Affirmation 2010 Point 3: Unconditional Election

Alex Hutter took the doctrine class on the 15th July. We read Psalm 3 and noted verse 8, which makes it plain that salvation is God’s work.

Salvation belongeth unto the LORD

We continue in our studies guided by Affirmation 2010 which states helpfully what we are and are not to believe. In this way it helpfully differs from classic credal statements (although ‘apologists’ have long since taken their enemies to task, often in unstintingly acrid terms).
We’re looking at section 3. The Doctrines of Grace 
Arminians believe in election – they do not have a choice (irony!) as it’s in the Bible. Luke 18:7, Romans 8:33, 11:7, 1 Thess 1:4, 2 Tim 2:10 chosen , 2 thes 2:14 chosen, , Eph. 2:10 ordained , Jude 4 – ordained to condemnation – i.e. reprobation.  
Anyone with a sense of the bible as authorititative must form a view onelection. Some think 1 Peter 1:2 teaches conditional election.

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.

‘We are elected to salvation because of God’s foreknowledge’. But this interpretation stems directly from views of the freedom of the will, the previous point in the famouse TULIP acronym (total depravity). they say God foreknew who would choose him. Nahum 1:7 is also ‘twistable’ for this cause.

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

But then so is any verse that commands the sinner to repent and believe the gospel. ‘If God offers the gospel he is inconsistent to command us to do so’, it is claimed. But Pink points out that God does not lose the right to command just because we are vile sinners. That would be like not condemning a kleptomaniac of theft because he ‘couldn’t help it’. God’s sovreignty and man’s responsibility are likened by Spurgeon to two rails of a train track which we cannot get to meet. Yet you need them both. Salvation is all of God and all of our obligation – both rails. Hypercalvinism will prevent you from calling sinners to repent, likely leading to negation of assurance.

In Romans 11:2, Paul says: ‘God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.’ But these verses do not tell us that God foreknew who would believe – one would need to insert additional logic to come to that conclusion. This is the opposite to exegesis: my ideas are proved from the text. But the Bible must always speak for itself using scripture to interpret scripture where there is any doubt. Ryle countered Keswick teaching of ‘let go let God’s from the introduction to his book ‘Holiness’.

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thes 2:13

If God chose us because we would believe, then what difference would it make if he chose me? Why have a concept of election at all? Does not this teach that ‘obedience’ of faith follows election not the other way around. 
Barnes notes on 1 Peter 1:2 are very helpful : (from ‘The passage does not affirm… )
Arminians accuse Calvinists of pride, but which teaching implies pride? that God saw belief in me or that God chose outright?
In John 5: the invalid is in a hopeless condition, but commanded to rise take up his bed and walk. Paul on the road to Damascus did not choose God!

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