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?

Sealed in Christ

Question: Does Calvinism teach that those of the alleged, eternal flock of the Father, somehow become in Christ, before they are sealed in Christ?

Consider Ephesians 1:13 which states: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."

Listened to the Gospel, believed in the Gospel, sealed in Christ. That is the order of operations.

So what is in Christ? In Him, there is Redemption (Romans 8:1) and Regeneration (Titus 3:5), that is, the washing of regeneration, through which the old creature in Adam passes away, and is crucified with Christ, and a new creature in Christ now lives, and is born again in its place. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 states: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." However, just as Calvinism teaches at Ephesians 1:4, that "the elect" are chosen in Christ, similarly, at Ephesians 1:13, Calvinism teaches that "the elect" are sealed in Christ. Calvinists often put Calvinism into a verse, in order to get Calvinism out of a verse.

What Calvinism teaches about Regeneration is that those of the alleged, eternal flock of the Father, are preemptively placed in Christ and thus given access to what is in Christ, namely, regeneration to becoming the new creature, so that by the new heart received in the new birth, they might irresistibly believe in the Gospel, as in Irresistible Grace. It is extremely important to remember that Calvinistic Preemptive placement in Christ, is not about opening hearts (Acts 16:14), but about changing hearts, so that by the new heart and new spirit received in Christ, those of the alleged, eternal flock of the Father, may irresistibly repent.

Calvinist, James White, who states: “When the time comes in God’s sovereign providence to bring to spiritual life each of those for whom Christ died, the Spirit of God will not only effectively accomplish that work of regeneration but that new creature in Christ will, unfailingly, believe in Jesus Christ (‘all that the Father gives Me will come to Me’).” (Debating Calvinism, p.191, emphasis mine)

So you can clearly see that Calvinism teaches that a person is preemptively placed in Christ, and is made a new creature, in order to irresistibly believe. This is exactly what I've been alleging about Calvinistic, preemptive placement in Christ. Yet, can an unbeliever, who is condemned (John 3:18), be preemptively placed in Christ where there is no condemnation? Romans 8:1 states: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Thus, you cannot, in any way, be in Christ among the redeemed, while being an unbeliever, condemned in Adam. The two are mutually exclusive, and hence, a cardinal teaching of Calvinism appears to implode.

The Arminian alternative is that a person becomes in Christ, only upon becoming sealed in Christ, and thus receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, through which the believer receives regeneration, new birth, sanctification, ect.

Step 1) Hears Gospel
Step 2) Believes Gospel
Step 3) Sealed in Christ
Step 4) Born Again, New Creature, Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, one spirit with God.

The Holy Spirit takes believers and seals them in Christ. Close the envelope, attach the seal, they’re now in Christ, and you can count them as Redeemed.


Step 1) Born again in Christ
Step 2) Hears GospelStep
3) Believes GospelStep
4) Sealed in Christ

Step 1 and 4 shows just how dysfunctional Calvinism truly is, by placing unbelievers preemptively in Christ, in order to access what is IN Christ, namely a new heart, via regeneration, prior to being sealed in Christ.