Election and Salvation, Round Three

Posted By on January 14, 2011

I decided to throw together a short video (9 minutes) to try and better explain/illustrate what my take on this topic is.  I reference my thoughts on baptism therein — how it is divorced from salvation, just as circumcision was — and so it might be useful to skim that first.

At any rate, here is the video (turn up your speakers).

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19 Responses to “Election and Salvation, Round Three”

  1. Nobunaga says:

    I cant remember if you have mentioned the anomalies to the general model you present, like Naman or Nebuchadnezzar in the Old Testament.

    They seem to come from nowhere and join the saved group bypassing election in your model, i think this leads into predestination though and i dont know if your going there ?

    • MSH says:

      I did mention Naaman briefly as an example of a non-elect (Gentile) person who believed. I don’t see that as an argument for or against predestination. I don’t think it’s clear Nebuchadnezzar was actually a believer. He could only be a henotheist.

      • Marc Wilson says:

        Did I get this parallel correct in the video: Saved OT Gentile (e.g. Naaman; or Gentiles that believed and subsequently became circumcised to become members of the covenant/elect People of God) would be similar to the NT adult (not reared in the covenant/elect/church community) who came to faith in Christ and was then baptized? If so, we may conclude that those who join the covenant community via circumcision and/or baptism, even if not born into that community, are still elect regardless of nationality/ancestry in BOTH the Old AND New Testaments? I understand Israel’s election to be a priestly nation which is really a narrowing of the Abrahamic covenant of circumcision (which involved circumcising all members of one’s/Abraham’s household; biological and non-biological). I guess my pondering is that the covenant of circumcision (which I see as distinct from the covenant between the pieces of Genesis 15; ref. Paul R. Williamson) included God’s promise to bless *all the families of the earth* (Gen. 17). Conclusively, can we really say that one had to be an Israelite or Jew in the OT to be elect, or can any recipient of the sign of the covenant (i.e. – circumcision) be considered elect? Or, is election primarily reserved for a community? I realize I am only dealing with the election component as it relates to covenant and not dealing with the saved/remnant/believing members within these elect communities.

      • Nobunaga says:

        Yeah it’s debatable whether Nebuchadnezzar was “saved” or not as a side issue, but if someone jumps from the non elect into the saved zone as per your graph then he must be predestined to salvation. Extending this line of thought into the NT and linking

        Israel – Church
        Baptism – Circumcision

        i would be one of the anomalies that never came to salvation through the elect as i was not brought up within the Church (elect) and had no Christian parentage. Maybe i’m looking at this in a different way.

  2. Dennis Jackson says:

    Hi Mike,

    I just went over the election discussion. There’s alot to digest, but I don’t recall seeing Acts 13:48 referenced: When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

    Doesn’t this mean that some are appointed and others are not?

    • MSH says:

      as I noted in the graph and video, in NT terms, election is circumcision neutral. Since those who believe are a subset of the elect, it makes sense to say that all who believe were elect. I did not throw out Romans 8 at that point — Paul marries God’s will to have a remnant with predestination. That would be in line with Acts 13:48 (and Paul’s comment about there being a remnant; cf. the video).

  3. Anonymous says:

    So I guess the question now is, is remanence synonymous with salvation ?

  4. haibane13 says:

    So I guess the question now is , is remanance and salvation synonyms ?

  5. Marc Wilson says:

    Great posts. Thanks. Clear and sound articulation, and I appreciated your treatment of baptism within the scope of covenant and election. For some reason, I haven’t been receiving your post updates via email, so I’m playing catch-up. Therefore, if you’ve addressed these questions in the comments (which I haven’t read very carefully) under the previous post on Election and Salvation, just refer me there, please.
    Can you illustrate the relationship between unbelief/apostasy with the sinning against the Holy Spirit that cannot be forgiven? Also, I couple faith/belief with repentance as an essential component and see this turning from self (a daily crucifying of the flesh) to God in trust/dependence/faith in His Promises/Word (all of which find their “yes” in Jesus) as a daily on-going component of saving faith touched upon in Luke 9:23-24. I understand this to be the on-going need of the Christian to hear and be reminded of, and believe in, the Gospel of Jesus’ Person and works; of continual repentance and subsequent faith in Jesus. Is this combining of these elements, especially the understanding of repentance as an aspect to saving faith, true to a biblical-theology of repentance and congruent with your perspective? Thanks for your insights as always!

  6. CMA says:

    I enjoy your posts on election. Like most, I have my presuppositions about election, grace, etc., but am always open to something I have overlooked. Jesus’ treatment of the Jews in John 5 should keep us all open to the fact that we can miss the obvious.

    Anyway, you have my brain working and for that I am most appreciative. I do have a question for you.

    God made a covenant with the elect through Abraham – the OT elect being the apostates and the remnant (if I understand you correctly). But, isn’t Jesus’ covenant made only with those that are saved (those written in the lamb’s book of life since before the foundation of the world – Rev 13)? In other words, the Jeremiah 31:31 covenant that Jesus ushered is not made with an “elect” that contain a group who are not “saved” is it? I would be curious to see how this plays out.

    • MSH says:

      one could easily argue that the new covenant that replaces the old (which is certainly with the “elect”) has the saved in mind, as it is linked to the giving / indwelling of the Spirit. The new replaces the old.

  7. Ashley says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this post – it did help to clarify some of my confusion from the last post. Like some of the other commenters, I immediately thought of some OT examples of those who were saved but not part of the original elect (Rahab was the first to come to mind for me), but your reply to those comments reminded me that you had dealt with this in the baptism/circumcision post, explaining that these people were brought into the elect community. I’m looking forward to hearing more about predestination.

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