A key verse often cited as evidence of the Calvinist interpretation of the concept of election and predestination is the berakah in Ephesians 1:3-6. It reads like this:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Given the supralapsarian metrics of this passage, as we align it with the the petals of the TULIP some questions arise. The notion of some being chosen (elected) before the creation of the world while others are simultaneously selected for reprobation via God’s sovereign decision forms the very center of Calvin’s theological framework. It is important to note that the order of the selection chooses from among humans who have yet to be stung by the poison of sin, since the Fall has yet to be authored by the Father. In other words, they are yet to become totally or even partially depraved when their unconditional election occurs.They are already Saints, consecrated and set apart according to Sproul (Ephesians, 24.) When the Lord is cruelly and viciously sacrificed on the tree, it is an already foregone conclusion that the expiation (atonement) will apply only to those selected pre-creation. It logically follows then that the eternal status of these blessed few does not require their assent, nor can it be denied except by the Sovereign who decided it.
Calvinist W.J. Seaton (The Five Points of Calvinism) comments on the limited application of the sacrifice of Christ.
Christ died positively and effectually to save a certain number of hell-deserving sinners on whom the Father had already set His free electing love.
Note again that these “hell-deserving sinners” were created by God for the express purpose of being such. Why then is the sacrifice of Jesus necessary? If the Elect are holy and blameless from and for all of eternity then, it stands to reason, the Fall was orchestrated simply to provide the means to condemn those not selected for sanctification. It becomes merely a symbolic act in the predestined history of the World, necessary to further the story for which the conclusion is already known. If the Elect are claimed holy and blameless, why does God allow them to be stained by sin (Rom 5:14)? Because sin is in the world (at His permission and only eternally affecting those who are elected to perdition), God demands propitiation. His Holiness requires that atonement comes only from an equally holy sacrifice. Thus, the Christ must be the sacrifice. But the righteousness that He imputes, (cf Rom 5:17) is it needed by those already considered from eternity past to be holy and blameless? Does this doctrine not belittle the cross?
Why then was the Cross necessary? To show His love to those he has already given His eternal promise to? To demonstrate His sovereignty or power to all the rest whom He has left powerless to affect their eternal condemnation in Hell? In light of the order of elements above, Jesus become just a prop in the play, not really necessary but used to further the plot. Or, as Robert Reymond suggests, God does not see the men He creates as men but as sinners because His decretal system is not sequential but, simultaneous. However this process is enumerated, does it not hold true that God creates humankind knowing that they are a) going to sin because he created them that way with the ability (will) to walk counter to His commands and b) that some of them are created specifically for the purpose of being destroyed?
There are so many questions…does Calvin offer any answers?