Thursday, January 17, 2013
2nd John Part 2
1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth, cont.
I do not expect this portion of my writing to be well received, but I am convinced that it is the Biblical structure the church was meant to be founded upon, and we have gone far away from it, led back into a priesthood/worshiper dichotomy courtesy of the RCC and similarly designed church structures. A plurality of elders, independently governing the local church they are a part of is God’s design for His body, with the Holy Spirit ruling over all.
We note that John is writing his note to the “elect lady” and her children. This term, along with similar ones such as “predestined” has been the source of vicious contention within the Christian church for centuries. The Greek word for elect is “eklektos” which is a derivative of “eklegomai.” The Greek means “to select or make a choice.” Strong’s Concordance states that this word can mean “to choose for oneself; not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but “choosing” with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or love.” The word is used 16 times in the New Testament. Our Lord employs it 7 times throughout the gospels. Paul uses it 5 times in his epistles. Peter uses it twice; John likewise employs it twice, both times in this little letter. Another similar word “ekloge” is found 6 times in the New Testament, every time translated “election.” Of these 22 usages of the variants of elect Paul uses the word 5 times in Romans.
To substantiate that there is in fact selection going on, as the original Greek language implies, I’ll cite two verses where the word in question occurs.
“And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days,” Mark 13:20.
“For the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls,” Romans 9:11.
God’s choice is involved in the election, or predestining of individuals to salvation. God seems to show especial concern for the elect’s welfare, and wants them to know that their election is in no way tied to some degree of merit they have attained. In Romans 11:5 Paul describes this as “the election of grace,” going on to explain how God’s prestinating grace cannot mingle with man’s works or effort to be saved. They are mutually and eternally exclusive, Romans 11:6.