Temple Baptist Church - 5-10-2015
1 Thessalonians 1:4-6
A. When addressing the church at Thessalonica, Paul uses the phrase “knowing your election of God.” The doctrine of Biblical Election has caused much unnecessary confusion since the late 1500’s and the writings of John Calvin. I certainly am not a follower of Calvinism because its tenets are unbiblical!
1. Calvinism teaches Total Depravity as Total Inability which is doctrinal heresy.
John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Proverbs 1:23-25 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Genesis 4:6-7 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? (7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Cain’s lost condition was a sin problem, not an election problem. God gave Cain a second chance to be saved.)
2. Calvinism teaches Unconditional Election which is doctrinal heresy! There are conditions to salvation!
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (The condition of hearing God’s Word.)
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (The condition of repentance.)
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (The condition of believing.)
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (The condition of the new birth.)
3. Calvinism teaches Limited Atonement which is doctrinal heresy! The Lord Jesus Christ died for all mankind.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
4. Calvinism teaches Irresistible Grace which is doctrinal heresy! Men have and always will reject and resist the wooing of the Holy Ghost!
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Zechariah 7:11-12 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
5. Calvinism teaches Perseverance of the Saints which is doctrinal heresy! Perseverance means to continue to the end. God’s people are preserved! Perseverance is something you do while preservation is something that is done to you by God.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
B. Election involves the church, the body of Christ. We entered into election when we were saved. Verse 5 begins with the word “for” which draws a conclusion. A good synonym to remember when thinking of “for” is the word “because.” The “election” in verse four is explained in verses 5-6.
1. The preaching of God’s Word. “in word”
a. The importance of God’s Word cannot be over emphasized. Without God’s Word, there can be no salvation. Romans 10:17 So then faithcometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
b. The preaching of God’s Word cannot be over emphasized. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
2. The power of God’s Word. “but also in power”
a. The power of the gospel does not lie:
1) In the preacher’s persuasion, otherwise men would be the converters of souls. Too many people are converts of men and not of God.
2) In the preacher’s education, otherwise it would consist in the wisdom of men. The Bible clearly says “not many wise!” Though education is a good thing if used in a righteous manner, most of the time it causes men to doubt God’s Word and swerve from the Old Paths.
b. The power of the gospel lies in the power of the Holy Ghost. “in the Holy Ghost”
1) The power of His convincing of the Saviour. The Holy Ghost always points men to Christ instead of to men or denominations.
2) The power of His convicting of sin. The Holy Ghost always convicts the sinner of sin but allows the sinner to make his own choice.
3) The power of His converting of sinners. The Holy Ghost baptizes the believer into the body of Christ and changes his direction and life.
3. The peace of God’s Word. “in much assurance” Not necessarily full assurance which so often comes with walking with the Lord and learning to trust Him in both salvation and for your life. John 5:13, establishes that it is a possibility to be saved and have doubts or lack of assurance.
a. Believing the record of God’s Word in the finished work of Calvary. The gospel plus nothing, minus nothing, and mixed with nothing is the only way of salvation.
b. Believing the work of the Holy Spirit in convincing and convicting.
c. Believing God’s promise of eternal life to all who believe.
4. The product of God’s Word. “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord”
a. Following God’s men as they follow Christ.
b. Following Christ when God’s men change course or doctrine.