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.
Calvinist, James White, responds: “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, writes: “All of the elect will be saved because God’s grace will accomplish God’s work.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.188, emphasis mine)
I know who the elect are. They’re Christians. Moreover, it’s not that all of the elect will be saved. Rather, all of the elect are saved, which is because they are in Christ, in which there is no condemnation, which can only be believers, since un-believers are instead condemned already. (John 3:18)
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.”
Compare the two groups:
Do the math: The elect in Christ and believers in Christ are one and the same.
Lawrence Vance explains: “There is no such animal as an ‘elect unregenerate’ child of God.” (The Other Side of Calvinism, p.336, emphasis mine)
John Calvin comments: “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, writes: “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 writes: “…Romans 8 is clearly addressed to Christians.” (Debating Calvinism, p.87)
Calvin adds: “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:
Lutzer also writes: “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 writes: “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.