Election: Self-Knowledge and Free Grace

Those who oppose the “Calvinistic” interpretation of election and predestination often argue that these truths “are not fair.” They say that it doesn’t allow everyone a “chance” to choose Christ (as if anyone, in and of themselves, would ever choose Christ). Those who think this way reveal their belief that they are somehow “good enough,” “smart enough,” or “[something else] enough” to “make the right choice for Jesus.”

However, when asked “who makes you to differ [i.e., from those who do not “accept Jesus”]? And what do you have [i.e., pertaining to repentance, faith, spiritual ears to hear, etc.] that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast [i.e., in your own so-called free-will and decision-making] as if you did not receive?” [1 Corinthians 4:7] — one rarely receives a cogent answer. They deny that what was true for the disciples/apostles, is true for all of God’s (sovereignly called) people:

John 15:16 [LITV] “YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, but I CHOSE YOU OUT and planted you, that you should go and should bear fruit, and your fruit remain, that whatever you should ask the Father in My name, He may give you.

Their concept of a saviour is one that does not actually save, but only makes it possible for people to save themselves, by making his work effectual for them through their own decision-making. Without their “free choice,” the salvific work of their christ would accomplish nothing. His blood alone is not enough to save anyone; thus, one must exercise their free-will, and “play their part” in their salvation process, in order to “get saved.”

On the other hand, those who love election and predestination, do so knowing that it is their only hope. We know that if God did not sovereignly choose us, and predestinate us, even from before the world was (based upon nothing stemming from us or our future choices), we would be lost. We know that by nature, no aspect of our being would desire to turn to Him, accept Him, choose Him, etc. We know that if He didn’t first love us, choose us, and seek us, we would never love Him, seek Him, or find Him. If God didn’t first work in us, quickening us, and causing us to draw nigh, we would never approach unto The Lord.

Bottom line, we who rely utterly on God for all aspects of our salvation see nothing in ourselves that would enable us to initiate or maintain our salvation. We are wholly dependent upon the Triune God for everything pertaining to our eternal deliverance. He must make us willing in the day of His power. We know that there is no innate goodness in us, that would enable us, or allow us, to ever ‘turn to Him in, or of, our own (supposed) freewill.’

That is the difference between us, and those who cling to Arminianism, Semipelagianism, Sacramentalism, and so on. We come empty-handed, having no natural hope or strength. The others claim to come, being strong enough, wise enough, and/or good enough to somehow make a “decision” and “accept Jesus.” And yet the Bible is as clear as can be regarding which camp is correct:

Psalm 65:4 [LITV] “Blessed [is the one] YOU CHOOSE AND CAUSE to come near You; he shall dwell [in] Your courts; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.”

Ephesians 1:3-9 [LITV] “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies with Christ, 4 even as HE ELECTED US IN HIM before [the] foundation of [the] world, for us to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, 5 PREDESTINATING US to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL, 6 to [the] praise of [the] glory of HIS GRACE in which He favored us in the [One] having been loved, 7 in whom we have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the remission of deviations, according to the riches of HIS GRACE 8 which HE CAUSED to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding, 9 making known to us the mystery of HIS WILL, according to HIS GOOD PLEASURE which HE PURPOSED in Himself…”

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 “But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because GOD CHOSE YOU from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of [the] Spirit and belief of [the] truth, 14 to which HE CALLED YOU through our gospel, to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few chosen.

The “debate” over election and predestination must not be a merely intellectual or academic one… these are matters that pertain to eternal life, and should be handled carefully and respectfully as such. There should be no one-upmanship concerning the matter, no pride (carnal or spiritual), and no haphazard handling unto vain contention. Instead, these doctrines must go to the very core of our spiritual reality, even our day-to-day experimental reality. We have to ask ourselves honestly, “Is my salvation grounded upon what Christ did and what I accepted/chose/decided in light thereof?” or “Is my salvation grounded in the finished (redemptive/propitiatory) work of Christ alone, my will, my works, and my decision-making excluded.” I have no choice but to say, and say it gladly, that “my salvation is 100% of God, in/by/through Christ, and none of it is of me.” Woe to those who cannot say likewise. 

To God be the glory,

Amen

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