God’s Election is not Based on God’s Justice

A Calvinist Attempting to Explain God’s election—“God the Son procured His Father’s favor” (Sonny Hernandez, High Calvinism, p 91)

This is wrong. It’s backwards. God’s favor for the elect resulted in God’s redemption given by God the Son In His death as satisfaction of God’s law

God’s election is not based on God’s foresight of Christ’s death for the elect
Christ’s death for the elect is based on God’s favor to the elect in Christ

God’s election is not because of God’s justice
God’s election shows God’s nature
it’s not only God’s justice but also God’s sovereignty that show God’s nature

Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
32 God did not even hold back His own Son
but God gave the Son up for us
how will God not also with giving the Son give us everything?
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.

John 3: 16 “For God loved in this way–God gave His One and Only Son, in order that as many as who believe in the Son will not perish but have lasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn but to save through the Son

Since God has never had any love or mercy for the non-elect, the non-elect have no additional guilt for “how they react to God’s love an mercy”. But like the elect were when they elect were born, the non-elect are born already guilty before God

Whatever God ordains is not good, because God also ordains evil. This is why we need to know God’s law, because God’s nature is not only revealed in the gospel but also in divine law. We can’t take “the inductive” approach to history to know what’s good for us to do. Matthew 26: 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed

“As it is written”. Even as prophesy is fulfilled, sin is sin and will be punished as sin by death, either the death of Christ or by the death of the non-elect.

Thomas Boston–The Mosaic covenant could never be said to be a covenant of works when it has such mercy in it to sinful men Mark Mcculley—The Mosaic covenant is not a republishing of the covenant of works because there was never any “covenant of works” with Adam published in the first place. God never proposed (plan a) to Adam that Adam could gain justification and lasting life by works. God the Father never proposed to God the Son that God could gain justification for anybody apart from Christ’s death

God’s election is not based on some idea of “a covenant of works” or “a covenant of grace” between God the Father and God the Son.

If you say that there is only one “the covenant of grace”, and that the Mosaic covenant is an “administration of the covenant of grace”, of course you can’t say that the Mosaic law is a covenant of works—– put most of the Jews out of “the covenant of grace” sure, but never put out infants, let them have water (baptism as “means of grace”) because it’s merely a different form of the grace of circumcision…

1. The Bible never says a time would have come when Adam could stop keeping the covenant of works.

2. The Bible never says a time would come when Christ could stop keeping the covenant of works.

3. Therefore Christ is still keeping the covenant of works.

4. OR there is NO “covenant of works” in the Bible for Christ, because Christ’s death (one act of obedience) purchased all the blessings of salvation for all those for whom Christ died.

Matthew 21: 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing its[l] fruit. 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces. But on whoever the stone falls, the stone will grind them to powder!”

A backwards dispensational interpretation–The kingdom of God will be taken away from the Americans and given to the nation of Israel.

a Reformed covenant theology—-The only children of Abraham are those in the sacramental church. Abraham has no other children except those watered by the visible church. The kingdom of God has been taken away from Jews merely by natural generation from Abraham, and the kingdom has been given to us, and to our children by natural generation. But when our children by natural generation are watered by the visible church, they are children of Abraham

Matthew 27: 25 All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!

David Gordon—-“John Murray and his followers believe that the only relation God sustains to people is that of Redeemer. I would argue, by contrast, that God was just as surely Israel’s God when God cursed the nation as when God blessed it. God’s pledge to be Israel’s God, via the terms of the Sinai administration, committed God to curse Israel for disobedience just as much as to bless her for obedience. In being Israel’s God, God sustained the relation of covenant suzerain to her. God did not bless or curse any other nation for its covenant fidelity or infidelity. In this sense, God was not the God of other nations as he was the God of Israel. (p 120 “By Faith Alone”)

Donald Macleod—”It was no part of the work of Christ to make God love us, The very fact of his being on earth at all was proof of the divine love. The business of the atonement, therefore, was to propitiate the God who already loves us: to lay the foundation for an advocacy directed towards him specifically as Father (1 John 2: 1). God unequivocally requires such propitiation, but in the last analysis God also provides the propitiation and God even becomes the propitiation.

The Father elects us in Christ because of the Father’s love for Christ. The Father elects us in Christ because of the Father’s love for elect sinners.

God’s justice in Christ is NOT the cause of God’s love, but it is the necessary means of God’s love.

The death of Christ is not the cause of God’s election in love.
God’s election in love is the cause of the death of Christ.
Jesus, the incarnate Son of God in human flesh, is the foundation of election by being Himself the object of election.

I Peter 1:20 Christ was foreknown /elected before the creation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages for you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave Christ glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Bavinck—As a reaction against this came the development of anti-neonomianism, which had justification precede faith, and antinomianism which reduced justification to God’s eternal love…But the gospel mentions no names and does not say to anyone, personally: Your sins have been forgiven. Therefore it is not proper for any man to take as his starting point the belief that his sins have been forgiven.

According to Antinomians, justification was nothing else than the love of God which is not concerned about the sins of man, which does not require atonement in Christ, and which only needs to be proclaimed in order to enable man to believe. Faith to the antinomians is nothing but a renouncing of the error that God was ever the enemy of the elect.

Bavinck—If one says that “justification as an act immanent in God” must of necessity be eternal, then it should be remembered that taken in that sense everything, including creation, incarnation, atonement, calling, regeneration, is eternal. Whoever would speak of an eternal creation would give cause for great misunderstanding. Besides, the proponents of this view back off themselves, when they assert strongly that eternal justification is not the only, full, and complete justification, but that it has a tendency and purpose to realise itself outwardly. This amounts really to the usual distinction between the decree and its execution.

The counsel of God and all decrees contained therein as a unit are without doubt eternal “immanent acts”, but the external works of God, creation, preservation, governing, redemption, justification, etc., are in the nature of the case “transient acts.” As works they do not belong to the plan of God’s ordering but to the execution of God’s plan.

There is much that we know that we don’t know (“negative theology”) But we should avoid saying that only God the Father elects, and avoid saying that God the Son does not give law or create or choose. We should not leave out God the Holy Spirit

The history of the execution of God’s reveals who God is

We can’t just “soundbite” —as in, “salvation is really all about God’s purpose”

Any “covenant” is cut in history

The new covenant is not the Abrahamic covenant

Israel is never simply Israel (we have to keep still paying attention to the different senses of the Israel ) and NOT say “well we have our spiritual eyes on now and read the OT in terms of what our “one covenant of grace” system already thinks it know about God (Father Son and Holy Spirit)

I am a “federalist”, but “federalism” does not depend on “the covenant of works” and “the covenant of grace” Federalism does not depend on a covenant between the Father and the Son. Federalism is two Adams, two legal representatives God the Son depends on God the Father to be God the Son in the same way that God the Father depends on God the Son to be God the Father. As God, God the Son is equal to God the Father and in no way subordinate. As human, God the Son is necessarily subordinate to God the Father.

Palmer Robertson—“The eternal intention of God to redeem a people to himself certainly must be affirmed, but to speak concretely of an intertrinitarian ‘covenant’ with terms and conditions between Father and Son mutually endorsed before the foundation of the world is to extend the bounds of scriptural evidence beyond propriety.”

Letham– “To describe the relations of the three persons in the Trinity as a covenant, or to affirm that there as a need for them to enter into covenantal arrangements is to open the door to heresy. The will of the Trinity is one; the works of the Trinity are indivisible. For all the good intentions of those who proposed it, the construal of the relations of the three persons of the Trinity in covenantal terms is a departure from classic Trinitarian orthodoxy.”

Bill Parker–What is Salvation, 29 It is not the doctrine of election
that bars sinners from salvation and going to heaven. It is man’s
unbelief that keeps them from being saved.

Mark puts to question—is it man”s unbelief of the gospel that condemns
them? Or were all sinners already born condemned?

If you think the elect were never condemned, how can it be said that
it’s unbelief of the gospel that causes the non-elect to be condemned?
Many who never heard any gospel to reject are already condemned.

later on p 29, “The truth of election does not teach that some sinners
want to be saved but cannot be because of election.”

One, “want to be saved” does not change the fact that God
never had any love or grace or provision of grace for the non-elect.
Non-election will in fact keep any non-elect person from being
saved.

Two, the problem is that many of the non-elect want to be saved but
not by means of God’s gospel.

Three, the problem is that many of the non-elect want to find out that
they are already justified before and without any faith in the true
gospel. They want justification before God without any repentance from
the false gospel.

I find it interesting that some of the very same preachers who are
teaching “eternal election is eternal justification”are the very same
people who also like to say that “non-election is not condemnation”.
They quote CD Cole—“Election is not the cause of anybody going to
hell, for election is unto salvation Neither is non-election
responsible for the damnation of sinners. Sin is the thing that sends
men to hell, and all men are sinners by nature and practice. Sinners
are sinners altogether apart from election or non-election. It does
not follow that because election is unto salvation that non-election
is unto damnation. Sin is the damning element in human life. Election
harms nobody.’

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6 Comments on “God’s Election is not Based on God’s Justice”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    oYu don’t witness the gospel to moderate tolerant Calvinists (because you think they are already Christians)
    you don’t witness the gospel to moderate tolerant Calvinists (because you think they are already Christians)

    but you accuse me of being hyper and antinomian—because I do witness the gospel to moderate tolerant Calvinists?
    Does God justify without using secondary causes (like the power of the gospel)?

    were the elect ever God’s enemies? I mean, not only in their minds, but also in God’s legal accusation system? Yes Ephesians 2

  2. markmcculley Says:

    http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-plan-of-god-covenant-of-redemption.html

    Can the will of the Son to do the Father’s will be the same willing as that of the Father that the Son do the Father’s will, but each expressive of a different habitude, one a filial habitude, the other a paternal habitude? Or the will of the Father to give the Son a bride be the same as that of the will of the Son to be given a bride by the Father? Is that what Owen means? (That is, for every voluntary act of one of the Persons, there are corresponding ‘chiming’ voluntary acts on the parts of the other persons). If so, he is home and dry. Except that there does not seem much that is bilateral (or trilateral) in such states of affairs, as their respective roles in the covenant of redemption requires.

    As Owen earlier says, ‘God’s will be one, as being an essential property of his nature?….Father, Son and Spirit have not distinct wills’. Is he not running into obscurities, even contradictions, in pursuit of a coherent account of an eternal covenant of redemption? Does he not wobble over the question, does the Triune God have one will or not? The going certainly gets pretty treacly, doesn’t it? Is not the wiser course to call off this particular chase and instead to think of the covenantal language used of the Son in Scripture as applying not to an eternal pactum but to the Son’s incarnate life as the Christ?

    I surmise that on balance the language of Scripture to which champions of the covenant of redemption appeal is either frankly anthropomorphic, pictorial, or accommodated language drawn from post-incarnate situations in which the Son, in willing obedience to the will of his Father, has condescended to become incarnate as Jesus Christ, and has as the Lamb of God subordinated himself to the Father in breathtaking fashion. As the redeemer taking human nature Christ could say ‘My meat and drink is to do the will of him that sent me’, so indicating his subordinate economic place regarding the Father, and yet at the same time say ‘I and my Father are one’, so rubber-stamping the one will of God.
    .

  3. markmcculley Says:

    God’s election of sinners in Christ was not based on Christ’s death

    Christ died for elect sinners because God had loved these sinners. God’s election is sovereign love, God’s election is not sovereign justice.

    A Calvinist Attempting to Explain God’s election—“God the Son procured His Father’s favor” (Sonny Hernandez, High Calvinism, p 91)

    This is wrong. It’s backwards. God’s favor for the elect resulted in God’s redemption given by God the Son In His death as satisfaction of God’s law

    john 3: 16 “For God loved in this way–God gave His One and Only Son, in order that as many as who believe in the Son will not perish but have lasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn but to save through the Son

    Donald Macleod—It was no part of the work of Christ to make God love us, The very fact of his being on earth at all was proof of the divine love. The business of the atonement, therefore, was to propitiate the God who already loves us: to lay the foundation for an advocacy directed towards him specifically as Father (1 John 2: 1). God also provides the propitiation and God even becomes the propitiation. In that sense, the atonement is a transaction entirely internal to the trinity. But by virtue of the incarnation, it is also external. It takes place not in heaven, but on Calvary; not in eternity, but on Good Friday, p 71

    God’s election is not based on God’s foresight of Christ’s death for the elect
    Christ’s death for the elect is based on God’s favor to the elect in Christ

    God’s election is not because of God’s justice
    God’s election shows God’s nature to be sovereign and to love
    it’s not only God’s justice that shows God’s nature

    Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
    32 God did not even hold back His own Son
    but God gave the Son up for us
    how will God not also with giving the Son give us everything?
    33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
    God is the One who justifies.

    I am not denying that God can only justify on the basis of Christ’s death. I am saying that the justice of Christ’s death was not the basis for God’s election in the first place.

    Some have held to hypothetical necessity, a view which says that God “could have” forgiven sin and saved his people without atonement or satisfaction, but that this was the way God sovereingly chose to do it.

    I hold to consequent absolute necessity, which says that if atonement was to take place, it must happen in this way. Murray explains, “The word ‘consequent’ in this designation points to the fact that God’s will or decree to save any is of free and sovereign grace. To save lost men was not of absolute necessity but of the sovereign good pleasure of God.

    The terms ‘absolute necessity,’ however, indicate that God, having elected some to everlasting life out of his mere good pleasure, was under the necessity of accomplishing this purpose through the sacrifice of his own Son, a necessity arising from the perfections of his own nature.” So while it was not inherently necessary for God to save anyone, if God was to do so, because of his very nature, it had to happen this way.

    “We are constrained to conclude that the kind of necessity which the Scriptural considerations support is that which may be described as absolute or indispensable. … If we keep in view the gravity of sin and the exigencies arising from the holiness of God which must be met in salvation from it, then the doctrine of indispensable necessity makes Christ’s death intelligible to us in terms of the sovereign purpose of love which Calvary fulfilled. The more we emphasize the inflexible demands of justice and holiness the more marvelous become the love of God and its provisions.”

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/gods-election-is-gods-love

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    NON-ELECTION IS NOT BECAUSE OF SIN, CONDEMNATION IS BECAUSE OF SIN
    ELECTION IS NOT BECAUSE OF RIGHTOUSNESS, JUSTIFICCATION IS BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
    ELECTION IS NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS
    NON-ELECTION IS NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS

    John Fesko— “Richard Gaffin tries to argue, on the basis of the grammar involved
    in a similar Pauline statement, that works are not the ground of
    judgment: “It is not for nothing, I take it, and not to be dismissed
    as an overly fine exegesis to observe, that in Romans 2:6 Paul writes, ‘according (kata) to works,’ not ‘on account of (dia),’ expressing the ground, nor ‘by (ek) works,’ expressing the instrument” (By Faith, Not By Sithgt [Carlisle: Paternoster, 2006], 98-99; similarly, Venema, Gospel, 266). Though Gaffin’s comment concerns Paul’s statement in Romans 2:6, at the same time we find the same prepositional combination with the accusative in John’s statement in Revelation 20:12e, the only difference being in the use of the singular and plural pronouns (cf. Rom 2:6). Gaffin argues this point because he wants to preserve sola fide in the judgment of the works of the believer.

    Yet can such a fine distinction be supported by the grammar alone? The use of “dia” with the accusative means “because of, on account of,” and the use of “kata” with the accusative means “in accordance with, corresponding to” (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 368-69, 376-77). One must ask, what difference exists between the two? In fact, when we delve more deeply into the significance of “kata” with the accusative, we find that “often the noun that follows kata specifies the criterion, standard, or norm in the light of which a statement is made or is true, an action is performed, or a judgment is passed. The prep. will mean
    ‘according to’, ‘in conformity with’, ‘corresponding to.’ This use is
    common in reference to the precise and impartial standard of judgment that will be applied at the great Assize (Matt. 16:27; Rom 2:6; 1 Cor 3:8; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Peter 1:17; Rev 2:23)” (Murray J. Harris, “Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament,” in NIDNTT, 3:1200). Pace Gaffin and Venema, their argument apparently fails to account for judgment kata works for the wicked. This point seems to be borne out by Paul’s own use of kata,

    “He will render each one according to [kata] his works” (Rom. 2:6), but this rendering kata works is for both the righteous (v. 7) and the wicked (v. 8). According to Gaffin’s interpretation, are the wicked judged according to their works, but are they not the ground of their condemnation

    “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due (Rom 4:4) Judgment therefore is indeed kata (in accordance with, or on the basis of) works – the evil works (sins) of the unbeliever

    “Justification: Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine” p. 315

  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    One of the reasons the gospel error happens about all the elect being already justified is a more basic gospel error that claims that God elects because of sinners already being justified. But this is NOT true. God elects sinners in order to justify sinners. God does not elect sinners because God has already justified them.

    Bill Parker—-All who believe eternal justification view justification as they view God’s grace of election. Both justification and election are in view of Christ and based on His blood and righteousness which He would come in time and accomplish for His elect. . If you say that there was “a period of time in which he was not justified before he was justified?”, then you must realize you are saying that there was a period of time that his sins were not
    imputed to Christ, that Christ’s righteousness was not imputed to him, and that, even though he was a vessel of mercy marked out by God for salvation, he was also sentenced to be condemned to eternal death by God.

    So Bill Parker is claiming that God only elects people because they
    are already imputed with Christ’a death. But God’s election was NOT based on Christ having died for some sinners. Christ died only for those sinners God elected in Christ. Election is God’s love, and
    God’s love is not a reaction to justification but the cause for Christ’s
    death and justification.

    Bill Parker–When God did justify Abraham, did God change His mind
    towards Abraham? I don’t believe the cross of Christ or our God-given faith in Christ changed God’s mind toward us.

    mark mcculley— We need to see the distinction between God’s mind in election and God’s mind in justification. God DID NOT ELECT because of legal enmity being only in the mind of the sinner. God DID NOT ELECT a sinner because God had already justified that sinner (in God’s mind). God’s mind in election is love, and giving Christ for the elect is a result of that.

    As for God’s mind in justification, election is not justification.
    Even those God already loves need to be jusified before God. Where sin is imputed, God’s mind will not change, and there will be
    condemnation. Only where sin is not imputed, only where righteousness is imputed, only there will God justify, and this is BECAUSE GOD’S MIND DOES NOT CHANGE ON WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR JUSTIFICATION.

    To claim that justification is only what happens in the mind of the
    sinner is to deny the nature of justification and to confuse justification and regeneration.

    The cause of election is not justification.

    Christ’s death is not the cause of election but the result of election.

    Our justificaation is not the cause of our election but the result of
    Christ’s death for those God loved before they were justified.

    Election is not based on righteousneess imputed and justification

    https://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=1300

  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    We are all born guilty sinners. Contrary to those who teach eternal justification (who say that the elect are elect because they are always justified) , condemnation is not the same as non-election (but is a result of sin and non-election. Justification is not the same as election (but is a result of God’s imputition of Christ’s death for the elect alone
    Bill Parker ——“The only way the elect have ever been under God’s
    wrath is as they stood legally in Christ…This means that God’s elect
    have never personally been under God’s wrath.”
    Bill Parker —If you say that there was “a period of time in which
    Abraham was not justified before he was justified?”, then you must
    realize you are saying that there was a period of time that his sins
    were not imputed to Christ, that Christ’s righteousness was not
    imputed to him, and that, even though Abraham was a vessel of mercy marked out by God for salvation, Abraham was also sentenced to be condemned to eternal death by God.
    Romans 4 : 10 When was righteousness credited to Abraham—while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while Abraham was circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that He HAD BY FAITH by faith while still uncircumcised. This was to make Abraham the father of ALL WHO BELIEVE but are not circumcised, in order that righteousness be credited tothem also.


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