Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Salvation Is Of God and Not Man

It was a decision made before the world was. Before the existence of any human or animal, before the creation of the heavens and the planets, before time itself, the Triune God made a Divine decision. As God in His Word so perfectly phrases it, “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4) He chose us. To what did the Divine choose us and why did He do it? The Ephesians 1 text elaborates:

"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Please note three things from this text:

One: We were chosen before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

Two: We were chosen before the foundation of the world through “predestination unto adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself.”

Three: We were chosen before the foundation of the world according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the beloved.

1) If you are believer, a true Christian with a sincere and visible profession of faith in the Lord and Savior, then it is not because you at some point in your life “decided as an act of your will to invite Jesus into your heart.” If you today believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior, it is because God made a decision. He made a choice before time even was that you should be “holy and blameless before Him in love.”

"Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace." (THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH 1689)

2) Predestination is that act of God whereby certain individuals, based absolutely on no merit of their own but entirely and infallibly due to “the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace” (See Ephesians 1:4-6), were chosen, ordained, elected to be brought to faith in Christ Jesus.

"What did God determine ahead of time? According to Romans 8:29-30, God predetermined that certain individuals would be conformed to the likeness of His Son, be called, justified, and glorified. Essentially, God predetermines that certain individuals will be saved. Numerous scriptures refer to believers in Christ being chosen. Predestination is the biblical doctrine that God in His sovereignty chooses certain individuals to be saved." (http://www.gotquestions.org/predestination.html)

"As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only." (THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH 1689)

3) God does nothing arbitrarily or capriciously. He acts according to the “good pleasure of His will” and is perfectly righteous in choosing some unto salvation while leaving others to the evil passion and desires of their fallen souls who freely, according to their sinful natures, choose to reject The Son of God. The Bible says plainly that salvation is not man who makes a “decision based on an act of His free will”—man has no free will—but according to God who has mercy on Whom He wills. (Romans 9:1-13)

Jonathan Edwards said,

The sovereignty of God is his absolute, independent right of disposing of all creatures according to his own pleasure.” Then he went on to say, “God can either bestow salvation on any of the children of men, or refuse it, without any prejudice to the glory of any of his attributes”

"God is the king of the universe and he has all the power, the right to rule and carry out his will according to his own pleasure. When we say his own pleasure that means, God is not obligated to anyone, he has the full liberty, full freedom and he is fully independent. No human being how rich they are do not have this kind of pleasure, as all humans have an obligation to somebody and they are not fully independent, but God is fully independent and can do any thing according to his pleasure without any damage to his attributes." (http://www.sounddoctrine.net/Nick/uncondional_election2.htm)

(For further study read: Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17; Romans 9:15, 18; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Numbers 23:19; Ephesians 1:3-5; 1 Timothy 5:21; Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:5, 6; Romans 9:22, 23; Jude 4; Romans 9; Ephesians 1 & 2;Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3-5; John 6:44 ... See also THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH--With Scripture Proofs Adopted by the Ministers and Messengers of the general assembly which met in London in 1689) 

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