The Calvinist Shredder – Jeremiah 1:5
The Calvinist Shredder – Jeremiah 1:5
Jeremiah 1:5 – In this edition of my series of short articles which was sparked by a friend, Louis Matthys Ackermann, and who has since unfriended himself on my Facebook page because I am an anti-Calvinist (some of my best friends in the Calvinist fold call me the Antichrist), I would like to focus on an Old Testament passage Jeremiah 1:5 the reformed theologians love to quote to validate their views on election and predestination.
Before we dig a little deeper into the meaning of Jeremiah 1:5, I would first like to remind our self-unfriended Facebook friend, Louis Ackermann , that Jesus was more of a gentleman than he could ever be. Why? Because he never unfriended one of his worst enemies. Listen to this, Mr. Ackermann, and learn from it.
And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. (Matthew 26:47-50).
So, without further ado, let us turn to one of the passages Calvinists use to substantiate their doctrines of grace.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5).
Jumping to conclusions: Jeremiah 1:5
Jumping to conclusions without making an effort to understand those things that seem to be complex and difficult to explain, can be very dangerous. In fact, the offhand and hasty interpretation of seemingly difficult Bible passages often lead to heretical inferences.
The apostle Peter was very candid in admitting that some of the things Paul wrote were difficult to understand but he never dared to come to any definitive conclusions of his own or to build a doctrine on his own shaky insights. Here’s what he said.
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:12-16)
Things that are difficult to understand
What Peter said in effect, was that we should not try to explain or exegete things that are difficult to understand and wrest or squeeze them into little boxes containing our own little agendas because it may attribute to our own self-made destruction.
The best way, or should I rather say, the only way to make sure that we tread on safe ground when trying to understand difficult passages, is to compare Scripture with Scripture.
The main component of Jeremiah 1:5 that seems to encourage Calvinists to link their doctrine of election and predestination to this verse, is the word “sanctified.” If we are able to associate “sanctified” with salvation only, then God’s sovereign elective redemption before the foundation of the world can be corroborated very easily. However, when it cannot, we may not link it to election and predestination according to the Calvinist’s view of salvation (election and predestination).
Sanctification in the Old Testament
God sanctified the entire nation of Israel and certain individuals of the nation
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you (Exodus 31:13)
For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself (Numbers 8:17).
The two instances mentioned above are ample proof that sanctification does not always refer to salvation proper unless the entire nation of Israel and all the firstborn of Israel were saved. Indeed, the entire nation of Israel is called the elect of God, despite the fact that most of them are going to end up in hell for their unbelief and rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. That doesn’t say much for their sanctification and election, does it?
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Rom 11:28-29).
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 8:11-12)
Sanctification in the New Testament
Most Christians are of the opinion that sanctification only applies to the saints. GotQuestions.org, for instance, says the following.
Sanctification is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy.
. . . “sanctification” is a translation of the Greek word hagiasmos, meaning “holiness” or “a separation.” In the past, God granted us justification, a once-for-all, positional holiness in Christ. Now, God guides us to maturity, a practical, progressive holiness. In the future, God will give us glorification, a permanent, ultimate holiness. These three phases of sanctification separate the believer from the penalty of sin (justification), the power of sin (maturity), and the presence of sin (glorification).
Their assessment of the word “sanctification” is not true. It is not only related to saints or the word saint. They never once refer to 1 Corinthians 7:14 in their article. Should we be surprised? I don’t think so because GotQuestions.org is Calvinistic to the core. Here’s how the Amplified Bible translates the verse in 1 Corinthians.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified [that is, he receives the blessings granted] through his [Christian] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be [ceremonially] unclean, but as it is they are holy.
Unbelievers are sanctified
Wow, fancy that. Unbelievers are sanctified when one of the partners in a marriage is saved so that even their children, who also may not yet be saved, are also holy. Unless, of course, the unbelievers are not persons but inanimate things that are merely set apart for holy use, as GotQuestions.org likes to tell us.
If there is one verse in Scripture that destroys Calvinism’s doctrine of election and predestination before the foundation of the world, it is this one.
Please see here for: The Calvinist Shredder – Psalm 139:16
I give you a copy of some explanation on infant baptism by Peter Ditzel……truly confusing, if he continues in the Calvinistic way, regarding’election’….
Please comment on this to bring clarity… See below from his ‘blog’
A Scripture often cited to support baptizing infants is Acts 2:39. I concentrate fully on this verse in “Acts 2:39 and Infant Baptism,” but let’s take a quick look here. This followed Peter’s evangelistic sermon after God gave the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost: “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself” (Acts 2:38-39). By telling the people to be baptized and saying that “the promise is to you, and to your children,” this may certainly sound like it is supporting infant baptism. In reality, it is evidence against it.
I believe that Peter in Acts 2:39 has God’s promise to Abraham, his seed, and the nations—spoken as “those who are far off”—in mind. This is further supported by the fact that the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham was circumcision, which, remember, was a type of regeneration. What had just happened to these people in Acts 2:39? Verse 37 tells us that after listening to Peter’s sermon, “they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?'” Cut to the heart? What does that remind you of? Yes. While they were listening to Peter’s sermon, the Lord had circumcised them in their heart. They were born again. And Peter’s response, in verses 38 and 39, is that they should be baptized because the promise is to them, and to their “children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.”
The Abrahamic covenant, with its promise and circumcision, looked to this event as the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise. By saying “the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself,” was Peter saying anything special to the people who heard him? Was he saying there was something in the promise that made them special above everyone else? What about their children? Was Peter saying that the children of these people were in a different relationship to God than anyone else? No! Why? Because, besides them and their children, “the promise is to…all who are far off….” The promise is to everyone! No one is excluded from that promise! Except, Peter tagged a big and very important qualification to the very end. The promise is to everyone, “even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” The promise is to you, whom the Lord our God will call, the promise is to those of your children whom the Lord our God will call, and to everyone else, whom the Lord our God will call. In other words, the promise is to all of the elect!
The promise of the new birth is only to the elect of the three groups of people mentioned. Peter told those who asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” to be baptized because that question, coming after hearing his sermon about the death and resurrection of Jesus, was evidence of their spiritual circumcision, their regeneration, that God had given them faith to trust in Jesus. Thus, it was evidence that they were elect. This verse says nothing about the children of the hearers having any more of a chance of being elect than anyone else. Peter did not tell his hearers that their children should be baptized before professing belief. In fact, Peter no more says that these people’s children should be baptized before professing belief than he says everyone in the world should be baptized before professing belief. All three groups are treated equally. When they show through their profession that the promise is indeed to them, because they are among those whom God is calling, then they are to be baptized as a symbol of the regeneration they have already received.’
His website link: http://www.wordofhisgrace.org
Thank you kindly
Peter Ditzel asserts:
It is rather silly to assert that the question “What shall we do” after hearing the Gospel is the evidence that a person has already been regenerated and is, therefore, an elect. It proves why Calvinists rule out faith as a necessity to be saved and say that faith is a gift only the elect receive subsequent to their monegistic regeneration.
Peter could not have referred to water baptism when he said “repent and be baptized” because he believed that faith alone saves repentant sinners and not a rite such as water baptism. He knew perfectly well that John the Baptist’s baptism was merely a precursor (for the Jews in particular) of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). So what did Peter mean when he said “Repent and be baptized?”
The word for “repent” is “metanoia” and means “to change your mind for the better.” The Jews initially rejected Jesus as their Messiah but now – after his death and resurrection which proved that He is indeed their Messiah – they were exhorted to change their mind and to put their trust in Him. However, repentance is just the prerequisite (not salvation itself) which is needed to be baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ Jesus. This is what John the Baptist referred to when he said “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” So, Peter said in effect, “Repent of your sin of unbelief and rejection of your Messiah, Jesus Christ” and let His Holy Spirit baptize you into Him.” Paul refers to this baptism in Romans 6 when he says: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4).
Calvinists are scared to death of the phrase “What must we do” because it supposedly disparages God’s sovereignty. And that’s exactly why they have to re-interpret the question “What must we do” as the evidence of an already received regeneration – without having to put your trust in Jesus. Surely the question was asked to find out what they had to do in order to be saved and not to prove that they had already been saved. That’s ludicrous, to say the least.
Calvinism is another Gospel that cannot save.
Tom (Discerning the World) wrote:
Those who are discussing about Calvinism, “predestination” or “God’s elect” might want to visit :
It explains the meaning of “predestination” simply and accurately, according to context.
“God’s elect” is not a literal term; it does not mean God decides who shall go to heaven. Instead, words like “chosen by God” is a humble way of writing during biblical times. Back then Christians don’t say that they chose God because that would seem to place them above God. Out of humility, the apostles said that God chose them. Today, we don’t speak or write this way anymore, hence we tend to read them literally and feel puzzled.
So calvinism is to be lumped into the same lump of leaven that the prosperity gospel is in? Tha is what I am reading.
So what of John Piper and others like himself. Charles spurgeon. Why give them anymore credit than Benny Hinn?
@Towner. Can you you provide evidence for this assertion?
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Romans 8:8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (If you are in the flesh and do not have a new heart/new spirit how can you do what is pleasing to God? For instance, choosing Him?)
So unless God does something (IE Gives you a new heart) you simply can’t choose God.
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
There are a ton more verses but see the consistency here?
Please deal with these texts. Because if you say you are born with the choice to choose God and He doesn’t have to draw you near/ change your heart first, then we have a huge contradiction. When God does change your heart it results in you coming to Jesus and you will not turn away.
John 6:37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
So John Piper, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Dr. James R. White are all very consistent with the text.
There is no consistency. Please read all our articles on Calvinsim that explain all the choice verses Calvinists love to use and abuse to substantiate their false doctrine of election which trashes the doctrine of salvation.
You said “When God does change your heart it results in you coming to Jesus and you will not turn away.”
You put the cart before the horse. When you make a decision to chose Jesus Christ, God then changes your heart and you will not turn away.
Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
He does not save you first, then you chose Him. This is the most ludicrous, stupid notion on the planet – it ties up perfectly with the doctrine of Islam. Allah too chooses you before the foundation of the world to be saved. Just as with Islam the so it is with Calvinism; you will never know if you are really ‘Elect’ until you get to the judgement seat and find out if you have a big invisible ‘E’ for ELECT stamped on your forehead or a big invisible ‘F’ for FAIL because actually you were not chosen after all, but by deary me, you thought you were because “John Piper, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Dr. James R. White are all very consistent with the text” on proving the doctrine of TULIP
Many false doctrines have been written by men in suits with squeaky clean smiles, leading millions of people astray.
Indeed, and of course, sinners need to be given a new heart (a new or redeemed life) in order to be saved. However, it has always been and will always be impossible to please God without faith. Without faith in God’s revealed will in his Word and in his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, it is impossible to be saved. (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17). None of the verses you quoted prove that only the elect must first be regenerated (given) a new heart before they can choose God and that He sovereignly chose not to give the non-elect new hearts because it pleases Him to send them to hell. (Ezekiel 33:11).
John 6:44 is one of the Calvinists most prized and favorite passages because it allegedly puts to rest all the arguments against election and predestination. Nevertheless, I have never heard a single Calvinist quoting John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto.” Now, unless you interpret “all” as a reference only to the elect, you cannot possibly exclude a single person from God’s drawing in John 12:32. Are you prepared to do that? If so, you must be prepared to bear the consequences (judgments) God for your willful misinterpretation and misrepresentation of his Word. Moreover, Peter said without any ambiguity that “whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21). Once again, if you are prepared to change the meaning of the word “whosoever” to “the elect” you must be prepared to bear the brunt of God’s righteous judgments.
John 6:37 does not mean that God sovereignly chooses whomsoever He wills and then gives them to his Son. He only gives those who believe in Him in the same way a father gives his daughter as the bride to her newlywed husband (the bridegroom). Read the two preceding verses to get the full picture.