Which is not to minister questions

Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664):

Because election on faith foreseen, or election of men believing and persevering in faith and holiness unto the last gasp, brings with it many absurdities.  As, 1. This is to elect men, not considered as in the state of innocency, nor of misery, but as in a state of grace, contrary to their own tenets.  2. This is not to bring faith, holiness, perseverance out of the gracious benefits of election, but to bring election out of the foreseen acts of believing, obeying, persevering, quite contrary to scriptures, ‘He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love,’ Eph. 1:4.  3. This were to say, that election or predestination affords no man any help at all, in the way unto eternal salvation; for how can that be the cause leading infallibly in the way to eternal life, which comes not so much as into consideration, until a man have run out his race (at least in God’s foreknowledge) in faith and godliness, and be arrived at heaven’s gates.  Such a falsely named predestination might more truly and properly have been called a post-destination.  But I have too long stood on this controversy, and indeed it is against my design, ‘Which is not to minister questions, but rather edifying, which is in faith,’ 1 Tim. 1:4.  I remember what I have read, and indeed I begin already to feel, that these controversial points will but discompose our spirits, and waste our zeal, our love, our delight in Jesus, (this lovely subject and object we are viewing), even by the interruption and diversion of our own contemplations.  Not a word more in that kind.” (Isaac Ambrose, Looking Unto Jesus, p. 57; underlining mine–CD)

At least one pernicious Puritan does not consider the clear teaching of Ephesians 1:4 to be an edifying part of the faith, zeal, and love that delights in the pure and unadulterated truth that is found in Jesus.  Apparently, Ambrose does not consider God’s election of unconditional grace to be a part of the “edifying, which is in faith.”

Related

Marc D. Carpenter sermon on Romans 8:29a

God’s sovereign grace (1)

Walk Not In The Counsel Of The Wicked

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