74. A Different Kind of Election

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The presidential election for 2016 is over!

So it’s time to talk about a different kind of election, the election of sinners by God to salvation. Andy shares the five points of Calvinism and Arminianism, the two common theological systems that are debated and compared when discussing God’s role in salvation.  But then the curveball comes, the Lutheran position on election is presented, a position which rarely discussed in the predestination debate among Christians.  The Lutheran understanding of single-predestination is by far a different election from Calvin’s double-predestination.

Some show notes:

Five Points of Calvinism

T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints

Five Points of Arminianism

  1. Free-will, human-ability
  2. Conditional Election (Election is Foreknowledge)
  3. General Atonement (Objective Justification)
  4. The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
  5. Falling from Grace

Lutherans hold to 1.5 points of Calvinism and 3 Points of Arminianism

Total Depravity and Predestination for Salvation
General Atonement, Grace is Resistible, and Falling from Faith

We are saved by grace through faith.  

John 3:16
Ephesians 2:8-9
Romans 4:5

Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5

1 Corinthians 12:3
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 2:5 “God makes us alive.”
Romans 9:16
John 6:29

We are incapable of deciding to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Ephesians 2:1 “We are dead in our sins and trespasses.”
John 1:13
John 6:441 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth?  None!

Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved.

Here’s what Scripture says on the matter:

God elects/predestines to salvation!

Ephesians 1:3-13, 4:3-5
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:4-5 “God made us alive (spiritually).
Romans 8:29-30
2 Timothy 1:8-9

It is the will of God that no man should perish!

1 Timothy 1:3-4
2 Peter 3:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

49. Is Total Depravity in Scripture Alone?

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Total Depravity
Frank Frazetta Painting – Pretty good depiction of what it means to be enslaved to sin and unable to do anything about it.

Total depravity is a divisive doctrine within the Christian Church. This doctrine teaches that since the Fall of Man, all of mankind is in a state of complete corruption by sin. Our minds, bodies, spirit, emotions, desires, will, relationships – OUR EVERYTHING – is ruined by sin. The wreckage is so great that we can do nothing whatsoever to please God, draw near to him, or to please him. We are truly dead in our sin.

If we can do nothing to accept God, then that must mean our salvation is purely a gift. Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8) Most Christians recognize that grace is pure gift, but total depravity necessitates that the faith of believers must also be solely a gift, the work of God alone.

If faith is a gift of God, then why are some saved and the multitudes damned? Did God not love them? Did Christ not die for them? Did God not choose to save them?

These questions and many more rightly flow from a proper understanding of the doctrine of total depravity. Before addressing these questions, we must ask, “Does the Bible teach total depravity?” If this teaching can’t be found in Scripture alone, we should reject the doctrine. But if total depravity is in Scripture, we must address the questions of predestination, and we must do so from Scripture alone.

Show Links:

Travis Carden’s “Total Depravity Verse List”

Got Questions’ “Total Depravity – Is it Biblical?”

Theopedia’s Total Depravity Entry