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Conqueror
Member



Joined: 2005/9/8
Posts: 71


 Calvamanianism.

Ok... let me be up front. I think this topic poses some danger on discussion boards. I have seen numerous times where people got all heated about it. Just wanted to put that up first to remind everyone to keep the unity.

I am leading a study on the book of Ephesians for Home Group. I had the intention this week to do the first three chapters but the first chapter was just so full of meat that we are going to just do the first chapter.

In the first chapter it brings up the topic of being chosen and predestination.

Before I pose my question here is a very very very brief nutshell between Calvinism and Armenianism....and probably extreme definitions of both.

Calvinism - Eternal Security, predestination. God chose you from the foundation of time, therefor you are eternally secure. You have no choice in the matter.

Armenian - free will. Man has a choice. Christ came that all may have a chance to believe and go to heaven.

Ok, now my question:

In the first chapter of Ephesians it says that God chose us and predestined us.

What if we have the meaning here all messed up?

What if the scripture doesn't actually mean "chosen" in the sense that He chooses "one man over another" but that he chose the church to be the vessel in which His spirit resides...and (later in the first chapter in Ephesians) to be His body where the fullness of Christ resides? Just like He chose Israel to be His nation, He chose the church to have the fullness of Christ, but not necessarily that He chose the individual. Does "chosen" apply to the individual believer or the church as a whole?

Scripture also clearly states that God is the one who draws men to himself. Scripture also states that "for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son for all men, that whosoever believes will have eternal life".

How do you reconcile these two scriptures with each other? Does the answer lie in the fact that God does at one point in every persons life draw every single man to himself but then its up to that man to decide to believe and accept salvation? This answer would resolve both the drawing of men and free will to believe in Him.

I believe that at least in Ephesians this answer best fits into the context of the chapter.

The letter is written to the "church" in Ephesus. It goes on speaking our blessings in Christ and our identity in Christ and then in the end of the chapter it goes on about the church being the body of Christ, of which Christ is head of and Lord over.

And then the next couple of proceeding chapters speak on unity in the church.

Do we take the concepts of predestination and "being chosen" out of context by applying it to the individual rather than the church as a whole?

I used to be a die hard Calvinist, then decide that Armenian was the way to go. One camp pretty much denies free will and the other camp pretty much denies the sovereignty of God.

Really, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the two. One that embraces God's sovereignty but at the same time leaves the choice to the individual.

Right now I am a Calvamenian

Thoughts? Am I way off base and taking things out of context. I have never heard this way taught before so I assume there is a reason.

 2005/9/28 10:32Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4803


 Re: Calvamanianism.

Conqueror wrote:

Quote:
What if the scripture doesn't actually mean "chosen" in the sense that He chooses "one man over another" but that he chose the church to be the vessel in which His spirit resides...



It is the work of Christ that is predestined not man. All those who Abide in Christ become part of His predestined work. It's not about us, Ephesians is all about Him.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2005/9/28 11:51Profile
Conqueror
Member



Joined: 2005/9/8
Posts: 71


 Re:

Quote:
11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.



Pretty sure Paul is referring to believers here.

 2005/9/28 11:53Profile









 Re:

Hi Conqueror,
What version are ya using there ?

KJV has it ,,,
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

 2005/9/28 12:17









 Re:

I think Adam Clark did a good one on Eph. 1, comparing Gentiles (who Paul was the Apostle to) and the Jews.

Quote:Eph 1:4 -
"According as he hath chosen us in him - As he has decreed from the beginning of the world, and has kept in view from the commencement of the religious system of the Jews, (which the phrase sometimes means), to bring us Gentiles to the knowledge of this glorious state of salvation by Christ Jesus. The Jews considered themselves an elect or chosen people, and wished to monopolize the whole of the Divine love and beneficence. The apostle here shows that God had the Gentiles as much in the contemplation of his mercy and goodness as he had the Jews; and the blessings of the Gospel, now so freely dispensed to them, were the proof that God had thus chosen them, and that his end in giving them the Gospel was the same which he had in view by giving the law to the Jews, viz. that they might be holy and without blame before him. And as his object was the same in respect to them both, they should consider that, as he loved them, so they should love one another: God having provided for each the same blessings, they should therefore be αγιους, holy - fully separated from earth and sin, and consecrated to God and αμωμους, without blame - having no spot nor imperfection, their inward holiness agreeing with their outward consecration. The words are a metaphor taken from the perfect and immaculate sacrifices which the law required the people to bring to the altar of God. But as love is the fulfilling of the law, and love the fountain whence their salvation flowed, therefore love must fill their hearts towards God and each other, and love must be the motive and end of all their words and works."


How we were taught with the two words "chosen" and "predestined", was ... "many are called but few are chosen" ... just for one example ... and that "chosen" is dependent on the "response" of the person.

The "predestined" part was, if you're at the O'Hara airport and you have a choice to go to N.Y. or L.A. and you choose the flight to N.Y., then you are predestined from that point on to get to N.Y..
It's the results (or flight) that is predestined and not the person.

What the Lord does use is His "Foreknowledge" of who will get on that jet, so He does know who is predestined to make it to N.Y..

Hope it helps some.
Love.
Annie

 2005/9/28 12:40
dann
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re:

Quote:

GrannieAnnie wrote:
What the Lord does use is His "Foreknowledge" of who will get on that jet, so He does know who is predestined to make it to N.Y..



I believe your understanding of foreknowledge could be deepened somewhat.

Let me explain, and feel free to comment.

1. God (the Trinity) exists apart from His creation (that is, 'before' there was a creation God existed, and if creation ceases to exist God will 'continue' to exist).

2. The act of creation neither diminished, nor augmented God's nature. God is unchanging.

3. When God created the universe, he created both time and space.

4. God therefore exists apart from both time and space, and as such rules that govern temporal and spatial reality cannot be rightly applied to God.

If we understand foreknowledge to be God --looking forward-- into time, we have put a restriction upon God's perspective that isn't there.

God doesn't experience time like we do, since His awareness/consciousness exists apart from time.

If we picture the universe as a gigantic "ball" of space and time - God would be like a person who can examine the whole ball at once - that is, God doesn't look at one part of the ball then the next - but takes it all in simultaneously. So it is with creation.

Because God is outside of time and space His awareness is everywhere simultaneously - (omnipresent), but he is also "fully conscious" in every moment of the past, in the present, and in every moment in the future (omnichronological)

Because God is omnipresent and omnichronological God doesn't "looks forward" into time as though his awareness were trapped in the present like the rest of creation - instead God -is- in the future right now, just as He is in the past and in the present.

It is a subtlety, but when understood the implications are profound.

Predestination therefore cannot be described as God looking forward from one end of time and responding to men who have freely believed on His name in the future, predestinates them from the past. That intellectually dishonest - a sort of cerebral prestigidigitation. In this scenario, man is sovereign in election because God responds to man's choice.

The bible portrays however a sovereign God, and if we allow God to be sovereign, we see that predestination works like this:

Apart from creation and therefore apart from time), God determined (predestined) exactly whom He would save. This predestination was not based on the choice of man in any way, but rather man's free choice to come to God depends on God having predestined him to do so.

The scriptures say that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him. God draws only the elect whom He predestined - and that predestination was not dependant upon man's choice - rather man's choice is dependant upon being predestined.

That is the difference between, "My sheep hear My voice" and "I don't have any sheep, but some sheep will hear my voice and choose to become My sheep"

I could go on -but the important thing is that we understand that God is not bound to time as though he were a created being.

Dan
/\/
\/\


_________________
Daniel van de Laar

 2005/9/28 14:19Profile









 Re: Calvamanianism.

Quote:

Conqueror wrote:
Really, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the two. One that embraces God's sovereignty but at the same time leaves the choice to the individual.

Right now I am a Calvamenian




Me two brother, I believe (could be wrong) but there was a brother who wrote two books. "Why I'm not a Calvinist, and Why I'm not Arminian?"

I think there MIGHT be another book with the same title. But, not sure. But I THINK (could be wrong) that those books were written by the same author. Because both made clear sense (in glimpsing over it).

Go Calvamenian !!

 2005/9/28 14:39









 Re:

Hia Dann,

Thanks for all'a that.

I'm content to know that He's omniscient.

Appreciate all the rest though.


His Love.

Annie

 2005/9/28 17:52
dann
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re:

Quote:

I'm content to know that He's omniscient.



I am not inferring anything with regards to yourself GrannieAnnie, I am merely springing off of your reply to make a further comment regarding the nature of contentment.

There are many Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses who are content with their errant understanding of the truth. Many of these will reject the truth because they are content with what little truth they do possess.

Was it Robert W who have us that wonderful definition of "understanding" - the gist of it being that when all his questions have been answered to his own satisfaction he feels he has come to an understanding of the issue. If some new information should arise either by challenge or whatever, he, like a nobel Berean, examines the challenge, and answers any questions that the challenge to his current understanding would ask - then when he is once again satisfied that all his questions are answered - then and only then is he content in his understanding.

This sort of contentment is noble - because it is teachable and doesn't assume perfection in knowledge. The former kind however (Mormons and JW's who refuse to listen to the truth) is ignorant and beggarly.

I do hope that anyone who is content with their own understanding doesn't acheive that contentment through ignorance, but rather through thoughtful examination. :-)

Dan
/\/
\/\


_________________
Daniel van de Laar

 2005/9/30 17:42Profile









 Re:

Hello Dan,

I'm pleased you brought up the Bereans, those noble sort, as they limited their "searching out" to The Scriptures and not human wisdom.

And also grateful for my signature verse.

:-)

 2005/9/30 18:06





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