God's Choice in the Election of Stinkers like us

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by FrozenChosen, Apr 22, 2004.

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  1. FrozenChosen

    FrozenChosen Puritan Board Freshman

    Just curious.

    In reading [i:7f1a58f7b3]Chosen by God[/i:7f1a58f7b3] Sproul kind of avoids the whole "Well, if God chose me, then why? If it's not something that is part of me, my character, doesn't that make him choose us at random?"

    I'm reading [i:7f1a58f7b3]Putting Amazing Back Into Grace[/i:7f1a58f7b3] and Horton doesn't terribly answer it, but I just put the book down to post this...

    I'm sure this is a very easy question for you guys, but if God does not choose us at random, nor does he choose us on our merits, when and under what circumstances does he choose us?

    Would an appropriate analogy relate it to some kind of production, with God as the screenwriter, director, producer, etc. and he creates our characters to fill what he wants the play to be like?

    :help:
     
  2. Learner

    Learner Puritan Board Freshman

    It is by His good pleasure.That is satisfying to me.
     
  3. andreas

    andreas Puritan Board Sophomore

    <<<I'm sure this is a very easy question for you guys, but if God does not choose us at random, nor does he choose us on our merits, when and under what circumstances does he choose us?>>>

    Who saved us and called us with a holy calling,not according to our works,but according to his own purpose and grace,which was given us in Christ before the world began. 2 Tim.1:9

    It is the sovereign and free choice of God alone.

    Hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy,and whom he will he hardened Rom 9:18

    Again God's sovereign choice.It all has to do with the sovereign choice of God.Some vessels are made unto honor and other vessels unto dishonor.He determines the final destiny,either to honor or dishonor,to salvation and glory,or to damnation,without regards to their works.He has absolute sovereignty.

    Why doth He yet find fault,for who hath resisted His will?
    andreas.:book:
     
  4. JWJ

    JWJ Puritan Board Freshman

    ForzenChosen,

    We are commanded to accept the Biblical answer-Because God so willed! I agree with Calvin that if we try to seek for an answer beyond the will of God then we are seeking for something higher than His will-something that of course does not exist and to do so would be blatant idolatry!

    JWJ
     
  5. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Here's a quick lesson that has helped me to understand God's personality and purpose.

    Moses asked God for His name and God replied.

    Exodus 3
    14God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

    The understanding that most take away from this somewhat difficult expression is, "I am God and nothing outside of myself determines my personality or power."

    Later on, Moses again needed a guarantee that God would not wipe out the Israelites in the desert and God gives the same name but attaches a different qualifier.

    Exodus 33
    19And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

    The clear implication here is, "I am God and nothing outside myself determines my choices."

    Keep these two things in mind and they will help you in solving many of the puzzles you will find in God's attributes and purpose.

    God's name is the key for it contains His essence. One way that we 'keep His name Holy' is by teaching his sovereignty as expressed in the giving of His name, "I AM".
    :wr51:
     
  6. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Sometimes I think that God chose us, not because of who we are or how we can fit into His plan, but rather [b:342a0c71fc]in spite of[/b:342a0c71fc] who we are. God is the potter and we are the clay; He takes the most misshapen hunks of clay and molds them for His use for His glory.

    1Co 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
     
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

    Answer:
    "that the purpose of God according to election might stand"

    Question:
    What is "[color=Blue:740f0ae2a2]the purpose of God according to election[/color:740f0ae2a2]" ?

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  8. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    He saw in his wisdom that one [i:1768bc8c31]is[/i:1768bc8c31] more suitable than another. It is better that he saves one than another. There must be some reason other than he just wanted to (don't take that out of context). God is not a whimsical God. He wanted to save one over the other because he saw in his wisdom that it was a better choice (for whatever reasons- beyond me).

    But since he has not revealed those things to us, I am satisfied knowing that it "was according to his good pleasure."
    [quote:1768bc8c31]Deuteronomy 29
    29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.[/quote:1768bc8c31]
     
  9. brymaes

    brymaes Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:bac146ef43][i:bac146ef43]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:bac146ef43]
    He saw in his wisdom that one [i:bac146ef43]is[/i:bac146ef43] more suitable than another. It is better that he saves one than another. There must be some reason other than he just wanted to (don't take that out of context). God is not a whimsical God. He wanted to save one over the other because he saw in his wisdom that it was a better choice (for whatever reasons- beyond me).[/quote:bac146ef43]

    I must disagree. There cannot be anything in us that merits election. We are all lumps of the same clay. God simply takes some (which is of the same constitution as the rest) to make vessels of honor rather than dishonor. The clay is the same, the application is different. Election rests in the [i:bac146ef43]arbitrary[/i:bac146ef43] will of God. It cannot be based on anything else. Natural man is never "suitable" for the grace of God, lest it cease to be grace.
     
  10. FrozenChosen

    FrozenChosen Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for your replies. Like I mentioned, this was something I was just curious about, since I have friends who pose these questions to me every once in a while. Again thanks for the replies.
     
  11. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    ARBITRARY!!!!!!!!???????? :eek:

    'based on or derived from uninformed opinion or random choice; capricious.'


    Come on Bryan, you know better than that. God's choice is neither uninformed nor random but it IS informed by His own infinite and wise counsel.

    I know what you mean but that was the WRONG word.
     
  12. brymaes

    brymaes Puritan Board Sophomore

    "Arbitray will" or "[i:f812d76fe4]liberum arbitrium [/i:f812d76fe4]" refers to God's unhindered and completly free will. His will is not informed by any outside circumstances. This is a perfectly good and acceptable theological expression.

    [quote:f812d76fe4]
    By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, [i:f812d76fe4]his arbitrary will[/i:f812d76fe4], restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty
    -- Jonathan Edwards, [i:f812d76fe4]Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God[/i:f812d76fe4]
    [/quote:f812d76fe4]
     
  13. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Sorry Bryan, I was using the common, everyday use of the word. You're Edwards trumps my Oxford dictionary but you should have warned me. This former alter boy appreciates the Latin though.:bs2:
     
  14. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    *looks at self in the mirror....*

    Good question.

    Don't know.

    Deut. 29:29

    I'll ask Him when I see Him.

    If He tells me, :boldblue:

    If He doesn't.....:puzzled:

    Either way..... :smilegrin:

    I figured out a long time ago that God hasn't told us the [i:b91cf88123]whole[/i:b91cf88123] story.... probably because, like He questioned Job, us trying to understand why He chose us runs analagous to *simpler* things..... like Creation. :lol:
     
  15. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Looks pretty clear to me.............

    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)


    Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
    Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

    Also, I recall there being a scripture where God is saying that Israel was chosen not because they were agreat nation or anything like that, but because God has set them apart as the apple of His eye.

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  16. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    That part (Romans 9:11, Eph. 1:3-11) I know.

    I'm talking about why ME specifically. He, as the potter, could've chosen any number of other little African-American kids floatin' around the state of Maryland, He could've put any number of situations in other people's lives to build up the same type of thought and charachter that I have (and/or lack) and gotten the same...or a BETTER result.

    Why me specifically ?

    Don't know.
     
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:4a86eb6a5e][i:4a86eb6a5e]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:4a86eb6a5e]
    [quote:4a86eb6a5e][i:4a86eb6a5e]Originally posted by OS_X[/i:4a86eb6a5e]
    That part (Romans 9:11, Eph. 1:3-11) I know.

    I'm talking about why ME specifically. He, as the potter, could've chosen any number of other little African-American kids floatin' around the state of Maryland, He could've put any number of situations in other people's lives to build up the same type of thought and charachter that I have (and/or lack) and gotten the same...or a BETTER result.

    Why me specifically ?

    Don't know. [/quote:4a86eb6a5e]

    because those other kids would not have brought Him glory!! It brought Him glory and His purpose in election stands because He chose you!:wr51:

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by Paul manata] [/quote:4a86eb6a5e]

    Paul,
    Does not -election- itself bring God glory?
     
  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Would it have brought Him any less if He left me in my sin and elected my neighbor?

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  19. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:feb78ee293][i:feb78ee293]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:feb78ee293]
    Would it have brought Him any less if He left me in my sin and elected my neighbor?

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by Scott Bushey] [/quote:feb78ee293]

    In my case, it would have brought Him less headaches, frustration and grief if He would have chosen my neighbor over me. I have given Him great cause to toss me out into eternal darkness. But now I strive to walk in fellowship with Him, day by day, to seek after His righteousness, so that others may see the effectual workings of God's grace brought about by the Holy Spirit.
     
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    ok :book:
     
  21. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:f9e2270a84][i:f9e2270a84]Originally posted by SharperSword[/i:f9e2270a84]
    [quote:f9e2270a84][i:f9e2270a84]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:f9e2270a84]
    He saw in his wisdom that one [i:f9e2270a84]is[/i:f9e2270a84] more suitable than another. It is better that he saves one than another. There must be some reason other than he just wanted to (don't take that out of context). God is not a whimsical God. He wanted to save one over the other because he saw in his wisdom that it was a better choice (for whatever reasons- beyond me).[/quote:f9e2270a84]

    I must disagree. There cannot be anything in us that merits election. We are all lumps of the same clay. God simply takes some (which is of the same constitution as the rest) to make vessels of honor rather than dishonor. The clay is the same, the application is different. Election rests in the [i:f9e2270a84]arbitrary[/i:f9e2270a84] will of God. It cannot be based on anything else. Natural man is never "suitable" for the grace of God, lest it cease to be grace. [/quote:f9e2270a84]

    Of course there was nothing in us for his choice. All I'm saying is that [i:f9e2270a84]one choice must have been better than another.[/i:f9e2270a84] He saw it in his wisdom better to choose John than Sam. His pleasure has a purpose. Only he knows it. But we do know that it has nothing to do with how good we are.

    And if he chose to choose a person who wasn't the best pick according to hidden wisdom, then he could not have taken pleasure in it.

    Rembrandt

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by rembrandt]
     
  22. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    [quote:d4c02b76ee][i:d4c02b76ee]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:d4c02b76ee]
    Of course there was nothing in us for his choice. All I'm saying is that [i:d4c02b76ee]one choice must have been better than another.[/i:d4c02b76ee] He saw it in his wisdom better to choose John than Sam. His pleasure has a purpose. Only he knows it. But we do know that it has nothing to do with how good we are.

    And if he chose to choose a person who wasn't the best pick according to hidden wisdom, then he could not have taken pleasure in it.

    Rembrandt

    [Edited on 4-22-2004 by rembrandt] [/quote:d4c02b76ee]

    But seeing as though He's God, wouldn't you agree that He is able to shape Sam to the same criterion that would bring Him glory just as much as John ?
     
  23. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Absolutely. But does he want to according to hidden wisdom?
     
  24. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    This is the thing. The above statement opens up pandora's box. It opens up the idea that everything must be scrutinized along these lines, even salvation and how God saves, whom God saves etc. As the Reformed, we MUST hold fast to Sola Scriptura. Where the bible speaks; we speak, where it is silent, we do not speculate.

    In conclussion:
    According to the scriptures, God did not find anything in me for Him to choose me over Sam, and in fact if He did choose Sam over me, the glory Sam will bring, would not be any less than if I was chosen.

    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter [color=Purple:ad5f12b953]power over the clay[/color:ad5f12b953], of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
     
  25. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    You had to mention "The JIG'. Now you've done it; To the ovens w/ you!

    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; )

    God did not see anything in me to warrant His choosing me.

    Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    Paul,
    Why did God choose Israel as the "apple of His eye"? Was it because they were a great nation? No. Was it because they were more beautiful, no. He chose Israel, because He did; thats all. (Anyone know where that scripture is???)

    Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
    Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    It was Gods kindness.........

    Paul,
    I guess the issue I have is based upon this statement:
    "God choose you over sam because it gave him glory and fulfilled His purpose in election. "

    Again, would His choice of Sam, bring Him any less glory?


    [Edited on 4-24-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  26. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:f619679ba9]Again, would His choice of Sam, bring Him any less glory?[/quote:f619679ba9]

    We know that all of God's choices are according to his purpose. If it does not fit his purpose to save Sam, then it cannot be the best choice.

    If God is does not operate whimsically, but according to hidden wisdom, then his choice in election follows the same pattern. Not that there was something in us for him to choose one over the other, but there was something in Him.

    Rembrandt
     
  27. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Paul,
    is not Romans ch 9 and Titus 3:5 clear? How about the passage I quoted in regards to why God chose Israel. You and Paul M. are speaking along the lines of speculation.
     
  28. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    OK...........
    But IF you are arguing that He (God) chose me over Sam because God saw that it would bring Him MORE glory in choosing Scott, then wouldn't it follow that God saw something in me that would in fact bring Him more glory than what He saw in Sam's case?

    Is this your position Paul (M)?
     
  29. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:ff40bd2799][i:ff40bd2799]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:ff40bd2799]
    [quote:ff40bd2799][i:ff40bd2799]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:ff40bd2799]
    OK...........
    But IF you are arguing that He (God) chose me over Sam because God saw that it would bring Him MORE glory in choosing Scott, then wouldn't it follow that God saw something in me that would in fact bring Him more glory than what He saw in Sam's case?

    Is this your position Paul (M)? [/quote:ff40bd2799]

    Scott,

    It does not follow...at all. I mean, I would be open to showing me how it logically does, but I don't think so.

    As I stated above. It was not in you (the Bible tells us this). The Bible also tells us that it brings Him glory and allows His purpose in election to stand to elect the ones He's elected. So, I am just stating what the Bible tells us.

    So, to bring it down further, ..."IF" yu showed how my argument logically leads to there being something "in" you then forget arguing against me...you would have argued against the Bible.

    Now, since we know that the Bible doesn't teach that it was in you. And we know the Bible teaches the other two things, then I would say based on the above that my conclusion most definately does not lead to some anthropological view.

    -Paul

    (but again, you had the "jig" so you are a different case then the rest of us) [/quote:ff40bd2799]

    Paul writes:
    "The Bible also tells us that it brings Him glory and allows His purpose in election to stand to elect the ones He's elected"

    Scripture:
    Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; )

    Lets talk about this some more. What is "the purpose of God" according to election?

    Got scripture? (as in Got milk?)

    The Jig Meister

    [Edited on 4-24-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  30. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul Martin and Paul Manata are pretty close names. Funny.
     
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