Monday, February 17, 2014

Points in Favor of Supralapsarianism, part 1

Read with Ephesians 1:3-14 in mind

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 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, who is the guaranteed of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Point 1: Spiritual blessing of the Elect were purposed BEFORE the foundation of the world. In other words, before He even willed the creation of the world in which He willed the Fall. (Eph. 1:3-4) Follow the logic of the passage: Before the foundation of the world there were already spiritual blessings purposed for the elect. This means that creation and the Fall which occurred therein, are, in order of logic, under, the decree of Predestination. 

Point 2: The elect were viewed in Christ before they were viewed as sinners or even as created. (Eph. 1:4) This passage takes us to a ‘time’ before time existed, i.e., before Creation, and it tells us that the elect were, even then, viewed by God as in Christ, before they were created and subsequently viewed as fallen sinners. We have touched on this issue already several posts ago, where we discussed the fact that in any logical arrangement, the first thing conceived of is the final, i.e., ultimate, purpose.

You will remember that I made reference to the work of the classical guitarist Elliot Fisk. His ultimate goal was to record his performance of Paganini’s 24 Caprices on guitar. Along the way he invented new techniques for performing and transcribing. The invention of techniques, useful as it was, was not his ultimate goal. It was merely a means to his end, which was the recording of the Caprices on guitar. 

I’m not asserting anything unfamiliar to any of us. All we have to do is consult our own experience to know this to be true. The million dollar question then is: What is/was God’s ultimate end? Our passage, and many others, tells us that it was the praise of His glory, or as our Children’s Catechism says, “For His own glory.” God decreed to glorify Himself. That is the ultimate purpose behind everything. Predestination sets up the parameters of said glorification: glorification of His mercy and righteousness. Creation and the Fall are subservient means.

Point 3: This point doesn't actually come from the above passage (Eph 1). This is based upon Paul’s comparison between Adam and Christ as the federal heads of all those who are counted in them. All humanity is counted as in Adam, hence all sinned and fell in his sin and Fall. All the elect are elected in Christ, i.e., they are in Him. He is their covenant Head. Paul compares Adam and Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:22-49 and Romans 5:12-21. There is an important truth taught in this passage, which has already been laid out in the preceding sentences. Christ stands for the Elect in the same way that Adam stands for all men. In Adam’s sin and misery, all humanity is counted as guilty sinners. In Christ’s righteousness, all the Elect are counted as righteous. 

If this analogy holds, it would seem to me then that if the first Adam's bride was given to him before the Fall, the same must be true of the Second Adam. We have an example in the creation of Eve and the giving of her to Adam in the union of marriage. As Adam saw her, loved her in the sight, and took her unto himself as his bride. In the same way, the Church was given to Christ in a marriage covenant from eternity. As Eve was given to Adam before the Fall, so the church was given to Christ in the mind of God before the fall, indeed, before any regard to sin. 

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