BRIEFLY CORRECTING ERRANT VIEWS ON DIVINE ELECTION
II. Biblically Redefining Divine Election
(1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4-5)
A. Many believers struggle to understand and/or to accept the teachings they hear or read about divine election.
B. Actually, much error exists on the doctrine, so it needs to be explained in a brief but thorough, Biblical way.
C. We thus offer a seven-lesson series on election, and in this second lesson, we Biblically redefine the doctrine:
II. Biblically Redefining Divine Election, 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4-5.
A. We before learned that Arminians (and Amyraldians), Calvinists and Moderate Calvinists all view election as resulting in justification, what leaves election or faith unneeded and in conflict with the Bible's inerrancy.
B. Thus, to discern the true definition of election, we study three Scripture passages and avoid these errant views:
1. We study 1 Peter 1:1-2 KJV as follows:
a. The goal of election in 1 Peter 1:2 is stated to be "unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," the goal that each major, errant view on election named in "II, A" above claims to be justification!
b. However, since making justification the goal of election leaves either election or faith errantly needless, we seek a different interpretation, and in doing so, we note that Peter wrote to the "dispersion" (1 Peter 1:1a ESV), that is, to Jews. If we then study the Old Testament, we find only one passage on people being sprinkled with blood to obey God – Exodus 24:6-8 where Moses sprinkled Israel's people for a holy walk.
c. Thus, 1 Peter 1:1-2 must teach God's election of believers in Christ unto a holy walk!
2. We study 2 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV as follows:
a. This verse teaches that God chose believers unto "salvation," but "salvation" here cannot be justification, for as we stated in "II, B, 1, b" above, that goal would make either election or faith errantly unnecessary.
b. We thus seek a different interpretation and find that "salvation" translates the Greek noun sotaria, what can mean either "justification" (Luke 19:9) or "deliverance from enemies" (Acts 7:25) or "preservation of earthly life" (Hebrews 11:7), Moulton & Milligan, A Con. to the Grk; Test., 4th rev. ed., p. 931-932.
c. Paul's readers in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 were not worried about their justification status, but about facing the Tribulation, and 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 uses sotaria to depict the future deliverance of believers, Ibid.
d. Accordingly, God's election in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 must result in the future physical deliverance of believers in Christ from the Tribulation period through means of the pretribulation rapture!
3. We study Ephesians 1:4-5 KJV as follows:
a. This passage claims that God chose those He foreknew before the creation of the world unto the goal of being holy and blameless "before" Him, having predestined them unto the adoption as sons through Christ.
b. This goal cannot be justification, for we noted in "II, B, 1, b" above that such a goal is an errant one!
c. We thus seek a different interpretation, and in doing so, we note that the Greek word katenopion that is translated as the second "before" in Ephesians 1:4 KJV in secular use always means "physical presence," never a "viewpoint." (U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 664; Liddell & Scott, Grk.-Eng. Lex., p. 422; Moulton & Milligan, The Voc. of the Grk. N. T., p. 335, 220; Hatch & Redpath, A Con. to the Sept., vol. II, p. 749)
d. In addition, katenopion is clearly used in Jude 24 in the literal sense to describe glorified believers in God's heavenly presence. (U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 835)
e. Also, though the word "adoption" at Ephesians 1:5 can refer to spiritual son placing at justification (Galatians 4:5), it can also refer to the physical glorification of the body at the rapture! (Romans 8:23)
f. Since we must avoid the errant Arminian (and Amyraldian), Calvinist and Moderate Calvinist interpretations for Ephesians 1:4-5 where election results in justification, we conclude that (i) the second "before" in Ephesians 1:4 KJV refers to God's presence in heaven, (ii) "adoption" refers to the body's translation at the rapture and (iii) "holy and blameless" describes the glorified state of believers in heaven.
g. Thus, Ephesians 1:4-5 claims that God chose believers in Christ to be glorified in His heavenly presence, having predestined them unto the body's translation at the rapture so they could be fit to enter heaven!
C. Thus, divine election is God's choice of those He foreknew in Christ to blessings that follow their justification!
Lesson: God's election does not result in justification like Arminians (with Amyraldians), Calvinists and Moderate Calvinists teach, but it is God's choice of those He foreknew as justified unto blessings that follow justification.
Application: May we view divine election as not resulting in justification, but in God's blessings that follow it.