11/13/2008

More on Election

Camp on This gives some great quotes on election. Two are reproduced below with my comments.



"Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised
universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For
Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are
they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith. Here, too, is
displayed a wonderful effect of faith; for by it we receive Christ such as he is
given to us by the Father -- that is, as having freed us from the condemnation
of eternal death, and made us heirs of eternal life, because, by the sacrifice
of his death, he has atoned for our sins, that nothing may prevent God from
acknowledging us as his sons. Since, therefore, faith embraces Christ, with the
efficacy of his death and the fruit of his resurrection, we need not wonder if
by it we obtain likewise the life of Christ." -John Calvin


I once heard Jerry Vines say that the gates of heaven had a message printed on either side above the entrance. From the outside, the message read, “Whosoever will may come.” From the inside, the message read, “Foreordained from the foundation of the world.” Although he probably meant something different by it that what I would, it’s still true. Whoever wants to can come to Christ. However, because of our bent toward sin and lawlessness, no one wants to come. The Holy Spirit must change a person’s heart before he has ‘the want to’ to come to Jesus in repentance and faith.


"[Limited Atonement] is the most controversial of the five [points of
Calvinism], because of Bible passages apparently teaching that Christ died for
every individual. See, for example, 2 Cor. 5:15, 1 Tim. 4:10, 1 John 2:2. There
are "universal" dimensions of the atonement: (a) it is for all nations, (b) it
is a recreation of the entire human race, (c) it is universally offered, (d) it
is the only means for anyone to be saved and thus the only salvation for all
people, (e) its value is sufficient for all. Nevertheless, Christ was not the
substitute for the sins of every person; else, everybody would be saved. For the
atonement is powerful, efficacious. It does not merely make salvation possible;
rather it actually saves. When Christ "dies for" somebody, that person is saved.
One of the apparent "universal atonement texts," 2 Cor. 5:15, makes that point
very clearly. Thus he died only for those who are actually saved. The biblical
concern here is more with the efficacy of the atonement than with its
"limitation;" perhaps we should call it "efficacious atonement" rather than
"limited atonement," and, having then lost the TULIP, develop through genetic
engineering a flower we could call the TUEIP. But of course efficacy does imply
limitation, so limitation is an important aspect of this doctrine." - John Frame


Everyone on both sides of the current Southern Baptist debate on election agrees that not everyone will get to heaven. There will be a population in hell. Christ’s death will not pay for the sins of all men because some will choose to reject Christ in their bondage to sin. Christ’s death could have paid the penalty for all sins, but it did not.

God does not punish sins twice, so if He punishes some sins in hell, then Christ could not have been punished for them. Also, to my great comfort, if Christ was punished for sins, those sins will not be punished again in this life or in the life to come.

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