Arminius on Our Election Being in Christ
This post is provided by SEA member, Roy Ingle
Arminius wrote the following in a debate over the subject of predestination. He clearly shows that he taught that we are justified by faith and that the basis of our election is not us but Christ and faith in Him, the elected One!
“In the second place, you assert, that “divine Election is rule of giving or withholding faith. Therefore Election does not pertain to believers, but faith rather pertains to the elect, or is from the gift of Election.” You will allow me to deny this, and to ask for the proof, while I plead the cause of those, whose sentiment you here oppose. Election is made in Christ. But no one is in Christ, except he is a believer. Therefore no one is elected in Christ, unless he is a believer. The passage in Romans xi, 5, does not serve to prove that thesis. For the point, there discussed, is not the election of grace, according to which faith is given to some, but that, according to which, righteousness is imputed to believers. This may be most easily proved from the context, and will be manifest to any one, who will more diligently inspect and examine it. For the people, “which God foreknew, (verse 2d,) that is which He foreknew according to His grace, is the people, which believed, not that which followed after righteousness by the works of the law (Rom. ix, 31). This people God “hath not cast away.” For thus is to be understood the fifth verse, “there is a remnant according to the election of grace,” that is, they, only, are to be esteemed as the remnant of the people of God, who believe in Christ, as they alone are embraced in the election of grace, the children of the flesh, who followed after righteousness by the law, being excluded. That, which follows, teaches the same thing, “if by grace, then it is no more of works.” What is that which is “by grace “? Is it election to faith? By no means; but it is election to righteousness, or righteousness itself. For it is said to be “by grace” not “by works.” For it is not, here, inquired whether faith, but whether righteousness belongs to any one by works. Consider also the next verse “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained, and the rest were blinded.” What is that which Israel had sought for, and had not obtained? Not faith, but righteousness. See the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th chapters. They rejected faith in Christ, and endeavoured to obtain righteousness, by the works of the law, and this is the reason that they did not attain “to the law of righteousness.” It is the same thing, also, which the elect are said to have obtained, not faith, but righteousness.
You will ask — “Is not faith, then, given according to Election?” I answer faith is not given according to that election, which is there discussed by the apostle, and therefore that passage does not conduce to your purpose. But, is there, then, a two-fold Election on the part of God? Certainly, if that is Election, by which God chooses to righteousness and life, that must be different, by which He chooses some to faith, if indeed he does choose some to faith: which, indeed, I will not now discuss, because it is my purpose only to answer your arguments.”
For the original post by Roy Ingle, go to: http://arminiantoday.com/2012/11/26/arminius-on-our-election-being-in-christ/