you are a universalist” stick in your eye. (they play that card early and often!).

        2. Then there is the conflicted quoting of the verse that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (which we feel is true!). Piper often quotes slave-owner Jonathan Edwards …..pointing that God DOES in fact take pleasure in evil since He needs it to contrast with His goodness.

        “Unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.”

        3. Then there is the meaningless throw-away line: “God certainly offers a way to escape …” Because we all know that in Calvinism, no such offer is made. Indeed it is the most insincere, non-offer ever conceived! Man is not rejecting an offer from God since —before time—Christ’s Limited Atonement was never given for him!!!

        So…..Dont fall for it… bothering to dialog with Calvinists when they offer non-Calvinist verses to support their man-made philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. FOH writes, “…for their sin (that God determine that they commit) all men deserve never-ending torture,…”

        That they do. That is why Christ died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead.

        Like

      9. ts00 writes, “Rhutchin knows, full well, that ‘the complaint against Calvinism’ is that the number of potential believers is arbitrarily limited under this monstrous system, as opposed to the true gospel, which offers grace to all men.”

        No. The complaint against Calvinism is that it holds that God is omniscient and knew before He created the universe those who were to be saved (the elect) and those who would not (the reprobate) and this outcome cannot be changed. The Arminians agreed with the Calvinists on this point, so the issue was not who would be saved but how the elect are brought to salvation. Pretty much everyone agrees that all will not be saved, and that God may love the world, but He has instituted a system in which all the world is not to be saved and it is not God’s intent to save everyone in the world.

        Like

      10. Rhutchin writes:
        ‘ts00 complains but then he limits the elect to “all who believe in Christ.” Either way, there are only a few who believe. So, what is the complaint against Calvinism. The Calvinist deals with those who reject Christ under ts00’s philosophy and it is from this group that God personally saves some. Thus, Calvinists have God saving more people than would be saved under ts00’s system. Yet, ts00 complains. Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.’

        What does this even mean? Sounds like a whole lot of Gobbledygook that no one actually ever said or believed.

        Should we rejoice that God only decided to create those other disposable people for eternal suffering and damnation, and chose us – the lucky ‘elect’ – to be spared from such a dastardly fate? (Anyone who would ‘believe’ in this God would naturally believe himself ‘elect’.) Of course, God tells us – we don’t have to trust the ‘opinions’ of Calvin and his minions – that if he were doing the choosing, he would choose all, because he desires that none perish. Calvinists do a lot of dancing around that verse, but it is pretty hard to interpret any other way than its obvious meaning.

        If God had chosen to create a tyrannical, deterministic world – had he not created men in his image, desiring to have a genuine, voluntary relationship with them – he would not have allowed any to perish, but ‘determined’ that all would come to him. If this salvation thing was involuntary, you can be sure that all would be saved. Thus, if God desires that none perish – as he insists – and yet many do, we can safely assume that something other than God’s determining will is at play in said events. (This is where Calvinists try to sneak in a second or third will, with God being literally at war with himself, desiring that none perish, yet decreeing that many, before they were ever born or could possibly sin, be condemned to a life of sin and death from which there would be no rescue.) We do not have to read far in scripture to discover the real truth, as we quickly come across many verses that compel men ‘to choose you this day whom you will serve’ and the like.

        Nor do I even have to address the obvious absurdity of the suggestion that any non-Calvinist’s real complaint is ‘that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct’. Said nobody ever about Calvinism.

        Instead, I call out the false, hypocritical Calvinist pastors I have heard in my day suggesting how they ‘weep’ (and my former Calvinist pastor emphasized that he meant literally ‘weep’) over the millions who will go to hell, which he dared suggest was our fault for not living more pious lives. Huh? I could never decide which part was more absurd. If you think sending millions to hell was all part of God’s good and perfect, eternally predetermined plan, the last thing in the world you would do is ‘weep’ over his bad judgment; and if all things are ordained and brought to pass by God’s irresistible decree, then men’s piety or lack thereof is not their fault, and would make not a whit of difference. Calvinism forces its defenders into not only defending the indefensible, but into sounding downright silly. As in, ‘Perhaps, his real complaint is that God would save too many people if the Calvinists are correct.’ 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Having seen/heard a sermon video on Election from Ephesians 1 by Dr. Eric Hankins, pastor of FBC Fairhope, Ala., and having read his upcoming and not-yet-released paper on reprobation from Romans 9, and having read/heard Dr Flowers on these matters, I am convinced that God’s elective purpose was intended for Israel, the people through whom the gospel (“our” gospel, ala Paul) would be delivered to the world, or the “unchosen.” See Eph 1 for this enlightenment. Note the distinct shift in pronouns there as similarly noted in 2 Thess. 2.13 by Dr. Flowers.

    Clearly, God chose Abram and moved him from Ur of the Chaldees unto that natural land bridge between the sea and the dessert – the land of promise – where God’s chosen people would/should be a lighthouse for Yahweh, and ultimately where God’s elective and salvific purposes were fulfilled in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Election: it’s just not that complicated nor that mysterious.

    Like

    1. You will have to forgive me Norm. I did not quite get where you were going with your definition of election.

      I will make one comment though. You said, “Clearly, God chose Abram and moved him from Ur…”

      True God chose him but He didn’t move him! Abraham followed in faith. Never in the whole Bible is there an indication that he was given any special faith….just “by faith Abraham…”

      The Bible is FULL of these kinds of stories and examples where God moves or calls, but men and women follow in faith. Gotta be something to that!

      Like

      1. Agreed.
        Cals oft’ say sola gratia, but that renders Eph 2.8 false. We also are saved by faith, the same way Abraham was. God called. Abraham moved.
        As one who embraces corporate election as seen through Abraham and in Eph. 1, I am pondering that election applies to the Jews who were the ‘vehicle’ by which God’s elective purposes are accomplished.
        CS Lewis wrote: “The chosen were chosen for the sake of the unchosen.” Granted, Lewis was an inspired writer, but not as were the biblical writers. Nonetheless, I think his statement sheds considerable light on election. At least it has caused me to re-think the matter to the point that I now believe it is not as mysterious or complicated as Cals need it to be.
        See Eph 1 and the obvious pronoun shift. Paul uses personal possessive words early on, like we and us and our.

        And then v 13:
        And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit

        There it is, Paul moves from first person to second person pronouns. Curious!
        Hankins says in his sermon that the 1st person refers to the Jewish believers, “and you also” refers to his Gentile audience. Cals make no such distinction.

        Notice when and how the Gentiles were included. I see no Calvinism in that verse. In fact, I see the unraveling of that faulty view.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Doing my daily through-the-Bible reading. Came to Deuteronomy 30:

    19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

    Here (and in hundreds of passages like this) it doesn’t remotely sound like all the decisions have already been made from the foundation of the world!

    It also sounds like God is saying…..a lot of the choices are up to us.

    He even says “Oh that you would choose…” demonstrating that He is pleading, desiring, but still allowing the decision either way.

    It must be boring for determinists to read the same 40-50 passages of Scripture each day! Get out and smell the coffee man! There are hundreds of passages out there like this that demonstrate how God created the world!

    Like

  6. Today’s daily reading included Proverbs 12:24

    24 Work hard and become a leader;
    be lazy and become a slave.

    ——there are tens of thousands of conditional verses like this in the Bible demonstrating that it is not all set in stone…. and we make choices that matter…that change the outcome.

    Everybody knows this to be true in their daily lives.

    Determinist-Calvinists deny it in their theology.

    Sad.

    Like

    1. FOH, I know we point this out frequently, but it is so significant. If one buys into the fatalism of Calvinism, there really is no hope or meaning in life. There is no looking to God for guidance and help if he has already determined what is to occur, and all must do as preordained, without fail. So, our failures – God’s fault. Our weaknesses, struggles, ignorance and so forth will not lead to striving with God’s help, but a mere shrug of the shoulders that ‘Hey, if I’m a lazy, good-for-nothing bum, that must be what God ordained me to be. Who am I to argue with God?’ There are no incentives to overcome weaknesses and no hope to overcome seemingly hopeless situations. I saw how this led to hopelessness and despair in my own life, and I am fairly sure it must do the same for others. Understanding that sin is NOT God’s desire for anyone, and that he has promised not only to deliver us from its curse (death), but to deliver us from its destructive grip on our lives. Calvinism short-circuits this process, and encourages the hapless believer to just ‘accept’ what God has brought into his life as his irresistible will. Thus, to me, this is no mere academic exercise – my desire is to help others see that there is meaning, hope and joy in life. We are not limited to some preordained destiny, for better or worse, but should humbly, trustingly, seek God’s assistance to grow into all that he desires us to become.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You refer to my non-dialoguing dialogue – it’s a skill I learned under Calvinism. 😉 The Universalist at least starts with the proper premise – unlike the Calvinist: ‘God so loved the world’. Yet both fall on the same stone, which is a deterministic God which compels men like robots to his desired destiny. I agree with Universalism, that if God was a Meticulous Determinist, all men would be saved. But he is not, thus each and every individual ever loving created must choose, some day, at some moment in time, whom they will serve. All of history, with its terrible dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is a reflection of the genuine freedom of choice that a good, holy, omnipotent Creator granted to his lovingly crafted creatures, and the choices that they made to choose evil over good.

    Or, as per Calvinism, God secretly decreed the evil along with the good, causing WHATSOEVER comes to pass in his meticulously controlled creation. If I help a senior across the street, it is because God planned that I should. If I brutally murder my own child, it is because God planned that I should. Much as they hem and haw about compatibilism, and how the unregenerate ‘might’ believe if they so ‘desired’, they are just blowing smoke. Under their tidy little system, man has no choice. He will only believe, indeed only CAN believe, if God ‘makes’ him believe; and it does not matter what euphemism they employ.

    But seriously, how can any honest Calvinist (Is that an oxymoron?) try and escape the central plank of their theological system, which is that the only reason any man will suffer eternal punishment is because God did not desire to extend to them his gracious offer of forgiveness. Worse, he created them for the very purpose of eternal torture. Which of Calvinism/Reformed Theology’s planks does Rhutchin wish to negate?

    Total Depravity, or better Total Inability, which supposedly necessitates that God alone does whatever ‘believing’ is done in this world, because ‘dead men’ don’t ‘believe’? They don’t walk, talk and breathe either, but we’ll let that pass.
    Unconditional Election, which is God’s arbitrary, irrevocable ‘decision’ necessitated by Total Depravity, to choose who will be saved?
    Limited Atonement, which asserts Jesus only died for ‘some’, because God would never waste that precious blood? This plank alone assures that God most definitely did not offer all men a way to escape their predetermined destiny of eternal torment.
    Irresistible Grace, also necessitated by that nasty little curse of Total Depravity, placed on utterly innocent men and women before they were born, which requires God to do some mystical, magical unforced forcing of men to do as HE chooses, and ‘believe’. (Hey, what’s a little brute force when its for the greater good? You’ll thank me someday. Said every cruel despot known to mankind, but never God.)
    Perseverance of the Saints, which is the hook that draws so many well-meaning Baptists into such rank apostasy. I mean, who can pass up a ‘Get Out of Hell Free Card’ which allows one to keep a few pet sins to pass the time?

    In spite of deceptive attempts to claim allegiance to scripture, Calvinism insists that God does NOT and NEVER DID desire to save ALL men. Why would he, when he dreamed up the whole sin, hell and cross scheme to ‘reveal’ his ‘glory’? Calvinism’s God needs sin, needs sinners and needs to have fuel for his eternal, wrathful fodder in order to impress the lucky few with just how lucky they are.

    Calvinism’s God sent Jesus to die for only SOME (Calvinism’s elect) and all others, for whom Jesus did NOT die, most certainly DO NOT and NEVER WILL have an opportunity to turn from their preordained wickedness and ‘escape’ their preordained destiny – because it was not written in the cards for them. What possibly could they have ‘faith’ in even if Calvinism’s God repented of his stinginess and gave them some – the blood of Jesus which was not shed for them?

    Alas, under Calvinism, men do not fit themselves for destruction because God respects the free choice which shaped men ‘in the image of God’ rather than animals, and sadly allows those he loved enough to die for to reject this marvelous, undeserved, Universal offer of grace. Oh, no, Calvinism wouldn’t want a namby-pamby God like that . . . they prefer the one who irresistibly breathes life into some, as in the first birth. (Even Calvinism grants a certain measure of Universalism – we were all born once, without choice.)

    But the second ‘birth’ must be freely chosen, a ‘choice’ revealed and demonstrated throughout God’s history of dealing with men. No man, anywhere in scripture, was forcefully ‘born again’ as he was, initially, forcefully ‘born’; this is the clear meaning that somehow escapes Calvinists, who assert that God indeed coerces (by secretive ‘secondary means’) the new birth of a select group of individuals who alone will escape God’s inexplicable ‘wrath’ at those he created to carry out his predetermined ‘sin’ plan. Even Saul, temporarily stricken with blindness, had the freedom to refuse the call of God. God got Saul’s attention in a unique manner, but he was also called to a very unique mission – yet Saul had to choose to be ‘born again’ to become ‘Paul’ as Abram became Abraham, and Jacob became Israel. (I speak in the language of men, as God’s unfathomable omniscience knew which way Saul’s heart would lead him, before Saul or Paul was ever born.)

    Hence Jesus pointed out the absurdity of a ‘teacher’ of Israel not understanding the groundwork that the history of Israel had laid for the message of the gospel: Although no man ever chose to be ‘born’ into existence, God graciously grants men the ability to choose to be ‘born again’. That is, for all men can choose – or refuse – to embrace the free offer of God’s atonement for sin and receive new life, which will be without sin, suffering or end. The first birth gives physical life, the second, spiritual life. The first birth is unchosen, the second, equally unattainable by man’s own effort, nonetheless must be freely chosen.

    Like

    1. TS00
      You made me notice something.

      Our Calvinist friends play the “dirty universalist” card on us all the time….but it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists. Albeit, a small …very small universe.

      They agree with the universalist that —in the end, God forces/ directs/ decrees all men to be saved. They just define the number as .015% and not 100%. It’s the same “forcing”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. FOH, writes:
        ‘….but it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists. Albeit, a small …very small universe.

        They agree with the universalist that —in the end, God forces/ directs/ decrees all men to be saved. They just define the number as .015% and not 100%. It’s the same “forcing”.’

        Exactly! Calvinists and Universalists alike believe that God predetermines who will be saved. The Universalist, at least, recognizes that a loving and gracious God, if deterministic, would save all. The Calvinist thinks God is a monster, who would deliberately predestine many to an unthinkably terrible fate, when he could so easily have saved them, in the exact same manner he chose to save the few.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think of them more as ‘stingy Universalists’ – They both believe God does the exact same thing, but Calvinism’s God is so stingy he only saves a few.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Seriously, if you are going to believe it salvation all God’s unilateral choice and doing, why not at least go with the ‘choose ’em all’ bandwagon? You still have a tyrant for a God, but at least he is a benevolent tyrant.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sorry for the mangled sentence. Should read: Seriously, if you are going to believe salvation is all God’s unilateral choice and doing, why not at least go with the ‘choose ’em all’ bandwagon? You still have a tyrant for a God, but at least he is a benevolent tyrant.

        Like

      5. FOH writes, “it is actually the Calvinists who are universalists.”

        Actually, the universalists are Calvinists. Calvinists believe that God saves whom He will but not all; Universalists, like the Calvinists, believe that God saves whom He will and will save all

        Like

  8. Let me first address the question…

    Has God chosen you from the beginning (for salvation)?

    No. Not me at least.

    Isaiah 45:4 (KJV)….
    For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect……

    Could it be just that simple?

    How many times have our Calvinists brothers asked…. “Do we know who the elect are?” or say “we don’t know the identity of the elect, so we preach to all indiscriminately.”

    So, do we really believe when Paul spoke of the elect, his audience had no clue to whom he was referring? Since all the people of Israel had during and up to Paul’s writings were the OT scriptures, do you really think the people had no clue who the elect were? Did Paul know?

    I say “yes”. Paul knew exactly who the elect were.

    2 Timothy 2:10 (KJV)……
    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.

    Romans 9:3-4a (KJV)….
    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are Israelites…

    Romans 10:1 (KJV)….
    Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    Romans 11:13-14 (NKJV)….
    For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

    Acts 28:20 (KJV)….
    For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

    So, with these scriptures in mind, we get the following…

    2 Timothy 2:10 (KJV)……
    Therefore I endure all things for Israel’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    That is the only interpretation that works. Both the Calvinistic and Arminian views of election fall short. The Calvinist view of unconditional election (to salvation) doesn’t work because of both “may” and “also”. “May” suggests the possibility that the elect won’t obtain salvation (which within their scheme the elect’s salvation is a certainty) and “also” suggests inclusion, not exclusion. For Calvinism to be correct, the verse would have to read….

    Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they, and they alone, will obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    However, because “also” implies inclusion, whoever the elect are, the non-elect are not excluded. The non-elect may also obtain salvation. That would be the gentile nations. The Arminian view of election doesn’t work because for them the elect are those who are already “in Christ”. This is how the Arminian view would read….

    Therefore I endure all things for those in Christ Jesus, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    These people are not in a position where they “may” obtain salvation. Those “in Christ” have already obtained salvation. The Arminian view, as well, suffers from the word “also”, because salvation is excluded to those in Christ.

    I believe what Paul is writing to Timothy is to remind him that although he is out preaching the gospel of Christ to the gentiles, don’t think for a minute that he has turned his back on the people of Israel.

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

    God bless.

    Like

    1. In the face of all these verses, why, o why do Cals continue with a death grip to hold on to Calvin’s faulty doctrines? I think one reason is that they do not have the courage to admit that the Emperor has no clothes. There have been too many books, too many sermons, too many “Gospel” conferences for them to admit by the 1000s, “Hey, we’ve been wrong.”

      Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blessings Norm.

        Well, I agree with you that there is a form of “brainwashing” (for lack of a better term) going on, but we all suffer from that to some degree. There are even some non-reformed Baptists who would struggle with the verses/evidence provided. Also, there are some non-Calvinistic rebuttals that fall flat on their face.

        Most people within Christendom see election as one or two options. The Calvinistic answer being unconditional and predestined. The basic non-Calvinistic, and Arminian response, is that we become elect once we are “in Christ”. According to this view, I am “elect” because I elected to believe. In other words, God chose me because I chose Him. I believe that view is just as weak (even laughable), perhaps even weaker than the Calvinist view.

        The biblical fact is the word “elect” doesn’t appear in scripture until Israel is mentioned. In other words, prior to Israel there was no “elect”. Period. Even though Abram might have been chosen to be the father of that tiny nation, Abraham, himself, was not part of the elect (Abraham was not an Israelite). That distinction was reserved for the nation of Israel.

        Satan knows full well who the “elect” are. That is why he has been after that tiny nation ever since God made His covenant with Abraham. All biblical prophecy is directed at Israel. All Christendom could be completely destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth and God’s promises could still be fulfilled. But if Satan could be successful in annihilating the nation of Israel, then God’s promises have failed and would make Him a liar. He would have lost His sovereignty and Satan knows it.

        Matthew 24:22 (KJV)……
        And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (the nation of Israel) those days shall be shortened.

        Revelation 12:13 and 17 (KJV)….
        And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child……. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

        There are actually people (preachers) out there declaring that “the woman” is the church. O the error of replacement theology. It should be obvious to the brain dead that “the woman” is the nation of Israel. “Mine Elect”.

        Like

      2. Norm writes, “Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?”

        When those who claim it to be bankrupt are able to provide counter arguments to RC Sproul and others (e.g., Gertsner, the Puritans such as Edwards and Owens) who produced reasoned arguments from the Scriptures for Calvinist positions.

        Like

  9. nurluhouse writes, “1. First of all it starts with the “you are a universalist” stick in your eye. (they play that card early and often!).”

    If one uses the Universalist argument, then why isn’t he an Universalist? ts00’s primary point is that God loves all people. Yet, God knew before He created the universe that all people would not be saved nor was it God’s intent that all people would be saved. So, does God really love all people or some more than others. ts00 is somewhat shallow in his arguments.

    Then, “Piper often quotes…Jonathan Edwards …..pointing that God DOES in fact take pleasure in evil since He needs it to contrast with His goodness.”

    Maybe you could explain why God permits people to do evil when He could easily stop it. Certainly, God does not allow anything to happen unless it is according to His plan and serves His purpose. Do you know God’s purpose for the evil acts in which people engage while God watches and does not stop.

    Then, “…we all know that in Calvinism, no such offer is made….”

    It is not an offer; it is a command. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17)

    Like

    1. Hutch: You wrote this,

      “When those who claim [Calvinism] to be bankrupt are able to provide counter arguments to RC Sproul and others (e.g., Gertsner, the Puritans such as Edwards and Owens) who produced reasoned arguments from the Scriptures for Calvinist positions.”

      Your words were in response to my words: “Norm writes, ‘Calvin’s soteriology is entirely bankrupt. When will our brethren admit it?'”

      The “counter arguments” you say are needed before Calvinism can be declared bankrupt already are voluminous. First, there is the BIble. Then, I refer you to former Calvinist Ronnie Rogers and his book, “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist: the disquieting realities of Calvinism.” It’s an outstanding academic and theological treatise that shows Calvin’s utter bankruptcy. If you would read it, you will see that Rogers debunks the soteriology of Calvin as espoused by Sproul, Gertsner, Edwards and Owens and any other calvinistic writer for that matter. They may have provided “reasoned arguments,” but they are not reasonable.

      At SBCToday, a blog where you once frequently commented, Calvin’s notions have repeatedly and roundly been exposed for their theological vacuity. Many times, the Calvinists who would normally comment there would not venture into the “room” when Rogers’ had a post on that “wall.”

      I also commend the post on this blog by Dr. Eric Hankins on Romans 9 and reprobation. His sound hermeneutics and exegesis demolish Calvin’s invention of reprobation, and thus renders Calvinism impotent, bankrupt, pointless (multiple choice!).

      Of course, this blog has done the same thing. So, it rings incredibly hollow for you to require counter arguments to Calvin’s progenitors on a very blog that continually offers such.

      Come back after you have read Rogers’ book. You can get an e-version for $6.99 on Amazon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norm,
        This is a common occurrence.

        “You sleeping-in-class universalists have never given a response to _________________. ”

        You can fill in that blank with any one of the scores of posts from this very site….with the very title!

        Brian is incredibly patient answering the John 6:44 question many more times than I would have….. only to hear “you never dealt with John 6:44.”

        Motto: When a biblical answer is not what you want, just claim you’ve never heard it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some Calvinists are like cult members. They need de-programming. Despite sound biblical evidence of Calvin’s bankruptcy, the Calvinites refuse to admit their error. They have too much invested in the faulty system to admit it is false. They are much more prone to quote Piper, Sproul or the Puritan writers than they are the Bible. I know this to be true b/c I moderated for two years the SBCToday blog. And I have just recently begun to regularly visit this blog.

        I could hardly ascribe to the soteriology of man who says that God sends people to hell “for his good pleasure.” And Calvin wrote just that! That falsehood alone is enough for me to reject Calvin. But he also provides many others reasons for rejection as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Norm,
        Many will quote Piper at length.

        I have quoted him in dozens of comments in the comment section of quite a few different pages of SOT101.

        He is so conflicted, organizing a campaign (bumper stickers!) and writing a book called “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

        In the book, 100% of the time he is making the case that we can be different, think differently, impact the world, change our direction…… all good things but all “man-centered”. ((and all very —-the future is not settled —- on their face)).

        At the same time, numerous places on his desiringgod site he affirms and re-affirms that all that happens —-good or bad— is orchestrated by God.

        So….no real way to waste your life if you are just doing what you are programmed to do.

        Determinism is not a way of life.

        Like

      4. FOH writes, “Brian is incredibly patient answering the John 6:44 question many more times than I would have….. only to hear “you never dealt with John 6:44.”

        It appears to me that Brian is still working out the kinks in his explanation of 6:44. Nonetheless, I haven’t seen the “Traditionalists” going the route he has taken.

        Like

      5. FOH… there will always be those who will see “kinks” where there aren’t any… and then ignore the clear teaching of God’s marvelous grace and mercy sufficiently available to all, enabled by Him to freely receive or reject it… I believe they just can’t picture God being more merciful then they are! Very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. brianwagner writes, ” there will always be those who will see “kinks” where there aren’t any…”

        If I remember correctly, your explanation involved something about something being “distributed” across something. Kinda shows the impression your explanation made on me that I don’t remember the details. I then asked how that works given that the verbs are singular – how do you distribute anything over a single object. I don’t remember you responding to that question. Wouldn’t that count as a kink?

        Then, “I believe they just can’t picture God being more merciful then they are! ”

        Are you kidding! All Calvinists hope the Universalists turn out to be right. Doesn’t everyone??

        Like

      7. First… you must not understand the term “distributed” as it relates to logic. Get someone to help you there. Geisler’s book – Come Let Us Reason, is good.

        Second, I don’t hope universalism is true, because I exalt in God’s justice also. But creating people to be damned in not just.

        Like

      8. Brian,
        Dont fall for any request for further explanation. Your words (and lots of others like them) are easily found on the net for anyone with ears to hear.

        As for the God having mercy part…. in the many years since I left the Calvinist camp, I have noticed that when people talk a tad ‘too much’ about God’s love and mercy, Calvinists are quick to pounce with justice and wrath. Calvin made no effort to hide his position that wrath, double-predestination, and even the having-people-think-they-are-saved-but-are-not idea all serve to better show His justice and glory.

        Pretty hard to really be too merciful when you are carrying that wrath-is-good, torture-for-His-glory card up your sleeve.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. If your theology dictates that God has unavoidable, inescapable, predetermined-to-bring-him-glory wrath toward any person then you absolutely have no right to talk about God’s mercy. Only the most merciless being could condemn – without even a possibility of escape – another being to suffering and death when he ‘rescues’ a select few in this exact same state, who are no more or less deserving.

        It is this false and hideous corruption of God’s nature and revelation that has given many an excuse to reject him. All genuine believers should know, and defend, the true character of God, which is absolutely loving and merciful, extending grace to all without exception – conditioned only upon their putting their trust in Him and turning from the destructive paths of sin.

        Yes, I believe it is another great error of Calvinism to claim that God is unconcerned with our life after regeneration, overlooking our sinful ‘works’ as long as our ‘doctrine’ is correct. Understanding the nature of God’s limitless love and grace introduces the ‘power of love’ to transform hearts and lives, which IS what God seeks, not doctrinally correct Pharisees.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. ts00 writes, “Only the most merciless being could condemn – without even a possibility of escape – another being to suffering and death when he ‘rescues’ a select few in this exact same state, who are no more or less deserving.”

        OK – that is the argument made by the Universalists. Perhaps you mean to waffle on the meaning of “possibility of escape.”

        Like

      11. Rhutchin writes (once again!):
        ‘OK – that is the argument made by the Universalists.’

        The Universalists are absolutely correct when they state that a good, gracious, loving and just God would never perform as Calvinism asserts. With this, nearly all non-Calvinists would agree. Where they part ways is in whether or not God warns of punishment and wrath against those who know and refuse his loving offer of grace. I agree with Universalists that there is no hint of unjustice with God, thus reject Calvinism’s assertions as not only ‘horrid’ but utterly inconceivable and untrue. Must God save all men to be just? Rhutchin, as well as most Calvinists, know full well that is not the argument of non-Universalist non-Calvinists. Rather, they assert that he ‘must’ – really ‘would’ – not pretend to desire that none perish while providing atonement for only a select few, and orchestrating inescapably the destruction of the rest and be just.

        Like

      12. TS00

        Here is the most pertinent idea in both your recent posts:

        “…not pretend to desire that none perish while providing atonement for only a select few, and orchestrating inescapably the destruction of the rest and be just.”

        One of the biggest flaws of Calvinism is that it promote a God who PRETENDS to want all/ love all, but really one makes atonement for .0015%. That does not make Him very “loving.”

        It only makes Him monstrously deceptive.

        Like

      13. fromoverhere,

        You had said:
        “That does not make Him very “loving.”

        It only makes Him monstrously deceptive.”

        My response:
        “…for His TWISTED PERVERTED COSMIC enjoyment in entertainment called…GOD’S GLORY.”

        Like

      14. FOH writes, “Calvinists are quick to pounce with justice and wrath.”

        That is because Calvinists are convinced that the Scriptures clearly tell us that God will not save each and every person. Those who died at God’s hand – through means – such as in the flood of Noah, Sodom and the cities, the Amalekites and other tribes in the promised land, etc. are not thought to have been saved.

        Like

      15. Hutch:

        Yes, I read Ronnie’s book. But I never was convinced of Calvin’s tripe well before that.

        I don’t intend to re-hash with you or anyone else the matters already settled by God, His word, and explained by Rogers, Flowers, et al.
        If you will honestly interact with Ronnie’ book, I believe you will be pressed to re-evaluate your Calvinism.

        I am sure we can get some of Ronnie’s posts from SBCToday to be posted here, and you can interact directly with him if you want. He will stay with you as long as you don’t restate his position in order to try to prove your own, which is a habit among many of the Calvies I’ve seen who post at SBCToday.

        BTW: Citing John 6:44 is typical of Calvinists. It raises a point not at issue with the Trads I know. Neither does it undermine what Trads believe about the salvific process.

        “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

        I know no Trad who would say this opposes any part of their beliefs. So if you believe it too, then, well…..

        It is as simple as Leighton has said in the video above: Who finally decided that you would follow Christ, you or God? If you say God decided, then you hold to Calvin’s view.

        Calvinists believe that God has decided for the “elect” that they will be saved irresistibly (even though there is not one single verse to support that notion. if you know any, please list them.) Where we part company is whether God’s drawing is the final action in one’s coming to Christ for salvation. Trads believe that God does draw, no question, but also that the one drawn has a choice in how to respond and is thus not irresistibly drawn.

        If you want to deal directly with these matters, then further dialog is possible. But if you want to engage in the issues jn a manner as you did at SBCToday, then you will be talking to yourself.

        Liked by 2 people

      16. Norm:
        No need of biblical reference. They start with their own interpretation of “dead” and have to figure a way out from there….

        And yes they talk to themselves a lot. My (adult) son saw the Bible study he was attending morph right in front of him over the space of a year. It went from studying passages systematically to studying only the “doctrines of grace.” He described it like a shark tank after about a year….all of them circling for the lone fish who was not following….

        All topics, passages led to Calvin….ending often with internet perusing of Dordt and Westminster.

        He left. Was no longer a Bible study.

        Like

      17. Norm,

        I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes on this one, but I saw you mention a popular John 6:44.

        I gotta ask a stupid question, cuz I don’t know the answer as to where that argument goes.

        My question:

        Doesn’t the very next verse continue the conversation of verse 44? To wit:

        45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

        Doesn’t that show a qualifier, that one must hear, and learned of the father first?

        And if so, doesn’t that say that THEY that have, will be CONVINCED IN THEIR OWN MIND? Convinced in their own mind. Convinced in their own mind…

        I think this goes along the line of a topic that was to the audience ONLY…the Jews…not the Gentiles. Why do I say that?

        Simple…verse 45 again…and they shall e ALL TAUGHT OF GOD. If it’s written in the PROPHETS, that kinda tells me that this prophesy is in regards to Jews, not Gentiles.

        ALL will be taught of God, not most, not some, but ALL, and that word convinces me that ALL is Jews…Hence ALL Israel will be saved (Romans 9-11)

        So, to me, the whole context of Chapter 6 is regarding the Jews only, since it was THEIR forefathers that were fed MANNA, and Jesus is contrasting to THEM that he is the Bread of Life.

        Jesus time and time again tells them of the one who the FATHER sent…and Jesus said that he was NOT SENT BUT TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.

        Later, after he resurrected did he talk about us OTHER SHEEP.

        Yes, many things that Jesus said pertain to us, but I think from time to time we need to separate between what is prophesy for the Jews that Jesus discusses with the Jews only, vs. everyone else, us lowly Gentiles.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      18. chapmaned24 writes, “So, to me, the whole context of Chapter 6 is regarding the Jews only, since it was THEIR forefathers that were fed MANNA, and Jesus is contrasting to THEM that he is the Bread of Life.”

        Had Christ said in 6:44, “None of you can come to me,,,” it would be easy to conclude that Christ was speaking directly of the Jews and specifically His audience. Instead, He says, “No one can come to me…” He uses a universal negative. However, there is no reason to limit this to the Jews. Certainly, if the Jews could not come to Christ, there is no reason to think that a non-Jew could do so.

        Like

      19. chapmaned24 writes, “Yes, there is a reason, and that reason is so stated in the very next verse. PROPHECY. That is not prophesy to the Gentiles, but to the Jews.”

        However, it is only through prophecy that any person, Jew or gentile, can believe in Christ. That is Paul’s message in Romans 10. Jesus is using generic language, and while the Jews in His audience would certainly understand that His teaching applies to them, God inspired John to write these words so that we today would understand that this applies to us equally.

        Like

      20. chapmaned24 writes, “That very next verse is also key as it states a PROCEDURE on how the Father draws them. ”

        I agree. So, we should not think that God’s drawing has to force the person against his will nor does God merely persuade (not really meant by “draw”). Rather God opens his mind to understanding thereby Christ becomes irresistible to him.

        Like

      21. It has nothing to do with IRRESISTIBLE. I’ll never forget the first time I heard that word in your circles. It’s misleading.

        They have the ability to reject. They will CHOOSE from their own free will by in fact being persuaded. Why? Because Jesus REVEALS HIMSELF to them.

        Deuteronomy 29:4 (TO THE JEW ONLY)
        Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

        That is a quote that Paul mentions in Romans 9-11.

        The Lord BLINDED the Jews, so that they may NOT SEE.

        John 9:41 (NOTE THE WORDS “NO SIN”????????????????????????
        Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

        Blind Jews have NO SIN until they say that they can see.

        It’s up to God to UNBLIND whom he blinded. He did allow SOME Jews to understand. The REST of the Jews are in a SLUMBER.

        He didn’t blind the Gentiles.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      22. chapmaned24 writes, “It has nothing to do with IRRESISTIBLE…They have the ability to reject.”

        Reject what?? God’s drawing? God’s teaching? The drawing and teaching are irresistible. Perhaps you mean that once drawn, they have the ability to turn around and go back to where they were or that they decide not to follow God’s teaching. That would require motive – What motive would a person have to draw back from God or not do what God had taught him? Maybe, you mean that a person draws back because God blinds him to truth. So, what are you trying to say??

        Like

      23. Stop using that word, “irresistible”. Only a steak dinner is irresistible. You Calvinists need to ditch that word, because YES, the fathers drawing is indeed irresistible. They WONT reject, because they will finally KNOW, because Jesus will REVEAL HIMSELF to them. Irresistible has NOTHING to do with it. Get rid of that word, man. Free will.

        Do you know WHY God used the Pharaoh? Do you? He was going to let the people go several times. God tells Moses to go tell the Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh says, “OK”, but God hardened his heart to change his mind so that he would NOT let the people go?

        WHY?

        Let’s hear your NATURAL MAN routine of an explanation!

        See, now YOUR religion will tell you that this is the forefront example that God does what he will to people. NO NO NO NO.

        God has a STORY to tell, THRU the Pharaoh, but you people don’t get it because you are the NATURAL MAN.

        Like I said about Joseph. The natural man only thinks it’s a story about Joseph. But God USED Joseph to tell a story about Jesus. God used Abraham to tell a story about Jesus. God used David to tell a story about Jesus. God used Noah, to tell us a story about Jesus. God used Soloman to tell us a story about Jesus. God used ALL of the Jewish required FEASTS to tell us a story about Jesus. God used Jonah to tell us a story about Jesus.

        So, your unregenerate garbage is just that….garbage. Natural man sees none of what I said above. Expository preaching sees none of that stuff, either.

        The Pharaoh was indeed shown mercy by God all because God USED him to tell a story. Pharaoh is in heaven. There is no doubt in my mind at all. BASED ON THE BIBLE.

        Ed Chapman

        Liked by 1 person

      24. If the Jews were NOT blind, then Jesus would have never been crucified. And I know that would make many in Christendom happy, because they can’t stand the Jews for crucifying Jesus.

        But what if Jesus wasn’t crucified? Peter drew his sword to stop it from happening.

        You would still be in your sins, with no savior if he hadn’t died on that cross. It pleased the Father to bruise him.

        Why? So you can be saved.

        That is why the Jews are blind. For YOUR SAKE. But people want to bad mouth the Jews for rejecting Jesus. Pffffft.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      25. chapmaned24 writes, “That is why the Jews are blind. For YOUR SAKE. But people want to bad mouth the Jews for rejecting Jesus. Pffffft.”

        I agree.

        Like

      26. And please note that verse 45 states:
        “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”

        EVERY MAN EVERY EVERY EVERY MAN. Not some, not a few, not many, but every. Heard and Learned. Therefore, no one rejects.

        Hmmmmm….where can you find an example of this? How about the PROPHESY of Joseph and his BRETHREN?

        Joseph is Jesus, and the BRETHREN of Joseph is the JEWS. Hence, Romans 9-11.

        Jews are the clay that God is USING to show us that righteousness cannot be by the law that God gave THEM ONLY, and told them to obey,and God fully knew that NO ONE can obey.

        Why would God give them a list of do’s and don’ts, knowing that they would fail?

        Wouldn’t it be to SHOW US the way? So that he could give THEM mercy?

        The Jews treated Jesus badly, just like the brothers of Joseph. Joseph HID himself so that his brothers had no clue as to who he was.

        But his brethren went to him for FOOD (BREAD OF LIFE, Jesus), and then Joseph REVEALED to his brothers who he was, and Joseph gave them mercy.

        Not one brother was doomed.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      27. chapmaned24 writes, “And please note that verse 45 states:
        “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
        EVERY MAN EVERY EVERY EVERY MAN. Not some, not a few, not many, but every. Heard and Learned. Therefore, no one rejects.”

        That is wrong. We have a conditional. It is not every man in the world but every man “who has heard/learned from God” The phrase “comes to me” has the meaning, “believe in me.” The Universalist argues that every man means that each and every individual in the world will learn from God, so all are saved. The non-Universalist argues that the conditional, “who learns from God,” can be some number less than each and every individual, so the statement does not mean that all will be saved. We have a similar situation in John 3:16. God loves the world but not every individual is saved – only those believing in Christ inherit eternal life.

        then, “where can you find an example of this? How about the PROPHESY of Joseph and his BRETHREN?”

        I like your explanation. I don’t think it applies to John 6:44-45.

        Like

      28. I am not a universalist, so let’s dispense with that nonsense. All Israel will be saved. The Jews were given a law of Moses that God knew that they would fail at.

        You people spread a fairy tale about God imputing faith, yet that is not the truth.

        God BLINDED the Jews, and God will UNBLIND the Jews. Simple as that. Therefore, DUE to the fact that God gave them a law of Moses fully knowing that they will fail, God will show them mercy.

        You see, I am NOT from the circles of REFORM theology. And because of that, we do not argue “regeneration”, a topic that you guys can’t seem to shut up about.

        Righteousness is the word to concentrate on.

        Self, and God’s.

        Law vs. No Law. Self is by the law, which equals FAIL, NO LAW at all equals WIN WIN. Belief is YOUR OWN, not an imputation.

        Because that is where you will find the truth, rather than a mysterious fairy tale about a god that must FORCE you to believe. No one outside of reform theology buys off on that stuff.

        I will give you an example about that NATURAL MAN thing that you guys always bring up.

        The Story of Joseph is PROPHESY of the relationship between Jesus and the Jews that rejected him. The SPIRITUAL MAN sees that.

        The NATURAL MAN will reject that the story of Joseph is anything other than JUST a story of Joseph.

        That is what that means, and since you guys are all about Expository preaching, you do indeed reject the story of Joseph being prophesy of Jesus, regarding his relationship with the Jews that rejected him.

        So you guys can’t even interpret that NATURAL MAN doctrine right. You would have missed Jesus, too..all because YOU would be looking for a man named Emanuel.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      29. chapmaned24 writes, “All Israel will be saved.”

        Does that include each and every Jew from Jacob down to judgment day?

        Then, “You people spread a fairy tale about God imputing faith, yet that is not the truth.”

        Actually, I say God gives His elect faith, but He imputes righteousness to them.

        Then, “And because of that, we do not argue “regeneration”, a topic that you guys can’t seem to shut up about.”

        Just think new birth of John 3 as it is one and the same to the Calvinist.

        Then, “…rather than a mysterious fairy tale about a god that must FORCE you to believe. No one outside of reform theology buys off on that stuff. ”

        No one inside reformed theology buys that stuff either.

        Then, “The NATURAL MAN will reject that the story of Joseph is anything other than JUST a story of Joseph.”

        Good think the Calvinists understand that the story of Joseph is more than just an event in history. Joseph was a type of Christ.

        Like

      30. Just a couple of drive-by comments, as I have no interest in being drawn into one of these slug fests:

        I would suggest that the ‘blinding of the Jews’ describes what occurred in order for what would seem unthinkable to take place: the crucifixion of their own long-awaited Messiah. Once this occurred, Paul and the other apostles were free to reveal the ‘mystery’ of what Jesus was all about, hence the New Testament. The Jews are not still ‘blinded’ by God and awaiting some future unblinding – all of that took place long ago. At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated. Read Paul a little more carefully.

        Hint to Ed: Many Calvinists seek to assert an illogical irresistible ‘force’ that does not force. God irresistible, irrevocably determines ‘whatsoever comes to pass’, yet men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan. Not sure if they actually believe this, or if it is just an argument they use to mask the cruelty and injustice of God ordaining evil then punishing the patsies who performed his will.

        Like

      31. TS00
        Your 2nd paragraph is especially accurate. There are some who ignore biblical answers to Calvin’s “irreconcilable tensions.” They would rather argue than discover truth, obviously. I choose not to engage such types, and that is usually borne out to be a wise decision since such people eventually are banned from commenting because their true motives eventually become evident. Besides, the Bible tells us to stay away from contentious people.

        Like

      32. Speaking of contentious people!

        Have you ever gone to Amazon and looked at the book reviews of a good Arminian or non-Calvinist book? Amazing. Just go to the one-star reviews. Most of them will not be reviews at all—in fact no indication that the person has ever even seen the book!

        They just paste in there some ranting tirade against anything but the “doctrines of grace” (which is kind of ‘ungracious’ and ironic if you think of it). Give it one star, call him a universalist, add some aggressive no-one-is-right-but-us comments, and call that a review!

        Why do they allow themselves to do such an ungracious and disingenuous thing? They feel like they are on a mission for God… a mission for the truth, and the end justify the means!

        Like

      33. ts00 writes, “Many Calvinists seek to assert an illogical irresistible ‘force’ that does not force. God irresistible, irrevocably determines ‘whatsoever comes to pass’, yet men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan.”

        The “illogical irresistible ‘force’” is regeneration or the new birth. Then, “men somehow ‘choose’ to follow this irresistible, inevitable plan” because of the faith (i.e., hope in Christ) that they receive through hearing the gospel.

        Like

      34. truthseeker,

        You had said:
        “The Jews are not still ‘blinded’ by God and awaiting some future unblinding – all of that took place long ago.”

        My response:
        YES they are still blinded and are indeed still awaiting some future unblinding.

        Like

      35. truthseeker,

        You had said:
        At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated. Read Paul a little more carefully.

        My response:
        Read Paul a little more carefully. There is a difference UNLESS both are “in Christ”. In Christ there is no difference. But if one or both are NOT “in Christ”, then there is indeed a difference between Jew and Gentile.

        However, comma, try telling Calvinists that there is no difference between male and female in Christ. Males, in Calvinism, want female slaves for wives, barefoot and pregnant, that gets a new mop for a birthday gift, and a vacuum for an anniversary present, and a washer/dryer for a Christmas gift.

        Ed

        Like

      36. rhutchin,

        You ask:
        “Does that include each and every Jew from Jacob down to judgment day?”

        God shows mercy to the IGNORANT.

        Romans 10:3
        For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

        Paul, talking about himself for receiving mercy:

        1 Timothy 1:13
        Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

        Do you have a problem with knowing that ALL ISRAEL will be saved?

        I guess all doesn’t mean everyone in Calvinist minds, huh? Just some. A few. Paul didn’t add any adjectives to that, no adverbs.

        Ed

        Like

      37. Norm writes, “At SBCToday, a blog where you once frequently commented, Calvin’s notions have repeatedly and roundly been exposed for their theological vacuity.”

        Why don’t you get me reinstated and let’s interact on Calvinist issues. But then, most of what you see about Calvinism other than Rogers is Leighton Flowers and those are just re-runs of his stuff here.

        I’ll guess and say that you have not personally read Rogers’ book. But, I will read it anyway. Not expecting much given what he puts on SBCToday.

        Liked by 1 person

      38. Hi Norm,

        You wrote… “I refer you to former Calvinist Ronnie Rogers…”

        I know this is what a lot of those at SBC Today believe, but brother Rogers is not a “former” Calvinist. In fact, he is a 2 point Calvinist (or Arminian if you prefer). Brother Leighton is a true “former” Calvinist.

        Leighton rejects all 5 points of Calvinism, while Rogers still adheres strongly to total depravity (evident by his articles) and a form of irresistible grace (evident by his logic). Now while his form of irresistible grace might not force someone to believe, it does however force someone to a point where they can choose. Either way, force is not grace. Its coercion.

        If our brothers and sisters over at SBCT would read his writings more carefully, they would see this.

        Something to think about, brother.

        God bless.

        Liked by 2 people

      39. Phillip – I actually believe God irresistibly enables at least a few times in a person’s life to be able to choose to seek His mercy. I know illustrations don’t prove doctrine… but don’t you think it is grace to save the life of one who has overdosed on drugs so that they can decide if they want to get the help they need to stay sober?

        Liked by 1 person

      40. Blessings, Brian.

        Always enjoy your input and perspective.

        I just don’t think fallen man is in a comatose state. At least generally speaking.

        There are those folks who make me wonder. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      41. Norm wrote, “Come back after you have read Rogers’ book.”

        I got the book and have started reading it. This guy is one confused little puppy. Don’t know if I can sort out what he writes, but I will start with something easy. His chapter 2 is titled, “Predestination and Foreknowledge” It has nothing to do with predestination and is all about foreknowledge, so I found the title amusing. Regardless, he agrees completely with the Calvinists on foreknowledge writing, “God has always known all contingencies (decisions yet to be actualized) because even though they do not exist external to the mind of God, they have eternally existed in the mind of God by virtue of the nature of His being…I further affirm God’s omniscience…God knows everything about the future including every potential and actual choice of every person.”

        So, Rogers has not rejected all of his prior Calvinist beliefs. Yet, having said these things, he ignores the major implication of omniscience/foreknowledge – Before God created the world, He knew who would be saved and who would not be saved. The big issue between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is not who will be saved but the manner in which people come to Christ – specifically God’s role in making this happen.

        Rogers does make an interesting commenting the chapter – “Therefore, contrary to Calvinism, foreknowledge establishes certainty but not causation.” However, he must know that Calvinism attaches causation to God’s decrees (thus, God’s sovereignty) and not to foreknowledge. In addition, he writes, “I disaffirm that foreknowledge is the same as causation because epistemology (study of knowledge) deals with foreknowledge and etiology (study of cause) deals with causation, and to conflate the two is a fallacious confusion of categories. I am not saying that all knowledgeable Calvinists do this, but it is a common mistake among young Calvinists, as well as many others who label themselves as Calvinist.” It seems he has confused that which Calvinism teaches with that which some Calvinists (young ones) mistakenly think Calvinism teaches.

        There was so much more that Rogers could have said about God’s omniscience especially as it relates to Calvinism, but he didn’t. I found it disappointing.

        That was an easy chapter to sort out.

        Liked by 1 person

      42. Brian,
        For further clarity, let me add the following…

        Acts 9:3-6 (NKJV)….
        As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

        Now, was Paul irresistibly thrown of the donkey? Yes. Did it have anything to do with overcoming Paul’s depravity? Nope. Not one little bit.

        And that’s just it. For the Calvinist/Arminian, grace (of the irresistible nature) is the solution for total depravity/total inability.

        Now does that mean that God can’t (forcibly) tap us on the shoulder from time to time? Of course not. But I don’t think that means God is overcoming our fallen nature and restoring us to a pre-fall condition either; which Calvinists/Arminians (like brother Rogers) insist must happen first.

        Liked by 1 person

      43. Phillip and Brian:
        Another example is Jonah. I would say that God intervened significantly there!

        I think we all agree that Jonah could have STILL said no —and many in similar situations have said no.

        I tried to make it hard for my kids to make bad decisions. they still did sometimes.

        That’s why we call it a “personal relationship.”

        Like

      44. FOH writes, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.”

        The issue is not whether Jonah “could” have said, No. Nothing suggests that this option was unavailable to him. The issue is what Jonah “would” do under the circumstances in which he made the choice. God does not work against the will of a person, but bends the will of a person to want and choose God’s will.

        Like

      45. Thanks for the clarification Phillip. Not sure there was a donkey… 😁 but he certainly was blinded and heard Jesus voice. The issue is the needed opportunity of grace not the ability of the will. “Ability is nothing without opportunity” the great theologian Napolean said. 😉

        But Barnabas said – Hebrews 3:7-8 NKJV — “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion….'”

        I believe God overcomes the hardness sufficiently a few times at least with opportunities that the will can respond to, and then will be given more light if it responds positively. But hardness without opportunity leads nowhere. And God sometimes hardens those who have rejected their opportunities so that they never “see” the grace right in front of them any more.

        Liked by 1 person

      46. phillip writes, “For the Calvinist/Arminian, grace (of the irresistible nature) is the solution for total depravity/total inability….I don’t think that means God is overcoming our fallen nature and restoring us to a pre-fall condition either; which Calvinists/Arminians (like brother Rogers) insist must happen first.”

        Ronnie Rogers, in his book, “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist,” has agreed with the Calvinists that God is omniscient and knows all future decisions, including salvation decisions, I also have found that he agrees with the Calvinists on Total Depravity and the need for grace to enable a person to freely choose salvation – of course, rather than just enabling His elect, Rogers has God enabling those He knows are not to be saved (for reasons that I I am trying to sort out).

        The only real complaint I have come across (and I have only read about half the book) concerns free will and Rogers’s complaint that Calvinism does not give people real freedom to choose salvation. I look forward to his definition of “real freedom” (or words to that effect).

        He does have an issue with the regeneration-faith order, but I think he mistakenly takes regeneration to be salvation when it is not.

        I don’t think he is as disenchanted with Calvinism as he implies in the title and in some of the comments in the book. He will make a harsh comment about Calvinism on a point and then later affirm that point. He is really caught up with the free will thing and that is his only consistent objection to Calvinism that I am reading of.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. As you well noted, the key word in that verse i the word, “THROUGH”, and the subject is NOT chosen. The word THROUGH shows the procedure by which anyone is saved. He was talking to the already saved, telling them how they were saved. THRU faith. He was not telling anyone that they were chosen at all. This same kind of context is in ALL of the CHOSEN references in Ephesians, too. In THIS case, the key word was THROUGH. In the case of Ephesians, the key words are “TO BE”, not chosen. The subject of the context is AFTER the TO BE, not before the TO BE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. chapmaned24 writes, “The word THROUGH shows the procedure by which anyone is saved. He was talking to the already saved, telling them how they were saved.”

      All agree on this.

      We have, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through…” The issue is with, “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation…” You say, “He was not telling anyone that they were chosen at all.” However, the translation of the verse suggests otherwise.

      Like

      1. chapmaned24 writes, “Bad translation.”

        How about giving us your better translation. And tell us why it is better – maybe explaining how all the current translations are “bad.”

        Like

      2. How about??????? Ya gotta ask me nicely…you see Danny, I can live with the bombs and the bullets…

        How about it…phhhhh.

        THRU is describing a PROCESS by which anyone is SAVED. Salvation is the SUBJECT, not YOU, not CHOSEN. Salvation was PREDETERMINED by a process.

        The YOU is the ALREADY SAVED that he was talking to.

        The word CHOSEN is in DIRECT RELATION TO “THRU”, not “YOU”. From the beginning, salvation is THRU Faith…HENCE ABRAHAM HAVING FAITH, and get this….NOT THE LAW OF MOSES.

        THE LAW OF MOSES IS WHAT CAUSES WRATH, NOT FAITH.

        Faith came first. From the beginning.

        What I want to see from you is how you think that faith is a work.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      3. chapmaned24 writes, “What I want to see from you is how you think that faith is a work.”

        Faith is a work where a person has some inherent natural ability to exercise faith when unregenerate and who can exercise that faith without God’s help (i.e., without regeneration). Exercising faith to believe is an act of the individual and obligates God to regenerate the person. Faith is not a work if it can only be exercised by a person who has been regenerated by God and is received through the “hearing of the word.” Regeneration provides the environment necessary for faith to manifest outwardly as belief. Exercising faith is a synergistic act requiring God’s help. The unregenerate do not receive faith through “hearing the word” because the gospel is foolishness to them (or a stumbling block where one is a Jew).

        Like

      4. Wrong…the word “works” is ONLY ONLY ONLY pertaining to the obedience of the law of Moses.

        Hence, the phrase, “works of the law”.

        The law is not of faith. The law is a barrier to faith. It’s EITHER law OR faith. Not both

        Works is SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS in the law of Moses. Works requires a WAGE.

        If you can obey perfectly, you WORKED for a wage ,and that wage is…ETERNAL LIFE.

        But no one can, so the WAGE is death, for by the LAW, which is not of faith, is the knowledge of sin.

        Did ABRAHAM have the Law of Moses?

        No Works

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Romans 5:13
        For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

        Romans 4:15
        where no law is, there is no transgression.

        Romans 4:8
        Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

        Romans 6:7
        For he that is dead is freed from sin.

        Romans 6:11
        Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead

        Romans 7:4
        ye also are become dead to the law

        Galatians 2:19
        For I through the law am dead to the law,

        Romans 7:8
        For without the law sin was dead.

        Galatians 2:21
        if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

        Romans 3:21
        But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested

        Romans 4:5
        faith is counted for righteousness.

        Romans 4:13
        not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

        Romans 4:16
        Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace

        Galatians 3:12
        the law is not of faith

        Galatians 3:21
        if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

        Romans 4:2
        For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

        Romans 4:5-6
        But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

        Romans 11:6
        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.

        Faith is NOT imputed.

        There is ONLY two things that can be “IMPUTED” to us.
        1. Sin
        2. Righteousness

        Righteousness can only be imputed in two different ways.
        1. Works (DEEDS/OBEYING/OBSERVING) The Law of Moses
        2. Faith

        Like

      5. chapmaned24 writes, “the word “works” is ONLY ONLY ONLY pertaining to the obedience of the law of Moses.”

        We also have from James 2, “…just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
        Also, Ephesians 2, “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

        There are the works of the law and the works that God does through a person. You refer to those works done by the person apart from God to obtain salvation. In this context, we speak of the “faith” that is the foundation for these works and ask how Calvinists can label the “faith” that gives rise to works of the law as a “work.” Calvinist mean that such faith is not of God but of the man – that faith is not rooted in Christ but in the desires of the person. Have the Calvinists mischaracterized it as a “work”? Perhaps, but the point being made by the Calvinist is that the “faith” that does not lead to salvation (not being of God) reflects man’s effort (work) to obtain salvation through obedience to the law – whether the law of Moses or the persons’ personal law.

        Then, “Faith is NOT imputed.”

        OK. Here, we refer to Paul’s explanation that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” The meaning here is that a person has no faith (that faith required for salvation), then hears the word with the result that they now have faith. Such faith is the substance and evidence a person’s hope in Christ for forgiveness of sin, justification, and eternal life.

        Then, “There is ONLY two things that can be “IMPUTED” to us.
        1. Sin
        2. Righteousness”

        I don’t think sin is imputed to us. The term, “impute,” suggests the crediting of something to a person that he does not deserve . Sin is not imputed to a person – the person actually sins.

        Then, “Righteousness can only be imputed in two different ways.
        1. Works (DEEDS/OBEYING/OBSERVING) The Law of Moses
        2. Faith”

        I don’t think righteousness can be imputed by obedience to the law. I think this is Paul’s point when he wrote, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” (Galatians 3)

        Like

      6. The works that James speaks of has nothing to do with the works that Romans speaks of. This is what also confused Luther, which is why he didn’t like the book of James.

        Works, as it relates to James is LIVING what you believe.

        Abraham believed God, in that the promised land would be given to the descendants of Isaac. So, Abraham had no problem sacrificing his son on the mountain. That is the works that James discusses. Also:

        James is discussing LOVE. Your WORKS OF FAITH is THRU Love.

        Living your life of faith thru love is the works James discusses.

        But works that Romans discusses…that is works of the Law of Moses.

        To WIT:
        Note the word “DO”, and “RIGHTEOUSNESS” in the following:

        Exodus 24:3
        And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.

        Notice the last word in that verse, “do”. Later, in Deuteronomy 5, Moses once again reiterates what was spoken in Exodus 20 – 24. After that review, the children of Israel responds:

        Deuteronomy 6:25
        And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

        That is self righteousness. That is deeds, aka works of the law. Do.

        OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is shown in the verse, vs. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS without the law.

        Ed Chapman

        Like

      7. chapmaned24 writes, “Works, as it relates to James is LIVING what you believe….Living your life of faith thru love is the works James discusses. But works that Romans discusses…that is works of the Law of Moses….That is self righteousness. That is deeds, aka works of the law. Do.OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is shown in the verse, vs. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS without the law.”

        No disagreement from me on this. Well said.

        Like

      8. One thing that you are really missing out on is that God is the one who gave the law to Moses and told everyone to OBEY, knowing full and well that no one can.

        But most importantly, that Abraham did not have the law.

        I noticed that you completely missed the quoted scriptures:

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Romans 5:13
        For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

        Romans 4:15
        where no law is, there is no transgression.

        Romans 4:8
        Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

        Sin is indeed imputed when you sin…UNLESS there is NO LAW. Abraham was in an era where there was NO LAW. Romans 5:13, therefore, sin was not imputed to Abraham, EVEN THO for all have sinned.

        Like

      9. chapmaned24 writes, “Salvation is the SUBJECT, not YOU, not CHOSEN. Salvation was PREDETERMINED by a process.
        The YOU is the ALREADY SAVED that he was talking to.
        The word CHOSEN is in DIRECT RELATION TO “THRU”, not “YOU”.”

        I understand 2:13 to say directly, “God choose you to salvation (i.e., to be saved).” The means that God used to bring them to salvation is “through” a process that included sanctification by the Spirit and belief of the truth.

        God is the subject; chose is the verb (God’s action), and you is the object for God’s action.

        Like

      10. chapmaned24 writes, “So, you put a period after the word salvation, which changes the whole topic.”

        No, I don’t. I agree with you that the phrase beginning with “through” describes the means whereby God is working. However, Paul describes that means after saying that God chose them for salvation. The order of thought in the verse is:
        — God has chosen you
        — for salvation
        — through…

        Like

  11. A couple of observations.

    First, I agree with my non-reformed brothers about engaging rhutchin. I question (unfortunately) his motives (and sincerity).

    Second, “All Israel will be saved” is referring to the 12 tribes, or the nation as a whole (check out Revelation 7:4-8), and not every single Israelite.

    “At this point in time, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; all distinctions have been forever eradicated.”

    In a salvific sense, that is true. However, Paul writes…

    Romans 3:1-2 (NKJV)…

    “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.”

    And Romans 9:4-5 (NKJV)…

    “….who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”

    All present tense. 201 times in the Bible He is referred to as “the God of Israel”. No one else can make that claim.

    Now read very closely what our Lord says here….

    Matthew 15:21-28 (NKJV)….
    Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

    Now this Canaanite woman was a Gentile. A believing Gentile. And our Lord called her a “dog”. Dogs are not sheep. Nor do dogs ever become sheep. Gentiles, though “wild” (Romans 11:17) get grafted in, but they never become the “natural” branches (the Jews).
    I believe the point of our Lord’s conversation with the Canaanite woman is that we (the Gentile nations) only get what we get because of God’s overabundant love, covenants, and promises to the nation of Israel, mine elect (Isaiah 45:4).

    Like

    1. phillip writes, “I believe the point of our Lord’s conversation with the Canaanite woman is that we (the Gentile nations) only get what we get because of God’s overabundant love, covenants, and promises to the nation of Israel, mine elect (Isaiah 45:4).”

      A good Calvinist, and even non-Calvinist, explanation.

      Like

      1. “A good Calvinist……explanation.”

        No need to be hateful, brother. 😉

        The difference though is I see the nation of Israel being God’s elect. Period. That would make the gentile nations the non-elect. So, we have non-elect peoples (gentiles) being saved. And some of His elect (Israelites) being lost. That was Israel’s blunder. They believed salvation was reserved only for His elect (Israel) and denied to the non-elect (gentiles). But their election didn’t guarantee them their salvation (Romans 11:28).

        However, that mystery (of the Gentiles inclusion for salvation, not election) was revealed only to the apostle Paul (Romans 11:25, Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:3).

        Like

    2. Phillip,

      There is much that I disagree with you here:

      When you say, for example that there is no Jew/Gentile…YES, there is Jew Gentile. The caveat is IN CHRIST. If both Jew and Gentile are Christians, then your statement stands. But if either one is not a Christian, then there is Jew/Gentile.

      Paul did not say anything about tribes when he discussed “all Israel”. What he did say:

      Do a word search for EXACT PHRASE “ALL ISRAEL”. That comes up NUMEROUS times in the bible. 145 times.

      Like

      1. Ed,

        I know brother, and that’s okay.

        Romans 10:1 (NKJV)….
        Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

        Romans 11:13 (NKJV)…
        For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh (Israelites) and save some of them.

        I don’t think Paul shared your optimism.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s