Friday, February 2, 2007

Dialogue on John 17

John 17:6-8 “‘I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.’”

One person explains: "Jesus said that there were a specific group of people out of the whole race of humanity that were given to him from the father from all eternity! he goes on to say that he only prays for them and makes a point to say that he is not praying for the world. how much more clear does the point have to be made?"

Question: Where in John 17 does it say that those who were given to Jesus, were given to Him from all eternity? How does the statement, “they were Yours,” imply that they were eternally His? How do we know whether or not that this simply refers to those of Jesus' day who were "blameless" like the parents of John the Baptist (Luke 1:6), and also "true Israelites" like Nathaniel (John 1:47), and that it is these faithful of the Father that He gave and drew to His Son?

Calvinist, James White, writes: “If this giving does not involve sovereign predestination, what does it involve? Jesus Himself says it results in eternal life. If that is not election unto salvation, what is?” (Debating Calvinism, p.137, emphasis mine)

White concludes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306, emphasis mine)

If God the Father gave you to the Son from eternity past, then does that mean that you eternally resided in the Father? (Compare 1st John 2:24) Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”" (John 14:6) Yet, Calvinism seems to suggest that certain people were already, eternally plugged in with the Father before they ever came to Christ. So does Calvinism nullify what Jesus just said?

Consider the comments of John Hagee on this matter: “Jesus called a Gentile woman, a dog. He never called the Gentiles His brethren. Let me remind you of something. We did not get plugged in until the cross. We had no basis of standing with God until the cross. There’s where we were in Galatians 3 when Paul said you were outside the covenance of Israel, without hope and without God. That’s very important. Then at the cross, we were plugged in, and we received the riches of Abraham, and we received healing, and we received adoption, and we received all the cornucopia of the blessings of God. But before the cross, we were castoffs. You need to understand that.” (emphasis mine)

So is the essense of Calvinism, that Calvinists were plugged in with the Father from all eternity, and if so, does Jesus mediate in vain, for those who were already eternally mediated to the Father in His eternal secret counsel?

50 comments:

serrevin said...

I continue to stand in amazement that anyone would quote john hagee as if he was some soteriological divine. the man said we shouldn't evangelise jews because it wasn't the right dispensation for them to be saved in! sheesh...
how do we know the ones "given" to christ weren't that small mass of faithful jews in the bible? simple, because of the way jesus contrasts those given to him with the rest of humanity in verse 2 "For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him." notice the contrast, jesus has authority over "all people" but he gives eternal life to those who were given to him of the father. this "giving" results in eternal life. which destroys your "election in the father/ election in the son" distinction. there is no such distinction. the father chooses a certain number of men from the mass of humanity and determines that he is going to save them by means of jesus christ and his atonement. therefore to say that someone is elect means NECESSARILY that they must come to christ because he is the only means of salvation. I stand amazed that you continually overlook the fact that calvinists believe that God ordains the end (the salvation of the elect) as well as the means ( through belief in the death burial and ressurection of christ, and repentance from sin) if you're going to disagree with the exegisis given of john 17 by doctor white as well as the attempt i've made, you must argue FROM THE CONTEXT OF THE PASSAGE DIRECTLY to indicate credible reasons for doing so. don't hop skip and jump around the scriptures like a jw does when you show him john chapter 1.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Do you have a link to Hagee's comments on Jewish evangelism? It's not that I don't believe you, but that some context might help. The way that you've described him, would make him a Hyper Dispensationalist indeed.

John 17:1-2: "Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.'"

Yes, Jesus has authority over all men. Yes, Jesus gives salvation to those that He was given, that is, those who kept the Father's word (v.6), who received the Son's word and understood and believed (v.8). While Jesus was "with" them (v.12), He guarded them. (v.12). This helps to give a picture of who these were, and it does not seem apparent that they are who you think that they are.

Jesus' prayer is that these whom He was given, who were with Him, that He would give eternal life. (vv.1-2)

This seems to bear out the Arminian interpretation very well. In other words, there are no holes.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To add another thought, notice that it does not say that He gives salvation to "only" those whom He was given. Rather, it says that He gives salvation to "all" that He was given, and John 17 gives a lot of background information on who they were.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

One other thing, I have not yet had a chance to do any final editting on the writeups for John 17, so this discussion is going to be instrumental in their development.

For those visiting, a similar discussion took place on John 6:44 with oldtruth.com which greatly help develop the materials for that page. Below is a link to that page:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

serrevin said...

you said

serrevin said...

you said "To add another thought, notice that it does not say that He gives salvation to "only" those whom He was given. Rather, it says that He gives salvation to "all" that He was given, and John 17 gives a lot of background information on who they were"

rich... you've just made my point for me! that's what i'm saying. those given to the son are not that small group of faithful jews who believed in christ previous to the cross, they are ALL who will believe from the first believer in redemptive history to the last.
notice jesus does not say "for you have given him authority over all israel that he may give eternal life to the small flock who believe" no he says " you have given him authority over ALL PEOPLE, so that he may give eternal life to ALL THOSE you have given him"
the qualifications you listed in verses 6,8, and 12 pose no problem for the reformed believer. because he expands this prayer from the immediate group of the disciples to all those who will believe later. which is why he goes on to say " 20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message"
the other reason we know this prayer is about the elect is because jesus says "I pray for them (those given to him) I do not pray for the world, but for those you have given me for they are yours." once again we have the picture of jesus seperating his sheep from the mass of humanity. and we also have the glaring fact that these people were GIVEN to him by the father. therefore I must stress once again, that the "problem" you would like to foist upon reformed theology does not exist;namely your "election in the father/election in the son" dichotomy. the father chooses his people from eternity and gives them to the son. the son comes to the earth and lives a perfect life and dies a perfect death on their behalf. the holy spirit comes and applies the benefits of that atonement upon those same people regenerating them, giving them repentance and faith, and keeping them strong until the end so that when they stand before God they are presented by jesus "with great joy" blameless and faultless.

johnMark said...

Here is an article which quotes Hagee on the Jews and salvation. It quotes: “San Antonio fundamentalist battles anti-Semitism,” Houston Chronicle.
http://www.pfo.org/jonhagee.htm

Plus, just going to Hagee's website will show you his strong support for modern day Israel. Hyper-dispensational? You decide.

http://www.jhm.org/support-israel.asp
Check out the links at the top of this page dealing with Israel.

"The support of Israel is a biblically based mandate for every Christian."
http://www.jhm.org/faq.asp#israel

There is also an article in the Jewish Post somewhere in which Hagee denies dual covenant theology, but it's really hard to tell where exactly he stands.

Mark

Anonymous said...

you said: [Calvin continues: “Judas fell so that the Scripture might be ‘fulfilled.’ But it would be wrong for anyone to infer from this that Judas’ fall should be ascribed to God rather than to himself because the prophecy made him do it...I acknowledge that nothing happens but what but has been ordained by God, but the only question now is whether their being foretold or prophesied makes people do things, and I have already shown this is not so.”

Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer, writes: “Scripture explicitly teaches that God actually ordains the evil choices of men. In the case of Judas, for example, God allowed (or used) Satan to put the idea of the betrayal in his heart...[however] it is reasonable to suppose that Judas had made many prior deceitful decisions so that the activity of Satan was quite compatible with his own inclination and desires. The same applies to the many instances in the Bible in which God says the wicked do what he predetermined would happen.”

What Calvin said is “not so,” Lutzer insists is so.]

when you fix the wrongly-added emphases, it looks like calvin and lutzer are on the same page, as both blame Judas instead of predestination while both also affirm that God ordained judas' actions, such that there was never any question whether judas would betray Christ. both agree that judas sinfully desired betrayal and that God had already planned to use that desire for His purposes. it seems that you badly misunderstand calvin here.

along with serrevin, i would encourage you to address v.9 and 20. if you're going to claim that "God so loved the world=every single person," you need to address why Jesus would refuse to pray for the "world" here...and how Jesus can pray for "those who will believe" while at the same time clearly excluding some.

(as an aside, you may want to look at your formatting for the examiningcalvinism website - the boxes often cover up the discussion of the text you're looking at...and while i'm at it, your discussion of ezek 36 doesn't address what the passage is saying AT ALL but merely denies that it supports calvinism...you also seem to completely miss that obedience (v.27) and repentance (v.31) were the direct and unavoidable results of gaining a new heart which resulted solely by God's choice and action, rather than by their decision or even for their sake. (v.32) i would love to see what you believe the text IS actually saying.)

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Thanks for the posts and I will examine each one. I will check out the quotes from Hagee's website. Since you feel that I have misunderstood Lutzer, I will take a closer look. I will also address John 3:16, Ezekiel 36:26 in the next post after Serrevin.

Serrevin wrote: “those given to the son are not that small group of faithful jews who believed in christ previous to the cross, they are ALL who will believe from the first believer in redemptive history to the last.”

First let's look at who John 17 says are given:

• “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world” (v.6)

• “they were Yours and You gave them to Me” (v.6)

• “they have kept Your word” (v.6)

• “they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You” (v.7)

• “the words which You gave Me I have given to them” (v.8)

• “they received them” (v.8)

• “they believed that You sent Me” (v.8)

• “I have been glorified in them” (v.10)

• “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name” (v.12)

• “I guarded them” (v.12)

• “not one of them perished but the son of perdition” (v.12)

What are these references telling you? It tells me that the giving is past tense. It's done. Where is there any mention of a continual giving beyond this point? Moreover, where is there any mention of the “giving” spanning from Genesis til Revelation? If your point is to have legs, you are going to have to demonstrate that the giving is still going on today. Notice that in John 17:20, there is no mention that those also, who will believe, are given.

Serrevin wrote: “notice jesus does not say 'for you have given him authority over all israel that he may give eternal life to the small flock who believe' no he says 'you have given him authority over ALL PEOPLE, so that he may give eternal life to ALL THOSE you have given him.'”

Here is the way that I feel that you are paraphrasing verse John 17:2: “...Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to [ONLY] whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

If Jesus said “only,” then I feel that your point would have been made, but it says “all.” In other words, Jesus requests from the Father, to bestow eternal life upon “all” whom He was “given,” and then describes in detail, who these were, such that through these who are given, His message would be preached to all flesh whom He has authority, so that they too will receive eternal life. Compare John 17:20.

Serrevin wrote: “Therefore I must stress once again, that the ‘problem’ you would like to foist upon reformed theology does not exist; namely your "election in the father/election in the son" dichotomy. The father chooses his people from eternity and gives them to the Son.”

I must ask, Where in John 6 or 17 is there any mention that the Father chooses His people from eternity? If you point to Eph 1:4, then obviously I will clarify that the people that God chooses are those people in Christ.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Mark,

Thanks for the references. While Hagee's statements seem to indicate a Duel Covenant, on the other hand he feels misrepresented as charged against CRI. He said that the hardening of Isaiah 6:9-10 makes mass evangelism impossible, though he does not leave out the possibility of individual evangelism, or have it read him incorrectly?

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Anonymous,

As for the boxes, someone else mentioned there being purple boxes covering up text. Yet, it appears fine for me, as well as others. I will check with Homestead.com. Thanks for letting me know.

I think that you meant that I misunderstood Lutzer, correct? You said Calvin, so I just wanted to clarify. In any case, I agree with you. While I’ve finished editing Matthew and Luke, I’m still in the early stages of editing the write-ups in John. After I correct the misunderstanding with Lutzer, I will move it to the discussion on John 6:70 (which I haven’t published yet).

As for John 17:9 and John 17:20, you wrote: “If you’re going to claim that ‘God so loved the world=every single person,’ you need to address why Jesus would refuse to pray for the ‘world’ here...and how Jesus can pray for ‘those who will believe’ while at the same time clearly excluding some.”

Two things. (1) The “world” is clearly shown to mean something other than “the world of the elect” as some infer of John 3:16. I think that that right there is a rather crippling point for Calvinism, in terms of its teaching on John 3:16. (2) Jesus is praying for the eternal life of those who were given to Him, that is, those that were with Him, and whom He guarded (v.12), and who believed in Him. He is not praying to give eternal life to unbelievers in the world, but believers. If He had prayed on behalf of the world, unconditionally, then you’d have Universalism.

In terms of Ezekiel 36:26 and 2nd Corinthians 5:17, I agree that the new birth, which results in a new creature, results in “obedience” and “repentance,” and you can add faith and holiness. My point is that the promise of Ezekiel 36:26 is fulfilled “in Christ,” as mentioned at 2nd Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, Calvinism requires that unbelievers must become preemptively “in Christ” in order to repent and believe in the Gospel. Arminians argue that the Bible is clear in terms of becoming in Christ, and that it is upon hearing and believing in the Gospel, that you are sealed in Christ, as per Ephesians 1:13. So Arminians want to know how you can be in Christ, prior to being sealed in Christ. Arminians also want to know how a condemned unbeliever (John 3:18) can be in Christ, since those in Christ are free from condemnation. So Arminians such as myself, view the Calvinist view of preemptive placement of unbelievers in Christ, a completely unworkable situation. I have a Blog on this entitled, Sealed in Christ, and you are invited to read it over and comment, since it relates to this topic.

By the way, if there is anything that you feel that I missed, I assure you that I did not “dodge” it. I have no reason or desire to “dodge” anything. If you feel that I have missed something, simply state what it is. Otherwise, I think that I have addressed each topic, and am ready for your follow-up post.

serrevin said...

you said: " Here is the way that I feel that you are paraphrasing verse John 17:2: “...Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to [ONLY] whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

If Jesus said “only,” then I feel that your point would have been made, but it says “all.”

actually sir it's almost the other way around. if the lord would have said "only" then you would have said "well see it clearly states that the "only" people he was praying for in that particular passage are those faithful few. you keep pointing out that jesus prayed for "all" that was given to him as if this is somehow detrimental to my case. this proves the point. the lord is praying for ALL of his people, and you are trying to limit it to that small group. yes jesus speaks about the immdeiate group of the discples but he then goes on to include the rest of his people in verse 20. you said "his message would be preached to all flesh...so that they too will recieve eternal life." i'm sorry sir that's not what the lord said. he said "I pray not only for them (those who were given him) I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message' he is not talking about saving mankind here or TRYING to save mankind. he's saying "the prayer that I just prayed for this immediate group of disciples, is also going to be applicable for the church throughout the ages. for you to say "there is no mention of "giving" in verse 20 is absolute nonsense. because the disctinction you've made in john chapter 6 about the giving of the immediate faithful flock of jews to jesus exists ONLY IN YOUR MIND. christ prayed for ALL who were given to him, he started with the immediate group and then included the church by saying " I pray not only for them"
I still haven't seen you deal with the fact that jesus makes the point that he is NOT PRAYING FOR THE WORLD but for those given him. therefore if he prays for the church in v 20 BY NECESSITY they must be those given to him! there are only two groups of humanity in this passage. those given to jesus whom he prays for, and the world who he makes clear he has no interest in praying for.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Serrevin,

In terms of John 17:20, does it say that “those also who believe in Me through their word” are “given”?

I have updated the John 17 page, with a blue dialogue box at the bottom of the page, which I believe addresses each your concerns.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John17_2.html

Let me know if it does not, and also let me know if there are boxes on the page that are superimposed over text, which "Anonymous" had mentioned.

serrevin said...

maybe it's because I'm young, maybe it's because I've got a sermon to work on. maybe it's because it's absolutely apparent that you've got your mind made up and absolutely nothing that is said will sway you. So my tenure here is about to close but I will point out a few things:
You are simply not dealing with the text and allowing it to flow in the least. to say that because the believers in verse 20 are not "given" to christ because he doesn't reiterate the phrase makes no sense. jesus makes the connection between those given and those in verse 20 by saying "I pray not only for them but also for.." compare that to who jesus was speaking about in v9. the reason jesus doesn't need to speak about the "giving" again in verse 20 is twofold

A: jesus has already said that he is going to give eternal life to ALL who were given him! therefore..

B: the distinction you've made about who are "given" to christ as I said earlier exists only in your mind! as a result, the lord has no need of saying the phrase "given" again

jesus doesn't pray for the world because they were not given to him, and he had no interest in giving them eternal life.

notice here what jesus says to the unbelievers in john chapter 8 " He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." now arminians would love for our lord to have said "the reason you don't belong to god is because you do not hear what God says" but that is not what the lord says. the lord gives the reason he said in verse 43 that they were "Unable" to hear what he was saying. let's not play games here. they can't hear him and come to eternal life BECAUSE they do not belong to the father. let's not meddle with the word and try to turn the text on its head.

so the point is, when jesus prays in john seventeen about those who belong to the father and were given to him, we're talking about election, we're talking about those god chose to be in his eternal family WHOM HE DETERMINED WOULD BE SAVED through the death, burial and ressurection of christ.

as far as what you say about ephesians 1, I fail to see how that is at all relavent. how did you come to be "in christ"? by your mighty free will? haven't you read first corinthians 1 " 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God" why is it that you are "in christ"? because according to v27 God the father chose you, and secondly he exercised his divine energy to put you there " it is BECAUSE OF HIM" THAT YOU ARE IN CHRIST. and why, why does he do this? because he saw your need? because he loved you so much? because he's a man-centered diety? no paul says God does this so that " no man may boast before him" meaning that all the glory would go to him. you seem to bristle at the idea that God's ultimate motive for his salvific work is the glory of his name. well there you have it.

so to make a long story short. your "exegisis" of john 17 is almost as bad as your massacre of john 6, and the problems you pose for calvinism in the text actually make our point for us (for example the fact that jesus prays for "all" given to him)

I'm sorry if I sound harsh here but it's obvious you've got an axe to grind which is fine, you're going to have to answer for it one day. I must say however that the reason I've engaged you on the site in a public forum is that I came to embrace the doctrines of grace after watching hank hanegraaf, and george bryson double team james white and ignore passage after passage, and twist text after text because thier position could not be defended. and so i posted here because I am confident that third party viewers will be able to see which side is about honest,consistent exegisis of the text, and which side is desperately trying to exhalt the will of man at the expense of the glory of God.

-vin.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Serrevin,

I've been busy at the Pastor's Conference down here in Jacksonville, FL, so I haven't had a chance to post.

Let me know if I have your approval to post your entire last post directly into my writeup at John 17. I will then offer a brief reply. But I want others to see what the reservations of Calvinists are.

First of all, in terms of verses like 1 Cor 1:30, that you mentioned, you should have first taken a look at what I said about it.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/1Cor1_30.html


In terms of your comment on Free Will, it is very unfair for you to not also recognize that I believe in Prevenient Grace, so its not just about Free Will, but about Free Grace, in terms of Jesus seeking, drawing, knocking, while the Holy Spirit convicts, pricks, pierces and opens hearts to respond to the Gospel. Yes, I have a problem with Calvinists taking Eph 1:4 to mean that God chose us IN HIMSELF so that these "elect" would then be chosen "to become" in Christ, as some sort of downgraded secondary election. You asked how I became in Christ, and I answer that I became in Christ when I was sealed in Christ, as per Ephesians 1:13, after having listend to the Gospel and believed in the Gospel. That Gospel is living and active, rather than dead and dormant, and the Holy Spirit gives faith through it (Rom 10:17), through which He opens hearts and convicts sinners.

As for your threats and intimidation, I feel that you have not followed the pattern of the Apostle Paul, which I try to emulate: “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2nd Timothy 2:24-26) Having told the public forum that you are a "Pastor," let's others know that a Pastor approves of threats and intimidation as acceptible means of dialogue within the Body of Christ. I hope that you would at least offer sometime to the public that your behavior has been unbecoming of the Paul since the onset. You should do this, not for me, but for those listening.

serrevin said...

first off I am not a pastor, my pastor calls on me from time to time to deliver sermons for the sake of the people of God. Secondly I made no direct threat to your person in the least. but you should realise that if I am right and you are violently twisting to the scriptures to fit into your paradigm then you will have to answer for it before God. you bring up the apostle paul as if the man never said anything that may be construed as intimidating and harsh. I would have you remember what he said about the cretans. you should also remember what jesus christ himself said that we must give an account for every careless word we have spoken. james also tells us all not to become teachers because we are held to a stricter judgement. so come now brother let's not get all emotional about it and say 'you're threatening me and that's not nice and christian" would you have told paul to do the same thing when he told the galations that he wished the judaisers would just go and emmasculate themselves? would you have censured the apostle john when he called the gnostics "children of satan"? the fact of the matter is, one of us is playing games with the scriptures here and we will have to answer for it when we stand before the lord.
your exegesis of 1 corinthians 1 left much to be desired. long story short the passage does not say "it is because of him that you had the opportunity to be in christ jesus via prevenient grace" that's simply not what the text says. the text says "it's by his doing that you are in christ jesus" by the way, your write-up on first corinthians didn't deal with the fact that God the father is said to elect his people v27, and then place them in christ v30. you're interpretation which says "He makes a legitimate offer and supplies the necessary provision by way of the cross." is simply not found in the text. paul uses no such language when he speaks of God making the choices. it destroys the whole point of the text. doesn't god make the same "offer" to the rich, and the mighty, and the wise? the whole point of the text is that god CHOSE the lowly ones of the world in contrast to the mighty ones so that the glory would go to him alone. there is no mention of "posing a legitimate offer" found in the text.
I'm not being unfair when I say that your free will was the ultimate determiner of your destiny, because according to your system YOU IMPROVED THE PREVENIENT GRACE YOU WERE GIVEN by your free will. I must ask you the same question I asked you in the email. why is it that YOU improved the prevenient grace god gave you and your buddy down the street did not? were you smarter? more righteous? more humble? whatever you choose the matter of fact is that YOU made the thing work, God gave you an assist but YOU had the final say. it's like michael jordan. everyone knows that no man wins the game by himself, his teamates had to pass him the ball, but he was the one who hit the game-winning shot, so who gets the glory? michael jordan. so your system presents a god who makes offers, and a holy spirit who gives you an "assist" but you're the one who makes the "final shot" so YOU GET THE GLORY. the whole thing turns on your free will. By the way, the bible never says that the holy spirit "offers" repentance. how does one "offer" repentance anyway? it says he "grants" repentance (as the passage you quoted makes quite clear) when cornelius converted to christ the jewish christians did not say "so the holy spirit has offered repentance to the gentiles too!" no, they said " So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life." notice in the passage you posted what happens when god "grants' repentance ,it leads to a knowledge of the truth and freedom from the devil, it is not an offer rich, it is a divine work by which God SAVES his people.
if you are a pastor you must know the importance the scriptures place on keeping our doctrine pure and consistent. I'm amazed at the fact that you would bristle at the exhortation to keep honest account with the scriptures. would you rather I tell you " God has no problem with you twisting his word. keep it up it's all good"? should the doctor tell his patient he has a cold when he has cancer? have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?


ps. you can post anything i've written to you in email form, as well as postings on the blog. so long as you post them in context if not in their entirety.

Anonymous said...

you are correct - i should have complained that you misunderstood lutzer and not calvin.

(1) john 3 as a whole meshes rather well with calvinism. i haven't found any calvinist commentators who would interpret "world" in v.16 as "world of the elect" - though it's entirely possible that they exist - so that's less of a problem to me. calvinists understand many instances of "world" and "all men" in scripture in their 1st century church context, which was primarily marked by the difficult transition from God revealing Himself almost exclusively to jews through the jewish scriptures to the point where gentiles could be offered the gospel of Christ without first having to become jewish. i understand that the apostles john and paul were often answering opposition from the judaizers and interpret accordingly.

(2) but why isn't He praying to give "eternal life" to everyone, including unbelievers? He even defines "eternal life" in the very next verse: "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." if we were discussing 2pet3:9 or 1tim2:4, you would be contending that God wants this (for everyone to come to know Him...up to and including salvation through Him, right?) for all men...yet here we see Jesus deliberately excluding some. Jesus was clearly free to ask for what He wanted: the Father told Jesus "no" when He asked for the cup to pass...if Jesus truly wanted every single person to be come to know Himself and the Father and be saved, it's very unusual to see Him openly excluding some and refusing to make that request for their sake in this prayer.

(i will drop the ezek 36 issue but you should make a blog post on it in the near future. the jews in ezek 36 appear to have no interest in serving God until AFTER they are made new. the change in them does not happen for their sake or by their request. you avoid these issues by not addressing the meaning of the passage in context.)

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

I'll address Serrevin's post tomorrow mroning.

To Anonymous: I'll Blog on Ezekiel 36:26 next, because of how it relates to 2nd Corinthians 5:17, which is a point that I've been anxious to discuss.

In terms of the "world of the elect" explanation of John 3:16, I've heard Calvinists explain it that way, but I'd be interested in your take on John Owen's explanation. Turn to the John 3:16 writeup in the website and there you will find it quoted by Adrian Rogers.

In terms of point #2, you wrote: "but why isn't He praying to give 'eternal life' to everyone, including unbelievers?" Because that would be Universalism. I would never pray for unbelievers, like Hillary Clinton, to have eternal life. Rather, I pray that unbelievers like Hillary Clinton might become saved so as to receive eternal life. Make sense?

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Serrevin,

You believe that I am violently twisting Scripture. I believe that you are the one who is violently twisting Scripture. I could anathematize you, and you could do the same. What would it accomplish, but a pissing match?

John 17 details who were given. (See the “past tense” references)

Jesus asks for eternal life for those who are given (v.2), and also for those who believe through them: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone [who are given], but for those also who believe in Me through their word.” (v.20)

Jesus doesn’t pray for unbelievers to receive eternal life. Rather, eternal life is for believers. For instance, I do not pray that Hillary Clinton receives eternal life. I pray that Hillary Clinton becomes a believer in order to receive eternal life.

Those of John 8 heard Christ, but they refused Him because they could not bear what He was saying, and hence tried to kill him. I’ve already point out that they were hardened.

You wrote: “so the point is, when jesus prays in john seventeen about those who belong to the father and were given to him, we're talking about election, we're talking about those god chose to be in his eternal family WHOM HE DETERMINED WOULD BE....”

John 17 says nothing of the kind, and you have just admitted to what I had alleged about Calvinistic election, in that it is essentially, an eternal, in the Father Election, whereby God has chosen some “in Himself,” called “the elect,” in order that they may “become” in Christ. I believe that this totally circumvents John 14:6.

You wrote: “as far as what you say about ephesians 1, I fail to see how that is at all relavent. how did you come to be "in christ"? by your mighty free will?”

I was sealed in Christ. Eph 1:13. Second, by your phrase: “your might free will,” I do not feel that I have sinned enough to deserve to have to endure you any longer. Go and act like this with someone else.

serrevin said...

it will be as you say.

Anonymous said...

Richard, keep up the good work. I'm so tired of seeing these arrogant Calvinist in blogdom. They have absolutely no clue what those who reject Calvinist believe. When they can't defend their position with Scripture they will inevitably go on the attack and say "You're twisting Scripture, you save yourself blah, blah, blah, blah." And lo the personal insults because they cannot absolutely cannot defend their view without the straw men they've created. I'm so glad that God did not write the Bible as the Calvinist believes in such a way that one needs a seminary degree to interpret it. The Bible says what it means and means what it says.

Anonymous said...

this is exactly what Calvinist do, ignore and twist passage after passage. Calvinismis exalting man's intellect over God's unlimited grace.


"ignore passage after passage, and twist text after text because thier position could not be defended. and so i posted here because I am confident that third party viewers will be able to see which side is about honest,consistent exegisis of the text, and which side is desperately trying to exhalt the will of man at the expense of the glory of God."

Anonymous said...

you seem to be defining "eternal life" in john 17 to mean that Jesus is praying that they will go to heaven...certainly we would agree that this is an unsuitable destination for unbelievers.

but as i've already pointed out, i believe your preferred interpretation is inconsistent with the context. Jesus defines "eternal life" for us in john 17 as a gift for the here and now: "...that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

so we can understand from the passage that there is a subset of people in john 17 ("the world" in v.9) whom Jesus wants to exclude from knowing the only true God, and His Son whom He has sent. (if you say you want unbelievers to be "saved" - how can they be saved without "knowing the only true God and His Son?") when the Lord's definition of "eternal life" is included in the same chapter, i don't understand why you don't accept it and instead try to define it as something else that comes after salvation...

Anonymous said...

also, i will read up on owen and get back to you later. thanks for the suggestion.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Thanks for the posts,

#1... I need for you to put your first name at the bottom of each post (if you are listed as anonymous) so that I can address you better, because there are multiple anonymouses :) I will do the same.

#2... As the first anonymous pointed out, I've seen both Calvinists and Arminians complain when friendly Christian discussion descends into bitterness and mischaracterization. I, unfortunately, in the past, have been guilty of this. Then, a wonderful Christian friend of mine, witnessed me being heavy-handed with some Baptismal Regenerationists, and since then, my hope is to live up to the standard set by the Apostle Paul, as previously quoted to "Serrevin." My final post to Serrevin was not because I didn't like to discuss these things, but only because the tone had worn on me. It's not I do not want to talk with Calvinists. It's the opposite. I need feedback from Calvinists, Non-Calvinists and Arminians, in order to improve the content of the website. I think that Peter from SBC Tomorrow, also reflects the kind of Christian spirit that I would like to live up to. I also feel that the Calvinist contributor, Timotheus, also was a gracious fellow that it made speaking our differences, a pleasant experience, rather than combative.

http://www.peterlumpkins.typepad.com/

I've asked my brother in law, a Hyper Calvinist, but "hyper" only in the physical sense, NOT the doctrinal sense :) that if he finds in my write-ups, any kind of angry, disrespectful tone, to let me know. I can definitely get carried away, especially when I referred to the doctrine of Reprobation as the doctrine of Divine Abortion. I can get carried away, unfortunately. There is a lot of passion on both sides. I'm still in the early stages of editing, so there are a lot of things that I still need to catch. Yes, indeed, there were days when the coffee never arrived :)

#3... In terms of the way the Bible is written, I see Romans 9:16-17 as tempered by Jeremiah 18:1-13. Also, Matthew 23:37 does not seem to reflect the Determinism that Calvin taught, and hence a "secret will" interpretation. Certainly, there are going to be difficult verses from both sides. For me, the most difficult is Acts 13:48, which I will soon start a Blog on.

Yours truly,
Richard

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Anonymous #2,

I agree that eternal life is defined in John 17, not so much as a destination, but a state of being, that is, knowing God, as per John 17:2-3. However, one thing to keep in mind, is that knowing God in the ginosko sense invovles relationship. Consider 1st Corinthians 6:16-17 where just as the husband and wife become one flesh, so too does the believer become "one spirit" with God, in what I feel is akin to the ginosko sense of spiritual intimacy. In other words, I would explain it from the perspective that Jesus is praying for the spiritual intimacy, with the Father, for believers, rather than unbelievers.

If John 17 had stated that Jesus does not pray for the world to "believe in Him," then I would have to concede. But since He mentions eternal life, I offer the aforementioned.

Yours truly,
Richard

P.S. I encourage both of you to start your own Blogs.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

When I encourage you to create your own Blog, let me say that I think that it is an excellent way to post your daily devotions, so that your comments on message boards will not be lost.

Turretinfan said...

Dear EC,

You seem to be conflating your views and those of your Calvinist objects of critique.

Calvinists do believe that the Father gave the son the elect to save.

Calvinists do also believe that all of Creation belongs to God. Thus, God can give salvation to whomever God chooses.

God chose the elect, and gave them to Christ. Christ will not lose any of those whom God has given to Him, but will raise them up at the last day.

God's choice is not based on merit, but on His love and His good pleasure.

Thus, we are saved by grace, not works.

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Turretinfan,

In terms of the giving, consider John 14:6 which teaches that no one comes to the Father, but by Jesus.

Eph 1:4 teaches that we are chosen in Christ. Notice that it doesn't say that we are chosen INTO Christ, or that we are chosen TO BE in Christ, or chosen TO BECOME in Christ. Rather, we are chosen IN Christ. In other words, we hav an election with the Father on the basis of our position in His Son, and that's the point of Adrian Rogers that you will find on my website.

So here's what I am driving at... I believe that Calvinistic Election is first and foremost, IN THE FATHER, such that those whom God the Father has chosen in Himself, He deems "the elect" of the eternal flock of the Father, and it is these that He has chosen INTO Christ and given TO BECOME in Christ, at the appointed time.

So have I accurately reflected the views of Calvinistic Election?

Turretinfan said...

Dear EC,
You wrote:
"In terms of the giving, consider John 14:6 which teaches that no one comes to the Father, but by Jesus."

John 14:6 should be viewed in light of John 14:2, which shows us that John 14:2-6 is speaking about coming to the Father in heaven.
(recall Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. and Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth)
Thus, Jesus is saying that no one gets to heaven but by Jesus.
You continued:
"Eph 1:4 teaches that we are chosen in Christ. Notice that it doesn't say that we are chosen INTO Christ, or that we are chosen TO BE in Christ, or chosen TO BECOME in Christ. Rather, we are chosen IN Christ. In other words, we hav an election with the Father on the basis of our position in His Son, and that's the point of Adrian Rogers that you will find on my website."

I note that you dismiss:
- INTO Christ, or
- TO BE in Christ, or
- TO BECOME in Christ,
But then, after noting that verse says only "in Christ" you yourself add:
- ON THE BASIS OF OUR POSITION in Christ,
which, using the same in haec verba reasoning, is also not what the verse says.
The verse plainly says, in context:
Ephesians 1:3-7
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

In this context, we can see that "in Christ" is the way in which God's blessings are implemented, not the position or location of believers at the time of the choice.
Compare:
3: Blessed us (with all spiritual blessings) in Christ
4: Chosen us in him ... to be holy and blameless.
5: Predestinated us unto adoption ... by Jesus Christ
6: Made us accepted in the beloved
7: In Him we have redemption and forgiveness

The sense of "in" here is instrumental.

In other words, verse 6 is not saying that "at the time we are chosen we are located at the corner of Christ and fifth avenue," but that we are chosen to be blameless by the agency of Christ.

You concluded:
"So here's what I am driving at... I believe that Calvinistic Election is first and foremost, IN THE FATHER, such that those whom God the Father has chosen in Himself, He deems "the elect" of the eternal flock of the Father, and it is these that He has chosen INTO Christ and given TO BECOME in Christ, at the appointed time. So have I accurately reflected the views of Calvinistic Election?"

No. Although I apppreciate that you are interested in doing so.
He has chosen us to be blameless through the instrumentality of the Son.
When we were chosen, we did not exist. We were nowhere. We were chosen before the foundation of the world. We did not yet exist then. Election is not just prior to individual existence but to the collective existence of creation. All that existed when God chose us was God.

Praise be to God for His Sovereign choice,

-Turretinfan

P.S. I've posted this in slightly more readable form on my own blog, if you want to reply through my comments or your own, I leave to your discretion.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Hello Turretinfan,

I would like to make 3 posts, in order to isolate John 14:6, Eph 1:4, and then in the 3rd post, give you a series of quotes from John Calvin and James White for your review.

1) While you may link John 14:2, in terms of heaven, you should also consider linking John 14:10-11, where it speaks of having access to the Father, not just when we get to heaven, but also right now. Notice how John 14:11 very closely relates to 1st John 2:24, which states that if you abide in the Son, then you abide in the Father, also. By the principle of mutual inclusion, when you become in Christ, you become in the Father, also, because the Father is in the Son. That’s why when Jesus makes His abode in you, as per Rev 3:20, it’s simultaneously a matter of BOTH the Father and Son abiding in you, as per John 14:23.

2) The phrase “comes to,” found at John 14:6, is also found at John 6:35, where it is linked with “believes in.” The “comes to” phrase is also found at John 6:37, John 6:44 and John 6:45.

All of this adds up to one thing, that when you are sealed in Christ, you have access, and come to the Father, not just when you get to heaven, but right now, and I think that is the jist of John 14:10-11. I feel that when you restrict John 14:6 to heaven, you lose this vital meaning.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Here is the Ephesians 1:4 post.

You wrote: “In this context, we can see that ‘in Christ’ is the way in which God's blessings are implemented, not the position or location of believers at the time of the choice.”

However, “in Christ” is also where God’s blessings are housed. Recall Eph 1:6 which states that God has freely bestowed these things upon us, in the storehouse of "in the Beloved." (Eph 1:6) In other words, the place of God’s grace is ‘in His Son.’ Your access to the Father’s blessings are found in the ‘place’ of His Son, in the Beloved. When you come to the Son, there you find the storehouse of God’s blessings. Whoever believes in Him, has eternal life, as per God the Father. In Christ, is the place where you find God’s grace. That’s what I’m trying to get at. However, I feel that Calvinism has set up another place for God’s grace, and that is ‘in the Father,’ with the end result, that these become appointed *to become* in Christ, such as grace flowing down-river to the Son, which in contrast, Arminianism states that the *source* of the river of God’s grace, ‘begins’ in Christ. The accusation against Calvinism is that it teaches that certain people were eternally plugged in to the Father, and eternally reconciled in the secret counsel of God, before they were ever in the Beloved, that is, in Christ. Arminianism, on the other hand, teaches that your election by the Father as God’s people, is on the basis of being in Christ, i.e. chosen in Christ (Eph 1:4), such that when you are sealed in Christ, as per Eph 1:13, you are joined into the body of Christ, as a holy and elect body. That’s Arminian election and it seems to be very glorifying of Jesus. Now some may say, no, because faith in Christ gives us reason to boast before God, but that view does not seem to sit well with Romans 3:27.

You wrote: “we are chosen to be blameless by the agency of Christ” You add: “He has chosen us to be blameless through the instrumentality of the Son.”

4 more times you go on to mention “chosen” and in each case, disconnect “in Christ.” Eph 1:4 teaches that we are chosen *in Christ* “to be holy and blameless before Him.” The Arminian argument is that when you detach Christ, you undermine the basis for God’s election. Arminians explain the eternal nature of election in Christ from the perspective of Romans 8:29, and I have a write-up for that verse.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/Romans8_29.html

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Here are a series of quotes, and I’d like for you to consider each one, and tell me if you feel that they point to an election whereby God has chosen us "in Himself," that is, in the Father:

James White writes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because *the Father*, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, *gave me to the Son in eternity past*.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306, emphasis mine)

James White writes: “God elects a specific people *unto Himself* without reference to anything they do. This means the basis of God’s choice of the elect is solely *within Himself*: His grace, His mercy, His will.” (The Potter’s Freedom, p.39, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes: “Paul further confirms this, declaring that God was moved by no external cause; He Himself and *in Himself* was author and cause of our being elected while yet we were not created, and of His afterwards conferring faith upon us.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “Then, when Paul lays down as the unique cause of election the good pleasure of God which He has *in Himself*, he excludes all other causes.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “Christ therefore is for us the bright mirror of the eternal and hidden election of God, and also the earnest and pledge. ... We see here that *God begins with Himself* when He sees fit to elect us....” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.127, emphasis mine)

Calvin adds: “The calling is therefore a certain and specific calling, which seals and ratifies the eternal election of God so as to make manifest what was before *hidden in God*.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.70, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “First he points out the eternity of election, and then how we should think of it. Christ says that the elect always belonged to God. God therefore distinguishes them from the reprobate, not by faith, nor by any merit, but by pure grace; for *while they are far away from him*, he regards them *in secret as his own*.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.393, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “*God has chosen His own* to be holy and without blame (Eph 1:4).” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.134, emphasis mine)

Turretinfan said...

Dear EC,

I'll try to respond to each of your posts. Thanks for so diligently responding. I'll simultaneously respond via my blog, so you can pick whichever format is an easier read.

You provide eight quotations (two from Dr. White, six from Calvin)


First quotation:
James White writes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because *the Father*, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, *gave me to the Son in eternity past*.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306, emphasis mine)

I did not check the accuracy of this quotation. If I have more time later, I will come back to check the accuracy of the quotation.

The emphasized portion is that "the Father ... gave me to the Son in eternity past." This does not refer to Dr. White's location or position. It has to do with possession. Dr. White can come to Christ because He belongs to Christ. Dr. White is Christ's because the Father gave Dr. White to Christ.

Second Quotation:
James White writes: “God elects a specific people *unto Himself* without reference to anything they do. This means the basis of God’s choice of the elect is solely *within Himself*: His grace, His mercy, His will.” (The Potter’s Freedom, p.39, emphasis mine)

I did not check the accuracy of this quotation. If I have more time later, I will come back to check the accuracy of the quotation.

The emphasized portion is that "God elects ... unto Himself
[upon a basis that is] solely within Himself." This does not
refer to position or location of the people. The "unto Himself" refers to connection and relationship, and the "within Himself" does not refer to the people at all. In fact that latter distinction is the very point that Dr. White is trying to make: God chooses us NOT based on us, but on HIM. It does not speak about a location or position of the elect people.

Third Quotation:
John Calvin writes: “Paul further confirms this, declaring that God was moved by no external cause; He Himself and *in Himself* was author and cause of our being elected while yet we were not created, and of His afterwards conferring faith upon us.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

My version has this selection on p. 46. The full quotation reads: "Paul then proceeds to declare that " God abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence, according to the riches of His grace, having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself." Thou hearest in these words, reader, the grace of illumination, flowing like a river from the fountain of that eternal counsel which had been before hidden. Far, very far, is this removed from the idea that God had any respect to our faith in choosing us, which faith could not possibly have existed except that God had then appointed it for us by the free grace of His adoption of us. And Paul further confirms all this by declaring that God was moved by no external cause--by no cause out of Himself in the choice of us; but that He Himself, in Himself, was the cause and the author of choosing His people, not yet created or born, as those on whom He would afterwards confer faith: " According to the purpose of Him (saith the apostle) who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. i. 11)."

The emphasized portion is saying that God's decision was internal, not based on us, but upon God (much like Dr. White's second quotation, above). It does not speak about a location or position of the elect people.

Fourth Quotation:

Calvin writes: “Then, when Paul lays down as the unique cause of election the good pleasure of God which He has *in Himself*, he excludes all other causes.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

In my version, this selection is found at pp. 45-46, and the full quotation reads: "Again, 'God did not (says he) choose us because we believed, but in order that we might believe, lest we should appear to have first chosen Him. Paul loudly declares that our very beginning to be holy is the fruit and effect of election. They act most preposterously, therefore, who put election after faith.' He further observes, 'When Paul lays down, as the sole cause of election, that good pleasure of God which He had in Himself, he excludes all other causes whatsoever.' Augustine, therefore, rightly admonishes us ever to go back to that first great cause of election, lest we should be inclined to boast of the good pleasure of our own will!"

Thus, for proper attribution it should be clear that Calvin is quoting Augustine in the portion you quoted.

The emphasized portion is saying the same thing as the Second and Third Quotations above: God's decision was internal, not based on us, but upon God. It does not speak about a location or position of the elect people.

Fifth Quotation:

Calvin writes: “Christ therefore is for us the bright mirror of the eternal and hidden election of God, and also the earnest and pledge. ... We see here that *God begins with Himself* when He sees fit to elect us....” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.127, emphasis mine)

In my copy the pagination is pp. 132-33, and the quotation is "Christ, therefore, is the clear glass in which we are called upon to behold the eternal and hidden election of God; and of that election He is also the earnest. But the eye, by which we behold that eternal life which God sets before us in this glass, is faith. And the hand by which we lay hold of this earnest and pledge is faith. If any will have the matter more plainly stated, let them take it thus: election precedes faith as to its Divine order, but it is seen and understood by faith. What I here just touch upon, however, readers will find more fully explained in my "Institutes." Hence Christ, when dwelling on the eternal election of His own in the counsel of the Father, points out, at the same time, the ground on which their confidence may safely rest; where He says, " I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word " ( John xvii. 6). We see here that God begins with Himself, when He condescends to choose us and give us to Christ. But He will have us begin with Christ, if we would know that we are numbered among His " peculiar people." God the Father is said to have given us to His Son, to the end that each one of His chosen might enjoy the knowledge that he is an heir of His heavenly kingdom as long as he abides in Christ, out of whom death and destruction beset us on every side. Christ is therefore said to " manifest the name" of the Father unto us, because He seals on our hearts by His Spirit, the knowledge of our election by the Father, which is openly declared unto us by the voice of the Gospel of the Son."

The emphasized portion is saying the same thing as the last few quotations: God's decision was internal, not based on us, but upon God. It does not speak about a location or position of the elect people.

Sixth Quotation:

Calvin adds: “The calling is therefore a certain and specific calling, which seals and ratifies the eternal election of God so as to make manifest what was before *hidden in God*.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.70, emphasis mine)

In my copy the pagination is p. 48, not 70. The entire quotation, in my version, is: "The calling of God, therefore, is a certain special calling, which so seals and ratifies His eternal election, as to manifest openly what was before hidden in God concerning each one so called."

Nevertheless, the emphasized portion is saying that calling makes known God's secret plan. When God acts, He reveals what He planned to do. Prior to that those details of His plan are secret. Thus, what is "hidden in God" is the plan. It does not speak about a location or position of the elect people.

Seventh Quotation:

Calvin writes: “First he points out the eternity of election, and then how we should think of it. Christ says that the elect always belonged to God. God therefore distinguishes them from the reprobate, not by faith, nor by any merit, but by pure grace; for *while they are far away from him*, he regards them *in secret as his own*.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.393, emphasis mine)

I did not check the accuracy of this quotation. If I have more time later, I will come back to check the accuracy of the quotation.

The unemphasized context here is discussing possession ("belonged to God"). In the emphasized portion,
Calvin is making the point that God views us as His special possession (secretly) even when we are positionally distant from Him. Thus, outwardly we were His enemy, but secretly we were the elect.


Eighth Quotation:

Calvin writes: “*God has chosen His own* to be holy and without blame (Eph 1:4).” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.134, emphasis mine)

In my copy, the pagination is p. 143 (not 134). And, at least in my version, Calvin includes a quotation around "holy and without blame" and does not include the parenthetical "(Eph. 1:4)." Perhaps we may suggest that the editor of your version was sloppy. I do not have a copy of the original Latin to check to see.

In my version, the quotation read: "But God has chosen His own for the very end that they might be 'holy and without blame.'" In view of the correct quotation, it should be clear that Calvin is saying God has chosen the elect (his special possession in the discussion of the quotations above)
with the goal of making them holy. How God does this (in Christ) is not discussed by Calvin. Neither is any position or location of the elect.

Possession, not position, dear Ec.

May our Redeemer be Praised!

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Sorry for the delay,

Thanks for taking the time to go through each quote and provide a comment.

In terms of possession vs. position, let me ask you about 1st John 2:24 which states: "If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."

As Christians, we talk about being "in Christ." Paul invoked this phrase quite often. However, here at 1st John 2:24, we have a mention of being "in the Father."

Quetion: What does being "in the Father" mean to you, and when do you think that you were first "in the Father"?

Turretinfan said...

Sorry that it has taken a while to respond.

Your first post aims to address my comments on John 14:6 and includes two main points and a conclusion:

You begin (first main point): "1) While you may link John 14:2, in terms of heaven, you should also consider linking John 14:10-11, where it speaks of having access to the Father, not just when we get to heaven, but also right now. Notice how John 14:11 very closely relates to 1st John 2:24, which states that if you abide in the Son, then you abide in the Father, also. By the principle of mutual inclusion, when you become in Christ, you become in the Father, also, because the Father is in the Son. That’s why when Jesus makes His abode in you, as per Rev 3:20, it’s simultaneously a matter of BOTH the Father and Son abiding in you, as per John 14:23."

I respond:
The reason that I don't view John 14:10-11 as the immediate context (for interpretation) of John 14:6 is that it is separated from John 14:6 by Philip's request in John 14:8:

John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

John 14:9-11 is a response to Philip's request, and conveys the sense that if you want to see the Father look at Jesus for they are one in their acts and words. Thus, Jesus acts by the power and authority of the Father, and the Father speaks by the mouth of the Son.

John 14:9-11
9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

The point is that the works show the Father's power.

Likewise, when we get down to verse 23,

John 14:19-26
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He 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. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Jesus is, as anyone can see, responding to Judas' (not Iscariot) question regarding how God will manifest himself to them and not the world. Contrary to EC's suggestion above, John 14:23 does not speak of us being located in the Father and Christ. Instead, it suggests that if we love God and obey His commandments, the Father and Christ will be near to us. Notice "abide with." "with" here is the Greek preposition para, which suggests proximity.

Recall the weeping prophet's words:

Lamentations 3:55-57
55I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. 56Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.


You also mention I John 2:24, that verse is shown below, in context.

1 John 2:20-28
20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

The point of the passage is that they have received an annointing (unction) of the Holy Spirit and therefore they know "all" (vs. 20) meaning specifically that they know that the truth (vs. 21) that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Father (vs. 22) and that He and the Father are one (vs. 23). Verse 24 provides a blessing/command (depending how you look at it) that what they have heard stay in them - and the promise that if what they have heard stays with them,
they will also stay "in the Father and the Son." This is a quasi-positional analogy - which should point us to John 15:3-4. The idea is that we stay in the Son, much like branch stay in the vine, receiving their life from Him.

This has to do with the Christian life: for note that these are not pre-believers, but believers. This passage is talking about the relationship of dependence that we have on Christ and the Father, not about election and predestination before we were born.

You continue (second main point):"2) The phrase “comes to,” found at John 14:6, is also found at John 6:35, where it is linked with “believes in.” The “comes to” phrase is also found at John 6:37, John 6:44 and John 6:45."

I'm glad we can agree that we come to the Father and Son by faith.

You concluded the first post with: "All of this adds up to one thing, that when you are sealed in Christ, you have access, and come to the Father, not just when you get to heaven, but right now, and I think that is the jist of John 14:10-11. I feel that when you restrict John 14:6 to heaven, you lose this vital meaning."

With due respect, John 14:10-11 can talk about one thing and John 14:6 can talk about another thing (after all, they are separated by a question from Pilip). If that's what the text indicates, we should accept it, and not try to add meanings that the text does not.

Praise be to our Glorious Savior!

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

In the Second post, you wrote: "Here is the Ephesians 1:4 post."

I had written: “In this context, we can see that ‘in Christ’ is the way in which God's blessings are implemented, not the position or location of believers at the time of the choice.”

You replied:
"However, “in Christ” is also where God’s blessings are housed. Recall Eph 1:6 which states that God has freely bestowed these things upon us, in the storehouse of "in the Beloved." (Eph 1:6) In other words, the place of God’s grace is ‘in His Son.’ Your access to the Father’s blessings are found in the ‘place’ of His Son, in the Beloved. When you come to the Son, there you find the storehouse of God’s blessings. Whoever believes in Him, has eternal life, as per God the Father. In Christ, is the place where you find God’s grace. That’s what I’m trying to get at. However, I feel that Calvinism has set up another place for God’s grace, and that is ‘in the Father,’ with the end result, that these become appointed *to become* in Christ, such as grace flowing down-river to the Son, which in contrast, Arminianism states that the *source* of the river of God’s grace, ‘begins’ in Christ. The accusation against Calvinism is that it teaches that certain people were eternally plugged in to the Father, and eternally reconciled in the secret counsel of God, before they were ever in the Beloved, that is, in Christ. Arminianism, on the other hand, teaches that your election by the Father as God’s people, is on the basis of being in Christ, i.e. chosen in Christ (Eph 1:4), such that when you are sealed in Christ, as per Eph 1:13, you are joined into the body of Christ, as a holy and elect body. That’s Arminian election and it seems to be very glorifying of Jesus. Now some may say, no, because faith in Christ gives us reason to boast before God, but that view does not seem to sit well with Romans 3:27."

I respond:

You are mistaken regarding the sense of Ephesians 1:6. The context of Ephesians 1:6 can be seen above in the discussion of Ephesians 1:4. Ephesians 1:6 itself says:

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

As I pointed out in my exegesis of Ephesians 1:4, the "in Christ" is not a description of location or position: it is a description of the agency and instrumentality. God made us accepted by the agency of Christ: by his work - his sacrifice.

It is a fulfilling of the shadow in the Old Testament:

Ezekiel 43:27 And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.

If Christ was sacrificed upon our behalf, if He is our peace offering, then God will accept us. That is the way that we are made accepted in Christ (i.e. by the agency or instrumentality of Christ).

Your view, if I have understood it correctly, is that Christ's sacrifice did not make us accepted. Instead, Christ's sacrifice established a resevoir of potential salvation. Man taps into that potential and "gets saved." It's not a Biblical metaphor, and its not a Scriptural concept.

You seem to be imagining that Arminianism locates that resevoir of potential salvation at the location "Christ" and that Calvinism places the resevoir of potential salvation at the location "Father." That is not an accurate description of Calvinism or Scriptural theology.

Calvinism rejects the idea of Christ's work being potential. Christ's work, as described in Scripture, is actual not potential. He is names is Jesus, because His mission is to save: not to make salvation possible. As the first part of the verse clearly states: "He hath made us accepted" (past tense in English, aorist in Greek).

Now, the reader should know that "made accepted" is the English translation of the Greek word charitoo. The only other example of this verb is in Luke 1:28:

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

The verb is used there in a participle construction, the details of which don't particularly matter. The point is that the "favoured" in that verse is the translation of the same word. And Paul is saying in this verse (Ephesians 1:6) that God has charito-ed us by the agency and instrumentality of Christ. We have been brought into favor with God by Christ. That is the sense in which "in Christ" is meant here.

But you seem to be very lodged on the idea of a potential salvation. I think the electricity example that EC provided is an excellent example of the Arminian (I'm using the term loosely, because there are few actual Arminians out there today) mindset. The Arminian views the result of the cross as the creation of a battery with all this voltage (electric potential) sitting it. Man - by his sovereign free will - plugs into the battery and closes the circuit, becoming saved (the lightbulb goes on). As noted above, this is nothing like the Calvinistic view of salvation. The Calvinistic view of salvation is like the Old Testament ceremonies:

Leviticus 4:20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

Christ, the perfect high priest and the perfect sacrifice, makes an atonement for His people: the elect, the called. In consequence of this sacrifice God forgives the sins of those for whom the atonement is made. That's how the sacrificial system works. The priest doesn't create a laver of blood from which people who choose to be atoned-for approach and accept by free-will. There were lavers, but they were not for blood. There is no shadow or type of a potential salvation: the concept is foreign both to the Old Testament shadows and types and the New Testament reality.

One final remark: You concluded with a comment, "That’s Arminian election and it seems to be very glorifying of Jesus."

It's not a particularly relevant remark because we have seen that the underlying premise (that Calvinism moves the potential from Jesus to the Father) is fundamentally flawed. Nevertheless, I would like to point out one thing: it appears that the argument is that Arminian theology glorifies Jesus RATHER THAN the Father. Perhaps that was not was intended. If it was intended, we should point out that Jesus would not approve, for Jesus believes that our salvation glorifies the Father in the eyes of everyone:

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

And Jesus viewed His own work as the way to glorify the Father:

John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

And again:

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Which naturally leads us to recall as well:

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Now, notice that "in the Son" here again is the instrumental "in." It is not positional: the Father is not located in the Son positionally: the Father is omnipresent and a Spirit: He is everywhere but does not have the quality of extension.
In case anyone is wondering, Paul spoke the same thing:

Romans 15:5-7
5Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Notice that Paul is ascribing their holiness to the Father, and claim that their holiness and spiritual union glorify the Father.

You continued, noting that I wrote: “we are chosen to be blameless by the agency of Christ” and “He has chosen us to be blameless through the instrumentality of the Son.”

You responded:

"4 more times you go on to mention “chosen” and in each case, disconnect “in Christ.” Eph 1:4 teaches that we are chosen *in Christ* “to be holy and blameless before Him.” The Arminian argument is that when you detach Christ, you undermine the basis for God’s election. Arminians explain the eternal nature of election in Christ from the perspective of Romans 8:29, and I have a write-up for that verse."(link to the writeup of Romans 8 omitted)

Here, I must respectfully disagree. I did not "disconnect" "in Christ" I supplied the sense of "in Christ" when I wrote "by the agency of Christ" and "through the instrumentality of the Son." I reject the "positional" and "locational" ideas as:
a) bizarre: how can non-existent things have a position or location?
b) unnecessary: there is an evident, reasonable alternative: agency and instrumentality.
c) unprecedented: there is no corresponding Old Testament type of potential salvation.
d) anthropocentric: the position appears to be motivated by an emphasis on man's "free-will" as opposed to God's sovereignty.
e) Counter-Scriptural

For Scripture tells that Christ is the author (agent) of our salvation:

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

May the author (agent) of our Salvation be praised!

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

You responded to the Third post thus (pleasantries omitted):

"In terms of possession vs. position, let me ask you about 1st John 2:24 which states: "If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."As Christians, we frequently talk about being "in Christ." (Romans 8:1; 2nd Cor 5:17, ect) Paul often invoked this phrase."

"However, here at 1st John 2:24, we have mention of being "in the Father."Quetion: What does being "in the Father" mean to you, and when do you think that you were "in the Father" in the sense that 1st John 2:24 conveys? In other words, do you believe that you were "in the Father" in the sense that 1st John 2:24 conveys, from before the foundation of the world? In other words, do you believe that you were eternally "in the Father", with God having chosen you in Himself, with the result that He "gave" you to the Son from eternity past, as per James White?"

I respond:

As to 1st John 2:24, I refer you to my comments above with regard to the first post.

In addition:

The sense in which we are "in the Father and the Son" as per I John 2:24 is one of communion with Him. Some might like to view the analogy as being "in the sun." If you are in the sun, you will be warm, but if you are in the shade, you will be cold. It is a quasi-positional sense. It does not mean that we are on the surface of the sun, but it means that we are receiving light from the sun. It's something analogous:

Psalm 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.

Proverbs 16:15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

I disagree, however, with your characterization of Dr. White's view. Christians walk in the light ("with God" or "in the Father and Son") during their lives, after regeneration. Christians do not exist before conception, and it is before all time (in eternity past) that Father gave us (the elect) to the Son and predestined us to glory.

Praise be to our sovereign Lord,

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Turretinfan:

In terms of what you’ve characterized as the Arminian “potentiality” interpretation of the nature & scope of the atonement, let’s come back to that later, so as not get to overly sidetracked.

In terms of your characterization of “RATHER THAN,” recall that due to the principle of Mutual Inclusion, such a premise is logically impossible. I infer that we are in agreement on that point, and can proceed.

You wrote: “We have been brought into favor with God by Christ. That is the sense in which ‘in Christ’ is meant here.”

I feel that this view, truly loses much of what the Scriptures teach us on the nature of "in Christ." Therefore, here is the case that I lay out:

Ephesians 1:13 states that upon hearing & believing in the Gospel, we are “sealed” in Christ with the pledge of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, 1st Corinthians 6:16-17 additionally describes the believer in Christ as having become made “one spirit” with God, analogous to a husband & wife becoming “one flesh” with one another in physical union. The passage also touches on the Indwelling, as well as at 1st Corinthians 3:16. In summary, this gives me an overall picture of “in Christ” that I believe is far deeper than what you are letting on. In other words, we are not merely talking about “agency” and “instrumentality,” but also about spiritual union, which union, is with the Father also. (John 14:23) You may argue that that’s merely an abode “with,” but with respect to the Indwelling, as per 1st Corinthians 3:16, I see it as an abode “in,” having been made the temple of God. For instance, Paul explains in Romans chapter 8 that if Christ is NOT “in” you, then you have no part with Him. Paul adds that we are to examine ourselves, to see if Christ is truly “in” us. (2Cor 13:5) Through these verses, I see a spiritual union in terms of the Indwelling, via the sealing of Ephesians 1:13, that runs far deeper than what you let on, concerning "in Christ." Does my allegation stand?

I had asked if you believed that you were eternally “in the Father,” and that on such a hypothetical basis, “given” to the Son from eternity past, as per James White’s quote and interpretation of John 6:37, and you rejected my inference of White's interpretation, and rejected my premise of being "in Christ" and "in the Father" by the principle of Mutual Inclusion.

In terms of James White’s view of John 6:37, recall that Calvin explained that those of the alleged, eternal flock of the Father, existed in the hidden counsel of God, and were first loved on that account. Though they did not “physically” yet exist, Calvin explains that they existed in God’s mind (eternal hidden counsel), and as such, were loved from eternity past.

I find it amazing that we could be at such an impasse concerning of the nature of being “in Christ” and "in the Father." You are no doubt, convinced of your opinion, but I offer the aforementioned verses in defense. Nevertheless, if we are, in fact, at such an impasse concerning the meaning of “in Christ” and the meaning of “in the Father,” then my next question will relate to the meaning of the “sealing” of Ephesians 1:13. You are welcome to review Calvin’s interpretation in my writeup for that verse.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/Eph1_13.html

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Turretinfan:

Let me back up a bit. Do you believe in the Indwelling, and if so, what does it mean to you? Moreover, if you do believe in the Indwelling, in what way do you feel that it relates to our being "in Christ," as per Romans chapter 8?

Turretinfan said...

Very briefly in response to the first of those two comments, I still examining not Calvinism, but a hybrid of Calvinism and your own views.

I'm sure you recognize that it is fair to criticize Calvinism only when you accurately represent Calvinism.

If you are saying Calvinism says "X" and Calvinists deny that, either you know Calvinism better than they do, or - more likely - you still don't fully grasp what Calvinists are saying.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

As to your most recent comment: I agree that Romans 8:1-17 reads thus:
Romans 8:1-17
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 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. 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. 10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But 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. 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.

I don't - because you haven't said - what sense you give your term "indwelling" and I am hesistant to simply say "yes" (though that would be accurate) because I suspect that you would take that to mean that I agree with your understanding of that term, which I cannot promise, since I don't know what your view of that term is.

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Turretinfan,

By The Indwelling, I refer to Romans 9 where it is said that the Holy Spirit "dwells" in us, where v.10 adds that Christ is "in you." 1Cor 3:16 adds that "you are a temple of God" on account of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. And here is the main kicker, 1Cor 6:16-17 states:

"Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, 'The two shall become one flesh.' But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him."

Therefore, do you accept that "in the Son" and "in the Father" can carry the meaning of being sealed in Christ as "one spirit" with God, whereby the Spirit of God dwells in you? (Yes/No?)

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Typo: The verse reference is Romans 8:9.

Turretinfan said...

If I must answer with a "yes" or "no" the answer will be "no." But I do agree that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us.

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Turretinfan:

As per Eph 1:13, what does "sealed in Him" mean to you?

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Let me clarify: What does "sealed in Him" mean, in relation to "in Christ"?

Turretinfan said...

Dear EC:
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The relationship between "in whom" and "sealed with that holy Spirit" is that the seal is made by Christ's power and instrumentality. The Spirit, after all, eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son. And the verse is confirming the unity of the Trinity - particularly of the persons of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

-Turretinfan

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Turretinfan:

To me, sealed in Christ is akin to being branded in Christ with the inward mark of the Holy Spirit, whereupon He takes up residence within the believer, as the believer is made "one spirit" with God, when two become one, as per 1Cor 6:16-17. I'd be interested in hearing your take on Calvin's interpretation:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/Eph1_13.html

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Turretinfan:

You wrote: "I do agree that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us."

Do you believe that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us before we hear, believe and are sealed in Christ, as per Eph 1:13? If you answer "yes," then aren't you professing a doctrine whereby unbelievers have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? How would that sit with John 3:18 whereby unbelievers remain judged?