Soteriology101: Leighton Flowers Continues to Expose His Ignorance on the Doctrine of God’s Divine Election

This is Flowers Teaching on Ephesians 1, particularly verse  4 he makes his assertions which is terrible grammar and then skips up and down in the Ephesians 1 to prove his point.

Flowers says and I quote much similar to Brian Wagner :

As to Paul’s teaching to the church in Ephesus, does the apostle actually say that God chose for certain individuals to be effectually placed “in Christ before the foundation of the world” as Storms seems to imply? No. The text simply states that “the faithful in Christ” (vs. 1) have been chosen to become “holy and blameless” (vs. 4) before the foundation of the world. When and how are individuals placed “in Christ,” according to Paul?

Let’s take a look at the first four or five verses of Ephesians one and see if what Flowers is saying makes and sense or is he forcing it to mean something what our God meant. 

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Redemption in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Redemption in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Flowers says,  “the text simply state the faithful in Christ have been chosen to become holy and blameless verse one”

Verse one actually says the “saints in Ephesus” and the faithful in Christ Jesus (or as all other commentators agree faithful here meaning believing ones in Christ) The two Paul mentions the “saints and the faithful” being one and the same.

In verse 3 the Apostle Paul includes himself with the saints in Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus as he says, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us (the us being made up of individuals, Paul was an individual who included himself with the group identified in verse one) with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Now let us see if what Flowers says about verse 4 of Ephesians 1 “simply stating the faithful in Christ have been chosen to become Holy and Blameless in Christ.

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

The author to this verse is “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” as has been indicated (see on verse 3),

To elect means to pick or choose out of (for oneself) Although the passage itself does not indicate in so many words the mass of objects or individuals out of which the Father chose some, this larger group is nevertheless, clearly indicated by the purpose clause, in order that we should be holy and faultless before him.” Accordingly, the larger mass of individuals out of which the Father chose some are here viewed as unholy and vile. William Hendriksen

The object is “us.” not everybody. This pronoun “us” must be explained in the light of its context. Paul is writing to the “saints and believers” (verse 1) He says that that the Father has blessed “us” that is “all saints and believers” (here with special reference to those at Ephesus including Paul (verse 3) Therefore when the apostle now continues, “just as he elected us.” this “us” cannot suddenly have reference to all men whatever, but must necessarily refer to all those who are (or who at one time or another in the history of the world are destined to become (saints and believers) ; that is, to all those who, having been set apart by the Lord for the purpose of glorifying him, him by means of a living faith. William Hendriksen

This election said to have occurred “before the foundation of the world, that is “from eternity” that the individual Paul and the individuals of the “us”were chosen or elected, picked out, in Christ that they should become holy and blameless. And the elected individuals in Christ from eternity from all ages down through history can be applied to the “us”here in Ephesians 1:4

In connection with this, “God “saved us,” said Paul, “and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9).

Flowers then quotes another verse from Ephesians 1:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Eph. 1:13

I do hope Flowers understands that the Apostle Paul here is speaking of the Gentiles coming into actual spiritual salvation union with Christ.

Ephesians 1:13 -In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

Notice the verse starts out, “IN him you also” is connected with Ephesians 2:11 identifying who Paul is talking to.

Ephesians 2:11 -Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—

Next Flowers says in an unbelievable manner putting words in Dr Sam Storms mouth making him say something that he never said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flowers says mistakenly of Sam Storms and misrepresenting the reformed faith on Soteriology:

“When were they included in Christ? When were they marked in Him? Was it before the foundation of the earth as Storms interpretation would suggest?  Of course not. Look at what Paul states:

“…when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Eph. 1:13-14″

Flowers accuses Sam Storms of saying that the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus (believing ones) and the Apostle Paul and all chosen and picked out in Christ to be saved in Him down through the centuries were MARKED IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.  This is an untrue statement by Flowers concerning Dr Storms as I even went back and looked at the original article written By Dr Storms and he nowhere says those mentioned in Ephesians 1 were marked out in Christ Jesus before the foundation OF the world.

I CALL UPON DR FLOWERS TO CORRECT THIS MISTAKE AND MISREPRESENTATION AS DR SAM STORMS VERY ACCURATELY, CLEARLY AND EMPHATICALLY SAYS THAT PAUL AND THE SAINTS IN EPHESUS AND THE FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS WERE CHOSEN IN CHRIST JESUS TO BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS IN LOVE. STORMS NEVER SUGGEST THEY WERE MARKED OR SEALED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.

Ephesians 1:13 -In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 1:14 – who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

All these two verses mean above is this: The Gentile converts are partakers of the same inheritance as the Jews, (all that is written before verse 13) because having believed in Christ, they are assured of their redemption by the possession of the Holy Spirit, the pledge of the inheritance until its actual and complete enjoyment, (verses 13-14)

“In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed” This is more than a translation, it is an exposition.  This sealing follows faith not being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world as Flowers has falsely accused the Calvinist.

There are several purposes for which a seal is used. To authenticate or confirm as genuine and true. To mark one’s property. To render secure. In all these senses believers are sealed. They are authenticated as the true children of God; they have the witness within themselves, 1 john 5, 10. Romans 8, 16. 5, 5. They are assured of their reconciliation and acceptance. They are moreover marked as belonging to God, Rev. 7, 3; that is they are indicated to others, by the seal impressed upon them ash his chosen ones. And thirdly, they are sealed unto salvation; i.e. they are rendered certain of being saved. The sealing of God secures their safety.Thus believers are said Eph, 4:30 “to be sealed unto the day of redemption;” and in 2 Cor. 1:21 the apostle says: “Now he which establishes us with you in Christ , and hath anointed us, is God; who also hath sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” It assures the favor of God; it indicates those who belong to him; and it renders their salvation certain. This sealing is by the Holy Spirit of Promise the Earnest of our Inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the Praise of His Glory.  Charles Hodge

So you see clearly, Charles Hodge shows how Flowers has misrepresented the Calvinist concerning Ephesian 1 and its true understanding.

Flowers continues with his superficial sophomoric understanding of Ephesians 1, He says:

:The text clearly indicates that God has predetermined that the “the faithful in Christ Jesus” (vs. 1) will become “holy and blameless” (sanctification – vs. 4) and they will be “adopted” (glorification – vs. 5). (Note: Romans 8:23 clearly indicates that Paul sees “adoption” as a future hope for all who come to faith.) ”

Unbelievable that Flowers skips over the part where God is the author all spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (to Paul, the saints and the faithful) and that he chose them (or us, made up of individuals)  Ephesians 1:4 says he CHOSE US IN HIM, SALVATION PROCEEDS BEING HOLY AND BLAMELESS AND THAT ELECTION IS TO SALVATION IN TIME AND HISTORY.  Does not the following verse bear this out:

2 Timothy 1:9 – He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal

How can it be denied, the verse is indisputable unless you force an alternative understanding upon it.  Saved and called with a Holy Calling. Everybody is called by the general outward call of the gospel.  But Paul is talking about a Holy effectual calling that the Saved were called with and Romans 8 said the called were justified. And then by God’s own purpose he granted grace to the chosen, elected or picked out in Christ before time eternal, before the foundation of the world before creation began.  God’s eternal plan in Christ Jesus is the same for all the elect that received grace in Christ from all eternity.

Flowers seems to want to limit “the faithful in Christ” as being the only ones who will become holy and blameless (sanctification) He forgets salvation is the same for all and that as those spoken of here who were CHOSEN IN CHRIST BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD TO BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS THUS IT WILL BE FOR ALL CHOSEN IN CHRIST 2 TIMOTHY 1:9

Flowers says in Ephesians 1:5 -(glorification – vs. 5). (Note: Romans 8:23 clearly indicates that Paul sees “adoption” as a future hope for all who come to faith.) ”

I agree with Flowers in Romans 8:23 that it speaks of “eagerly awaiting the adoption as sons” but he leaves out what Paul was descriptively talking about in the very next phrase, “the redemption of our bodies, glorification.” Does this mean that we now have not been in any sense adopted as sons of God?  I think the full revelation of the Sons of God is being spoken about in all their Glorification in Christ in Romans 8:23 which is the glorification of their bodies. They will see Christ and they will be like him.

Dr. Flowers is it not through the Salvation of Christ that we are made Sons of Christ

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

We have in one sense that I think you do not realize been adopted by God into Christ as sons of God.

John 1:12 – As many received Him to them he gave power to become sons of God.

This verse above is definitely speaking of adoption becoming sons of God.

Galatians 3:26 -for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Spiritually we have already been adopted as sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:5 may have reference to the completeness of the redemption of the bodies of the already adopted sons of God by faith in Christ in the fullness of glory in Christ, but in Ephesians 1:5 it is primarily talking about those chosen in Christ being predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.  We are speaking of the now and not yet maybe but I know I those in Christ have been adopted as sons of the living God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Flowers then says:

“Humbly admitting you need salvation is not equal to saving yourself. Confessing your sin, even if done freely, does not earn or merit forgiveness for that sin, otherwise there would have been no need for the cross. “

I have no problem with this but I do not believe that a sinner will ever humble themselves apart from a miracles work of the Spirit, regeneration, effectual calling, producing conviction of sin, repentance and faith. I have used this verse several times to prove my point with no rebuttal.  John 3:20

John 3:20 -For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Why in the world I will never know why the non-calvinist cannot see and understand what this verse is saying escapes me completely.  I just perform biblical exegesis and read out of it what it actually says, and it says this:

The sinner who is practicing wicked things hates the light of Christ AND DOES NOT COME TO THE LIGHT (unless there is a miracles work of the Spirit of grace)

If the wicked sinner hates the light of Christ that means he loves the darkness of his or her sin and takes great pleasure to it and will not come to the light which takes humbling, conviction of sin, repentance of sin and embracing faith in Christ. Christ said to Christians in John 15 that without Him (CHrist) you can do nothing)  How is it Flowers believes that sinners can do more than Christians apart from Christ.

Flowers says God does not humble you.  This is incorrect.  When I was convicted of my sins, heard of the wrath of God and eternal hell in the Lake of Fire the Holy Spirit took my sins and showed how I had rebelled against the law of God and my mouth was shut and I was humbled under the mighty hand of God.  Then the sweet sweet remedy of the saving grace and mercy of Christ was revealed to me.  Apart from the Holy Spirit I would have continued practicing wickedness and would not have went to the light of Christ as John 3:20 says.  Because I hated God, was hostile to God and it took taking out a stoney heart that was rebellious and stubborn and putting in a heart of flesh that became pliable, willing and humble.

This is part 1 more to come

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