1st John 2:23-24 (see also John 14:6; Colossians 3:3; 1st John 5:20; Jude 1:1)
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
Jude: 1:1: “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.”
Calvinist, William MacDonald: “Here we have the wonderful truth of the unity between the Father and the Son. You cannot have the Father unless you have the Son. This is a message which should be heeded by all Unitarians, Christian Scientists, Muslims, Modernists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Jews.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2315, emphasis mine)
Wait! Why didn’t he include the Calvinists? Aren’t the Calvinists the absolute worst offenders of this, since they claim to be eternally hidden in the Father as “elect” in order to be given to the Son?
Question: What is the fundamental principle of Calvinistic Election?
Answer: That there is an eternal flock of the Father, whom the Father gives to His Son. See for yourself, and then keep in mind, the comment made by MacDonald.
Notice what MacDonald elsewhere states: “Election refers to His sovereign, eternal choice of individuals to belong to Himself.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2290, emphasis mine)
John Calvin: “First he points out the eternity of election, and then how we should think of it. Christ says that the elect always belonged to God. God therefore distinguishes them from the reprobate, not by faith, nor by any merit, but by pure grace; for while they are far away from him, he regards them in secret as his own.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.393, emphasis mine)
Calvinist, James White: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” (Debating Calvinism, p.118, emphasis mine)
Well I dispute it, and refute it on the basis of 1st John 2:23-24, as a sinner can only have such a standing with the Father through the shed blood of the Son.
White believes that he was eternally hidden in the Father, and on that basis, given to the Son in order to become His. That’s Calvinism 101, and it meets 100% the rebuke that MacDonald has for the cults and false religions. So why can’t Calvinists see that?
Question: So why is this so unbiblical? Why is it that you cannot have the Father, unless you have the Son?
Answer: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (John 14:6) The fact is that there is only one person who was eternally in the Father:
John 10:38: “But if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
John 14:10: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”
John 14:11: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
The point of 1st John 2:23-24 is that we can have a relationship with the Father, in the Father, adopted in His family, solely based upon our identification with and position in His Son:
Colossians 3:3: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
1st John 5:20: “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him [the Father] who is true; and we are in Him [the Father] who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
1st John 2:24: “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
Biblical election is that your right-standing with the Father is your identification with Christ. Your adoption in the Father, by which you can genuinely call Him Father, is based upon Christ. However, according to Calvinism, independent of Christ, you already have right-standing with the Father:
John Calvin: “This way of speaking, however, may seem to be different from many passages of Scripture which attribute to Christ the first foundation of God’s love for us and show that outside Christ we are detested by God. But we ought to remember, as I have already said, that the Heavenly Father’s secret love which embraced us is the first love given to us.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, pp.76, emphasis mine)
Calvin sensed the error, in that it seems to be different, namely wrong, because Calvinism requires it. Not only does Calvinism require it, it is the essence of Calvinism. This is a message which should be heeded by all...Calvinists.