Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Election, Predestination, Limited Atonement

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Romans 3:10-11 10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him

This pretty much lays the foundation for inability apart from God's drawing. Now we have to see where drawing is explicitly connected to election...
Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
Ephesians 1:4-5 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

I could exhaust this part of the email, but it is pretty obvious predestination and election exists. However, if you want more references I can give you more.

Now, since God has chosen and knows who His children are before they are even born, Christ would only die and pay for the sins of those that would reap from the benefit of such a payment. Christ dying for people in hell or going to hell is a mockery of His atoning work. Sins being paid for twice is both contradicting to Scripture and is dismantling to eternal security. Christ did not just make salvation possible for every person that will ever live, but He secured the salvation of many peoples who were chosen by God before the foundation of the world. Scriptures for this "limited atonement" are scarce, but once the foundation of election has been set, logic leads us to only one conclusive end. Here are some passages:

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
This makes more sense when further in the passage Jesus says...
John 10 25-29 25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all

The key here is that "sheep" isn't just used for followers of God prior to Christ's death (ie: Disciples), but it also includes all that are "given" to Jesus by the Father. Then we have to remember He "lays down his life for the sheep". This is pretty air tight if you ask me. Not only does it show Christ dying only for His sheep, but it also shows that people weren't believing because they weren't chosen or "given" to Jesus by the Father.

John 17:9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
Here Christ is praying for the chosen people that He is going to die for. In light of the passage in John 10 using the same wording "given me" and "given them to me", we can clearly see Jesus is praying for His sheep and isn't concerned with the entire world. Again, why pray or die for people that Jesus knows are not His chosen people?

Now, for John 3:16, you need verse 17 to see my point...
John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Now you have to decide how you want the word "world" to be understood. If you think Christ died for every one that will ever live, then you have to replace the word "world" with that. Once you get to verse 17, the universalism springs forth.

John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved everyone that will ever live that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into everyone that will ever live to condemn everyone that will ever live, but to save everyone that will ever live through him.

Obviously you aren't a universalist. So John 3:16 no longer works for proving that Christ died for everyone. And yes! anyone that believes will be saved! But that phrase doesn't negate other passages that clearly show God chooses who will believe and who will not. We have to interpret Scripture with Scripture. So the passages I've used explain that what Jesus meant by "whoever believes" is more about eternal security than anything.

If you have any questions or want to know what other passages mean in light of these, just ask. Remember, I hated Calvinism and set out to disprove it. So I know what a lot of your objections or staple verses might be and I will be able to hopefully satisfy your questions or explain what certain verses mean.

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