The Trinity

The Trinity
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AND REJECT THE TRINITY?

“Now on the final and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood forth and cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, Out from his innermost being springs and rivers of living water shall flow (continuously). But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were afterward to receive. For the Holy Spirit had not yet been given; because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honour). (John 7: 37-39).

Satan’s prime strategy from the very beginning of creation has always been to destroy faith by presenting mankind with something that looks like the genuine item. In the parable in Matthew 13: 24-30 the darnel or tares, sown by the enemy, look exactly like wheat in the early stages of its growth and only show its true colours at harvest time.

True to its botanical nature one grain of wheat produces several new ears of wheat only when it dies, a fact taken up by Christ to show that spiritual fruitfulness has its origin in the death of self (John 12: 24; 1 Corinthians 5: 36).

The darnel or tares are completely void of any such botanical traits and remain a wheat-like grass without producing any fruit right up to harvest time. Here Jesus makes it very clear that genuine faith always translates into a change in life, a change of mind, growth and fruitfulness. This is borne out by what Paul says in Hebrews 12: 14, “Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord:”

A biblical founded faith must translate into a growth in sanctification. Please observe that it is not a growth to or up to sanctification, but in sanctification. We are justified by faith alone in Christ alone and in the same way He imputes sanctification to sinners the moment they are saved. From that instant onward the saint must abide in Christ in order to grow in grace and sanctification.

WHAT DETERMINES GENUINE FAITH?

Jesus chose the final and most important day of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles to announce in a loud voice the only prerequisite for a genuine faith – He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said. Everything necessary to acquire a genuine biblical faith has already been said in God’s Word. Scripture form Genesis 1: 1 through to Revelation 22: 21 contains God’s only and final word on faith and salvation. All other extra-biblical revelations (including Joseph Smith’s Golden Plates, The Jehovah’s Witnesses NWT of the Bible, Roman Catholicism’s Church traditions or any other prophet or visionary’s alleged encounter with Jesus Christ) do not and cannot hold true to Jesus Christ’s words in John 7 and must therefore be rejected.

Having established, on the strength of Jesus’ words in John 7, that holy writ is altogether sufficient for the acquirement of the faith necessary for one’s salvation and sanctification, it is obviously also vital to know the Person or Persons who wrote it.

The validity of a letter or a document is not determined by its own intrinsic value but by the character or the moral fibre of the person who wrote it. People who claim they believe in Jesus Christ but deny that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, are deceiving themselves and disqualifying themselves as genuine believers. It is impossible to maintain a belief in someone and simultaneously reject his personal biography. In similar vein, everyone who maintains that he/she believes in Jesus Christ, but denies His deity or the Trinity is disavowing the moral fibre and character of the Author of the Bible.

WHO IS THE AUTHOR?

Although the word “Trinity” never appears in the Bible – a fact many of God’s enemies use to discredit the validity of His Word. (Perhaps they should start looking for the word “automobile” or “aeroplane” in Scripture to make sure they really exist) – it is not at all difficult to prove that three Deities (three equally omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Gods in one Godhood) were involved in producing it.

In His answer to the woman who said, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that You sucked!” Jesus used the word “Theos” when He said, Blessed are they that hear the Word of God (“Theos”) and keep it” (Luke 11: 27) The Greek word “Theos” (God) does not refer to a single person but clearly to the Godhead, comprising of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

In the well-known verse where Paul says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3: 16), he uses the Greek word “Theopneustos” (theh-op’-nyoo-stos) which is derived from “Theos” and means that the Word was inspired by all three the Persons in the Godhead or Trinity. Apart from these definitive verses, there are several others where only One of the Persons in the Trinity are mentioned as the inspired source of the Word. Consider the following: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” (Colossians 3: 16) and “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 21).

WHAT LIES AT THE ROOT OF MANKIND’S REJECTION OF GOD’S WORD?

– Only one thing – unbelief. Anyone who does not believe in the Triune God according to what the Bible teaches cannot claim to be saved. Perhaps they could have avowed with certainty their salvation if Jesus had only said, “He who believes in Me . . .,” but He qualified the kind of faith that is necessary to believe in Him, i.e. “as the Scripture has said.”

The Holy Spirit Who was sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment will never move outside of the bounds of Holy Writ when leading a sinner to faith in Jesus Christ. Any “belief” or “faith” remotely off limits with the Bible cannot save. If it were true that any kind of faith was able to save, then Jesus lied when he said, “as the Scripture has said.” How can anyone expect to be convicted of sin by the 3rd Person in the Holy Trinity if they reject the Trinity?

In the same breath one may ask, how can anyone expect to be cleansed of their sins if they regard Jesus Christ merely as one of God’s creations? God strictly forbids anyone to worship a created being because it is nothing else than idolatry.

What are the consequences of unbelief? WHAT ARE THE CONSE

a) They do not have the Word of God and no light in them (John 5: 38; Isaiah 8: 20).

b) They cannot please God (Hebrews 11: 6)

c) They malign and discredit the Gospel (Acts 19: 9)

d) They persecute the ministers of righteousness (Romans 15: 31)

e) They incite others against the saints who preach the Gospel (Acts 14: 2).

f) They persevere in their unbelief (John 12: 37).

g) They harden their necks (2 Kings 17: 14).

h) They are condemned already (John 3: 18).

i) The wrath of God abides on them (John 3: 36).

j) They shall die in their sins (John 8: 24).

k) They shall not enter God’s rest (Hebrews 3:19; 4:11).

l) They shall be condemned (Mark 16:16; 2Thessalonians 2:12).

m) They shall be cast in the lake of fire (Revelation 21: 8).

“Since all this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them – the truths] and slip away. For if the message given through angels [that is, the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty. How shall we escape if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever?] For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself] and it was confirmed to us by those who personally heard [Him speak]. (Hebrews 2: 1-3).

[Therefore] while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice, and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion . . . Today, if you would hear His voice, and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3: 15; 4: 7).

“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test and prove yourselves, [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you? unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected! (2 Corinthians 13: 5).

IS YOUR SALVATION SECURE IF YOU BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD AND MAN BUT KNEW NOTHING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? (1 Corinthians 15)

When Paul first presented the Gospel to the Corinthians their thoughts were steeped in Greek Philosophy. The Greeks did not believe in the resurrection of the body as they proved by their attitude when Paul preached to them on Mars Hill (Acts 17:32). They laughed at him.

Their philosophers taught that the body was weak and a wicked prison of the soul, and the sooner it was released through death the better. They refused to accept that the body could live on after death. This was what Paul had to contend with when he wrote them this letter. The Corinthians did not doubt the resurrection of Christ and therefore Paul centred his discourse around this immutable truth in stead of repentance or salvation.

Indeed, something to remember is that Paul’s intention was not to bring them the Gospel. They had already accepted the Gospel and were indeed saved. They were well-acquainted with the Spirit’s work in their lives when they believed in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

All that Paul needed to do was to prove to them that they, like Christ, would be resurrected from the dead. Furthermore, the resurrection of Christ itself is proof enough of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Gospel of salvation although the Spirit is not mentioned in chapter 15.

In Romans 8: 11 Paul says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Corinthians must have known this but could have been confused by false teachers and apostles. So, although the Spirit is not mentioned in chapter 15, His role in the Gospel of salvation is made clear by Paul’s discourse on the resurrection of Christ.

DOES ACTS 19 PROVE IT IS UNNECESSARY TO KNOW OR ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE TRINITY?

Some hold to the view that the twelve men Paul encountered in Ephesus were saved and base their argument on the fact that they were disciples. (verse 1). However the word “mathetes” (disciple) simply means “learner” or “pupil” and was a very well-known concept, especially amongst the Greeks.

Each philosopher had his own group of disciples, much like a professor of today who teaches a class of his own pupils. Because the term disciple was so well-known, Jesus qualified His particular brand of discipleship by His demand to deny oneself, take up the cross, to follow Him and learn from Him. Although the twelve were called disciples (learners or pupils) they were not disciples of Christ, but disciples of John the Baptist

The twelve should have known there was a Holy Spirit because the major thrust of of John the Baptist’s preaching was Christ’s future Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3: 11). They should have known the Holy Spirit was to be given, but they were ignorant of the fact that He had already been given on the day of Pentecost.

Note carefully how brilliant Paul approached the problem in the manner he posed the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” He did not ask them “Were you baptized by John the Baptist when or after you believed?” or “Do you know the Holy Spirit.” Had he asked them the latter question, they would probably have answered “Yes, we were baptized by John when we believed.” If they had said this and if Paul hadn’t known that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual baptism, they would probably have forfeited the wonderful opportunity to be saved (Romans 8:9).

Paul the true gentleman that he was, assumed that they believed but tested their faith by asking them whether they had received the Holy Spirit. Knowing of the existence of the Holy Spirit and receiving Him are two completely different things. Had they indeed been saved they would have known that they had received the Holy Spirit because He and He alone applies the cleansing power of the blood of Christ to a sinner’s soul the moment he/she believes. The testimony of the Spirit within gives the assurance of your salvation (Romans 8: 16) and they did not have that inner witness because they did not even know that the Spirit was already given to quicken them the moment they believed.

So, what was the source of their problem? John the Baptist’s baptism had a two-pronged message attached to it – baptism unto repentance and belief in the One Who was to come after Him. Whether Apollos failed to convey this message in full, we do not know. We do however know that there was a flaw in his presentation of the Gospel because we read in the previous chapter (Acts 18 : 26) that “when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him with them and explained to him the way of God more definitely and accurately.” Whoever preaches the Gospel must present the full council of God.

They received the baptism of John without a full understanding of the necessity for repentance AND FAITH in the One Who baptizes in the Spirit and with fire and therefore was not saved. Ah! but how wonderful and precious is the unmerited grace of God. He did not allow them to continue in their unbelief and sent his servant Paul to present to them His full council.

John 14 from verse 18 shows that the presentation of the Gospel is the responsibility of all three of the Persons in the Trinity. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me [GOD THE SON]: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and verse 21). “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father [GOD THE FATHER] will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (verse 23) “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. whom the Father will send in my name, he [GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”(verse 25). Whoever believes as the Scripture has said, will know and believe in the Trinity because all three introduce themselves to the person who comes to Christ for salvation.

Please share:

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

guest
96 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joe

Thomas,thank you for taking the time to interact. I asked the following in an earlier post,
“You seem to be saying the same thing as Deborah who recommended that I read the following;
To understand TRUE Predestination please read this article: What it Really Means to be Elected, Chosen, and Predestinated – The Biblical Truth

Do you agree with Deborah that I should read that article and is it also your position?”

You forgot to reply on that.

Joe

Thomas, thank you. I will read the article.

Dan

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

How do you know that you are one of the elect and were predestined unto salvation before the foundation of the world? How sure are you that you are one of the elect?

I would like to submit this for your careful consideration. I apologize for it’s length, I really tried my best to keep it short.
In the first verses of Rom 9, Paul is talking about the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This is very important because the rest of the chapter builds on this and it continues all the way into Chapter 10 with verse 1 saying: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”
Paul in Romans 1 – 8, has just presented to us this great Salvation we have in Christ Jesus. We come at the end of Romans 8 and it seems the Jews are left out of this great salvation. Yet they are the ones that have the promises of God. The ones to who the promises were given.
The conclusion they come to is this: Either Paul’s Gospel is wrong or God’s promises have failed.
Paul’s Gospel has come under questioning and he has to defend it. If God didn’t keep His promises to Israel what makes us think He will keep His promises in (Rom 1 – 8) to us? If Israel’s unbelief could separate them from God, how can we be so sure that “nothing can separate us from the love of God?” So this is a very important question. It is in this context that Paul brings up the doctrine of Election in Chapter 9. Election in itself doesn’t get one saved, the human response is needed. Paul deals with that in Romans 10. In Romans 11 he finally answers the questions “Where is Israel in this great plan of salvation” and “Is God faithful to fulfill His promises?”

(v.7) Isaac was chosen over Ismael. Isaac wasn’t the first born. Yet he was the child of promise. How?
(v. 9) “by the appointed time I (God) will come and Sarah (not Hagar) will have a son.” Notice, it starts with God before it moves to Sarah. By the sovereign election of God.
A big issue is, why does God elect some and not others? Scripture never tells us why. But we see here that Isaac’s election happened before he was even conceived.
Some might say Isaac’s election over Ismael was because of his mother, Sarah. Some might say it was because of race, Ismael’s mother was an Egyptian maid. Paul says no.

(v. 10) Jacob and Esau were twins, conceived at the same time, born of the same mother. Jacob was chosen over Esau. First principle: God’s election is not based on parentage or ethnic origin.
Someone might say election was based on their works. Maybe Jacob was chosen because he was a better person than Esau? Or maybe Jacob was chosen because God foreknew that he would be a person of faith and Esau would not be. Notice Paul’s response: (v. 11) “…before they had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand not because of works but because of Him who calls.”
Before they were even born God said, and here Paul is quoting scripture again: “The older will serve the younger.” (Gen 25:23)
What about the character of Jacob over that of Esau? Jacob was chosen before they were born. Notice a second principle of God’s election: It is not based on human works or merit. If someone comes and says but God foreknew how the boys would turn out and that’s why He chose Jacob over Esau. Well if this was so then really it was election based on good works that God foreknew. This is clearly not what the passage is saying.
(v.12) “not by works but by Him who calls ….” This viewpoint becomes even harder to prove when you go back to the original text in Genesis. Try to prove from that text that Jacob was a better person, you can’t. Jacob was a deceitful character.
So Paul has shown us here that election is not based on race; your parentage; works or any other human merit. It is God who chooses and the conditions of why he chooses one over another are not given. It would seem they are unconditional.

(v.13) “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated” (Mal 1:2;3)Who was Malachi really talking about here? He is talking about Israel and Edom. In the election of Jacob over Edom there is a distinction that can be seen all through history in Israel and Edom. Israel consists of the descendants of Jacob. Edom consists of the descendants of Esau. Malachi is giving Old Testament interpretation of (Gen 25:23) here: “Two nations are in your womb and two peoples from within you will be separated; one person will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.” God’s love for Jacob and His rejection of Esau is fulfilled in the history of the two nations that descended from them. If Israel wasn’t elected, God would have destroyed them at the time of Moses and the days of the Golden Calf already.
So when Paul is quoting this, is he referring to the nations or the individuals? This is important because it is based on this that some people say God’s election is not individual it is national. Now what are the effects of that? If election is national, who was chosen? The whole nation of Israel. Within the nation of Israel you had believers and unbelievers. Were the unbelievers still part of the chosen nation? Yes. When you say you had believers and unbelievers you had saved and unsaved. The election of the Nation of Israel was purely for blessing. In (Rom 3: 1;2) “What advantage is there in being a Jew or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way…” Now here in (Rom 9) Paul lists those blessings in (v. 4; 5).
The conclusion here is Paul is referring to both – election of the nation as well as election of the individual. Because Jacob was after all an individual. Earlier he also used Jacob who illustrate that election of the individual is not based on parentage.
You have to have a doctrine on election because it is taught in the Bible. If you do not encounter the same objections had, you do not have Paul’s doctrine on election.
(v. 14) Objection! “Is there unrighteousness with God?” Notice how Paul answers a question about righteousness with a quote from scripture: (v.15) “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy.”
(v. 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Your desire or effort to search after God may indicate that you are recipient of God’s grace, but it did not originate from you. No man seeks God by himself, scripture teaches that. The reason for God’s mercy is not because man seeks after God. Rather it is because of God’s mercy that anybody seeks God in the first place. The fact that you are or have searched for God is the evidence of God’s grace, not the cause of it.
(v.17) Pharaoh is used as an example. God clearly hardened his heart (Ex 9: 12;35) (Ex 10: 27) (Ex 11:10) but that wasn’t until Pharaoh hardened his own heart several times (Ex 7:22) (Ex 8: 15; 32).
One of the ways in which God punishes sin is by hardening the hearts of certain sinners and cutting them off from further opportunities for repentance.
We see further examples of this in (Rom 1: 24) “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…” (v. 28) “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done.” Was it God’s choice? Who made the choice? They made the choice and God who is righteous and Holy, judged their sin. This is a hard doctrine but this is what the Bible teaches.
Election is only unto salvation. Election is not unto eternal condemnation. When we vote for a new president, you do not elect everybody else to be not-president. If God didn’t choose some, none would be saved. The result of the fall is such that when He came to His own, His own didn’t even recognize Him.
(v. 29) If God hadn’t intervened and saved a remnant, ALL “…would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
The principles of election according to God’s sovereign election are these: Election is not based on ancestry, race, human works or merit. It is not based on what we deserve; it is based on God’s mercy. Election without the appropriate human response, doesn’t save anyone. God’s election and the human response are like two train tracks. Both are needed yet they never meet, not in this life. If God chooses us ahead of time based on what He knows we will do, then whose choice is it that really counts? His or ours? Isn’t it ours? Which would mean God’s choice based on what He foreknew we are going to choose, is just a rubber stamp.
Did Jesus only die for the elect? No, He died “so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish.”

This is a summary of a study I’m working on. It is not my own, it’s the work of Dr Jack Fish who teaches the book of Romans at the Emmaus Bible College in Iowa.

Dan

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

Dan,
Everything you wrote in your lengthy comment is standard procedure with all Calvinists.

Stop right there. I am not a Calvinist. It is the doctrine of demons. Calvinists believe you are saved by Election. According to Paul’s doctrine on election: Elected or not, you have to personally come to the realization that you are a lost sinner and in need of a savior, and accept that His work on the cross is the only way for me to be saved. I have gone to great lengths to show you that.

Dan

Thom, all I can say is I got saved long before I knew any doctrines on election existed. I came to the realization that I was a lost sinner and in need of the Savior.

Thom said: “God chose the elect unto salvation but by his just judgment he decided to leave the rest in the hardness of their own hearts.”

1) Paul encountered this objection: (Rom 9: 14-18) “There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”
Notice Paul’s answer to a question of “injustice”- he answers with “mercy.” “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy…” Let’s continue reading….
(v. 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.”
Why is he bringing up Pharaoh? This statement is as strong as it gets in the Bible. Our sovereign God rejected Esau and He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. It’s not hard to understand what Paul is saying, it is hard because it it’s hard to harmonize this with all the other biblical teaching on God’s love. (Ex 9:16) “I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” God has mercy on whom He wants and He hardens whom He wants. God clearly hardened Pharaoh’s heart: (Ex 9: 12; 35) (Ex 10:27) (Ex 11:10) but that wasn’t until Pharaoh hardened his own heart SEVERAL TIMES: (Ex 7:22) (Ex 8:15;32) Pharaoh made his own choices. The hardening of the heart is not election unto condemnation; it is the judgment of sin. Here are more examples: (Rom 1:24) “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…” (Rom 1:28) “Furthermore since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done…” Was it God’s choice? Did He elect them unto condemnation?
2) The next objection Paul encounters: (v. 19) “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” If God chooses one and hardens another, why are we still responsible for our decisions? Can you see what this objection is doing? It makes God the author of sin. This objection is saying why does He still find fault? He makes us the way we are. We are just doing what He already determined us to do. You are saying that this hardening of the heart by God, is what keeps a person from salvation. The implication is that if God did not come and harden some and elect others, everyone would have an equal opportunity for salvation.
This assumption is based on a false premise. Why? If God did not come and elect some, who would have been saved? No one. Man is lost. He is not lost because he is hardened. He is lost because he is a sinner. If we elect a president, we do not elect everybody else to be NOT-president. And that is really what you are saying. Election is only unto salvation. Election is not unto condemnation – that is the judgment of sin.

Joe

Thomas and Deborah thank you for your time and interaction. I have read the article you suggested. My conclusion is that the person who wrote the article does not understand certain areas of “election” and so mistakenly misrepresents them. Furthermore his interaction with certain of the passages he quotes shows an inconsistent application of contextual and grammatical principles.

Dan

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

As Forster and Marston explain after an in-depth word study: “The Bible does not teach that God made Pharaoh unrepentant. The main word used for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is chazaq, and it seems to mean that God emboldened or encouraged Pharaoh’s heart so that he had the stubborn courage to stand even in the face of very frightening miracles…. God never prevents anyone from repenting.

Thom, thank you for pointing this out. I’ll look into this some more. It will be very interesting. God bless.

Dan

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

You seem to have a problem with foreknowledge.

Thom, I do not have a problem so to speak with foreknowledge. But I do have a problem when it is used by some to illustrate: “because God foreknew I will have faith, that’s why He elected me.”
(Rom 9:11) “for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls”
(Rom 9: 16) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
(Rom 3: 11) “there is not the man that understands, there is not one that seeks after God.” It is not in the power of natural man to turn to God and believe in Him by himself.
(Joh 6:44) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”
If God chooses us ahead of time based on what He foreknows we’re going to choose, then whose choice really counts? If God chooses us based on what He knows what we are going to choose, isn’t it our choice that really counts? Then His choice is just a rubber stamp of approval. If God foreknew we will choose Him and therefore chose us, our choice was really the determining factor. So His election is based on human works that He foreknew?
The fact is, that if God had chosen us in spite of our unrighteousness, chose us before we were even born, not on the basis of anything we have ever done, then ALL of the credit for our salvation goes to Him. His choice of us is purely by grace. The human response to that is to choose “yes I accept what Jesus has done to make reconciliation with God possible,” or “No I reject it.” Paul’s doctrine on election, as explained in Romans 9 – 11, is a real blessing for us. This is a doctrine for which we should praise and thank God. If we have not done anything to gain our salvation except to accept it as a gift, then we can not do anything to lose our salvation. If He has brought us to faith, He will keep us in faith. He who has started a good work in us, will complete it.
This doctrine on election, Paul’s doctrine on election is what motivated him for evangelism. He says in (2 Tim 2:10) “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” In (Acts 18:11) Paul was discouraged and he wanted to leave but God told him in a dream not to. Why? “….because I have many people in this city.” They weren’t saved yet but they were marked and they had to come to faith and receive salvation through Paul’s ministry.
Now I know this is a difficult doctrine. I don’t know all the theological objections to this yet, I am still busy studying it. In one of your earlier posts you asked: “Can the non-elect respond in faith to the Gospel and be saved?” I’m struggling with this myself right now.

Calvinists focus ONLY on the sovereignty of God. Armenians focus MOSTLY on the human responsibility. Paul’s doctrine on election requires BOTH. I think it’s worth looking into these things some more.

God bless.

Dan

Correction: I meant Arminianism instead of “Armenians.” LOL

Joe

Thomas, thank you once again for the gracious interaction. You wrote;

“What are the “certain areas of ‘election’” he does not understand and “so mistakenly misrepresents them?” What are the inconsistent application of contextual and grammatical principles you refer to? Your rebuttal is monumentally constipated with many words that mean absolutely nothing.”

The writer of the article quotes a number of texts of scripture. It will take some time to interact with those texts in a meaningful way. I am willing to deal with each text in a chronological order and the writers comments thereon as I find the time. I will post my findings as I go along if that is alright with you.

Dan

Thom, you have been instrumental in opening my eyes to the dangers of this doctrine we have been discussing. Lord willing I’m going to have to investigate this some more. Could you please point me to some scriptures that prove election is only for service and not unto salvation? Thank you for your patience. God bless.

Dan

Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

The very fact that the Jews are God’s elect (Isaiah 45:4; Romans 11:28) and yet the most of them are going to hell (Matthew 8:12), proves beyond any reasonable doubt that election is not unto salvation but unto service.

Israel as a nation was elected unto blessing. Paul lists those blessings in (Rom 9:4;5) However in verse 27 of the same chapter (Rom 9:27) Paul quotes from the Old Testament: “…the remnant will be saved.” Paul already gave the reason for this in verse 6 of the same chapter (Rom 9:6) “…for they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” In verse 8 he goes on to explain “the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” In (Rom 9:7-13) Paul deals with individuals as the seed. In (Rom 9:29) he quotes from the Old Testament on why it was necessary for this seed. “UNLESS the Lord had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.”
In verses 7 – 13 having dealt with the election of individuals and the bases on which they were elected (Rom 9:7-13), in verses 14 – 24 he deals with objections to that election (Rom 9:14-24).
Let’s look at some of those objections. In (Rom 9:14) it is suggested that God is unrighteous! To which Paul responds with “it is not about righteousness it is about mercy.” In (Rom 9:19) it is suggested that God is the author of sin! Why these harsh objections? Because He elected individuals for service?
This chapter starts with: “…I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen…” After presenting them with this great gospel of salvation in Romans 1 – 8, they come to the realization but “where is Israel in all of this?” Paul is grieving because the Jews are lost! This whole chapter is about salvation and why the Jews missed it. Paul quotes from Isaiah“…a remnant will be saved.” Jesus died for all, nobody has any excuse. The invitation is for ALL. But it is in the remnant that God’s purposes are fulfilled.

Now, I have admitted some things to you about this doctrine, but it doesn’t mean I’m convinced it’s wrong. ALL of this mentioned is straight from Romans 9 with Paul quoting from the Old Testament. This whole chapter is about the election of individuals and salvation – in the same text! The NEXT chapter, (Rom 10) deals with the human responsibility towards accepting this salvation.

(Rom 10:14 – 15) They are SENT to preach this gospel. From hearing this gospel faith comes… “By faith you are saved.” “YOUR faith has saved you” (Luk 7:50) It is MY faith but does faith ORIGINATE from me? From this body of death, something good can come that can please God?

Dan

Thom please allow me to say this and then I’ll say no more. Jesus is the author of your faith (Heb 12:2). ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Rom 12:3) “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
ALL the glory for your salvation goes to Him. He is your savior in every sense of the word. It has ALL been a work of Him, there is NOTHING that originated from you. The human response to this is to come to realize, that you are a sinner and you do deserve to go to hell, but because of the works of Jesus Christ on the cross, all you can do is to accept or reject His salvation, that originated from Him, that’s all. Accept it or reject it, that is the human response to this.

William MacDonald quoted D. L. Moody: “Moody illustrated the two truths this way: When we come to the door of salvation, we see the invitation overhead, “Whosoever will may come.” When we pass through, we look back and see the words “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God” above the door. Thus the truth of man’s responsibility faces people as they come to the door of salvation. The truth of sovereign election is a family truth for those who have already entered.
How can God choose individuals to belong to Himself and at the same time make a bona fide offer of salvation to all people everywhere? How can we reconcile these two truths? The fact is that we cannot. To the human mind they are in conflict. But the Bible teaches both doctrines, and so we should believe them, content to know that the difficulty lies in our minds and not in God’s. These twin truths are like two parallel lines that meet only in infinity.”

Thom, your doctrine on election places “your” faith at the center of saving grace. That would be a works-based salvation.
God bless.

Hans

Dan, you said:“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. According to scripture it is love for the truth that works faith in us, (there is no works in love) and by faith we receive grace from God.

colin

I have been following this thread with much interest.
But does not the Bible teach us that God “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things,..” Acts 17.25? Doesn’t then God give us our faith?
“For in him we live, and move and have our being;..” Acts 17.28.
I would safely assume then that “faith” may be included in these “gifts”. Or am I missing something?

Dan

Hans wrote:

Dan, you said:“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and THAT (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
It is not the faith that is a gift of God, it is grace that is a gift of God, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. According to scripture it is love for the truth that works faith in us, (there is no works in love) and by faith we receive grace from God.

Where does faith come from? “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17) “You were dead in your trespasses and sins” the day you heard the Gospel. (Heb 12:2) says “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”. (Rom 12:3) ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Faith is not something that ORIGINATES from us. Faith is a gift from God that we RECEIVE by hearing the word of God. In (2 Cor 10:15) we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Salvation is a free gift of God, so is grace and so is faith. Yet you interpret this verse as referring ONLY to salvation? There is NOTHING good that is able to please God, that ORIGINATES from this body of death. Now it is YOUR faith, you received it. But it did not ORIGINATE from you. ALL good things come from Him. It is “not as a result of (your) works, so that no one may boast.” You can’t even boast in the fact that you have faith. It is ALL a work of Him.

96
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x