Thursday, December 08, 2005you really have to hate the doctrine of election...
These are excerpts from T.P. Simmons' A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrines, a theology book we are studying through on our Wednesday evening prayer meeting (we spend half our time studying, half our time praying):
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me..." (John 6:37a)
It is manifest that this passage represents the Father's giving of people to the Son as preceding their coming to the Son. The Father's act of giving people to the Son (by which is here meant the divine efficacy in bringing them into the actual possession of the Son through repentance and faith, the verb "giveth" being in the present tense) involves an election of those thus given, inasmuch as all are not given. And since this giving precedes salvation, then election must precede salvation. This giving, of course, proves the eternity of election in the light of the immutability of God. But we are here concerned only with showing that election precedes salvation. The divine efficacy in bringing men to Christ is alluded to in John 6:44,65, and Eph. 1:4.
"...and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48b)
This passage puts ordination to eternal life before faith, and, consequently, before salvation. This ordination to eternal life involves election on the same grounds that the giving of the former passage involves election.
Some have tried to turn the passage around and make it read: "As many as believed were ordained to eternal life," which is the way it would have to read in order to even permit the interpretation that election and salvation take place at the same time. But the Greek construction will not allow this transposition. Thayer says the passage refers to "as many as were appointed to obtain eternal life, or to, whom God had decreed eternal life."
"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 Thessalonians 2:13)
Since men are chosen or elected "unto salvation, their election must precede salvation. This is manifest to all except a certain class of Arminians who are incapable of understanding plain English.
The doctrine that declares salvation and election taking place at the same time is unbiblical; it is heresy.