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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « 16 Rules of Biblical Interpretation | Main | Universal Redemption Must be Denied by Jonathan Edwards »

    A Concise Exegetical Defense of "Particular Redemption" in the Gospel of John

    Here is a concise exegetical defense of "particular redemption" in the Gospel of John. Please follow the train of thought to the end.

    Jesus said, "All that the Father gives me will come to me" (John 6:37) - From this text we understand that all that the Father gives to the Son will believe in him. It does not read "some" of those given by the Father will believe but reads "all" of those the Father has given the Son will believe. Note that it also teaches that the giving to the Son precedes their believing in Him. Lets make some other connections here ....

    Please notice how this text relates directly to a passage by the same author in John 17, the High Priestly prayer. Jesus uses the same language of "those the Father has given me" when he says "I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours" (John 17:9) So He makes a clear distinction of those He prays for and those He does not before going to the cross for them .... and of these same people in verse 19 Jesus prays "And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." That is incredible ... He sanctifies Himself so "those the Father has given Him" will also be sanctified ... and in verse 24 he establishes that he further is speaking not only of the immediate disciples but of others who the Father has "given him" who hear their word. This exegetically demonstrates the truth of particular redemption, especially since Jesus is praying for all those the Father has given him just prior to going to the cross to sanctify them.

    J.W.H.

    Posted by John on November 29, 2012 02:15 PM

    Comments

    It does seem strange that those who argue against particular redemption hold to His Name to be both the Alpha and Omega? Either He is and His Words have the meaning both particular redemption in the citations given in this blog article and His Name have or they clearly do not?

    In light of this that I have said could you exegete Hebrews 6:3 for me as I am now of the opinion that some are saved in their ignorance and immaturity because they are truly elected just misguided and immature?

    [I thought you might find this interesting, it was my reply to an Arminian regarding John's paper]

    You said: "I don't believe in limited election..."
    [this is actually called limited atonement]

    Consider:

    Jehovahs Witness: "I don't believe in the Trinity."

    Well of course not, but that's not the issue. Any person can divide on the basis of the subjectivity of their preference or personal impression of theology. The issue is not merely WHAT we believe, but WHY we believe what we believe.

    The issue (in the case of particular redemption) IS NOT personal belief, but whether or not the doctrine itself is true! [so likewise with the Trinity]

    So... if a person teaches the opposite of definitive atonement (indefinite atonement) then they are under OBLIGATION to defend their teaching (1Thess 5:21).

    The burden of proof is always on the one making the assertion (Acts 17:11, 1John 4:1).

    Not liking an argument and refuting an argument are two separate things. Jehovahs Witnesses don't like the arguments in favor of the deity of Christ, but this does not disprove the arguments in favor of the deity of Christ (2Tim 4:3).

    If a person teaches indefinite atonement then they will have no choice but to defend it in light of Scripture. This means one must make a positive case for the position, as well as refute negative arguments against it (Acts 17:11).

    Consider:

    If a Jehovahs Witness makes a positive argument for the exclusive humanity of Christ (which they attempt to do) would this automatically make their position true? The answer is NO--- because there are negative arguments against their position, which they refuse to interact with, which means their position still needs to be proved. This makes their handling of the text shallow and superficial, which is usually the case with all false theology.

    Is it possible that your belief in indefinite atonement is false? If not then you should be able to PROVE it from Scripture in light of contrary scriptures.

    Is it possible that the Jehovahs Witness belief in God is false? If they say no then they should be able to PROVE if from Scripture in light of contrary scriptures. Don't you agree?

    And on that note: I am not able to refute the paper I sent you... since you don't agree with it; WHY don't you agree with it; WHY do you believe it is a false representation of the text? Your answer would be very helpful to me as I am not able to see how the teaching is a distortion of the text. In that you claim to know it is false I presume you will be able to provide me with an answer?

    Then a semipelagian would argue that those of whom the Father gives to the Son are those whom He knew would freely say yes (in a synergistic way)

    In the article on John 17 you said, "and in verse 34 he establishes that he further is speaking not only of the immediate disciples...". John 17 only has 26 verses, so what is really the correct verse that you meant to use?

    Gregory S. Gill

    Thanks for pointing that out. It was a typo. Verse 24 (not 34) is the correct one.

    Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

    This follows the statement: "those who will believe in me through their (the disciples') word"... which demonstrates that "those who you have given me" is a reference not only to those in his immediate circle but refers to those Christ has ransomed from all the people's of the earth. Going back to John 6 the language is also clearly referring to more than just the disciples.

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