Dr Sean Cole Refuting Brian Wagner Unusual and Ambiguous Non-Calvinist Understandings of 2 Timothy 1:9 & Ephesians 1:4

Hello Brian,

How are you doing on your Ephesians 1 Biblical Understanding for Dr. Sean Col

Sean Cole said in response to Brian Wagner:
Let me give you my thoughts on this. In the grand scheme of things, a dative (indirect object or interest) has no bearing on the meaning of the passage.  Let’s break it down.

What did God give?  In the immediate grammatical context, it is probably grace but it could be both purpose and grace

Here’s the question: To whom was this grace given?  TO US—(dative—if a normal dative indirect object—we are the recipients of this grace that was given. Even if it is a dative of interest it could be translated that this grace was given “for our benefit or advantage”—but the Greek does not allow the grace to be given to Jesus to then someday in the future turn around give to us.

He does believe that the grace was given before (pros) times eternal or before creation or in eternity past—however, you want to translate it.
Here is his problematic statement: That grace was given before creation to Christ Jesus to possess and reveal later (vs. 10) for us who are now saved and called
Why would God give grace to Jesus too, later on, give us? Nowhere else in the NT do we see this concept of God giving grace to Jesus before time and then coming later to reveal this grace. The grammar will not allow the grace to be given to Christ. Even if he takes it as a dative of interest the grace is still given to US (for our benefit or advantage or interest) in Christ—not that the grace was given to Christ. Here is his other problematic statement: Neither was grace given TO you or me individually before salvation as if we had it placed into our lives back then, for our lives did not exist back then.  One can speak anachronistically and say “grace that was given to us” but it would be more logical and literal to say “grace that was given for us”.  This “us” is a dative of interest, not a dative indirect object. sans-serif;”>The grammar will simply not allow this. The direct object or recipient of the grace is “US”—not Christ. Even though our lives did not exist back then, God still predestined us to be saved. This would mean that when God created He had no knowledge of you or me. Or we can believe what the Bible says that God predestined US and chose US before the foundation of the world. In God’s mind, even though we didn’t exist, God still shows specific electing love to all those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world. >Even if the grace was given TO us or given FOR us, he still has to answer his own objection. How can something be given FOR us if we did not exist? I guess he thinks this salvation was a plan that God would enact one day when Christ came but that there was no eternal decree by God to save anyone in particular. Even if the grace was given for us or to us, we are still the recipients of that grace and God did it before time and only the elect will be saved.
I’m afraid he is trying to make the text say something it doesn’t in order to not deal with unconditional election. Which is probably the case since he is a corporate election guy. >This is a minor detail and one that I wouldn’t be dogmatic on. The real question is this—if sinners are spiritually dead and unable to come to Christ on their own, how then do they come? Are they drawn? can they resist that drawing? Does God foresee who will be saved and then ratify their decision based upon what he sees? Does a dead sinner use his or her free will to come to Christ and then once they come to Christ they are one of the elect?


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