The elect before regeneration

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Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
I am wondering what is the reformed view on the standing of the elect before they are born again? If Christ has already died for the sins of the elect how can an elect person be viewed as condemned in the eyes of God until he is born again? Do the reformed simply say that the condemnation in John 3 is an eternal condemnation therefore it cannot apply to the elect? At any rate, how can the elect stand at guilt for their sins if Christ has already paid for them (including the sin of unbelief)? No one would argue that an elect person is lost before they are born again, correct?

Not trying to trap anyone, just trying to continually learn the reformed view of the Scriptures. This coming from a pastor that is a long time advocate of semi-Pelagian/dispensational type doctrine. I'm leaning about 75-25 now toward's the doctrines of grace, but there are still some troubling points of the reformed view for me such as the question I raise here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Barnpreacher
I am wondering what is the reformed view on the standing of the elect before they are born again? If Christ has already died for the sins of the elect how can an elect person be viewed as condemned in the eyes of God until he is born again? Do the reformed simply say that the condemnation in John 3 is an eternal condemnation therefore it cannot apply to the elect? At any rate, how can the elect stand at guilt for their sins if Christ has already paid for them (including the sin of unbelief)? No one would argue that an elect person is lost before they are born again, correct?

Not trying to trap anyone, just trying to continually learn the reformed view of the Scriptures. This coming from a pastor that is a long time advocate of semi-Pelagian/dispensational type doctrine. I'm leaning about 75-25 now toward's the doctrines of grace, but there are still some troubling points of the reformed view for me such as the question I raise here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Apostle Paul answers this question in Eph 2:1
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Even the elect are by nature children of wrath even as others. The elect are under the same condemnation until the application of Christ's person and work by virtue of the Holy Spirit's work, as per the Westminster Confession of Faith...
WCF 11:4 God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.
Until justified, the elect are under condemnation. In other words, there is a difference between saying that "election is salvation" and "election is unto salvation." The historic Reformed position is that election is unto salvation. God decrees to save the elect in eternity, but their salvation is accomplished and applied in time, before which time (as Eph 2 makes clear) they are "by nature children of wrath, just as the others."

This is how Calvin expresses the state of the elect before God prior to their regeneration...
John Calvin: Therefore all of us, who have descended from impure seed, are born infected with the contagion of sin. In fact, before we saw the light of this life we were soiled and spotted in God´s sight. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, ed. John T. McNeill and trans. Ford Lewis Battles, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, reprinted 1977), Book II.1.5, p. 248.

John Calvin: 10. The Elect before their call. There is no "œseed of election" The elect are gathered into Christ´s flock by a call not immediately at birth, and not all at the same time, but according as it pleases God to dispense his grace to them. But before they are gathered unto that supreme Shepherd, they wander scattered in the wilderness common to all; and they do not differ at all from others except that they are protected by God´s especial mercy from rushing headlong into the final ruin of death. If you look upon them, you will see Adam´s offspring, who savor of the common corruption of the mass. The fact that they are not carried to utter and even desperate impiety is not due to any innate goodness of theirs but because the eye of God watches over their safety and his hand is outstretched to them!
For those who imagine that some sort of seed of election was sown in them from birth itself, and that by its power they have always been inclined to piety and the fear of God, are not supported by Scriptural authority and are refuted by experience itself. They put forward a few examples by which to prove that the elect even before illumination were not strangers to religion: Paul lived a blameless life as a Pharisee [Philippians 3:5-6]; Cornelius, with alms and prayers, was acceptable to God [Acts 10:2], and the like, if any. As for Paul, we grant them their point; in Cornelius, we say they are deceived. For it appears that he was then already enlightened and regenerated, so that he lacked nothing but a clear revelation of the gospel. But what will they wring out of these few examples? That all the elect are always endowed with the spirit of piety? No more than if someone"”by showing the uprightness of Aristides, Socrates, Xenocrates, Scipio, Curius, Camillus, and others"”infers from it that all who are forsaken in the darkness of idolatry were earnest seekers of holiness and purity. Indeed, Scripture openly disclaims them in more than one place. This state before regeneration described by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians shows no grain of this seed. "œYou were dead," he says, "œthrough the trespasses and sins in which you... walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the air, who is now at work in his disobedient sons. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of the flesh and of the mind. So we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest." [Ephesians 2:1-3, abbr.] Again: "œRemember that... you were once without hope, and lacking God in the world." [Ephesians 2:12 p.] Likewise: You were once darkness but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light." [Ephesians 5:8-9.]
But they would perhaps like this to be referred to ignorance of the true God in which, as they do not deny, the elect are held before they are called. Yet this would be shameless calumny, since he draws the inference that they ought no longer to lie [Ephesians 4:25] or steal [Ephesians 4:28]. But what answer will they make to the other passages? Such as that in the letter to the Corinthians, where, after declaring that "œneither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the greedy, will inherit the Kingdom of God" [1 Corinthians 6:9-10], he immediately adds that they were guilty of those very transgressions before they knew Christ but are now washed with his blood and freed by the Spirit [1 Corinthians 9:11]. Likewise, another passage, in the letter to the Romans: "œJust as you... yielded your members as slaves to impurity and to greater iniquity upon iniquity, so now yield your members in bondage to righteousness" [1 Corinthians 6:19, cf. Vg.]. "œFor what fruit did you get from those things at which you now rightly blush?" [1 Corinthians 6:21 p.]. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 2, ed. John T. McNeill and trans. Ford Lewis Battles, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, reprinted 1977), Book III.24.10, pp. 976-977.
Blessings,
DTK
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Ryan,

David is exactly correct. That is why Reformed theology and the doctrine of election is not a hindrance to evangelism, but a spur. In plain words: "you go fishin' where you know there are fish." The doctrine of election does not mean that men do not need the gospel; it is God's way of telling us that He has already paved the way for us to bring the gospel.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
That is also why Reformed theology alone has a high view of the Trinity, with all 3 persons soveriegnly involved in all aspects of our salvation.
 

The Lamb

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a hard time with this idea. I have done this dance with many before. God hating , then loving? This would seem to make God mutable.

they are children full of wrath, or enmity against God, while in unbelief, And in that sense they may be called children of wrath.

they are also children of wrath in a passive sense and are are under a sentence of condemnation by the law before regeneration.

Zanchius said in his excellent book de natura Dei, that the
wrath of God is to be taken in different senses: "First, it signifies the certain and most just will, and decree of God, to avenge or punish the injuries done to himself and his church; thus with John 3:36. He that believeth not on the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him: That is, just vengeance against him is confirmed by the decree of Godf26." The elect are not objects of God´s wrath in this sense, but "are vessels of mercy, which God has afore prepared to glory Romans 9:23.)." "Secondly, it intends
the threatnings of punishment. Lastly, it imports the effects of wrath, or penalties, and the avenging of injuriesf27."

Now the elect are secured from the punishment due to their sins, by God´s decree; for "they are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ 1Thessalonians 5:9.):" And also by Christ´s satisfaction, "who has made peace for them by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20.)."

Therefore it is only in the second sense that they are children of wrath, which is perfectly consistent with their interest in God´s love and delight, and members of Christ, and with their complete Justification in him, their federal head. The law does not consider men as elect, or nonelect, but as transgressors; and, condemns them. But as God put the elect into Christ, or united them to him in eternal election, he views and considers them in him, and so justifies them, and takes infinite pleasure in their persons as members of the Mediator, in whom he always had the fullest satisfaction and delight even though they are under a sentence of condemnation by the law, as violaters of it, while in unbelief.


The elect are never in ultimate fear of condemnation. In adam, we are children of wrath, in Christ we are children of the promise.



Joseph
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
David and Fred and Patrick are right on here.

As for God loving and hating us, it is a common misocnception that God (or anyone for that matter) cannot love and hate at the same time. In the Scriptures the word translated "hate" means literally to "count as an enemy." It is not an emotional term (neither is agape love). It is a relational term.

Before we are saved God hates us (counts us as His enemy). At the same time, while we are still sinners and enemies God demonstrates His love for us (Rom 5:8, 10). So He loves and hates at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

That is also the basis for the command to love our enemies (love those we hate).

Phillip
 

The Lamb

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by puritansailor
Joseph did Jesus suffer the wrath of God?
If so, then who did he suffer it for?


He died for those whom the Father gave Him in the eternal covenant.

Phillip is not what you said exactly thesame as saying, He hates us in Adam, but loves us in Christ?

Jacob I loved, Esau I hated, before they were born. What love is this?

The elect could never be in jeapordy of eternal wrath because of the eternal covenant.


In His Grace

Joseph
 

The Lamb

Puritan Board Freshman
Matthew:

Your book is the answer for a lot of things on here. I also have hurt my back, is there some remedy in the book also?

Just Joking

:p:p




Joseph
 

The Lamb

Puritan Board Freshman
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)


2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.


Ephesians 1:4-5 In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will


the Elect sinner is under the temporary wrath of God, he will never come under the eternal wrath of God. Even as a believer, the Elect child of God can and will sin. In this case, he will be severely chastised, , by a loving Heavenly Father who leads him back home into fellowship with Him through the narrow gate.
 
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