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Archive for the ‘election’ Category

1. Those who are elected, may know their election by their effectual calling.

2. None can know certainly in this life (except such as have sinned against the Holy Ghost) that they are reprobated, because the greatest sinners (except such as have committed that sin) may be called …

Source: Thomas Vincent, The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture

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"Some places enjoy the means of grace in greater plenty, power, and purity, than other places. God is a free agent, and acts so in all his disposals, both as the God of nature and as the God of grace, common and distinguishing grace." (Henry)

"… we must observe, with an awful adoration of the divine sovereignty, that the Tyrians and Sidonians will justly perish in their sin, though, if they had had the means of grace, they would have repented; for God is a debtor to no man." (Henry)

"Christ here subscribes to the will of his Father in this matter; Even so. Let God take what ways he pleases to glorify himself, and make us of what instruments he pleases for the carrying on of his own work; his grace is his own, and he may give or withhold it as he pleases. We can give no reason why Peter, a fisherman, should be made an apostle, and not Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews, though he also believed in Christ; but so it seemed good in God’s sight. Christ said this in the hearing of his disciples, to show them that it was not for any merit of their own that they were thus dignified and distinguished, but purely from God’s good pleasure; he made them to differ." (Henry)

"Jesus Christ will give assured rest to those weary souls, that by a lively faith come to him for it; rest from the terror of sin, in a well-grounded peace of conscience; rest from the power of sin, in a regular order of the soul, and its due government of itself …" (Henry)

"… [He] contemplates the secret decrees of God, that he may lead others to unite with him in admiring them. And certainly, though this appointment of God contradicts our senses, we discover not only blind arrogance, but excessive madness, if we murmur against it, while Christ our Head adores it with reverence." (Calvin)

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… we have formerly seen that the good shepherd calleth to him by name every sheep of his flock, (John 10:3)

That voice of the shepherd, therefore, enters into Mary’s heart, opens her eyes, arouses all her senses, and affects her in such a manner, that she immediately surrenders herself to Christ.

Thus in Mary we have a lively image of our calling; for the only way in which we are admitted to the true knowledge of Christ is, when he first knows us, and then familiarly invites us to himself, not by that ordinary voice which sounds indiscriminately in the ears of all, but by that voice with which he especially calls the sheep which the Father hath given to him.

Source: John Calvin on John 20:14

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John’s Gospel

The major presentation of Jesus in John’s gospel is as "the one sent from God".

John’s gospel is one of the most predestinarian books of the Bible.

First we are born from above i.e. regenerated by the Spirit then we believe

John 3:5,8 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. … The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

First we are dead, then we are given life, then we hear, then we obey and believe.

John 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

John 11:43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out."

First we are given by the Father to Jesus then we come to him (believe) then he preserves us.

John 6:37-40 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

No one can come and believe in Jesus unless the Father first draws them.

John 6:44,47 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. … Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

Jesus is the one who enables people who are totally in the dark, spiritually blind to see. First there is regeneration enabling sight then a person believes.

John 9 – the giving of sight to a blind man.

The reason why people believe or do not believe has to do with whether they are Jesus’ sheep or not, having been given to Jesus by the Father.

First the sheep belong to him, then they hear his voice and then they follow (believe).

John 10:26-29 … but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

John’s gospel presents Jesus as the good shepherd leading us as we follow him to the Father. Coming along side us is the Paraclete Spirit pointing us to the shepherd while supporting and enabling us to follow him.

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Election to eternal life, is a truth of Scripture which we must receive humbly, and believe implicitly. Why the Lord Jesus calls some and does not call others, quickens whom He will, and leaves others alone in their sins, these are deep things which we cannot explain. Let it suffice us to know that it is a fact.

God must begin the work of grace in a man’s heart, or else a man will never be saved. Christ must first choose us and call us by His Spirit, or else we shall never choose Christ. Beyond doubt, if not saved, we shall have none to blame but ourselves. But if saved, we shall certainly trace up the beginning of our salvation, to the choosing grace of Christ. Our song to all eternity will be that which fell from the lips of Jonah–"Salvation is of the Lord." (Jonah 2:9.)

Armed with such principles as these, we have no cause to be afraid of the doctrine of election. Like any other truth of the Gospel, it is liable to be abused and perverted. But to a pious mind, as the seventeenth Article of the Church of England truly says, it is a doctrine "full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort."

Source: J.C. Ryle, John 15:12-16

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Source: John Hendryx

Synergists teach ‘… and as many as believed were ordained to eternal life.’ but The Bible teaches ‘AND AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED.’ (Acts 13:48)

Synergists teach that ‘salvation depends on human will’, but the Bible teaches that ‘it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." (Rom 9:16)

Synergists teach ‘…’no one knows the Father except those who choose the Son.’ But the Bible teaches that ‘no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him’ (Matt 11:27) They are the ones who ‘choose’ the Son.

Synergists teach that ‘All can come to Christ of their own free will’, but Jesus teaches that ‘no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.’ (John 6:65) and all whom He grants will come (John 6:37) Free Will Synergism Vs. Free Grace Monergism

Synergists teach that ‘you are not Christ’s sheep because you do not believe’, but Jesus teaches that ‘you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.’ (John 10:26)

Synergists teach that ‘the reason you are not of God is because you are unwilling to hear and believe God’s words.’ Jesus, on the other hand, taught, ‘The reason why you do not hear [God’s words] is that you are not of God." (John 8:47)

Synergists teach that ‘salvation is so easy a cave man can do it" but the Bible teaches that "What is impossible with man is possible with God." (Luke 18:27)

In the Divine economy men are responsible to believe the gospel, but are morally impotent to do so (when drawing from their own native resources). This inability (due to our intimate solidarity with Adam’s sin) is something we are culpable for, much like owing a debt we cannot repay. So God has every right to call us all to account to ‘repay our debt’, so to speak, even though fallen man does not have the resources to do so. The Church has a privilege and an obligation to call all men to repent and believe the gospel (an imperative) but, left to themselves, no one believes. But God, in his great mercy, still has mercy on many, opening their hearts to the gospel that that might believe.

To this sometimes a synergist often quotes "whosoever will may come" to which we reply that this does quote not teach and indicative of what we are able to do, but rather, teaches what we ‘ought’ to do. As Martin Luther said, "Does it follow from: ‘turn ye’ that therefore you can turn? Does it follow from "’Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart’ (Deut 6.5) that therefore you can love with all your heart? What do arguments of this kind prove, but the ‘free-will’ does not need the grace of God, but can do all things by its own power…But it does not follow from this that man is converted by his own power, nor do the words say so; they simply say: "if thou wilt turn, telling man what he should do. When he knows it, and sees that he cannot do it, he will ask whence he may find ability to do it…" Luther BW,164

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Quotes

A man can no more give himself the new birth or regenerate himself than he could produce himself in his mother’s womb.

Spiritual life is the consequence of spiritual quickening. The baby cries because is is born; it is not born because it cries." — Erroll Hulse

It is the effectual working of the power of God that makes anyone a Christian. It means a rebirth, a regeneration. It is not the result of our decision, it is not something that you and I decide to do; it is what is done to us!"— Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition on Ephesians

Exclude, therefore, O Christian, the article of sovereign predestination from thy ministry or from thy faith, and acquit thyself, if thou art able, from the charge of robbing God. — Augustus Toplady

Our idols both covet what we do not have and hold on for dear life to what we do have. — David Powlison

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