Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
The guiding principle is that the elect in Christ are no
longer under condemnation, as confirmed by Romans
8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus.” The rest, however,
remain under the condemnation of the Law. These
do not believe in Jesus. In contrast, those who do
believe in Jesus, are no longer condemned. These are
believers. Now do the math on who the elect are.
Calvinist, James White: “We do not know who the elect are; hence, we preach the gospel to every creature.” (Debating Calvinism, p.135, emphasis mine)
Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer: “All of the elect will be saved because God’s grace will accomplish God’s work.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.188, emphasis mine)
Rather, all of the elect are saved. Lutzer suggests that there is a host of lost people, some of which who haven’t yet been born, who “will be” saved, and must be saved, because they are of an alleged, eternal flock of the Father.
Question: Who are “God’s elect?”
Answer: In this context, born again Christians. “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7)
Question: What does it meant to be “elect”?
Answer: It means being chosen. If you will recall, the Jewish people are known as the “chosen people.” Deuteronomy 14:2 states: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Compare with 1st Peter 2:9 which states: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Do you notice the similarity? If you were born a Jew, then you were born into the chosen race. However, if you are born again, then you are born into the ultimate chosen race. Although the Jews were called “the elect,” it is born again Christians who are “the elect” in a far deeper meaning, and anyone can be elect, if you will be born again by giving your heart to Christ.
Consider John 3:18, in which Jesus states: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
True or False: The “elect” are the whosoever-wills.
Answer: False. The “elect” are the whosoever-has. “The elect” are Christians. “The elect” are those who are in Christ, and Romans 8:1 states: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Previously, there was condemnation for unbelievers (John 3:18), but for believers in Christ, there is now no longer any condemnation.
Question: How does John 3:18 define the believer?
Answer: Someone who “believes in Him.”
Question: How does John 3:18 define the unbeliever?
Answer: One who has “not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Question: How does Jesus contrast the consequence of the two?
Answer: One is “not judged” while the other is “judged already.”
Question: Is it possible to simultaneously be someone who “believes in Him” and has “not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”?
Question: According to Romans 8:33, are the “elect” not judged, or judged already?
Answer: Not judged.
Question: Can a person simultaneously be both “elect” [which = not judged] and “has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” [which = judged already]?
Answer: By the principle of Mutual Exclusion, no.
Compare the two groups:
Redeemed: The elect in Christ. (Romans 8:1, 33) Believers in Christ. (John 3:18)
Condemned: Unbelievers. (John 3:18)
Now do the math: The elect in Christ and believers in Christ are one and the same.
Question: What would happen if you put an elect person in that other box?
Answer: You would have a redeemed unbeliever, in violation of John 3:18.
Laurence Vance: “There is no such animal as an ‘elect unregenerate’ child of God.” (The Other Side of Calvinism, p.336, emphasis mine)
Bottom line: You cannot have elect unbelievers. Therefore, the theory that “the elect” are the whosoever-wills, implodes. The New Testament “elect” are believing, born again Christians. You uncircumcised Gentiles, who were shunned by Peter, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you belong to the chosen race, because the blood that flows their your veins is the blood of Jesus Christ, and that is what makes you part of a whole new race, that is, the race of the redeemed in Christ. You are the chosen people, because you have been spiritually born into it, precisely when you became born again.
John Calvin: “Paul shows that believers are in no danger of undergoing condemnation….” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.184, emphasis mine)
Exactly, just as in contrast, unbelievers are most certainly in danger of undergoing condemnation, and since the elect are free from condemnation (Romans 8:33), “the elect” cannot include unbelievers.
Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer: “God works in the hearts of the elect so that they desire to come to Christ.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.192, emphasis mine)
Negative. The elect are already in Christ. Calvinists insist that the elect includes unbelievers.
Dave Hunt: “…Romans 8 is clearly addressed to Christians.” (Debating Calvinism, p.87)
John Calvin: “Paul also refers to them as elect, in such a way as to have no doubt of his being in their number. He had that knowledge not, as some sophists falsely state, by special revelation, but by a perception common to all the godly. The statement, therefore, here used of the elect may, according to the example of Paul, be applied by all the godly to themselves.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.185, emphasis mine)
I add that it can only be applied to those in Christ, which is not at all what Calvinism teaches. Consider the following quote in terms of Calvinism’s “certain number” of the elect, will-be Christians:
Erwin Lutzer: “Most Calvinists believe that Christ’s death was sufficient for all; but the intention of the cross was to save only the elect. If God from all eternity purposed to save only one portion of the human race and not another, the purpose of the cross would be to redeem these chosen ones to himself. We can know whether we belong to that number.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.187, emphasis mine)
Calvinists view “the elect” as an element in Adam predestined “to become” in Christ, secretly “hidden in God” all along, as Calvin suggests:
John Calvin: “Whom He predestinated or appointed, them He also called; and whom He called, then He also justified. Here clearly the apostle speaks of a certain number whom God destined as a property peculiar to Himself. For though God calls very many by other means, and especially by the external ministry of men, yet He justifies and finally glorifies none except those He ordains to life. The calling is therefore a certain and specific calling, which seals and ratifies the eternal election of God so as to make manifest what was before hidden in God.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.70, emphasis mine)
The foundation of Calvinism is an eternal in the Father election, pure and simple. When the Calvinist speaks of “the elect,” he means the elect of the alleged, eternal flock of the Father. When an Arminian speaks of the elect, he means the redeemed in Christ. Let the Bible decide which is correct.