It is doubtful that we will in so brief a period of time be able to consider all the verses which we have assigned for this study (Vss. 3-14). It is our intention to keep these studies from becoming a cram course, yet it is our intention to get as much as the Spirit will enable us into the thirty or forty minutes allotted for Wednesday evening Bible study. So, it behooves each one to pay the strictest attention, thereby redeeming the time.
Vs. 3a "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ... In the N.T. the Greek word from which the word "Blessed" comes first word of Vs. 3 is used exclusively of God, and means God alone is the eternally blessed one. The word "blessed" means happy and prosperous. God is eternally happy, and His counsel infallibly prospers. God is not prosperous in the sense something may be added to Him, but in the sense none of His designs ever miscarry.
Vs, 3b "Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly
places in Christ."
Vs. 4 "According as He hath chosen us in His be fore the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." "According as", Looks back to verse 3 and the words "hath blessed". Which has inherent, the blessing of being chosen in Christ before the world began. Plainly Paul says, the salvation of the elect has for its foundation the eternal and gracious choice of the Sovereign God.
The Greek word from which our English "hath chosen" comes literally means "to mark off" or "select out" for one self. According to, or conformity to the fact we have been Divinely elected our blessings issue forth.
The word "chosen* or "choose" is used in various ways in the N.T., but in Eph. 1:4, it relates specifically to the salvation of sinners. The Greek word, is "eklege", and means to "pick out or choose for one's self". It is from this same Greek word we get our word *elect", and seeing the choice, or the picking out of some of Adam's posterity was done by God before Adam was created, it is correct to refer to the objects of His merciful choice as "the elect of God."
Thus we see the doctrine commonly known as "unconditional election" is a Bible doctrine. There is no doctrine in the Bible which magnifies the sovereignty of God more than this great truth. While this doctrine exalts God, It at the same time glaringly points up the fact that man is helpless to save himself. Man's helplessness is due to his depraved nature, and man's depravity is so absolute that he cannot do the first thing to please God. So it is, if he is to be saved, God must do it, and seeing God does save some; we are forced to conclude He intended to save then before the world began. And this fact Is concisely stated in the theological expression, "Eternal unconditional election."
Election is not salvation, but is a Divine appointment unto salvation. And we need to ever remember, our election is in, by, and through Christ. "Me (God) hath chosen us in Him (Christ)."
The doctrine of unconditional election is hated by the great majority of professing Christendom, and is vigorously opposed by the so-called fundamental Baptists. The Hardshell Baptist have from their beginning (1831-1832) presented this glorious doctrine in a deformed posture, and thereby driven many to the other extreme. But the root of all opposition to this God honoring doctrines is found to be, self esteem, or human conceit.
When the truth of election in correctly understood, it will become the means of humbling pride, and eliciting of praise unto God. It serves to strip a person of all supposed ability in spiritual matters, and lays him in the dust at the feet of Him Who said, "...I have chosen you..." Until a person comes to see the truth of sovereign eternal unconditional election he can never fully rely on Christ's finished work of redemption. Once a person sees this truth in its proper light he will then realize the enormity of his sin, and will own his great debt to God's free grace.
The doctrine of election was precious to Paul, this tact is made apparent from the great emphasis he put on it in his writings. But keep in mind that the teaching of this great doctrine is not peculiar to Paul; it is uniformly taught throughout the whole of Scripture. To oppose the doctrine of Divine election is to go against the plainest revelations of Scripture, and is in essence to deny the authority of God’s word.
But the Arminian counters with, "How about 'whosoever will'?" Our argument is not with the Scriptural teaching of "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17), but with the blasphemous doctrine which teaches God cannot accomplish purpose to save lest man join his will, or cooperate with God in His efforts to save. Man's coming to Christ is exclusively the result of God's drawing him …"No man can come to Me, except the Father which sent Me draw him..." (John 6:44).,One will search in vain the Bible and the history of true Baptists to find one person claiming to be saved who says that his regeneration had for its Imitative his own decision.
It is true that whosoever will may come, but it is equally true that every man who does come, has been made willing to come by the effectual drawing power of God, (Psa, 110:3). John 6:44 and 5:40 teach that man has neither the power nor the will to come to Christ, and man left to himself is as sure to be in hall as Lucifer himself. But thanks be to God, for He has chosen some to be saved, and these chosen are identical with the believers of John 3:16. God the Holy Spirit brings conviction, contrition, and conversion to the hearts of the elect. Commensurate with these blessing they are taught and learn that they have come to Christ without taking a step on their own. "... Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me" (John 6:45).
"Salvation is of the Lord." To say that man has a part in his salvation is equal to saying that the clay had a part in directing the mind of the potter, and thereby determining that it would be a vessel of honor to adorn the king's palace. But you know, and I know, and every same person should know that there is NO cooperation between the potter and his clay. Yet, when it comes to spiritual matters, this is exactly what the Arminians contends for. They teach the Creator cannot do what he will with his own and if any are to be saved the creature must help God, lest God's designs be aborted.