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  • Since 'Election' has come up;...

    ...I thought why not, why not start a new thread on the subject as Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles presented it by letter to the first local church of the NT:

    1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

    Since Paul was only there approx. 22 days establishing this local church prior to sending them this first letter I'm curious what any might think he means by 'knowing...your election'.

    The reason I ask this is because of all the arguments and confusion we see today over a subject that was given to be known???

    What think/say you!!!

    God bless,

  • #2
    I think this has to do with trusting one has been justified by the Blood of Christ and is included in the body of The Elect, Jesus. Isa 42:1

    I donít see calling those who receive the Holy Spirit while still alive in their bodies of flesh elect means that they were predetermined to be in the body. But that in Godís foreordained plan there would be a type of people who of their own will chose to believe Jesus is who He says He is and become His elect through their faith in The Elect and by His grace.

    And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, (1Th 1:6 NKJV)

    They received the word, like in the parable of the seed, and through the Joy of the Holy Spirit can know they are included in Godís plan of redemption for all those who confess the truth of the Gospel. We can know our election in this way I think. Not that God made us believe and therefore are known to be elect, but as I believe we have freedom of thought, we know as evidenced by the seal of the Holy Spirit and by faith in His promises. Really it is great to know and I think available to whoever heads to His call. We make our calling and election sure by standing on these promises I think.

    How I see it,
    Joe

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Walstib View Post
      I think this has to do with trusting one has been justified by the Blood of Christ and is included in the body of The Elect, Jesus. Isa 42:1

      I donít see calling those who receive the Holy Spirit while still alive in their bodies of flesh elect means that they were predetermined to be in the body. But that in Godís foreordained plan there would be a type of people who of their own will chose to believe Jesus is who He says He is and become His elect through their faith in The Elect and by His grace.

      And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, (1Th 1:6 NKJV)

      They received the word, like in the parable of the seed, and through the Joy of the Holy Spirit can know they are included in Godís plan of redemption for all those who confess the truth of the Gospel. We can know our election in this way I think. Not that God made us believe and therefore are known to be elect, but as I believe we have freedom of thought, we know as evidenced by the seal of the Holy Spirit and by faith in His promises. Really it is great to know and I think available to whoever heads to His call. We make our calling and election sure by standing on these promises I think.

      How I see it,
      Joe
      Thanks friend and I promise to read your reply tonight after I return from school.
      God bless,

      Comment


      • #4
        Joe, it is not our intention to pick you apart, correct you or put you down Ė that was not the motive we had in asking what we asked. I thank you for stating what you see and may our LORD increase our faith that we may see more.

        God bless,

        Originally posted by Walstib View Post
        I think this has to do with trusting one has been justified by the Blood of Christ and is included in the body of The Elect, Jesus. Isa 42:1
        No doubt one has to be able to trust what Jesus Christ did at Calvary.

        I donít see calling those who receive the Holy Spirit while still alive in their bodies of flesh elect means that they were predetermined to be in the body. But that in Godís foreordained plan there would be a type of people who of their own will chose to believe Jesus is who He says He is and become His elect through their faith in The Elect and by His grace.
        May I ask you a question as to how/what made these will to be saved? Thanks,


        And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, (1Th 1:6 NKJV
        )

        They received the word, like in the parable of the seed, and through the Joy of the Holy Spirit can know they are included in Godís plan of redemption for all those who confess the truth of the Gospel. We can know our election in this way I think. Not that God made us believe and therefore are known to be elect, but as I believe we have freedom of thought, we know as evidenced by the seal of the Holy Spirit and by faith in His promises. Really it is great to know and I think available to whoever heads to His call. We make our calling and election sure by standing on these promises I think.
        Joe, to be made to do and to will to do are the very two factors that have caused so-much confusion over the years. I was desirous of being saved when on that day He drew me too Him and I saw 'me' for the first time as only He could.

        Thanks again for taking part;...

        Comment


        • #5
          I love to read after other men of God and share their thoughts on this subject:

          Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible
          Verse 4. Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. There is no great difference between "being belovedof God," and "being chosen of God." The sense then is, "knowing that you are chosen by God unto salvation." One must comp. Eph.1:4,5,11;
          The word "knowing," here refers to Paul himself, and to Silas and Timothy, who united with him in writing the epistle, and in rendering thanks for the favours shown to the church at Thessalonica. The meaning is, that they had so strong confidence that they had been chosen of God as a church unto salvation, that they might say they knew it. The way in which they knew it seems not to have been by direct revelation, or by inspiration, but by the evidence which they had furnished, and which constituted such a proof of piety as to leave no doubt of the fact. Calvin.
          What this evidence was, the apostle states in the following verses. It was shown by the man- ner in which they embraced the gospel, and by the spirit which they had demonstrated under its influence. The meaning here seems to be, not that all the members of the church at Thessalonica were certainly chosen of God to salvation--for, as in other churches, there might have been those there who were false professors; but that the church, as such, had given evidence that it was a true church--that it was founded on Christian principles--and that, as a church, it had furnished evidence of its "election by God." Nor can it mean, as Clarke and Bloomfield suppose, that God "had chosen and called the Gentiles to the same privileges to which he chose and called the Jews; and that as they (the Jews) had rejected the gospel, God had now elected the Gentiles in their stead;" for a considerable portion of the church was composed of Jews, Ac 17:4,6; and it cannot, therefore, mean that the Gentiles had been selected in the place of the Jews. Besides, the election of the Gentiles, or any portion of the human family, to the privileges of salvation, to the neglect or exclusion of any other part, would be attended with all the difficulties which occur in the doctrine of personal and individual election. Nothing is gained on this subject in removing the difficulties, by supposing that God chooses masses of men instead of individuals. How can the one be more proper than the other? What difficulty in the doctrine of election is removed by the supposition? Why is it not as right to choose an individual as a nation? Why not as proper to reject an individual as a whole people? If this means that the church at Thessalonica had shown that it was a true church of Christ, chosen by God, then we may learn
          (1.) that a true church owes what it has to the "election of God." It is because God has chosen it; has called it out from the world; and has endowed it in such a manner as to be a true church.
          (2.) A church may give evidence that it is chosen of God, and is a true church. There are things which it may do, which will show that it is undoubtedly such a church as God has chosen, and such as he approves. There are just principles on which a church should be organized; and there is a spirit which may be manifested by a church which will distinguish it from any other association of men.
          (3.) It is not improper to speak with strong confidence of such a church as undoubtedly chosen of God. There are churches which, by their zeal, self-denial, and deadness to the world, show beyond question their "election of God;" and the world may see that they are founded on other principles, and manifest a different spirit, from other organizations of men.
          (4.) Every church should evidence such a spirit, that there may be no doubt of its "election of God." It should be so dead to the world; so pure in doctrine and in practice, and so much engaged in spreading the knowledge of salvation, that the world will see that it is governed by higher principles than any worldly association, and that nothing could produce this but the influence of the Holy Spirit of God.

          Comment


          • #6
            William Burkitt's Expository Notes


            V4, Observe here, 1. One special ground and reason assigned, why the apostle's heart was thus extraordinarily carried out in praise and thanksgivings unto God, on the Thessalonians' behalf, and that was the knowledge of their election, knowing your election of God; that is, knowing cerainly and infallibly, by your proficiency in the forementioned Christian graces of faith, love, and hope, that God had certainly chosen you out of the Gentile world, to be a church and people to himself, and that it was the good pleasure of God to gather a Christian church at Thessalonica; and also he did know and believe, with a judgement of charity, that Almighty God had chosen them to eternal life also, to be a part of his church truimphant in heaven, as well as of his church militant upon earth; the preaching of the gospel having met with such visible success amongst them. It is our unquestionable duty, and we learn it from St. Paul's example, in charity to number them amongst God's chosen, in whom we see, as much as man may see, the fruits and signs of God's election.
            Observe, 2. The ground which St. Paul had to build his confidence upon, that the Thessalonians were a people chosen of God, and that was rational evidence, knowing your election of God; for our gospel came to you not in word only, but in power.
            Where note, the piety and prudence of St. Paul's charity, it was not weakly grounded or credulous, but guided by reasonable evidence; Charity hopeth all things, that is, all things that it hath good ground to hope, but nothing more than what probable evidence may induce it to hope. St. Paul, when he saw the apostasy of Hymenaeus and Alexander into error and vice, without censoriousness and uncharitableness, pronounces that they had made shipwreck of the faith, 1Ti 1:2 . For he had sufficient reason to believe, there could be no faith where there was no holiness. There are a generation of men amongst us, who brand the ministers of God with censoriousness, and rash judging the present state of men, though they judge by their lives and actions; they would have us hope well concerning them, against hope, and judge quite contrary to rational evidence; we must believe them to have faith, when they have no knowledge; that they are right penitents, and sorrowful for their sins, when they make a sport of sin; that their hearts are chaste, when their mouths foam out nothing but filthiness; but let them know, we dare not bring a curse upon ourselves, by calling good evil, and evil good; our charity though not causelessly susupicious, yet neither is it foolishly blind.
            Observe, 3. The particular and special evidence which the apostle had of the Thessalonians election, and that was the great and gracious success of this ministry amongst them. Our gospel came - But how our gospel? Not as if he were the author of it, but the dispenser only; not our gospel by original revelation, but by ministerial despensation only.
            But how did the gospel come amongst the Thessalonians?
            Not in word only, sounding in the ear, or to gaze upon; but in power, that is, accompanied then with the power of miracles, now with a convincing, terrifying, humbling, renewing, and reforming power.
            It follows, and in the Holy Ghost; that is, the preaching of the word was at that time attended, as with a mighty power of miracles, so with an extraordinary effusion and pouring out the Holy Ghost upon them that heard it, prevailing upon them to embrace it, and to submit themselves unto it. With this miraculous power of the Holy Ghost was the preaching of the word accompanied then, with an enlightening, quickening, regenerating, and sanctifying power now; the ministry of the word is the great instrument in the hand of the Spirit, for the conversion of sinners, for the edification of saints, and for the salvation of both.
            Again, the apostle's ministration came unto them in much assurance, that is, with a full conviction of the truth of his doctrine; and to him, it was a full persuasion, yea, a firm assurance, that God had chosen them to be a church and special people to himself.
            And lastly, as to his own conduct and conversation amongst them, he appeals to them, and to their own knowledge, whether it was not answerable to the doctrine delivered by him; Ye know what manner of men we were amongst you for your sake.
            Happy is it when the pious and prudent conversation of a minister amongst his people, is, and has been such, that upon a fit occasion, he can and dare appeal to God and them as witnesses and observers of it; Ye know what we were among you: ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you, 1Th 2:10.
            An heterodox conversation will carry an orthodox preacher to hell; there is a preaching life, as well as a preaching doctrine; if religion be taught by the first, and irreligion by the latter, we sadly disappoint the end of what is spoken; though, like a cracked bell, we may be instrumental to ring others to heaven, yet for ourselves there is no remedy, but to the fire we must go, either for our refining, or for our condemnation. The throne and the pulpit, above all places, call for holiness; the prince and the preacher, above all persons, are most accountable to God for their example; Ye know what manner of men we were among you.

            Comment


            • #7
              John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
              1Th 1:4
              , Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. Which intends not an election to an office, for this epistle is written not to the officers of the church only, but to the whole church; nor to the Gospel, the outward means of grace, since this was common to them with others, and might be known without the evidence after given; nor does it design the effectual calling, sometimes so called for this is expressed in the following verse as a fruit, effect, and evidence of the election here spoken of, which is no other than the eternal choice of, them to everlasting life and happiness: this is of God, an act of God the Father, made in Christ Jesus before the world began, and which springs from his sovereign will, and is the effect of his pure love and free favour; and therefore these persons who are the objects of it are said to be "beloved of God"; for so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read the words, and which agree with 2Th 2:13 for this choice does not arise from the merits of men, or any conditions in them, or from the foresight of their faith, holiness, and good works, but from the free grace and good pleasure of God; and is the source and spring of all grace, and the blessings of it, and even of good works; and is a sure, immutable, and irreversible act of God, being founded on his own will, and not on the works of men; the knowledge they had of this was not what the Thessalonians themselves had, though they might have, and doubtless had the knowledge of this grace, and which may be concluded with certainty from the effectual calling; and is a privilege which many particular believers may, and do arrive unto the knowledge of, without any extraordinary revelation made unto them: but here it intends the knowledge which the apostle and his companions had of the election of the members of this church; not by inspiration of the Spirit of God, but by the manner of the Gospel's coming unto them, and the effects it had upon them, as expressed in the following verses; and from their faith, hope, and love, mentioned in the preceding verse; and which was the ground and foundation of their thanksgiving for them;

              Comment


              • #8
                Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible


                Ver. 4. Another ground of his thanksgiving for them. By the manner of their receiving the gospel, and the evident operation of the graces of God's Spirit, the apostle knew their election of God. We cannot know election as in God's secret decree, but as made manifest in the fruits and effects of it. As there is a knowledge of things a priori, when we argue from the cause to the effect, so a posteriori, when we argue from the effects to the cause. And thus the apostle came to know their election. Not, we hope it, or conjecture it, but we know it; and not by extraordinary revelation, but by evident outward tokens. And if the apostle knew this, why should we think they themselves might not know it also; and the words may be read: Ye knowing your election of God. And election imports the choosing of some out of others; for election cannot comprehend all. Some deny all eternal election of particular persons, and make it a temporal separation of persons to God in their conversion; but is not this separation from a pre-existing decree, God doing all things after the counsel of his own will? Eph 1:11. Or, they will yield an eternal election of persons, but only conditional; one condition whereof is perseverance to the end. But the apostle asserts their election at present, before he saw their perseverance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi,
                  Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                  May I ask you a question as to how/what made these will to be saved? Thanks,
                  If I understand your question...
                  A decision made in their own mind.

                  Peace,
                  Joe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Walstib View Post
                    Hi,If I understand your question... A decision made in their own mind.

                    Peace,
                    Joe
                    Good morning Joe, and maybe I was not as clear with my question as I needed to be - let me say it like this:

                    If any man ever wills to be saved was it because they willed it themselves or was it first because another willed it? For instance:

                    John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

                    God bless,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was raised in a Reformed Faith Presbyterian Church. One in which they taught the concept of Unconditional Election. That being that God chose before time who he would save.

                      However, when I began digging into certain passages, what the Lord revealed from his word was not that he was picking and choosing who was a sheep and who was a ram, but that those who came to him, he elected/apointed to serve him as witnesses, ambassadors, or just generally a good works doer. That would seem to be more in keeping with the concept of election as we know from the time of the Greek democracies and Roman republics too.

                      For example:

                      Eph 2:4-10

                      4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

                      It is through the grace Christ shed on the Cross that we are saved, and notice we are not just saved but raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus (v. 6) This salvation comes by faith in that grace, and not of some work lest any of us should boast (8-9), and then we who are saved are his workmanship (a new creature) created in Christ Jesus for good works. (We are recreated fora purpose), which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in him.

                      In other words God knows who will come to him, and those he knew would come he prepared/recreated in Christ for doing his Good works, and he did so before we were ever born so that we should walk in him.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Sam, should I call you sam?
                        Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                        If any man ever wills to be saved was it because they willed it themselves or was it first because another willed it? For instance:
                        Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post

                        John 1:12-13But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
                        I myself think the confusion comes more with the definition of will. Will is the explanation of a decision before any action is taken. I’ll give an example. A father before dinner decides he wants all his children to eat peas but still gives his children a couple options. “You can have peas with dinner or not." One son with freedom thinks within himself and makes a decision for peas. The child can then say that it is his will that he have peas. This has never given the power of the giving of vegetables to the child as that power has always remained with the father. So the child does not get the peas because it is his will, but because the father still holding the vegetable giving power has previously made the decision to give the child what he asks for. Still no peas have been given out yet.

                        But as many of his children that asked for peas, to them he gave a fork so they could eat them, these pea eaters did not eat the peas because they wanted to but because it was the fathers will to give them a fork to eat them with.

                        So I think your question has a false premise that the will does the action instead of it simply revealing a decision. God always does the saving no matter what my decision was. He always holds the power to give or not give salvation regardless of how much we want or don’t want it. This in itself does not prove we don’t have the option to decide we want what he is offering.

                        Know what I mean?
                        Peace,
                        Joe
                        Last edited by Walstib; Dec 10th 2008, 02:11 PM. Reason: forget the carrots

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sure Sam is fine;...and allow me to say I'm enjoying the fellowship with you and others in here. This appears to be the kind of forum I've been looking for.

                          Originally posted by Walstib View Post
                          I myself think the confusion comes more with the definition of will. Will is the explanation of a decision before any action is taken. So I think your question has a false premise that the will does the action instead of it simply revealing a decision. God always does the saving no matter what my decision was. He always holds the power to give or not give salvation regardless of how much we want or donít want it. This in itself does not prove we donít have the option to decide we want what he is offering.


                          <If any man ever wills to be saved was it because they willed it themselves or was it first because another willed it for them?>

                          We may not agree as to your explanation of will according to your def. of meaning but we can agree that there has to be a manifestation of in order to know the extent of motive and this was and is where my question starts - I added 'for them' to accentuate the 'because'.
                          The Greek is saying this in the passage of John 1:13, 'of God' meaning He quickens whom he will.

                          1.The bible to me is clear that my name was written in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world.
                          2.That which God willed back before I was ever born was carried out in the day of His power which was 1/19/71.
                          3.The Providence of God worked in all the events of my life to bring me to that day.
                          4.Options had no more to do with it than did decisions.

                          God bless,





                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                            Sure Sam is fine;...and allow me to say I'm enjoying the fellowship with you and others in here. This appears to be the kind of forum I've been looking for.
                            Hi Sam,


                            Itís nice to meet you too. Great place to find some good spiritual food. If you knew the number of vegetable and food analogies I have run into this week my last post might make more sense.
                            Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                            We may not agree as to your explanation of will according to your def. of meaning
                            I can understand that. I would be interested in what your definition is, see if we can find some common ground with that word maybe.
                            Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                            but we can agree that there has to be a manifestation of in order to know the extent of motive and this was and is where my question starts
                            Sorry if I misunderstood your question. Do you mean; before you can know what someone willed there has to be a result that shows it? Iíll wait to make sure what you mean.
                            Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                            The Greek is saying this in the passage of John 1:13, 'of God' meaning He quickens whom he will.
                            I agree God does the quickening and add we canít do the quickening. Being born is I believe what the ďof GodĒ refers to, or motive is if I understand you above. Compared to the motive being who He gives ďthe right to become childrenĒ.

                            ďThose who believe in His nameĒ these people have been given the right to become children. The rebirth itself is not accomplished because they were born special, or by muscle power or by the decision itself, but God does the regenerating itself.

                            Am I at least understanding what you want to discuss?

                            But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Joh 1:12-13 NKJV)

                            Peace,
                            Joe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Walstib View Post
                              Am I at least understanding what you want to discuss?
                              Yes if you are understanding what 'knowing' as attached to 'your election of God' means. Personaly I do not think the word 'right' as used in the NKJV has the same meaning as 'power' as used in the KJV below.

                              John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: It was not until after the Spirit of adoption has witness to my spirit that I am a son of God thereby placing the power of in the hands of God and not in the rights of man. This is why one cannot be born via either the will of the flesh nor the will of mankind. The "power", as it is here called, of becoming the sons of God: by which is meant, not a power of free will to make themselves the sons of God, if they will make use of it; but it signifies the honour and dignity conferred on such persons by our Sovereign.
                              It is an undeserved and distinguishing gift, and is attended with many other privileges; for such are of God's household and family, and are provided for by him; have liberty of access unto him; are Christ's free men, and are heirs to an incorruptible inheritance. This is a privilege that excels all others, even justification and remission of sins; and is an everlasting one: and it also intends the open right which believers have unto this privilege, and their claim of it: hence it follows,

                              ...even to them that believe in his name; that is, in himself, in Christ, the word: the phrase is explained from the former part of the verse, and is a descriptive and manifestative character of the sons of God; for though the elect of God, by virtue of electing grace, and the covenant of grace, are the children of God before faith ever comes; and were so considered in the gift of them to Christ, and when he came into the world He came to gather them together, and birth them; and so, prior to the Spirit of God, being sent down into their hearts, to make this known to them; yet no man can know his adoption, nor enjoy the comfort of it, or claim his interest in it, until he becomes a believer.
                              God bless,

                              P.S. Of course I can back this up with scripture but would take too long - know what I mean!

                              Comment

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