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MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/election/elmss7.sam.htm
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part II: Examining Scripture On The Will-Related Doctrines
Chapter I: Examining God's Election Throughout Scripture
B. The New Testament AND Final Conclusion On Election In Scripture
- Since we corrected the major views on God's election relative to faith and justification through an inductive Bible study, we view how election is taught in the rest of Scripture to understand it better.
- We CONTINUE by viewing New Testament WORDS and PASSAGES key to the election debate.
- This word appears three times in the New Testament only in the middle voice to mean "to prefer, to select for one's self," Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 23.
- It is used of God only in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 where we found in our previous inductive Bible study that it speaks of God's choice of believers to participate in Christ's glory through the rapture.
- Yet, we learned in that study this choice depended on the faith the Thessalonians expressed in Christ.
- Thus, this word's use offers nothing substantive regarding the authorship of human will in justification.
- Eklegomai means "to pick or single out," Liddell & Scott, A Grk.-Eng. Lex., 9th rev. ed., p. 511.
- Just why the New Testament writers utilized it might be explained from its use in the Maccabean era:
- Hebrews in the Maccabean era went beyond thinking of God's election to result in current blessings to mean future blessings when God overthrew oppressive Gentile rulers, T.D.N.T., v. IV, p. 170.
- Hence, the Damascus document of that era asserted God chose (eklegomai) the sons of Zadok, the Levites and priests, a special group who heeded God to be ordained to eternal life, Ibid., p. 171-172.
- One might claim this document supports the view God chose some to believe, but Schrenk footnotes his reference to this Damascus document, writing: "Yahweh foreknows the deeds of the righteous and the wicked, but they are not foreordained to election or perdition." (Ibid., p. 171, ftn. #106)
- Also, as New Testament writers taught eternal life was granted at justification, the Damascus document offers nothing substantive on the authorship of human will in justification.
- The New Testament passages using eklegomai of God's election fail to address human will authorship:
- Acts 1:24 and 15:7 at first appear to imply God elected the apostles to justification; however, as Luke 6:13 implies, the selection of the twelve was made out of a larger group of disciples, some of whom were women who followed Christ all the way from Galilee to His tomb, Matt. 27:55-56.
- Acts 13:17 and Mark 13:20 reveal God's choice of Israel and Tribulation saints respectively, but they do not supply information that proves the election involved resulted in justification.
- 1 Corinthians 1:27ff, Ephesians 1:4 and James 2:5 are used of God's election, but none of these passages supply information to prove justification is election's goal.
- Thus, the use of eklegomai in Scripture offers no insight on the authorship of will in justification.
- Meaning "chosen, select," the Septuagint associates this word with the Hebrew, bahar, cf. Ibid., A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N.T., p. 242; Hatch & Redpath, A Conc. to the LXX, vol. I, p. 435 and 437.
- Of the three N.T. passages using eklektos possibly to tie God's election to justification, Matthew 20:16 and 22:14 offer no evidence that justification is actually the result of the divine elective act involved.
- The third passage, 2 Timothy 2:10 mentions the salvation the elect will gain. Yet, Paul could have meant physical salvation as we before learned "salvation" denotes in 2 Thess. 2:13, or Paul might have alluded to justification without creating a cause-effect relation between election and justification.
- We are left looking to other passages for proof regarding who authors the human will in justification.
- 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
- This passage teaches God chose many insignificant people for various gracious divine exaltations.
- Yet, it supplies no insight into what caused their belief in Christ other than the fact that they believed.
- Like the others, this passage fails to supply insight on how faith is authored in the justification process.
- Conclusion on the New Testament - The New Testament's words and passages all function in support of our view that God's election deals only with His choice of those who belong to Him to be blessed.
- Final Conclusion On Election In Scripture - The New Testament writers did NOT ADVANCE the OLD Testament view of divine election; THROUGHOUT Scripture, election relates to God's choice of those viewed by Him ALREADY in relation to Him for blessings BASED UPON that relationship.