Friday, August 15, 2008
The Sovereignty of God
For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God elects some in order to insure that they go to Heaven.
Who comes to Christ?:
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)
Man, being sinful, always tries to add something that they did, to save them. But Scripture says it is 100% God that draws a person to Christ and saves them. Even the choice is of God.
People are very resistant to relinquishing control - that's why people have such a hard time accepting the doctrine of Election, which Paul (and others) defended so strongly.
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. (Ephesians 1:5)
Unless God elects and intervenes in the human soul first, no man would ever want to taste of God's saving grace.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will...(Ephesians 1:11)
God not only creates the salvation, but He also creates the desire and the ability to serve Him once we are saved.
For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. (Romans 9:15-16)
God, throughout history, has consistently chosen some out of a people who only deserve Hell.
God chose Moses. God did not choose Pharaoh. But neither Pharaoh nor Moses received injustice. Only one of them, however, received God's mercy. Did either Moses or Pharaoh deserve God's mercy? No. Both were sinners. Both murdered people. But Moses received special, super grace. That is election.
Saul, who became Paul, was a wicked man. He was wicked, just as Pontius Pilate was wicked. Yet Christ came down and knocked Saul off his horse with a blinding light, and conversed with Saul - before Saul had any faith or good motive of any kind. Saul was, in fact, running around and killing Christians. And what about Pilate? When Jesus stood before Pilate, Jesus said virtually nothing to Pilate. Jesus did not tell Pilate how to gain eternal life. Pilate was allowed to harden his heart. God did not specially intervene on Pilate's part, as He did with Saul.
Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year." When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. (Genesis 17:19-22)
God does bless Ishmael outwardly, because Abraham asked Him to. But God rejects Ishmael as the one through whom His promise would come, and says that Isaac will be that one. This is election.
Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Romans 9:10-13)
God chose Jacob and rejected Esau, even before they were born. God decided in advance. This is election and predestination.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)
God loves all, but He loves the Elect with a special, distinguishing love.
What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened...(Romans 11:7)
Does God treat people unfairly? No. Does God treat people unequally? Yes.
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory — even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea:
"I will call them 'my people' who are not my people;
and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one...(Romans 9:14-25)