A brief (and ongoing) study on the doctrine of election...

Blessings family,
The following pages are the result of a conversation which occurred during our church’s Bible Study one evening in March of 2011.
It is an elucidation of our understanding of the doctrine of election, its distinctives and how we should (if at all) approach this in terms of our testimony, and the sharing of the Gospel.

Please be advised that i tend to use the names YHWH, for the Father God, and Yahshuah for Jesus.

Why isn’t our testimony enough?
First let me say that your testimony does not equal the Gospel.
While your testimony can be used as a toll in the sharing of your faith, and as a part of the overall evangelistic endeavor, it cannot be used in place of, or even as a supplement to, the Gospel message.
This is because of the following problem: The weight of one person’s experience in a qualitative sense is the same as that of any other person’s. Put bluntly, 5 pounds of gold weighs just as much as 5 pounds of dung. So then the differentiating factor is not the weight, but the content.

The value is in the content.
Scripture declares that the Gospel is, ‘… the power of God unto salvation’ (Romans 1:16b). Therefore it is neither our cleverness, nor is it our testimony, it is THE GOSPEL that saves, nothing more, nothing less.

Herein is this importance of doctrine; in order to tell it, you must know it. In order to give it, you must first have a hold of it. It is for this reason, that we must study the Word, knowing not only chapter and verse, but context and reason, as best we can, to the Glory of GOD.

I offer the following as a study guide for some, and a refresher for others, and it is my prayer and belief that you will due your due diligence to be like the Bereans, and go to the Word on every matter. Where/if I am in error, please correct me. I by no means want to make mistakes with the text just to be ‘right’. Where you have disagreements, ‘come and let us reason together’

Though I do not expect this to be the final statement on the topic (I am by no means that deluded) I would like to lay out for you, in definitive terms, what the doctrine of election is, why it is in fact, the Biblical truth, and why it is perhaps the most important doctrine for believers.

A Biblical understanding of election brings clarity to our understanding of God’s sovereignty, the truth of sin, and affects the very understanding and presentation of the Gospel.

Please be advised that the following:
1 - Is Not exhaustive, and is at best a simplistic overview. I encourage you to DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE, and seek these things out for yourself.
2 - Is Limited to my current, up to the minute knowledge and understanding of the subject. Though I knew everything when I was younger, I find that I no longer do…
3 - Contains references to works by those whose knowledge on the subject far surpasses my own.
4 – Is arranged such that, most importantly, you will need your Bible.

If you don’t have it, go get it… I’ll wait right here…

Ok, You’re back? Good, let’s get to it.

First, a Word of Prayer:
Father,we thank you for this day, and for the opportunity to study your Word. May this time of study be fruitful, be edifying, and may we grow closer to you and to your truth as we journey into your word together. We bless you, we Praise you, Honor you, and Thank You in advance for what you will reveal to us by Your Spirit through Your Word. In Yahshuah’s name we pray, Amen. Amen…

So, A definition: What is election?

Professor Mark Rathel, Associate Professor of Theology at The Baptist College of Florida says:
“First, what does the biblical terminology of election mean? The verb “elect” (eklegomai in Greek) means, “to chose out for oneself.” The verb implies a selection of some out of a larger group. For example, out of a larger group of men, the early church chose the first deacons (Acts 6:5). The New Testament frequently used the adjective “elect or chosen” (eklektos) to refer to God’s people—the elect (Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1).”

Dr. John MacArthur, Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church, and President of Master’s College says:
“In the broad sense, election refers to the fact that God chooses (or elects) to do everything that He does in whatever way He best sees fit. When He acts, He does so only because He willfully and independently chooses to act. According to His own nature, predetermined plan, and good pleasure, He decides to do whatever He desires, without pressure or constraint from any outside influence.”

Why is this even important?


The Doctrine of Election is about choice... Whose Choice is it who ‘comes to faith’?

This is an important doctrine to understand, because most people in our churches today, believe that they come to faith by their own choice, that when they are presented with the Gospel, they make a decision to ‘accept Jesus into their hearts.’ But is this Biblical?
Additionally, the idea that the Godhead could be the one who determines who gets saved or not, is abhorrent because this means then, that there are those whom the Godhead chooses not to save. But is this a correct perspective? Hopefully, this study will begin to address that.

The acceptance of the doctrine of election, involves our understanding of 2 things:
I - God’s Sovereignty and Holiness, and
II -Our sin, and its crippling/destructive/deadly effects on us.
These two facts are the stumbling blocks to election that trip many people up, but they are as irrefutable as any truth can be.


Ia - The Sovereignty of God
According to Theopedia:
The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God's rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto (in practice).

I believe that on the surface, this is something that all believers believe, especially when it works in our favor. Phrases like ‘He made a way out of no way’ pervade our modern church lexicon of speech, and we exult in the fact that our God is all knowing, all-powerful, and without peer, as the following VERY incomplete list shows: YHWH is Omniscient, Ps 139:1-6, 13-16, Job 38:1-4, Omnipotent, Gen 1:1, John 1:1-5, Isaiah 40:15-17, Omnipresent, Psalm 139:15-16.

We happily agree with, and declare this truth, that Our GOD is all those things, that is, until His will and plan conflicts with our own, then there’s a problem…
When that happens, we tend to, with Abraham as our model, bargain with God, as though we can change His mind, forgetting that permission connotes neither agreement nor successful negotiation… This is where Abraham erred, or better yet we err, if we believe even for a moment that the conversation in Genesis 18 was a ‘win’ for Abraham.
This is after all, the One who said: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. - Isaiah 46:10”
It is interesting that we deride atheists for their stance that YHWH is, by declaring His sovereignty, somehow insecure, that this so called ‘insecurity’ is manifested in things like His ‘need to be Worshipped’. I have heard this vain and pointless argument many times, but there is an inherent honesty in it that is refreshing. They steadfastly refuse to acknowledge God in any way, and we who are advised to acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways, only do so when there is convenience and/or need.

Just so we are clear, YHWH makes statements about His Sovereignty throughout the Scriptures: He alone is God. "The Lord he is God; there is none else besides him." "He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else" (Deut. 4:35, 39). "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4). "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me" (Deut. 32:39). "Thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth" (2 Kings 19:15). "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Ps. 33:6). "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (vs. 9).
There is no doubt, there is no question. YHWH is, as the old song goes ‘ God all by Himself, He don’t need nobody else’

Ib - The Holiness of God


For this, I will defer to R.C. Sproul
From his well known teaching 'The Holiness of God'






II - We are, in and of ourselves, because of sin, unable to come to God on our own.


This is the hardest thing for people to acknowledge, but in fact it is the truth as the Bible declares it. Quoting Dr. MacArthur again:
“God must save, choose, regenerate &, justify us, because we are neither willing nor able to do it for ourselves.”

To understand this, we must take into consideration the very nature of man.

What is in man’s heart? What is man’s nature?
The Prophet Jeremiah says:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9
The Apostle Paul declares that:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” - Romans 5:12 NASB

The implication here of course is that man is not a sinner because he sins, man sins because he is a sinner. This becomes then, a question of nature, not action.

Our society (and the church) tends to judge people by their actions first. This is understandable, but counter Biblical. As we recently read, Samuel is admonished by the Father to look past the external to the internal, because that’s where the truth is (1 Samuel 16:7b)
So what then is in man’s heart?
Jesus said that what enters a man’s heart doesn’t defile him, rather what comes out of his heart. Mark records the following: (Please turn to and read Mark 7: 14-23)

So according to Jesus, man’s very nature contains, evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness….

Even at the very beginning of the Scriptures, we find this truth: (Please turn to and read Genesis 6:5-8, 17-22 )


What do we know about grace? That it is unmerited favor… So Noah was like the rest of men: Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil, continually. So already we are seeing in verses 18-20 an example of YHWH’s Sovereignty and election.

Inspired by God, the Prophet Isaiah declared this reality:
Nevertheless, we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. - Isaiah 64:6

David, the man after God’s own heart says:
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. - Psalm 14:2-3
And…
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. 2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. - Psalms 143:1-2

And it wasn’t just the OT writers who understood this:
Paul had a LOT to say about the condition of man’s hearts, and the need for sovereign intervention. (More about Paul later) For example, (turn to Romans 3:9-18, 22-23)

So Paul concludes with “…for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

So, if the Bible is true, (and we know that it is) then we can see what the nature of man’s heart is. That said, how can we believe that any person, who by very nature is full of evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness, whose heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and whose every imagination is only evil continually, could possibly choose God?

How can men (and women) who cannot understand, do not seek after God, are all gone out of the way, have become unprofitable, and do not do good, whose throats are open graves, have lying tongues, with snake’s venom underneath them, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness, and whose feet are swift to shed blood, whose ways are destruction and misery, do not know the way of peace and do not fear God,
actually Choose Him?

So what is the conclusion?

Therefore if the scripture is true, and we know that it is, where can we find that we, of our own volition, in this fallen state, can choose God? Instead what we find, is that God, in HIS infinite grace, mercy and Love, has in fact chosen us. He has chosen us, given us the faith to believe, and by the blood of His son, calls us righteous: Therefore it is fallacious to think that we can choose God. We are in and of ourselves, not able. He chooses us..
HE,
..who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. — 2 Timothy 1:9, 10

So I hear you skeptics saying ‘Ok, But what did JESUS say?’ Glad you asked that…
Jesus was clear that man cannot come to God on his own; God selects who will come.
(Let’s turn to John 6:36-44)

Notice that verse 44 says: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
There are those of you who have a real tender perception of what this means, like the old hymn ‘softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling’, but that presupposes that we need only a gentle nudge.

Concerning the word ‘draw’ in verse 44…
From the website “Hebrew for Christians”, we get this:
God loves us with "an everlasting love" (i.e., ahavat olam: אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם) and draws us to Himself in chesed (חֶסֶד, i.e., His faithful love and kindness). As it is written: אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם אֲהַבְתִּיךְ עַל־כֵּן מְשַׁכְתִּיךְ חָסֶד / "I love you with an everlasting love; therefore in chesed I draw you to me" (Jer. 31:3). Note that the word translated "I draw you" comes from the Hebrew word mashakh (מָשַׁךְ), meaning to "seize" or "drag away" (the ancient Greek translation used the verb helko (ἕλκω) to express the same idea). As Yeshua said, "No one is able to come to me unless he is "dragged away” by the Father (John 6:44). God's chesed seizes us, takes us captive, and leads us to the Savior... Spiritual rebirth is a divine act, "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). God is always preeminent.

The Apostle Paul understood this ‘dragging’, having experienced it in a physical sense as well as the Spiritual sense, in his encounter with Yahshuah on the road to Damascus (see Acts
Paul consistently referred to him self as ‘doulos’, meaning a slave to Christ, having a good understanding of God’s sovereignty, His Sin, and God’s Grace. (This same understanding is so wonderfully described by Isaiah when he has the sudden devastating realization that he writes of in chapter 6 of his book. A realization that we all must come to… More about that another time)
Paul was the embodiment of the person that Yahshuah describes in the parable as one who was forgiven much’
(In the future we will take the time to study Paul’s use of his testimony for examples of how testimonies should be used in evangelism)
But right now, let’s turn to his profound words in Ephesians 2:4-10 and see what he says…
Finished? Did you notice that keying in on verses 8-9 as we normally do, can cause us to miss the rest of the passage. In context He is saying essentially that we are nothing without YHWH, all that we have is because of YHWH and Yahshuah, and we have absolutely no reason to glory in our accomplishments. In fact, the word ‘grace’ in the greek is ‘charis’, which means ‘a gift one receives without any merit of his own’ Humbling to say the least.
He does a great job of laying the case out here too:
(turn to Romans 5:1-21)…
I’ll wait here until you’re finished reading it…`

Ok, let me add a bit of my own testimony here:
Those of you who are unsettled, uncomfortable and frankly upset about what this means, and the implications of this doctrine, please take heart. I wrestled with it for quite some time (as I have said, I was for the first 46 years of my life, one who espoused the belief that we choose God) I can no longer doubt the veracity of the doctrine, as I examine the scriptures.
I know today that Biblical election is Christocentric. Jesus is the Elect One (Lk. 9:35; 1 Pet. 1:20) and the election of believers is “In Christ” or “through Christ” (Eph. 1:3-14). God elects “in love” and “in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4, 6).

As a United Methodist, I grew up a believer in Prevenient grace, which is, as wikipedia defines it:
“..divine grace which precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer. Whereas Augustine held that prevenient grace cannot be resisted, Wesleyan Arminians believe that it enables, but does not ensure, personal acceptance of the gift of salvation.”

Meaning then, that the choice is man’s, not YHWH’s and I do not see the Bible supporting this.

Romans 8:29 says that ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren’. According to the doctrine of prevenient grace, God knew what we were going to do before we did it, but that we make the decision according to the free will that He gives us.
But is that the case?Let’s take a moment to read In context (Turn to Romans 8: 28-33)

(As a side note, It’s funny to me how in the church today, we Love verses 28, and 31, but 29 and 30 give us trouble…)


For me, I take that 29-30 from the opposite point of view, to wit: He predestined us. He made the determination before the foundation of the world, in His sovereignty, and by His grace. We had no choice in the decision. How else then can Jesus, when praying his priestly prayer in John 17, say this? (turn to John 17: 6-10)?

Did the Apostles choose to be apostles? Clearly not. God selected them before hand. In fact Jesus tells them that straight.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. - John 15:15-16

In His letter to the Roman believers, Paul says: (turn to Romans 3:21-26)

(Another side note, it is interesting to note that Paul is not saying that God is the justifier of all men, as some in the church world (Rob Bell, Carlton Pearson, etc.) would have you believe, rather specifically, He is the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.)

Opposing views:


Now there are of course, those who do not agree with this doctrine, in fact there are those who are so vehemently opposed that they refer to those to adhere to it as heretics, or non Christians. We discussed prevenient grace moments ago, and that is the stance that most Christians today, seem to take.
Let me be clear: I do not believe that people who believe in prevenient grace are not saved or are hell bound. I believe that one can land on either side of this discussion (or none at all) and still be saved.
The importance for me is that what you believe shapes your methods, as we have discussed, therefore your interactions with YHWH, with Yahshuah, and with your brethren, will be shaped/colored by this.

The most common complaints that I am aware of are listed below:

1. A Loving God would not send people to Hell, after all God is Love.

John 3:16 is commonly quoted in support of this contention.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
Let’s quickly dispense with this one. In the preceding material, we have made the case for the nature of man being sinful, and wicked, If this is man’s very nature, then God needn’t ‘SEND’ anyone to Hell, we are all already going. Therefore the more logical conclusion is that God, in His mercy chose some not to go, according to His sovereign grace, and decision. As Ephesians 2: So beautifully says:
Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. (3-5, NIV)
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God ,not by works, lest any man should boast. (8-9 KJV)

(Yet another side note: There are some who hold to the doctrine of election argue that God gives us the faith to believe. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. -Rom 12:3
So the ‘whosever’ who believe can only do so because God wills it…)


2. It is not fair!

Fairness, in and of itself, is not a concept that the Bible speaks of in reference to YHWH, therefore it is not a concept that can be applied to YHWH. What we see instead relating to YHWH is Sovereignty, Righteousness, Holiness, Grace and Mercy. Here’s a good example:
Let’s go back to Romans 9:19-23

3. There are refuting Scriptures!

There is a long list, to be sure, here are a few that are commonly used…

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" "Who (speaking of Christ) gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:4,6).

Let’s take first, 2 Peter 3:9
What is the context of 2 Peter 3:9? It is found in verses 1 through 8, and
From these verses we must ask, Who are the ‘dear friends’ that Peter is writing to?
The answer is found in 1 Peter 1. Which says:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Next, let’s look at 1 John 2:2
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I will defer to Pastors John Sampson & Phil Johnson. Says Sampson:
…we approach the First Epistle of John, and remember that it is a letter written to a primarily Jewish audience. So in 1 John 2:2, as in the rest of the letter, we have the Apostle John, a Jew, writing primarily to fellow Jewish believers in the Messiah. He writes of Jesus Christ being "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." It is possible that the word "world" here refers to every person on planet earth, but in my estimation, not very likely, because of the fact that we have a Jew, writing to fellow Jews. I think it is far more likely that John is here declaring that Christ died not only for our sins (the sins of Jewish people), but for also for those of the whole world (the sins of Gentiles throughout the world).

Indeed, as God allows us to gain a glimpse into the future, Revelation 5:9 reveals the song of the throngs of heaven as they sing to the Lamb upon His throne, "And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." Notice that it does not say that He ransomed everybody in every tribe, etc., but that He ransomed people for God from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

Yet at least at first glance, 1 John 2:2 seems to strongly deny this idea that Jesus' death was designed for a particular people. The verse states, "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
‘In John's Gospel, chapter 11, verses 51-52, John wrote these words, "he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad."When we see this in chart form, the parallel with 1 John 2:2 is easy understood: Dr. Phil Johnson (who provided this helpful chart) writes, "There is little doubt that this is how John's initial audience would have understood this expression. "The whole world" means "people of all kinds, including Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Romans, and whatnot" as opposed to "ours only" i.e., the Jewish nation. What the apostle John is saying in the John 11 passage is particularly significant: Christ died so that he might gather "the children of God" the elect, from the whole world."
I believe therefore that rather than undermining the case for Christ's death for His elect sheep, 1 John 2:2 actually affirms it. When we understand the verse in its Johannine context (the writings of the Apostle John) then the correct interpretation becomes very clear.
Looking at Acts 17:30 in context, we see that Paul is in the middle of a sermon, he does not, (nor should we expect him to) say, ‘Those of you who are elect, repent.’ Why? Because he has no idea who the elect are, (Yahshuah made it clear in Matthew 13 that the wheat and tare grow together, and the fish in the net get caught together until the day of separation) so the call to repentance is made, and those who will respond (the elect) will respond.

Last (on this list) but certainly not all, 1 Timothy 2:4,6
I will defer to Rev. Samson again:
… we must remember that the word "all" always has a context. It can sometimes mean all people everywhere - many times it does - but it sometimes means "all" in the sense of "all kinds" or "all classes, types" of people or at other times it refers to all within a certain type or class.. For instance, we do the same thing in our English language when a school teacher in a classroom may ask the question, "are we ALL here?" or "is EVERYONE here?" She is not asking if everyone on planet earth is in the classroom, but because of the context in which the question is framed (the school teacher's classroom) we understand she is referring to all within a certain class or type - in this case, all the students signed up for the class.
I believe 1 Tim 2:4 is speaking of all in this sense of "all types." What is my biblical basis for saying this? The context. Let’s read the passage:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Who are the "all people" of verse 1? I believe the "all people" of verse 1 are the same "all people" of verse 4, as the subject matter does not change in any way at all in the intervening verses.
When Paul wrote "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.." was he asking Timothy to get the equivalent of the local phone book and starting with the alphas and going all the way through to the omegas (the Greek alphabet) make supplication, pray, intercede and make thanksgiving for each individual in the city... or more than that, the whole world?

I don't think so. Why do I say this? Because Paul qualifies verse 1 with verse 2 when he speaks of "kings" (kings are types of people) and "those in high positions" (again "those in high positions" are types of people).

4. There are 3 groups of people: the elect, the unsaved, and those who are not elect, but make the choice, and in choosing themselves, get saved.


This supposition has no Biblical basis that I can find whatsoever.


So, custumarily, a closing paragraph goes here, one in which I sum up the doctrine once again, and let you know that our possible disagreement over this by no means breaks our fellowship, and that for your own edification you should take the time to study what information that has been presented, not taking it ‘blindly’ because Pastor Cyril said, ( all the while knowing that you won’t do that),reminding you all of my deep love for you and my desire that you grow in faith and grace, as we journey together, and sprinkling in a clever witticism or two for levity. But I will say none of that...

Instead I would only ask family, that you prayerfully consider what is in these pages, and that in doing so, you will by your submission to the Spirit and the Word, come to an understanding that blesses the Lord, and edifies the rest of us.

Peace & Love
Pastor CTJ














References (some are referenced in the preceding piece, some not, but all are useful) :

Abrams, Cooper - Is Calvinism or Arminianism Biblical?
A Biblical Explanation of the Doctrine of Election (This piece is very much anti-election, and is a good read)
http://www.bible-truth.org/election.htm

MacArthur, John – What Is the Doctrine of Election?
http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A331_What-Is-the-Doctrine-of-Election?

Grudem, Wayne – Systematic Theology. Excerpted here:
http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/misunderstandings.html

Calveau, Jean (John Calvin)
http://www.the-highway.com/Doctrine_of_Election.html

Samson, John
http://www.reformationtheology.com/2007/11/understanding_1_john_22.php

http://www.reformationtheology.com/2009/04/understanding_1_timothy_24_by.php

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