Are you worthy in the world of election?

Many teach that God in His election has chosen men to receive salvation and others He has chosen not to receive salvation.  They teach that those men who have been elected have God’s irresistible grace which they can not refuse.  They must and will become saved, there is no choice about it.  Those who were not elected have no choice but to go to hell, since God never gave them the invitation in the first place.

Funny thing though, Jesus’ theology doesn’t match the theology of these teachers.  Jesus taught that people were bidden, called, elected to come to the great wedding supper of the Lamb but were not found worthy.

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.[1]

Why were these people not worthy?  Why were they invited in the first place if they were not worthy?  If the Calvinist understanding of election is true, then why did they get the invite in the first place?  They should have never been invited according to Calvin.  Was there unworthiness a condition of election only or was it something involving free will on their part?  It couldn’t be from election for what corruption does God impute to man in election? 

Jesus sets up the story by telling us that a king’s son is getting married and to call those who were invited to come but they would not come.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.[2]

We see from the story those who were called to come refused to come.  If God’s election, His grace is irresistible and no man can refuse His sovereign will, how is it those called, those invited refused His election, irresistible grace and His sovereign will?  Not only did they refuse Him once they refused Him again!

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:[3]

A second sincere invitation was sent, but Jesus tells us of these people they made light of it.  They made light of His calling, they made light of His electing them to come.  They were not compelled to behave contrary to their own free will and they rejected the invitation.  Apparently God’s sovereign will is not as the Calvinist describe.  They teach that God’s sovereign will no man can resist.  But Jesus is describing to us not just a single rejection but two.  These twice call, twice elected to come are described as making light of the invitation.  And who were these that were called?  Who were they that were elected to come?  Who were they that demonstrates the Calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace is a lie?  Who were they that turns the Calvinist doctrine of God’s sovereignty on its head?  They were not just a group of people on the fringes, they were the remnant!

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.[4]

The chosen people of God refused Him and mistreated His servants and killed them.  The people of God that were under the covenant to be the people of His calling and election did this.  Those to whom it was said they would be His people and He would be their God did this.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.[5]

Jesus doesn’t describe those who were not elected, as the Calvinist do, who are the ones to receive wrath.  He describes that wicked remnant as those who receive wrath.

But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.[6]

We need to ask ourselves in a world of election, were God has called every one to come, will we be found worthy?  Will we make light of the same invitation to come to the wedding feast of the Lamb?  Will we be to busy to really walk with the Lord?  Do our schedules keep us to busy to read our bibles and seek out God in prayer?  Have we been so stuck in the rut that we feel cold or yet worse, lukewarm in our walk with God?

We may not be those who kill His servants, but do we make light of the invitation by its not being a high priority to us in our daily lives.  Who will be found worthy in the world of election?

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.[7]

If you are a believer, if you are part of the remnant and you rest your hope on irresistible grace and God’s sovereign will to see you into His kingdom, you hope in a vanity.  Jesus Himself shows us this.  Will you trust the words and teachings of Calvin or will you listen to the one you call savior?

[1] Matthew 22:8

[2] Matthew 22:2-3

[3] Matthew 22:4-5

[4] Matthew 22:6

[5] Genesis 17:7

[6] Matthew 22:7

[7] Matthew 22:8

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

I don’t know about you, but I constantly get reminded by Christians that we can not live a life without sin.  Many of us will just capitulate instantly to this condition.  They are always quick to give us the justification for this mindset from scripture.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.[1]

But at this point I have to ask, is it me or is it me?  I do not see scripture that reads, “If we say we are not sinning…”  I see scripture that says, “If we say that we have not sinned…”

I know I always get the run around from people who try to put me in the cross hairs when I say we can be a people who, as Jesus says, are perfect.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.[2]

I get reminded that it may be the goal to be perfect but God knows it is impossible for us.  At which times it is not uncommon that I get asked how many sins and at what point will a man go to hell if he isn’t perfect.  I get accused of salvation by works.  I am sure some of you know what I am talking about.

But I still have to ask the question, do you see what I see?  I see a scripture that tells people they are liars if they say they have not sinned.  I don’t see scripture that teaches we are liars if we say we are not sinning.  Do you?

As I see it, I can be a believer that confesses that I am a sinner (have sinned) and now my savior, through His Spirit, has so changed me that I through the Spirit no longer sin.  In doing this I have not violated 1 John 1:10 why, because I confessed I am a sinner who needs a savior.  I repented of my sins past.

People in the church teach that we are not really expected to keep His commandments in anything more than a loose way.  After all God knows we can’t, because of our sin nature.  But I though we got a new nature, a divine nature, when we were born again?

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.[3]

So when we as believers deny the very fact that we are called to walk in the Spirit and not after the world and its corruption through lust, don’t we deny the very promises that were given to us so that by them we might be of a divine nature?

We totally reject the notion that it is impossible for a believer to sin, for we chase after another gospel, even in Christendom, that teaches we can not obey scripture or the Spirit we brag is our deposit.

Concerning such promises that by them we may be partakers of the divine nature, we reject the hope to receive the crown of life if we can not endure temptation, nor teach that it can be endured even by a new nature in Christ.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.[4]

I know this is only a small matter in some tucked away verse in the bible so it probably means nothing.  But I still have to ask, do you see what I see?  I see a church who won’t live by the Spirit what is promised, rather justifies itself in not doing so by twisting a scripture to say something it does not say.

I don’t cast out devils, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think believers should.  I don’t lay hands on the sick so they become well, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think believers should.  I am not perfect by any stretch of the means, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think believer should be. 

Are we willing to strive for what is most excellent and part of the believer’s life or do we think the status quo is good?  Christianity likes to give believers two options, cold or lukewarm.  I want hot!  What do you strive for?

[1] 1 John 1:10

[2] Matthew 5:48

[3] 2 Peter 1:4

[4] James 1:12

Conversation worth noting

No matter how I look at it, it looks the same, Christ died for all men.

I have been having a conversation that I think is worth noting.  It is from my irishanglican who is a friendly antagonist of mine.  We were discussing Calvinism point of view that only a select are chosen to be saved.  I will give his address to me first then my reply.  I would like to know if you think there is more evidence for my friends position or for mine and why?

This is from the blog New Creation Person

From irishanglican,

  • Dave,

God has as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32) So God does see all men as “sinful” both Jew and Gentile, but His mercy is only shown to “all” those whom He alone has chosen for Himself (note Acts 13: 48). Only those “appointed to eternal life believed.” This is what we call in theology as Sub/Post or Infralapsarian, God chooses to save an “election of grace”, after the Fall of man. For not “all” men are going to be saved! And only those are “saved” that are chosen and “elect” by God, from both Jews and Gentiles…”there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” (Rom. 11:5, note verse 6 also in this context & argument!)

This was my response,

  • Irishanglican,

Thank you for the reply and not a quote. It means a lot to me.

I whole heartedly agree with you that we are bound to disobedience, sinful nature if you will, so we can be shown God’s mercy. Again scripture shows us the desire of God’s heart towards us in that we can participate in His incomparable riches of His grace for His good pleasure alone.

(Eph 2:6-7 NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

So I say, amen brother.

I agree again, whole heartedly that not all men will be saved. In fact many on the narrow path will not be saved. Those who remain on the wide path are doomed already, but many on the narrow path are doomed to0. It is not good enough to be on the path, we have to enter the narrow door.

(Luke 13:24 NIV) “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

It is the blanket of grace that we don’t see eye to eye on. Is it a blanket that covers all mankind or is it only a few that it covers? Another way to ask it, is the blanket determined only by those who cover themselves or is it what it is, no matter who does or doesn’t cover themselves with His grace?

Your first verse quoted says that God has handed us all over to disobedience so that He may show mercy. This we agree on. But is it to all or only those who, through free will or not, receive it. Your Bible and mine says that He may show mercy to all.

God has done as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32)

We know that all are bound to sin no matter who we are and were and when we lived. I think we agree this is universal to all mankind. So how are we to assume that God wanting to show mercy to the same “all” in the same sentence is anything but a universal concept?

I know you know or know somebody that knows Greek. Is the word “all” as in disobedience the same Greek word for ‘all” as in God showing us mercy? Or is the better translation from the Greek to be the word elect, chosen, remnant?

This is why I advocate what is in plain language. All means “all” which does not contradict God reconciling the world (all) to Himself.

(Col 1:19-20 NIV) For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

The scripture you used is consistent with another verse that speaks of the universality of sin through one man Adam. It also speaks of the justification to “all men” through the new Adam who is Christ. Two universalities in one concept and one sentence. Or is something hidden in the Greek?

(Rom 5:18 NIV) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

We have the confirmation that God justifies all men and brings life to all men again when scripture says, in plain language, that God through Christ reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.

(2 Cor 5:19 NIV) that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

This is why I believe Christ is the savior of the world, that He died for the sins of the world, that He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world.

To me the question isn’t the blanket of His grace for plain language says it is for all men. What needs to be understood is God’s election.

What do you think, is there an example we have in scripture of God’s election?

(Rom 9:4-5 NIV) the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

As an honest question to you, what example do they serve to us in election, since we are grafted into them and not they into us?

Thanks for the great conversation.


So what do you think?  Did Jesus die for the sins of all men or only a few?  No matter how I look at it I see that He died for all mankind.

Jacob the lying robot or man? contribution

Internetelias commented on my recent post “Jacob the lying robot or man” that I thought was such a contribution that is worth taking a closer look at.

She brought up the point that God told Rebekah that the older will serve the younger.

“The birthright belonged to Jacob from birth. God had told Rebecca that the ‘elder shall serve the younger.’

Ge 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. “

Scripture does show Rebekah’s knowledge of who has the birthright and she acted on it. 

But at the same time let it be known that the plan was brought about by deception.  Otherwise why the impersonation of Esau to a blind man?  There was a reason Isaac was visibly shaken.  He was tricked into believe what was not true, even when he questioned it.

But as internetelias has pointed out, God has His plan let it be known at birth.  Instead of Isaac seeing this for what it was, he still intended to bless Esau, so Jacob would have to serve Esau.  The better plan would have been Isaac to tell Esau he must obey the word of the Lord.  Instead the story is told as it is.

The point being, we as fallible people can really get things out of whack in our free will choices, but God is sovereign and His will be done, even in spite of us.

Please check out her comment to the post for her full opinion.

Jacob the lying robot or man?

We know Jacob as a man who in his selfishness convinced his older brother to sell his birthright to him for a bowl of soup.  If it was Enron or Citibank or some other spited organization convincing the public of such an unbalanced manipulated trade, there would be pitchforks.  But this is what Jacob did.  He treated his brother evil for his own personal gain.  He definitely did not consider his brother in the deal, except how he may steal from him.

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.  And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.[1]

The deception didn’t stop there.  Rebekah told Jacob to obey her and do exactly as he was told.  She convinced Jacob to dress in Esau’s clothes and to wear the fur of animals so he can take the meal that Isaac asked of Esau in order to obtain blessing.

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.[2]

So after a lot of lying and playing Isaac for the fool, Rebekah and Jacob pull off a risky stunt, to not do an uneven trade, but to out right steal what they had no right to.  What  they did was so wrong that Isaac, when he found out he had been lied to, shook violently.

Yet right after this, even in all his anger, Isaac blesses Jacob openly and without manipulation.  How is it now Isaac could bless his deceptive son without reservation?  What changed?

Believe it or not, the clincher of this story is God, even with all of man’s manipulation and free will to disrupt things, sees that His will done.  It is not that God desired His people to conduct themselves in such reprehensible ways, but God can and does use reprehensible people.  This story of lying, cheating, scheming and steeling is really a story about how God in all things works our His purpose in man.  Even though it appears that man is always making a mess of things.  Rejoice, for this speaks of our lives too!

God called one man, Abraham, by calling him out of the nation he and his family had dwelt in into a land of strangers.  God called him to the land of Canaan.  God made a covenant with Abraham that was to extend to all of Abraham’s descendants.  The covenant God made with Abraham was for God to be their God and they were to be His people.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.[3]

This covenant was sealed with sign in the flesh that all the male descendants of Abraham were to have on their bodies.

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.[4]

Paul speaks of this very sign in the flesh when he says it was a seal of the righteousness that was imputed to Abraham.  He also expounds how this righteousness might be imputed to others to.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:[5]

We see in scripture that God has chosen one man and his descendants to be a priestly example to the gentiles in order for God to reveal Himself through the descendants of this one man.  It wasn’t to the people of Canaan or any other people that this covenant was given, but to a select linage that God wished to demonstrate His covenant of imputed righteousness.

This is why Ishmael was not part of the covenant.  He was not to be part of the vessel of God’s demonstrated grace and revelation to the world.  Now this is where we see Esau entering on the stage.

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:[6]

Now imagine being Isaac who had the covenant of his father Abraham confirmed to him by God.  Imagine Isaac who understands that God called his father to be special people that is set apart from the rest of the gentiles.  Now understand that Esau, as your oldest son, has brought into this covenant the people of the land that God has not called to be the vessel of His demonstrated grace of imputed righteousness.

How would you have responded knowing your son has not married within the bloodline of your family as Isaac himself was required?  Imagine your oldest son getting married to not one but two local gals.  In the eyes of man this has thrown the plan and covenant of God into turmoil.  Hittites are now going to be part of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

But man’s free will to sin and be sinful does not thwart God’s plans.  He shows His sovereignty not by, making us do His will in forced determinism (He makes us do everything He wants and we have no say, as if we are robots.)  Instead He lets us be us and He is so great and so sovereign that He still gets His will done.

Back to the story.  What would you do if your oldest son has blown it for the covenant and your youngest son is a manipulator and a thief?  And what ever would become of the covenant? 

After his anger passes, Isaac possible could have seen that God in all things still works our His will.  I think when he saw how it changed the failed situation of the covenant, I personally think he just accepted it.  He didn’t like what had happened but he understood it in context to the covenant and the uniqueness they were to have as a people, so he blessed Jacob.  Then he told him not marry any local girls but to marry from their family just as he was commanded to do by his father, Abraham.

[1] Genesis 25:30-31

[2] Genesis 27:8

[3] Genesis 17:7

[4] Genesis 17:11

[5] Romans 4:11

[6] Genesis 26:34

What fits better?

What fits better a square peg in a round hole, or a round peg in a round hole?  Of course everyone knows it is a round peg for the round hole.  There is a scripture that I consider a round hole that some are trying to put a square doctrine into, simply because we have not acknowledged the truth of God’s covenant with our father Abraham.  I believe the doctrine presented here at The Gospel According to the Gospel is the round doctrine for the round hole.

Scripture teaches us that the Lord almighty is no respecter of persons.  He does not hold one higher than another and we are the same to Him.  Just as an earthly father should not love one child more than the others, God does not.  God does not value one of us over the other, we all have the same value to Him.

For there is no respect of persons with God.[1]

Even though scripture explains this to us, some like to teach that God is a respecter of people and has elected only some of us for salvation.  The others, well you know where they can go.  This is the square peg that they are trying to shove in a round hole.

But what fits better, do you think, the doctrine that God has elected some and not others or that God is as scripture says He is.  That He has treated all men equally.  Ironic isn’t it that we say God has created all men equal, yet the doctrine of Calvin teaches that God in predestination did not create all men equal.  Some are destined for this and others doomed for that.  I am glad the founding fathers look at scripture and not to Calvin to found the greatest country the world has ever known.

Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel I advocate not only the point God treats all men the same, I back it up with the example given to us concerning Abraham and the covenant God made with Him.  This round doctrine for the round hole has amazing impacts on how we see our own world today in light of this covenant.

The round doctrine is God imputing to Abraham righteousness, a righteousness that he did not deserve.  Like we Christians brag of today, a righteousness not our own was imputed to us.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:[2]

Receiving the sign in his flesh of the righteousness the Lord had imputed to him, he was commanded to circumcise all males and this was to be a lasting covenant.  All males received in them the same seal of imputed righteousness.  In fact if anyone did not receive this seal of imputed righteousness in their flesh they were cut off.  Not because they did not obey some do and don’t rule of God, rather because they broke His covenant that sealed the people in God’s righteousness that He was crediting to them.

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.[3]

So what is the example we see in the covenant God has given to our father Abraham?  We see that in the people of Israel that truly God is no respecter of persons.  All were under the covenant that God gave to Abraham.  He did not predestine the descendants of Abraham with some to be outside this covenant and others in.  His plan was for all the people, if only they would accept Him and His covenant.

This is no different that the good news we find in out New Testament when it says we gentiles now share in the blessings given to Abraham through Christ.

That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.[4]

Now through Christ God has reconciled the world to Himself.  In doing so he has offered the whole world of sinners, not just sinners of the people of Israel His covenant in Christ.  Through the rejection of this covenant God has reconciled the world now to Himself in the same covenant of righteousness through Christ.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?[5]

This is God demonstrating to us that He is no respecter of persons and this is the round doctrine fitting into the round hole.  All me are equal before God and His invitation is open to all.

The question is, will we accept Him and His covenant that God has made with Abraham and has now extended to us gentiles.

[1] Romans 2:11

[2] Romans 4:11

[3] Genesis 17:14

[4] Galatians 3:14

[5] Romans 11:15

The challange of the two Abrahams

I have been having diologue with several Calvinist about is it faith or is it works that saves us?  James says it is not by faith alone that we are justified.

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.[1]

But Paul says exactly the opposite.

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.[2]

I gave the challenge to the Calvinist to reconcile the two without ignoring the other.  I hinted the answer is found in the covenant God made with Abraham.  That is unless scripture speaks of two different Abrahams.

Go to the tab The Debate Rages and select link #5 and skim down till you see the class eye, or read the whole thing.

[1] James 2:24

[2] Romans 4:5