By Nick Bibile
Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life (John 6:61-63).
It is God's Word, which should determine what we believe. God's Word alone is His Spirit-inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative, self-revelation for faith and life. God's Word written must determine our faith and what we believe, even if what it says is too difficult to accept.
As we studied last time election is not conditional, meaning it is not dependent on man choosing God, but unconditional without any condition on man. Before the foundation of the world, by grace alone according to God’s pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ the true church.
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
A definite number of people, the body of Christ, people from all over the nations. They were chosen because they were not better than the others nor they were more deserving than the others, they were on their way to hell, and were chosen by grace and mercy alone.
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
As they were fallen and away from God, they were enemies of God, they need to be reconciled back to God. They need a mediator. They were chosen in Christ, where God appointed Christ from eternity to be their mediator.
Ro 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Christ came to seek and to save those who were lost. He came to save his people.
Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Lu 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
God called them, draw them to Christ through the Word of God and by his Spirit, granted them faith in Christ so they could believe and repent of their sins, they will be justified, sanctified and God will preserve them in the fellowship of his Son and will glorify them.
Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Ac 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
But the Arminians say, God elected us before the foundation of the world as God knew who would be saved, meaning God looks into the future and see who will chose God, and on the basis of man choosing God, God in return will chose man. This is conditional election as election depends upon man and not from God. This is a heretical doctrine that has crept into the pulpits and many are deceived by this kind of teaching. This kind of teaching did not begin recently but had lot of influence from Finney and the others like John Wesley. Listen to what John Wesley said.
John Wesley, the Prince of Arminianism, put it the following way:
"The Scriptures tell us plainly what predestination is: it is God's fore appointing obedient believers to salvation, not without, but according to His foreknowledge of all their works from the foundation of the world. God, from the foundation of the world foreknew all men's believing or not believing. And according to this, His foreknowledge, He chose or elected all obedient believers, as such to salvation.
Election took place not on the basis of foreseen faith, where God saw our faith and obedience and holiness or on any good condition that we had, if that is true where is the grace?
Ro 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 is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
If election is where God looks into the future and see it is them that accept Christ, and God knew that some people would accept Christ, and if they are elected on the decision of man, then there is something good on man to accept Christ. But we saw in our previous studies that man is fallen, spiritually dead and enemies of God, there is nothing good in man. Listen my friends, God chose us not because my action what I did or not based on any foreseen faith. The word foreknowledge is never used in connection with action of the person but to the person. It is a special intimate knowledge and love for his people. God loved us before the foundation of the world.
Loraine Boettner said on the Arminian foreknowledge, “has only a limited, ignorant, finite God who in reality is not God at all in the true sense of that word.”
The biblical definition of foreknowledge of God is totally different than the Arminian definition of foreknowledge.
A.W. Pink said: "It is individuals God is said to foreknow, not the actions of those persons." In the Scriptures to know or foreknow means to regard with favor, with special affection, to love intimately. It is an act of love on the part of God concerning His elect. The following scripture references will prove the point in question.
Acts 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Paul is not speaking of God’s foreknowledge of the action of crucifixion, but the person crucified: "HIM (Christ) being delivered…"
The word foreknowledge means not a general knowledge but a special intimate knowledge of His people.
Genesis 4:1 state: "And Adam knew Eve his wife..." Adam having a special love and affection only for his wife.
Ge 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Abraham was an idolater before, he was living in his father’s home and they were all worshipping other gods.
Jos 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
God knew Abraham, he was set apart before the foundation of the world.
Ex 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
Moses did not have to introduce himself to God, but God knew him by name, God knew the person Moses and set his love upon Moses before the foundation of the world. Why because Moses was better than anyone, no. Moses was a sinner like anyone else, he deserved the wrath of God like anyone else but instead he found grace in God’s sight.
De 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
God knew all the people of the earth, but to the chosen ones, he had a special affection for them, he was intimate with them, not because they were good, but because of his mercy and grace. The word foreknowledge does not appear in the Old Testament, but when the word, "know" is used in connection with God, it means to "choose" or "set favor upon" or "acknowledge” It is those whom he chose or set his favor upon.
Jeremiah 1:5 states: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Notice how closely the words knew, sanctified, and ordained are related to one another.
God has a special love for Jeremiah before he was born. He was set apart to serve God from the womb. It was God’s goodness, grace and mercy toward Jeremiah, so Jeremiah cannot boast of his ministry as God sanctified and ordained him before he was born.
(Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.)
Am 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
God is saying I have known only you of all the families of the earth. Didn’t God know the people of China, Africa and other nations? Certainly, God knew them. But here the Israelites were his chosen, he knew them intimately when they sinned he will punish them.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus is addressing to the non-elect. They too called themselves Christians and Jesus said, “I never knew you.” They even reminded Jesus all the things they did in his name, but he said, “I never knew you.” Certainly, he knows all the people but he did not know them in his special affection and love for them, as they were not the ones who were elected before the foundation of the world by his grace. He called them workers of iniquity.
The golden chain of salvation.
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
If we say foreknowledge is a general knowledge not an intimate knowledge of his people, then let us interpret according to the Arminian position of general knowledge.
God foreknew all, he predestined all, he conformed to his Son all, he called all, he justified all and all will be glorified and go to heaven.
Why this is called the golden chain of salvation? Because of the way, they link one part of salvation with another. These verses speak of God's eternal, counsel and will. We all know vs.28. Notice, however, that those, for whom all things work out, are those whom God has "called". He explains that the group of everyone called is the same group as those whom God foreknew. Everyone he "foreknew" belongs to the same group of those who have been "predestined". This is the same group as those who are "justified" (i.e., declared to be righteous before God). The same group, about whom all these other things are said, is the same group whom God will glorify. In each verse, it is God who is the subject of the verse, the person doing the action, and those whom he is saving are the objects of God's gracious acts. Verse 33 tells us this group of people and they are his elect.
Ro 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.
2Ti 2:19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Who are elected according to the foreknowledge of the Father? The previous verse tells us, strangers scattered. Again, it is referring to persons and not to their foreseen acts.
Peter tells us that his readers are
"God's elect, strangers in the world." That word translated with he
phrase "strangers in the world" is the Greek word parepidemos. It
means, "one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside
there by the side of the natives." Aliens, sojourners. People who are from
somewhere else and only living in the strange land for a short while. Peter's
readers are aliens, because they are true residents of heaven. How do we know
that? Because Peter calls them (literally in the Greek) "elect
aliens." God has chosen them before the foundations of the world to be
his. Therefore, their real home is heaven. Always has been, always will be.
On the other hand someone can object, where is the responsibility of the Christian. If he knows that he is an elect of God, he can sin continually as he knows that he is saved. You are absolutely wrong. The true elect of God will walk in humility, faithfully and in holiness to God. They will make sure their calling is sure.
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
They will not continue in sin as he is born of God.
1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
The elect will walk in holiness.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
Finally, the word of God is the final answer and not the opinions of men. Today many are mislead by the traditions of the church and by the opinions of men. When it comes to foreknowledge of God, they play spiritual gymnastics and twist the scriptures to fit their perverted theology. But we saw Bible alone is our guide. I want to close with this final scripture.
Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.