Etikettarkiv | election

Jesse Morell winner in DEBATE with Calvinist Matt Slick from CARM

Matt Slick (1)

Jesse Morell demolished Matt Slick due to a more Biblical theology view as well as superior debate ethics 

The entire debate can be found here, together with an outline of Jesse’s presentation in case you missed it.

I do not believe there will ever be a debate with a Calvinist who does not charge the other for misunderstanding or misrepresenting Calvinism. My views are as follows.

Best theology (regardless of presentation) – Winner is Jesse, but he had an easy task before him since it is definitely not hard to find scriptures which contradict Calvinism and support free will. The teaching of free will (as in the logical and traditional understanding of the word – as in being able to make contrary choices) is taught throughout the Bible, and the Bible is actually a book describing people who constantly act against the will of God (all of his multiple wills, if you will). Man’s free will is so obvious that the only way to get around it is to change the meaning of the word as well as twisting a lot of verses, and that is a common skill among Calvinists. (Those who have attended reformed Bible schools are particularly gifted in this area.) The only other option to free will is that God has created most of us to believe we have free will even though we do not.

So it looks like people who ”falsely” believe in free will still act according to God’s will since nothing happens against his will. Calvinism is contradictory to its core, and the amount of Calvinists who are able to be consistent with their own doctrines is zero. Matt Slick did not change this number. Most Calvinists constantly express themselves as though we have free will (a libertarian free will), and they often criticize others and urge them to repent – as though the unrepentant could make this decision of his own and as though a mere person could influence someone to repent even though God has already made his decrees. Matt repeatedly warned Jesse to correct his ways and views as though Jesse has made the wrong theological choices contrary to God’s desires. Apparently God’s irresistible decrees do not always come about, if people believe in heresy against his will? How hard it is for Calvinists do be consistent with their semi-gnostic philosophy. Also the old church fathers before Augustine (who brought so many heresies into church) believed in man’s (libertarian) free will, and none believed in a depraved/ruined nature as can be seen here.

Best presentation and ability to stay on topic – Winner is Jesse who demolished Matt Slick. Jesse showed way more confidence and calmness in his speech despite that Matt sat beside him repeatedly flipping though his papers, adjusting his computer, rearranging stuff on his desk, making shoulder gymnastics, etc. While both naturally provided lots of scriptures and showed great Biblical knowledge, Jesse managed to squeeze in more scriptures without being boring, and selected clear verses which stood as great examples for man’s free will, synergism, and that God’s will does not always happen. Most importantly, he broke apart the verses that Matt provided for his case and when including the entire context the verses in no way confirm the Calvinistic stance but the exact opposite. Jesse spoke with authority without insulting the other person’s character, but rather explained why the teachings of Gnosticism and Calvinism are unbiblical heresies which also the early church fathers fought against. Jesse was way more organized also in his appearance, and unlike Slick he did not desperately search through his notes, folders or a computer. Jesse did not even bring a computer (he had his phone if needed) but trusted solely on his written material as well his book. He seemed to know his material as well as Bible verses by heart and acted as a real pro.

The fact that Matt Slick brought up the topic of open theism shows his desperation, because the topic was rather free will vs election (of human beings). Discussing open theism takes a lot of time and deserves a debate of its own. If Jesse would have spent time responding to Matt’s attempt to go down that rabbit hole, then it is a good guess that Matt would respond back and the debate would set off in a direction which was not intended. A skilled and polite debater knows how to stay on topic rather than getting off the track. It is common that debaters bring up other topics when they cannot refute the current ones on the table.

Most humble attitude and ability to present criticism without insults – Winner is Jesse who was far from being arrogant. ”You shall know them by their fruit”, and it is quite obvious who showed good fruit and who has more to learn. Matt revealed a lot about himself when he made so many faces during his opponent’s speech. I prefer to believe he was nervous rather than purposely trying to disturb his opponent, but it definitely looked disrespectful. The more time that passed, the more faces Matt made and I even saw him forming words with his mouth during Jesse’s later talks (hopefully not saying the words out loud). Maybe Matt reacted in this way because he is so used to his own Calvinistic environment where he does not get a lot of opposition like he did now.

Matt said something about seeing himself as the worst of sinners (listen to the debate to hear his exact phrase), and some people in the audience reacted on that during the Q & A section. Matt sighed about their questions and asked if they would like to know what he meant by that statement. It appears that he disapproved of people who took him by his words, rather than understanding there might be an underlying meaning. It is true that false accusations and misrepresentations should best be avoided, but Matt is pretty good at it himself (and I have listened to his radio shows so I know what I am talking about). When he later asked a girl if she was perfect and she said yes, then he replied something like ”Oh, so you’re divine!”, which she of course never claimed to be. Naturally Matt did not believe it either, but would he like to know what she meant by her affirmation? Could there be an underlying meaning? The fact is that it is possible to be perfect without being divine, so Matt did not need to make this accusation. She did not even claim to never having sinned. Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, which means that we can. The question is rather what it MEANS, and it is quite clear that Matt feels that he has the right definition.

Some people in the audience could have sounded friendlier, focusing on formulating the question rather than ”telling” the debaters things, but then it is important to criticize the individuals it concerns rather than judging the entire audience as a group. In Matt’s case he should of course take it up with God if he believes that nothing comes to pass against his will. A consistent Calvinist should know that criticism about anything or anyone is criticism against God himself.

OUR good works will glorify God

If good works will glorify God, then it is hard to understand why God would force people to be wicked non-elect from the foundation of the world and send them to hell because of it (as though they could have made another option contrary to his decrees). Matt would likely protest against this description about forcing, but that is exactly what his doctrines about total depravity and predestination suggest and what Calvin and Calvinistic scholars have admitted (Jesse quoted some of them, but there are plenty more).

The idea that Jesus can transfer HIS righteousness into us is not a Biblical idea. We can of course read about ”imputed righteousness”, and it means to be regarded/reckoned as righteous because we ARE. We are, because we have been totally cleansed in the blood of Jesus and left our old sinful man behind.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see YOUR GOOD WORKS, and GLORIFY your Father which is in heaven.1—19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That EXCEPT YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Who would Matt Slick side with in Matt 5:16-20? The one who does the commandments (obeys them) and teach others that it is possible to do so? That is not the impression I got from the debate. He rather warned Jesse about the teaching that it is possible to refrain from all sin and that we are the ones who must live holy lives rather than leaning on someone else’s righteousness and continue sinning. Jesse is apparently in deep trouble for teaching the importance of being victorious over sin and being able to be completely faithful to Jesus by the way we are living (rather than relying on someone else’s righteousness being transferred into us). Is God particularly mad at those who live holy lives and teach others to do the same? If this is not what Matt meant, then maybe he should not have complained about Jesse’s holiness-teaching but rather supported him. Righteous people will go to heaven and sinners will go to hell. Not the other way around! The Bible provides a warning about teachers who tell others that it is not possible to be totally faithful to God, and that it is not a big deal for Christians since we are unconditionally and eternally saved anyway:

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is righteous, even as he is righteous.

If Calvinism is right, people who have obeyed God to 100% will end up in hell, and Jesus death on the cross is a complete puzzle. Did something go wrong which necessitated Jesus death on the cross? Exactly what went wrong, and could not God have predestined people to live holy lives without the need for Jesus atonement? I cannot think of a religion/philosophy which maligns the character of God the way Calvinism does. Not even mormonism, JW or Catholicism. Many freewillers do what they can to protect God from all attacks by Calvinists, and we must continue to pray for people like Jesse who defends God’s pure character which is far from darkness and sin – and naturally for Matt Slick!

For Calvinists Calvinism is important. Their doctrines require that they blame God for all sin either directly or indirectly, but they must wrap this message in a lot of sweet words so that they can trick more people into falling for Calvinism.

ADOPTION as a son in the Bible does not equal unconditional salvation

rom. 8 sons of GodThe Biblical ”adoption” holds a spiritual meaning

When we hear about an adoption the year 2015, we normally think about a person who assumes the parenting role of a child instead of that child’s biological/legal parents, and in doing so makes the child a permanent family member with all the legal rights. (It’s not common that a parent to either a biological child or an adopted child will choose to disinherit a child, but it has happened.)

The prodigal son actually inherited much of his Father’s wealth while his Father was still alive, but he (the prodigal son) was lost and dead while being away living in sin. ”Be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found” – Luke. 15:32. The Father never stopped loving him or hoping he would repent and return, because God does not want anyone to perish.

The word ”adoption” in the Bible is a translation from the Greek word huiothesia (Strong’s 5206). It could refer to the condition of a true follower in Christ who by receiving the Spirit of God becomes a son of God and therefore an heir to his kingdom. It could also refer to the blessed state looked for in the future life, or the relationship that God established with the Israelites. It’s used five times in the Bible, and none of the verses suggest that God unconditionally selects people for adoption/salvation:

Rom. 8:15; 23

The condition for being in Jesus Christ is to walk after the Spirit (obeying God). If a person bears bad fruit or no fruit, he will be cut off the vine (John 15). To be carnally minded is death, but to spiritually minded is LIFE. Paul recognizes that the Romans to whom he writes, are in the Spirit because they live righteous lives. IF the Spirit dwells in us, we also know that our mortal bodies will one day be quickened. ”If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”. Who are the sons of God, according to Paul? ”As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. So the condition for being a son of God is to make sure to live by the Spirit, which should be something we can master because we have received the ”Spirit of adoption”. IF we are his children (if we walk in the Spirit and live righteous lives), then we also live in the promise that we are HEIRS to the kingdom of God. If we endure in our sufferings, we will also be glorified.

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.—4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.—9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17 And IF children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.—.23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.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.

Rom. 9:4

Here Paul is referring to Israel as a group of people who have the right to be adopted as sons (being God’s own people): ”v. 4—who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons” (NASB). We know that not all of Israel made it into the promised land, and we know that not all of Israel will eventually be saved/adopted. That is because some of Israel has stumbled on the stumbling stone, and others simply lack faith and live of the world. You can read more about Rom. 9 here and here.

Rom. 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;–24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

Gal. 4:5gal.4

Paul viewed the Galatians as christians who had received the holy Spirit, and who therefore had the right to be regarded as God’s adopted sons.This also means that they had been given a guaranteed right to enter the kingdom of God due to being valid heirs. However, a christian must still read the fine print of his guarantee receipt, because he only has this right as long as he remains in faith and remains in the vine. A guarantee receipt is to no use of the holder if he throws it away or forgets where it is. Paul understood this too well, because he asked the Galatians how on earth they could think of turning back to the Jewish law after having known God (and also having been known by him). Paul feared that he might have labored for them in vain and that they might end up not inheriting the kingdom of God. He says (4:20) ”I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you” (NKJV). In other verses Paul makes it clear that the Galatians – despite having begun in the Spirit, and despite having been given all the wonderful promises that are tied to those who are in Christ – still risked to have suffered and worked in vain. Paul also told the Galatians that Christ will profit them nothing and that they had fallen from grace! They could of course be restored again if they repented and followed the christian way. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Note that Paul was not upset that the Galatians obeyed the moral law, but rather the Jewish law with focus on the ceremonial parts.) NKJV:

Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?— 3Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?”

Gal. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.—4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.—”7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.—15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!—18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Gal. 2:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.—29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Gal. 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.—19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.—31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Eph. 1:5 

Just like in the verses above, we are heirs if we are in Jesus Christ. Eph. 1-2 concerns a corporate election where the body of Christ will definitely inherit the kingdom of God. The concept that those who are in HIM will be the ones saved was decided upon already from the foundation of the world. If we are in him, we are also predestined to be adopted. The order of events is something like this:

  1. You believe and trust in Jesus Christ, and you have repented for your sins and decided to walk in the light
  2. After having repented, you have become totally cleansed, righteous and justified
  3. You have therefore been given the holy Spirit (marked), and you are IN HIM, in the vine, in the body of Christ
  4. You are therefore born again, a child of God, an adopted son and therefore an heir to his kingdom
  5. As an heir you have wonderful things to look forward to upon the return of Jesus, where you will be glorified

However, if you’re defecting from Jesus Christ already in the first position, then of course the promises which are tied to all true christians no longer apply for you. They only apply to those who are IN HIM as Eph. 1 says. If the first point no longer applies for you (due to lack of faith, or due to sin which you won’t let go of) then neither do the following points.

Eph. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted IN THE BELOVED.IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace —10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things IN CHRIST, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—IN HIM. 11 IN HIM also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted IN CHRIST should be to the praise of His glory.13  IN HIM you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; IN WHOM also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (NKJV)

Whom he did predestinate, them he also called and justified and glorified – Rom. 8:29-30

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. (Rom. 8:30)

Let’s go through the whole chapter from the start, based on KJV.

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Notice the condition involved. There is no condemnation for those who WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. Are we still exempted from being condemned even if we would choose to live according to the flesh? No way. Then we would be in deep trouble.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The same condition once again.  Thanks to Jesus sin offering we can be cleansed from our past sins, but the idea is to not get dirty once again. These verses don’t say that we are only free from the PUNISHMENT of the law while we continue to BREAK it. No, we are free from the law IF we live by the spirit. It’s the same thing as Paul says elsewhere:

Gal. 5: 16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall NOT fulfil the lust of the flesh.17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT; YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Paul is clear about that being carnally minded is DEATH. So to obey the flesh ( i e to sin) is to be ”carnally minded”.

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Paul says that we indeed have the power to overcome our fleshly desires and that is when we obey the spirit. IF we live after the flesh we shall die, but IF we live by the spirit we shall live. It’s one or the other and we can’t serve two masters. We are able to know WHO the ”sons of God” are and they are the ones who are led by the spirit of God. The spirit of God would never lead us into sin but AWAY from sin, so we know we are God’s children if we obey Jesus! As christians we must be careful since the devil walks about like a roaring lion, trying to tempt us and make us fall. Thankfully, God has promised us a way out. IF we fall, we must repent…

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are in bondage as long as we live after the flesh and we have no reason to fear for the eternity ahead of us since we can KNOW that we are the children of God. IF we are his children (this could change from one day to another if we choose to live after the flesh) then we are also heirs of God, and we have something wonderful to look forward to. The children of God are promised a place in God’s kingdom. In fact, we are guaranteed a place in the kingdom, provided of course that we remain ”sons of God”. If we suffer with Jesus, carry our cross daily and endure to the end despite persecutions, then we will also be glorified with him.

18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

We live in a world which is in bondage of corruption and the whole creation groans. This is clearly not what God had intended when he created it.  However, we shall be delivered!

23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

As children of God, we can continue to live on the hope that we will get new glorified bodies, which we are indeed guaranteed if we endure to the end. We must remind ourselves that a few years in a painful and corrupted world is nothing compared to what is in store ahead of us. There will be no more tears, no more pain, no more agony!

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our prayers have a great impact on things, and that’s why it’s so important to pray. We can change the outcome of the future. Paul tells us in his letters to the Corinthians that we should pray in two ways; 1) with our spirit and 2) with our minds. The first option means that we do NOT pray with our minds since we can’t understand what we are praying. That would be speaking in tongues.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

The word ”HIS” is NOT in the Greek. And notice the condition again. Things work out well TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, which is the condition for a good outcome. If we love God, it also means we have reacted upon and accepted Jesus sin offering for us. The Bible says that if we love God we OBEY him, and that’s how we know we are the children of God. As children of God we are then CHOSEN, SPECIAL, PRECIOUS  and ELECT. As children of God we can look forward to a wonderful inheritance which we are guaranteed – as long as the condition is met of course.

In the parable in Matthew about the King who prepared a wedding feast for his son, we can read ”For many are called, but few are chosen. The ones who were called ”chosen” were the ones who accepted to come (and also went) to the wedding feast and who made sure to dress up in wedding clothes. One fellow neglected to do this and was thrown out.  WE must keep in mind to wear the wedding clothes because that is our responsibility.  God will certainly not pick and choose who will enter his Kingdom, but he welcomes whosoever wills. And we know the conditions…

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.30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This is about a corporate election. Those who are predestined are those who will have persevered and God foreknows who those will be. We are justified when we are cleansed from our past sins, and after that our goal is to be conformed into the image of Jesus. We have assurance in the hope of salvation while on earth, as long as we abide in Jesus of course.

Rom. 8:29 is referring to those WHO LOVE GOD, stated in vs 28. The promises are tied to THEM and no others. Also in 1 Peter 1:1 the elect are chosen according to God’s foreknowledge. Paul affirms that the body of Christ is foreknown, predestined and elect in the eternal plan of God and will persevere to final glorification. Individuals can take comfort in the promises, but only as they are identified as members of the Christian community.  A person who is not part of this community has no claim to the promises. What is predestined is not who will be in or out, but what will happen to all who are in. They will eventually be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ and glorified. God predestines the consequence of the choice to be in Christ or not, but he doesn’t predestine the choice itself.

The word called in v.30 is a translation from the Greek word kaleo, and it’s the same Greek word found in Gal 1:6. In this verse we can read that the called Galatians were still risking to desert Christ by turning to another gospel. This means that called people have no unconditional assurance of salvation, unless of course they stick to Jesus Christ.

31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32He 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?33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

There are some who take the ”if God be for us, who can be against us” to mean that there are no worries as long as we have faith in God. While that is partly true, the conditions must still be met. If we make sure to belong to Christ, the enemy can’t harm our souls but only our bodies. If Jesus has cleansed us from our sins, and we have continued to kept us clean (and/or repented for any new sins we have committed) then there is no one who can charge us for any transgressions. We have been justified because Jesus had made us clean! However, Jesus is not automatically making intercessions for us. To be forgiven we must confess our sins and repent. Only THEN will Jesus make intercessions for us.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God will never cease to ”love the world” in such a way that he is hoping that as many people in the world as possible will turn to him and LIVE, but we also know there are conditions for God’s love and acceptance. If we love him and show it through our obedience, then nothing will separate us from his love.

Ps. 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that LOVE HIM: but all the wicked will he destroy.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Origen:

”that those whom God foreknew would become the kind to conform themselves to Christ by their sufferings, he even predestined them to be conformed and similar to his image and glory. Therefore there precedes a foreknowledge of them, through which is known what effort and virtue they will possess in themselves, and thus predestination follows, yet foreknowledge should not be considered the cause of predestination.”