Friday, February 2, 2007

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.

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