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God's sovereignty in salvation

No doctrine is more despised by the mind of an unbeliever than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride despises the idea that God commands  everything, controls everything and rules everything. The fleshly mind, burning with hostility to God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing happens except what has been ordained by God's eternal arrangement. Most, however, the flesh hates that salvation is entirely God's work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was made before the foundation of the world, then believers should not get any credit for any aspect of their salvation.


This, however, is exactly what the Scriptures teach. Even faith is God's gracious gift to His elect. Jesus said, "no one can come to me unless it is given to him by the Father" (John 6:65). "And no one knows the Father except the Son and him to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). Therefore, no one who is saved can take any credit for himself. --Ephesians 2: 8-9.  


The doctrine of God's election is clearly taught in the Scriptures. For example, in the New Testament epistles themselves we read that all believers are "God's elect" (Titus 1: 1). We were "destined from the beginning according to the purpose of him who works according to his will" (Ephesians 1:11). "He chose us before the foundation of the world ... He appointed us to sonship through Jesus Christ according to the pleasure of His will" (Ephesians 1: 4-5). We are "called according to His purpose [...], because those whom He knew before He had destined to become like the image of His Son ... and whom He predestined, these and called, and whom He called, whom he has justified and glorified "(Rom. 8: 28-30).


When the Apostle Peter wrote that we are chosen "according to God's predestined arrangement  Father "(1 Peter 1: 1-2), he did not use the phrase to mean that God knew in advance who would believe and therefore chose them because of that faith. , love and save, and chose them no matter what  they could do good or bad. The Scriptures teach that God's sovereign choice is made "according to His will," and "according to the purpose of Him who does everything according to His will," and therefore not for any reason other than Him. There are some  sinners whom  He certainly did not choose for salvation because there was something in them acceptable, or because He foresaw that they would choose Him. He chose them only because it was His will to do so. God declares: "From the beginning I preached what would be, and from the beginning what was not yet done. I express my intention and its fulfillment, and I do whatever I want" (Isaiah 46:10). He is not subject to the decisions of others. His purposes of choosing some and rejecting others are hidden in the secret design of His will.


Moreover, everything that exists in the universe exists because God has permitted it, ordained it, and brought it into being. "Our God is in heaven, doing whatever He wills" (Psalm 115: 3). "The Lord does whatever He pleases, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all the depths" (Psalm 135: 6). "From him, and through him, and towards him are all" (Romans 11:36). "For us there is only one God the Father, from whom everything comes and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist and through whom we also exist" (1 Cor. 8: 6).


What about sin? God is not the author of sin, but He has undoubtedly allowed it, and it is in accord with His eternal plan. God has a purpose in allowing sin. He cannot be blamed for evil or tainted by its existence (1 Samuel 2: 2:  "No one is as holy as the Lord"). Of course, He wasn't surprised either  he did not become helpless when sin entered the world. We do not know His purpose in allowing sin, although in a general sense  God allowed sin to show His glory or attributes that  would remain unrevealed if sin were not there, such as mercy, grace, compassion, forgiveness and salvation. God also sometimes uses evil to achieve good (Gen. 45: 7-8; 50:20; Rom. 8:28). How can all this be?   The Scriptures do not answer all questions, but they teach that God is absolutely sovereign, perfectly holy, and absolutely just.


Admittedly, these truths are difficult for the human mind to accept, but the Scriptures are clear here. God controls everything, including who will be saved. The apostle Paul formulates this doctrine in an unmistakable manner in the ninth chapter of Romans, showing that God chose Jacob and rejected his twin brother Esau: "while they were not yet born, nor did they do anything good or bad - to keep them in force God's provision of election, not based on works, but on the one who calls "(vv. 11-12). A few verses later, the Apostle Paul adds: "For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have mercy on whom I have mercy.' So it depends not on man's will or actions, but on God's mercy. "(vv. 15-16).


The apostle Paul expected an argument against God's sovereignty: "So you're going to say to me, 'Why is he still blaming?' For who can go against His will? " (int. 19). In other words, doesn't God's sovereignty eliminate human responsibility?  However, instead of giving a philosophical answer, or a deeply metaphysical counter-argument, the Apostle Paul simply exhorts the skeptic: "O man! Who are you to enter into a dispute with God? Will the creature say to the creator: Why have you made me like this? Or is there no potter? power over clay to make one expensive vessel from the same lump, and the other ordinary? " (vv. 20-21).


The Scriptures affirm both God's sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of this truth, although we may not understand how they correspond to each other. People are responsible for what they do with the Gospel or with  any amount  the lights they have received (Rom. 2: 19-20), so that punishment is just if they refuse the light. And those who reject do so of their own free will. Jesus bitterly said, "You will not come to me, that you may have life" (John 5:40). He also said to the unbelievers, "For if you do not believe that I am [God], you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). In John chapter 6, our Lord combined God's sovereignty with human responsibility when he said: "Whatever the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will not cast out" (v. 37); "This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life" (v. 40); "No one can come to me unless the Father draws him" (v. 44); "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me has eternal life" (v. 47) and "No one can come to me unless it is given to him by the Father" (v. 65). How these two things can be true simultaneously cannot be understood by the human mind, only by God.


After all, it must not be concluded that God is unfair because He has chosen to show mercy to some, but not all. God should never be judged by what appears right according to human judgment. Is a man so foolish as to assume that he -  a sinful creature, has a higher standard of good than an infinite, eternally holy God? What pride would that be? In Psalm 50:21 God says, "You thought I was like you." However, God is not like a man and cannot be judged by human standards. "'My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways,' says the Lord, 'But as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55 : 8-9)        

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