Category: Guided Tour of the Bible

What is Election? (guest post)

What is Election? (guest post)

The following is provided by our dear friend, the eminent theologian and most learned scholar, James Quiggle…

Some may not know what election is, others many not understand, and many may have heard only a distorted view of election. Here is a brief explanation. First a definition.

Election. The choice of a sovereign God, 1) to give the gift of grace-faith-salvation to effect the salvation of some sinners, and 2) to take no action, positive or negative, to either effect or deny salvation to other sinners. The decree of election includes all means necessary to effectuate salvation in those elected. [Quiggle, “Dictionary of Doctrinal Words,” s. v. “Election (1)”]

The Greek word translated “he chose” in Ephesians 1:4 (most versions) is eklégō [Zodhiates, s. v. “1586”]. The word means “to select, to choose,” and is translated choose, chose, chosen, or elect in twenty-two verses. This word, as used by the Greeks and Romans, and as used by the New Testament writers, does not necessarily imply an adverse or negative action toward those not chosen. Nor, as used by the New Testament writers in regard to election to salvation, does this word imply something meritorious in those chosen, or something undesirable in those not chosen. When used with regard to salvation, eklégō simply means God made a choice. [Quiggle, “God’s Choices,” 17.]

God, before he created anything, saw all human beings as sinners. In the foreordaining acts of God to sovereignly make a universe according to his purpose in creating, God created a sinless human being, Adam. God chose to allow Adam to choose his path in life. The choices available to Adam were continued submission and obedience to God’s authority, Genesis 2:17, or rebellion against God. Adam chose rebellion, Genesis 3:6. The principle of rebellion against God is known as “sin.” Adam’s disobedience to God’s commandment added the principle of rebellion, sin, to his human nature, permanently changing Adam from sinless to sinner.

Adam was the seminal and legal representative of his descendants: his sin became their sin. Seminally his sin became their sin because Adam’s sin changed his human nature, adding the principle of rebellion against God. When Adam procreated, his sinful nature was inherited by his descendants, Genesis 5:3. Thus, Romans 5:12, sin entered the world through one man’s sin and spread to all human beings, so that all in Adam die, 1 Corinthians 15:22. Legally, Adam was the representative of his race, the legal head because the seminal head. The judicial guilt of Adam’s sin was imputed to his descendants. (Just as the righteousness of Christ is imputed to those who are his “descendants,” not physically, but those who believe on him for salvation.)

God, then, in the process of his foreordaining choices, saw all human beings—the descendants of Adam— as sinners because of Adam’s sin. God sovereignly chose to save some sinners, justly leaving the rest as he found them. God never says why he made an electing choice, nor the reasons for the choice, nor the reasons for his particular choices (which individuals he would elect). God, with all his attributes acting in union and harmony, chose to establish a covenant relationship with some sinners, and bring them into that covenant through salvation. God made a decision of his will, not an emotional decision. God’s decision toward the non-elect to leave them as he found them, in their sin, was also not an emotional decision, but a decision of his will that, like the decision to elect some, would fulfill his purpose in creating.

God’s love and mercy in election was his decision to seek the best good for some sinners, without expectation of recompense or reciprocity, and without consideration of their merit (they had none) or demerit, 1 John 4:10. He made this decision without favoritism toward the elect. Those God elected were chosen in love and mercy (Ephesians 1:4; 2:4) to be saved, sanctified, and adopted, to the praise of his glory. That same love does not prevent any non-elect from choosing to come to God through faith in God’s testimony concerning salvation to believe and be saved.

Because election does not prejudice God against the non-elect, God would, in fact, act savingly toward any non-elect if they did choose to seek him and come to him for salvation. But their desire for their sin persuades them to make the choice to reject God. Sin is an attribute of fallen human nature, a principle or attribute of evil that motivates human beings to rebel against God, disobey his commandments, and seek a path in life apart from God. Sin has authority (dominion, rule) over the sinner, not as some invincible overlord, but as an innate part of human nature constructively working with all the other attributes of human nature to persuasively incline the will to choose an act of sinning. The evil attribute sin influences every other attribute with the inclination to sin, and in that sense sin can be said to dominate the will. The sinner freely chooses sinning because his will is of itself always inclined to choose sinning, and as being rebellious and disobedient toward God never desires to change its inclination to choose sinning to rebel against God, disobey his commandments, and seek a path in life apart from God.

The propitiation (atonement) Christ made on the cross for sin completely satisfied God’s justice for the crime of sin, all sin, 1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25. Propitiation (atonement) powers redemption, but propitiation is not redemption. Propitiation is directed toward God to satisfy God’s justice for the crime of sin. God’s justice being satisfied, God could act righteously to redeem sinners according to his sovereign choices.

God, for reasons suitable to his purpose in creating, reasons known only to himself, acted sovereignly to choose to redeem some sinners (election, Ephesians 1:4) by applying the merit of Christ’s propitiation, through his gift of grace-faith-salvation (Ephesians 2:8) to their spiritual need, thereby regenerating their soul, leading to the sinner’s exercise of faith, and the forgiveness of sins. Election guarantees the salvation of the elect, but neither helps nor hinders the non-elect, who could be saved, if they would freely choose to be saved. But the desire of the non-elect for their sin is so powerful they do not choose to be saved. Thus the necessity of God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation to effect faith and salvation in the sinner.

An illustration of election. The river of sinful humankind is justly racing toward the waterfall of death emptying into the lake of eternal fire; God reaches into the river and saves many; he prevents no one from swimming to the safety of the heavenly shore; he puts his saved people on the shore encouraging all to believe on Christ and be saved; he saves all that come to him by faith in his testimony of salvation.

A complete explanation of foreordination and election may be found in my book, “God’s Choices, the Doctrines of Foreordination, Election, and Predestination.”

Teaching Outline of Genesis (Dr. Harold Wilmington_

Teaching Outline of Genesis (Dr. Harold Wilmington_

We haev given you a theological outline of Genesis and now we would like to share Dr. Harold Wilmington’s Teaching Outline of Genesis…

Genesis

  1. GOD AND EARLY HUMANITY  (1:1-11:32)
    1. Creation  (1:1-2:3)
    2. The Garden of Eden  (2:4-25)
    3. The Fall  (3:1-24)
    4. Cain and Abel  (4:1-26)
    5. From Adam to Noah  (5:1-32)
    6. The Flood  (6:1-9:29)
    7. Noah’s descendants  (10:1-32)
    8. The Tower of Babel  (11:1-9)
    9. From Shem to Abraham  (11:10-32)
  2. GOD AND THE PATRIARCHS  (12:1-50:26)
    1. Abraham  (12:1-25:10)
      1. The call of Abram  (12:1-9)
      2. Abram visits Egypt  (12:10-20)
      3. Abram and Lot separate  (13:1-18)
      4. Abram rescues Lot  (14:1-16)
      5. Melchizedek  (14:17-24)
      6. God’s covenant with Abram  (15:1-21)
      7. Hagar and Ishmael  (16:1-16)
      8. Abram becomes Abraham  (17:1-8)
      9. The covenant of circumcision  (17:9-14)
      10. God promises Abraham a son  (17:15-18:15)
      11. Sodom and Gomorrah  (18:16-19:29)
      12. Lot and his daughters  (19:30-38)
      13. Abraham deceives Abimelech  (20:1-18)
      14. Birth of Isaac  (21:1-7)
      15. Hagar and Ishmael sent away  (21:8-21)
      16. Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech  (21:22-34)
      17. Abraham told to offer Isaac  (22:1-24)
      18. Sarah dies, buried at Machpelah  (23:1-20)
      19. Isaac and Rebekah  (24:1-67)
      20. Death of Abraham  (25:1-10)
    2. Isaac  (25:11-27:46)
      1. Death and genealogy of Ishmael  (25:12-18)
      2. Jacob and Esau  (25:19-34)
      3. God’s promise to Isaac  (26:1-5)
      4. Isaac and the Philistines  (26:6-35)
      5. Jacob gets Esau’s blessing  (27:1-46)
    3. Jacob  (28:1-36:43)
      1. The stairway to heaven  (28:1-22)
      2. Leah and Rachel  (29:1-30)
      3. Jacob and his children  (29:31-30:24)
      4. Jacob and Laban  (30:25-31:55)
      5. Jacob wrestles with God  (32:1-32)
      6. Jacob and Esau reunited  (33:1-20)
      7. Dinah and the Shechemites  (34:1-31)
      8. Jacob returns to Bethel  (35:1-29)
      9. Genealogy of Esau  (36:1-43)
    4. Joseph  (37:1-50:26)
      1. Joseph’s dreams  (37:1-11)
      2. Joseph sold into slavery  (37:12-36)
      3. Judah and Tamar  (38:1-30)
      4. Joseph and Potiphar’s wife  (39:1-19)
      5. Joseph in prison  (39:20-40:23)
      6. Pharaoh’s dreams  (41:1-36)
      7. Joseph, prime minister of Egypt  (41:37-57)
      8. Joseph helps, forgives brothers  (42:1-45:28)
      9. Jacob and family settle in Egypt  (46:1-47:31)
      10. Jacob’s last days  (48:1-49:33)
      11. Joseph’s last days  (50:1-26)

Excerpted from Willmington’s Bible Handbook

Theological Outline of Genesis

Theological Outline of Genesis

Genesis can be outkined a number of ways, by theology, content, literary narrative etc. Below is an outline of Genesis based on theology.

  1. CREATION (1-2)
    1. Of the Universe (1)
    2. Of Human Beings (2)
  2. CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCES (3-11)
    1. Sin and Personal Consequences (3-4)
    2. Wickedness and Universal Consequences (5-9)
    3. Disobedience and International Consequences (10-11)
  3. COVENANT OF PROMISE/ABRAHAMIC COVENANT (12-50)
    1. Made with Abraham (12-25)
    2. Confirmed to Isaac (26-27)
    3. Confirmed to Jacob/Israel (28-36)
    4. Worked out through Joseph (37-50)

 

The Gospel in Genesis

The Gospel in Genesis

The Gospel in Genesis

The foundation stories of Genesis set the stage of the drama of Scripture in many ways. First, the Creator is the King over all of his creation. He has made everything well and has chosen humans to be his image-bearers on earth. They were created to live in glad relationship with their heavenly Father.

Second, sin entered the world and took away human freedom—through the consequences and dominion of evil. Sin, alienation, and death now mark human existence.

Third, in contrast to the continual disobedience of humanity, God reveals the depth of his grace and love. Though all human beings bear the scars of the sin of Adam and Eve, the Lord continues in his everlasting grace to work out his purposes. He is the heavenly Father who does not give up on his earthly children. In the wake of the flood that came to punish pervasive evil and destroyed almost all life, God promised to maintain his grace to all created life, both animal and human.

Fourth, God called frail humans to represent him: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Each of these men was profoundly flawed, a point to which the Bible gives ample testimony. Yet God gave them grace upon grace, keeping his promise, at whatever cost, to bless them and through them to bless all humanity.

Fifth, these giants of faith learned to love God more than the goods of this life. They served God, and despite their flawed humanity God made them lights in their dark generations. They walked with God by his grace and learned wisdom from him. Through these stories Moses taught Israel that there are one of two paths people must choose: folly and death, or wisdom and life.

Sixth, Genesis reveals that the riches of God’s grace render people without excuse. People at the time of Enosh, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph received God’s grace and walked with him. Others received messages of grace and spurned them—with evident consequences (e.g., Cain, the generation of the flood, and Esau).

Seventh, the Lord of the universe committed himself by oath to one man, Abraham. Then, God promised to extend his grace to all humanity through that one man’s “offspring.” Though Israel was numbered among Abraham’s offspring, the sad stories of that nation evidence her lack of faith, her inability to accomplish what God required, and her need of God’s provision. That provision was ultimately made through the eventual coming of Jesus Christ from the lineage of Israel. Only in him do we learn how the promises of God are made true (2 Cor. 1:20). He is the true and final Good News in which all of God’s promises find decisive fulfillment. He is the promised “offspring” of Abraham who will accomplish God’s covenant purposes (Gen. 3:15; 12:7Gal. 3:16). Beginning with his first coming and to be completed at his second coming, Jesus opens the doors to the new creation and the new humanity—to a world without the sin, death, and evil that found their entry as first described in Genesis. The final triumph of Jesus over all evil is first described in this Bible book as well (Gen. 3:15).

 

Taken from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible