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Matthew 22:14

For many are called, but few are chosen.

(also, though I believe in pre-destination, I struggle to see how this verse deals here with irresistible grace)

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The general consensus from the commentaries I've seen on this, as well as the teachings of my Church, taking all of Matthew 22 in context is that the invitation for salvation is open to all, yet few actually choose to come to salvation.

How this fits in with irresistible grace, or pre-destination is not clear to me. Our denomination does not believe in irresistible grace. (We hold some Calvinist views, but not all). It's possible that the reason I'm only finding commentaries that support the idea of resistible grace is because my sources are biased, but the commentaries I've found seem to be united on this verse, with the possible exception of the Barnes' Notes on the Bible. (Second commentary quoted below).

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible (Emphasis mine)

Many are called, etc. - This verse is wanting in one of Colbert's MSS., marked 33 in Griesbach. See the note on Matthew 20:16. Many are called by the preaching of the Gospel into the outward communion of the Church of Christ; but few, comparatively, are chosen to dwell with God in glory, because they do not come to the master of the feast for a marriage garment - for that holiness without which none can see the Lord. This is an allusion to the Roman custom of raising their militia; all were mustered, but only those were chosen to serve, who were found proper. See the note on Matthew 20:16. Reader! examine thy soul, and make sure work for eternity!


Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Many are called, but few are chosen - Our Saviour often uses this expression. It was probably proverbial. The Jews had been called, but few of them had been chosen to life. The great mass of the nation was wicked, and they showed by their lives that they were not chosen to salvation. The Gentiles also were invited to be saved, Isaiah 45:22. Nation after nation has been called; but few, few have yet showed that they were real Christians, the elect of God. It is also true that many who are in the church may prove to be without the wedding garment, and show at last that they were not the chosen of God. This remark in the 14th verse is the inference from the "whole parable," and not of the part about the man without the wedding garment. It does not mean, therefore, that the great mass in the church are simply called and not chosen, or are hypocrites; but the great mass in "the human family," in the time of Christ, who had been "called," had rejected the mercy of God.


Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

22:1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has not only provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of every thing that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not.

[snip]


The FourFold Gospel

For many are called, but few chosen. Many guests are invited, but few are accepted; because some neglect and despise the invitation, andothers cast dishonor upon the one who invites, by the self-willed andirreverent way in which they accept his invitation. In this parable thefirst parties invited represent the Jews; the city of murderers isJerusalem; the persons called from the highways are the Gentiles; theentrance of the king is the coming of the Lord to final judgment; andthe man without the wedding-garment is anyone who will be found in thechurch without a suitable character. The character of Christ is ourwedding-garment, and all the regenerated must wear it ( John 3:5 Ephesians 4:24 ; Galatians 3:27 ; Colossians 3:10 ; Revelation 19:8 Revelation 19:9 ).

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Concerning "We hold some Calvinist views, but not all" isn't TULIP all or nothing? How does Calvinism not fall apart after the removal of irresistible grace. –  unregistered-matthew7.7 Sep 13 '12 at 3:39
    
I didn't say we were Calvinist. Just that we hold some of the views. T, U, and P. The fact that we believe those, but not L or I makes us neither Calvinist or Arminian, but somewhere in the middle, believing that neither extreme is 100% correct, or 100% consistent with Scripture. –  David Stratton Sep 13 '12 at 3:48
    
But not all Baptists agree on this point. There's a fair amount of disagreement, partially fueled by our fierce opposition to central Church authority and our emphasis on the autonomy of the local Church, but here's an article in lone with the teaching I'm familiar with: ccfestus.com/books/taylor_calvinism.htm –  David Stratton Sep 13 '12 at 3:52
    
@DavidStratton: I find that article deeply problematic. Care to Christianity Chat about it sometime? –  Caleb Sep 13 '12 at 12:17
    
@Caleb - I was pretty sure you wouldn't agree with that author. I'd be more than willing to chat about it. I don't know if it would be very satisfying, because when it comes to where I, personally, stand on the whole calvinist/arminian/somewhere in postions, I'm perfectly comfortable saying "This is what I think, but I don't know for sure." I would love to hear what you have to say about what, in the article that you find problematic, but I wouldn't defend the position in a debate. I posted it mostly to show that the idea that there's a middle ground isn't all that uncommon. –  David Stratton Sep 14 '12 at 2:57
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