But I want to address a statement that Dr. Flowers made in his article.
Dr. Flowers said and I quote: “NOTICE: All statements where “before the foundation of the world” is used, is given with reference to Christ. (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20)”
This just is not true and even one that I notice I believe and others I respectfully think he interprets incorrectly. That being Ephesians 1:4 as for one.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
I already asked in one place (just when did CORPORATE ELECTION BEGIN TO BE DEVELOPED AND TAUGHT)
Dr. Sean Cole has a very interesting podcast on his website tracking it back to Karl Barth who seemed to pick up on it from another person (whose name I could not spell if I tried) in the 1920’s and the 1930’s. Can it be traced and found in the early Church Fathers. That is (CORPORATE ELECTION)
This is interesting since much has been made about Augustine being the inventor of what we now call today the Reformed Calvinistic Faith.
Then how about William Wredes Secret Motif of 1901. Wow! Now that is really new, recent and suspect. It is rejected by the majority of Orthodox Christianity that being Non-Calvinist and Calvinist Christians.
But was William Wredes Secret Motif of 1901 ever taught by the (EARLY CHURCH FATHERS) If so I would like to know where since what Augustine and what the Reformed Faith teaches today is rejected partially because it is said the ECF did not teach it. Although I have found many verses that allude to it in the ECF. Read John Gill Cause of God and Truth part 4.
So we reject some things because it is said it is not found in the ECF then we accept other things like “The Secret Motif that was invented in 1901 that I would say was not taught by the ECF. I wonder after listening to Church Historian and Scholar Dr. Sean Cole if the ECF even taught (CORPORATE ELECTION) as I think it is imposed but respectfully (because it is truly what one believes) on Ephesians 1:1-14.
But Ephesians 1:4 clearly says that God chose, elected, picked out, “US” (the us made up of individuals) “in Christ’ (not to be in Christ) that we should be without blame and holy before Him.
There is a direct connection between the US, and individual saved Christians in Verse 1 of Ephesians and the word “before”. Not to Jesus. Paul says it it to the “individual saints who are in Ephesus and the faithful (believing ones in the Original Greek) Christ Jesus.
Then the Apostle Paul includes himself as and individual with the Saints at Ephesus and Faithful in Christ Jesus when he did not include himself in verse one.
He does so in verse three adding himself as an individual to the US. By say God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The following verses after Ephesians 1:4, in verse 5 says, “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”
We are Elected, Chosen, Picked out, By God before time began, from all eternity then predestined to be saved/adoption as sons in Christ Jesus to Himself in Time and History.
So Yeah, respectfully I do think the word “before” is very much related to the US, the individuals, chosen in Christ before time began to be holy and blameless before God. I do not think it refers to a collective election or to the blessings of being Holy and Blameless. The Greek just will not allow for it.
You say well Kevin You do not know Greek. I know one who does. I have his complete Biblical Greek Exegesis on this on as to how it is not speaking of Corporate Election or referring to Blessings of Holy and blameless in Christ being held in Christ stagnant until the right time in the future when one is saved. Very odd and ambiguous understanding here. But I do respect the theological theories and have tried to understand them.
2 Timothy 1:9 – the One having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, having been given us in Christ Jesus before time eternal,
2 Timothy 1:9 – who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
Here is one Dr. Flowers maybe did not see. If he had I am sure he would have a different perspective than I do and I respect that.
The word “before” is not in this verse but without any uncertain terms this verse clearly and emphatically tells us that “God saved the audience being spoken to (as he does today) called them with a “Holy Calling” (as he does today, “not according to their works” (which is still true today saved by grace alone through faith alone ultimately because of Christ alone)
but all of this is “according to God’s own purpose (remember the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus and Jesus was prophesied to be the Savior before the Foundation of the World, before time began, 1 Peter 1:20)
so “according to God’s own purpose and grace which he gave the audience being spoken to in Christ Jesus before (TIMES ETERNAL, FROM ALL ETERNITY, BEFORE TIME BEGAN)
There are no two ways of Salvation, The same application is made to us. We can say no one existed but God was giving someone “grace in Christ before time eternal, before time began”
God is the Eternal God who calls those THINGS THAT BE NOT (THAT DO NOT EXIST) as though they were.
Blessings in Christ to all of you!!!