- Why Know Jesus?
- Rightly Dividing the Word of God
- Doctrinal Declarations of Faith
- The Providence Of God
- Fall Iinto Sin and the Corrupt State of Man
- God’s Eternal Decrees
- The Trinity
- Of Apostolic Faith
- The Attributes Of God
- Christ Jesus
- Mans Will and Free Will
- Election and Predestination
- True Faith Justification and Repentance
- Adoption and Sanctification
- The Perseverance of the Saints
- Assurance of Salvation and Good Works
- Doctrinal Studies
- The History of the Pentecostal Movement
- Errant Pentecostal Doctrines And False Apostles And Prophets Introduction
- Periods And Confirmations Of God’s Revelation
- The Foundation Of The Church
- The Baptism With The Holy Spirit and The Filling of The Holy Spirit According to Scripture
- Signs Wonders Healing And Miracles For Who And By Who?
- The Apostles The Difference Between True And False
- Real and False Prophets
- The Prophets Of The New Testament
- Personal Conclusions
- CAN A CHRISTIAN BEAR ARMS AND DEFEND HIMSELF AND OTHERS
- (Italiano) E’ BIBLICO PER UN CRISTIANO USARE LEGITTIMA DIFESA PER SE E PER ALTRI?
- The Sanctity of Life and Value of Human Life
- The Importance of the Family to God
- Roles In The Family As In The Church
- The Role of Man and the Responsibilities of a Husband
- The Role of the Woman and the Responsibilities of the Wife
- Responsibilities of Father and Mother to Teach Train and Discipline their Children
- The Responsibilities of The Children in the Family
- The Letter of Paul to the Romans Introduction
- Romans Chapter One
- Romans Chapter Two
- Romans Chapter Three
- Romans Chapter Four
- Romans Chapter Five
- Romans Chapter Six
- Romans Chapter Seven
- Romans Chapter Eight
- Romans Chapter Nine
- Romans Chapter Ten
- Romans Chapter Eleven
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 1-2
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 3-11
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 12 to 20
- (Italiano) Introduzione Alla Lettera di Paolo Ai Romani
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Uno
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Due
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Tre
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Quattro
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Cinque
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sei
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sette
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Otto
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Nove
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Dieci
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 11
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 1-3
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 4-11
- (Italiano) Romani 12:12 a 20
- Romans Chapter 13
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 13
- Mission Ministry
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It is not Calvinism or Arminianism but what the Scriptures teach
What surprises me (or perhaps should not surprise me anylonger) is that human pride hides behind many faces, and unfortunately in the church hides behind the grace of God, it hides by taking divine likeness, that is, having a form of godliness but denying the power of it. What can people do to deny the power of the Gospel of God, the power of the Holy Spirit? They can do that with their intelligence or ability and know-how or just having some kind of moral attribute in themselves they can come to faith in Christ, when in reality they are dead in their sins, slaves thereof. Could it be that human pride can push us to want to usurp the glory of God and try to get some credit for believing in Him?I say that’s exactly how it is, that’s the essence of RELIGION.Religion does what? Convinces you that you have to do something to get God’s favor .. while the grace of God shows us instead that we must first be changed, then our abiding in God allows us to receive guidance in doing good works. But not the other way around, because it would just be pure human religion, nothing else. When we have to proclaim our choices and what we have done as if we wanted a reward or credit for those choices, this is doing what the the Catholics do, who say they believe in salvation by grace, but that to some extent they also have to add their own merits to God’s grace, otherwise salvation according to them is invalid, cannot be achieved by God’s grace alone. Some people compare those of us who believe in the doctrine of sovereign election of God by grace alone to Catholics, who say that there is no salvation unless through the church itself, claiming that way as some sort of election or predestination.
However, that is not so, we say instead, that there is no salvation unless a person is in Christ, and that is very different. We do not give any exclusive neither to ourselves nor to others, and we do not give any merit at all to those who receive salvation, rather only to God,that is what the Scripture teaches. I do not know how they arrive at this strange comparison of the Catholic church with those who believe in predestination or election. They do this without realizing that (if they are truly born again) they are also in this group called “the elect” who they despise and blame for this “unjust doctrine” they call which is the doctrine of “sovereign election” they do this without realizing perhaps that they also are the elect of God. However, they spew poison on us as if we were blaspheming, while the word of God clearly says that God chose us before we could choose Him and it is for this reason, that God chose us that we choose and believe in Him. Before posting what I believe the word teaches of God about the doctrine of election I would like to witness something that I personally experienced. You must know that for several years, the first 4-5 years of my conversion, I believed with all my being that the doctrine of predestination was false and in fact I also highly despised it, I rejected it at all costs.
I was convinced then, but even more so now, that I was the one who believed and chose Jesus as my Lord and savior. Yes my dear friends, I am ultra convinced even now that we ourselves believe and choose Jesus, we make the right choice, absolutely, it’s us.
How do we know if the grace of God pursues a person relentlessly to make them determine the right choice? Have you ever heard for example a non-believer declare that God has continuously pursued them until they definitively rejected Him? I do not know anyone who has said such a thing. The rejection of those who remain unbelieving is continuous, often immediate and automatic. Can then this be proof that God’s grace is irresistible only to those who are elected by God and not for others? It would seem so. Returning to me, predestination as a doctrine was unacceptable to me, I had a strong feeling that I did not deserve the grace of God and I knew this, of course, I always gave credit to God for my salvation. Well anyway … I thought that somehow I deserved salvation because of the fact that I had believed in Christ, that was to be the reward I was getting for believing. That is wrong thinking.
One day I started listening to a doctrinal series on the radio (at that time I lived in the U.S.) who spoke of these things, for some reason though I could not resist … I had to listen. I listened for several weeks, the radio show spoke of predestination and I realized that Scripture actually really taught that, I had been really chosen by God to have faith in Christ, even before the world was created.
Even before I was born, God had mapped out a road for me. He put me on this road by His grace alone, and I was led into the path of salvation and all this by His power, by His doing I heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He used other people to do this and I realized that Scripture presents the doctrine of sovereign divine election and what else could I do but give up to it?
I realized that the lordship, sovereignty, grace, love and mercy and justice of God was poured out on me in the regeneration wrought by Jesus through His Spirit. There is no better place to be than in the mighty hands of God I then changed my mind about this doctrine, and other doctrines as well through a systematic study of His word. The Lord has humbled me and made me change. He made me aware that only because He regenerated me, only with a heart of flesh instead of one of stone I could accept what God has shown me in His Gospel, that the Father has sent me to Jesus, He did it Himself, as He did with all those people who truly believed.
All those who have been regenerated by God and in Christ are the elect of God, all who believe in Christ have been predestined to be adopted as sons and daughters of God. This is a great privilege and an undeserved honor that no one deserves. I personally can not take credit about something that only God could do in my life, now I realize more and more, I could never believe in God if I had not been elected to faith and by grace He had not given me the power to become His child, not by the will of the flesh nor of blood, not by the will of man, but by the will of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-31 For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach, not with wisdom of words, so that the cross of Christ be emptied. In fact the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God as is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and cancel the intelligence of the intelligent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputant of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Since in the wisdom of God the world does not know God through its wisdom, it pleased God to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching, because the Jews require a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified , which is a stumbling block to Jews and folly to the Greeks, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, we proclaim Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God, because God’s foolishness is wiser than men and the weakness of God stronger than man’s. Concerning your calling, brethren, as there are among you not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong, and God hath chosen the base things of the world and the despised things and the things that are not to reduce to nothing those who are, so that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that, as it is written: “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” The doctrine of predestination is scary, it scares … first of all to those who do not understand it well and then those who are not willing to completely humble themselves before God, recognizing they are completely corrupt and without hope, which we are given only by the magnificent and powerful grace of God through regeneration which made us alive when we were dead in our sins, by grace only we are saved, EPHESIANS 2:1-10.
This doctrine is scary to those who proudly stand above the sovereign will of God, it scares the the flesh that wants at all costs to have to do with all human will and ability in order to receive a reward from God for something that man did (in this case having made the right decision).
It’s scary to the pride of man who wants the glory, the glory that man wants and does not want to give it completely to God
It’s scary to those who are on the road to perdition. It’s scary to those who would reject the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. It’s scary to the religious.
Let me try to explain some passages as Scripture presents them and see if in fact it is really we who distort the word of God or if we really give them their true meaning exposing what they say.
I would start with Acts 13:48 , then God willing will examine others,
“the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord, and all those who were ordained to eternal life believed.” It is true that if we take a cursory analysis of the Greek word ordained, we find that this can also mean be prepared, or predisposed as some like to say predisposed themselves to be saved, but this is not an honest and proper exegesis of the text.
In fact the Greek verb that we are analyzing, is used in the passive voice. What does this mean and how important is this detail? It means that the Greek, being very different from English, especially the ancient Greek, use of verb forms differ greatly from ours.
It is crucial that we take this into account when analyzing any text of Scripture, because we know that those who wrote the Word of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that every word is written in the right form and in the right place. Unless we accept that the Scriptures are perfect in every respect, any other thing is just smoke. Therefore, as we saw the verb were ordained is in the passive form. If the text could prove that the action was made by the subject there would have not been the use of this form and voice because the grammar itself teaches that the use of this form indicates that the action in which the subject is involved is external to him, it is not the subject that does the action but that receives it.
This shows us that the correct expression is: “… all those who were ordained …” and not “… all those who predisposed themselves…» because the grammar requires this to be so!
The passage thus shows us that it was not the people to prepare themselves to believe, but they received the action from an outside power (God) that foreordained them to eternal life and therefore consequently to believe to receive it. This is the objective meaning of the phrase, and shows us why the Gentiles, that is to say, those who were preordained by God or predisposed by Him believed. Other passages that confirm what we just said:
Matthew 16:15-17 He asked them: “Who do you say I am?”… Simon Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. Who has revealed this truth to Peter? Who taught him? Not his flesh or his blood, that is nothing human gave this revelation to Peter. In other words, nothing human, in him, could make Peter a “believer”.
In fact, Jesus called him blessed. Blessed, not because he was good, or intelligent to make that choice by himself, blessed because he had received instruction from the Father and the grace from God to recognize who Jesus was, for this subject see also JOHN 6:37-45. John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Now in this passage mentioned above, some would undertake to say that we must accept Jesus first, in order to have the power or the authority to become children of God, is that really so? You have to see what verse before the above verse also says,
John 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
These were the Jews that He had come to offer the Kingdom of God promised in the Old Testament.
There is a particular context to be followed in the Gospel of John chapter 1 and chapter 3 in this passage we find a connection to the speech made by Jesus in John 3:16 “God so loved the world.”
God loved the entire world, in the context this means that not only He has sent Jesus to the Jews the Father sent Jesus to save people of all nations. He sent Jesus so that anyone in the world who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God wants to be the savior of all peoples, of all nations, and not just the Jews. This is the concept that Jesus is explaining to Nicodemus the teacher of Israel in John 3.
JOHN 3:16-17 In these verses, therefore, is not at all described the free will of man’s decisive power as some would give us to understand, free will is nonexistent in these verses. The words “whoever believes” do not declare at all “free will” nor do they deny election, this is a neutral statement. These words mean exactly what they say , whoever believes shall be saved, and in fact it is so, no one denies this. Only those who believe are saved, and these are “everyone” in the world who believe. Going back to JOHN 1:12, John says, however, to all who received Him, Jesus, not only Jews but all those who have believed in the world believe in Him, to them, God gave power to become children of His, this power and authority to become children of God, John explains, is only by His will. John specifies what it means to accept Jesus, that these are all those who believe in His name. John explains how this happens, that is, how did they accept Jesus? How did they believe in Him? To remove any chance that man should boast for accepting Jesus, for believing in Him, John specifically says that those who believe do not believe by their bloodline nor of their own will of the flesh, nor of the will of any man but only of God. So those who believe are reborn from God, by His Spirit, this is the only reason why we are able to believe, why we make the right choices according to the will of God. To do so we must be “born from above.”
We see that this is so in accordance with the following passages: John 6:36-37 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
John 6:39-45 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” 41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
Here in verse 45 is an explanation of what happened to Peter in MATTHEW 16:15-17.
That’s why Peter went to Christ because the Father drew him to Jesus. The Father taught Peter as he heard and learned from the Father, the Father has revealed to him who Jesus is and that is why he believed. This happens to all those those whom the Father gave to the Son to go to Him . The Greek word draws we find in verse 44 in the above-mentioned passage, in the Greek language specifically means “to drag by force” and not by a sweet and simple attraction as many interpret to say, it’s not a simple invitation to the sinner to come to Jesus.
Just to clarify what we read and to expand this concept we should read
Matthew 11:25-28 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Yes, Father, for that you liked to do. All things have been given to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls: for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ” This in Matthew is a very interesting passage. In fact, Jesus reveals the Father to whom He wills because He wants what the Father wants.
So all those whom the Father gave to Jesus are the ones to whom Jesus reveals the Father.
This passage confirms and supports what we read in
MATTHEW 16:15-17, JOHN 6:37-45 and JOHN 17:1-8. John 6:60-71 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” 61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
In this passage we find several truths delineated, many of which are hard, even incomprehensible for some as they were then, they are today even for ” the disciples of Jesus” and who many even today distort from the truth as even Peter later declared in: 2 Peter 3:15-18 and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Salvation and faith are the context of John 6. These, salvation and faith, are only possible through the Holy Spirit and the word of God, you see that is what Jesus says in JOHN 6:63. That is why Jesus said “no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father”. Some will say that God grants everyone to go to Jesus, but that is not at all true otherwise everybody would go to Jesus and everybody would be saved. So we see that salvation trough faith and grace is just that by God’s merciful grace He bestows on whom He will.
Therefore, John 1:12 says that those who have welcomed, accepted in other words, believed in Jesus, did so not by their own doing or their own carnal desires, but have been instead regenerated by the Spirit of God, so that they could have the power, Christ’s authority, to be called children of God This is why Jesus knew who did not believe in Him, they could not and did not want to believe in Him because they did not have the Spirit and the life, because the Father had not foreknow them, they were not foreknown and therefore they were not called to respond positively to Christ. It had not been granted by the Father.
One might say then that they were not ordained to eternal life so they could not believe, this would be opposite of what happened in ACTS 13:48 We also find here in JOHN 6:70-71 after Peter has made another declaration of faith in Christ, JOHN 6:68-69, Jesus himself puts Peter’s thoughts of him having faith in Jesus in order by giving him a lesson of God’s sovereign election, saying to him
” Did I not choose you the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil”, not a brother, not friend, but a devil. Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made everything for a purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil. John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I have them preserved them in your name, I have kept those you have given me, and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. It is evident that God sovereignly chooses all and all for His purposes and His good pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-11 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, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
This passage really explains itself, without needing to interpret it too much. If you believe in the literal word of God and believe what it says it will be good that we realize what it really teaches us. There is no doubt then that it is by the sovereign will of God only that He chose us and predestined us to be in Christ, and then as we have already had occasion to see, to believe in Him because we were chosen to be in Him and ordained to eternal life in Him. All this is according to the purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the decision of His own will and according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, who has given to us in His beloved Son. This is precisely and clearly what Paul says in this passage, how could we interpret this passage giving explanations that are not at all in the text, even removing words and their meaning and adding to them the erroneous meaning of preconceptions, opinions and beliefs that are inconsistent with what the rest of the Bible shows us in this regard. What other interpretation can we give about this passage? I’ve heard different ones but all are incorrect except what it really and literally says. In theses interpretations, things are added to the text, the meanings of key words are altered and changed to support their convictions. We cannot do this with the word of God, we must not add anything to the written word, we can not interpret it out of context, the context of the passage itself and the general context that Scripture teaches about the same subject, and the meaning of the words used in the original language cannot be changed to suit our own preconceptions and desires.
One of the leading passages used to say that the differences in regard to this doctrine, and specifically the word predestined is
Romans 8:28-30 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Here we see that the interpretation given by many who claim that believers are justified first and then, because of this, predestination occurs, is incorrect. The context of the aforementioned passage exposes a precise order: 1) only who was predestined is always foreknown by Him, 2) who has been predestined is also called, with and effective call (call that is answered positively). 3) and who is called by Him has been also justified by faith. The text also says that people who have been justified are also glorified.
Interesting choice of aorist past tense, which indicates that the action has already occurred in the distant past but continues at the same time and is applied in the present while it continues it far reaching action into the future and forever. This is because it was accomplished and completed by God’s foreknowledge and will, so that those who are saved by grace are in fact justified and glorified already, in other words this is an accomplished and irreversible fact that has already been decided to be by God in the past and because of this very fact it will occur. 4) Those who contend with the true meaning of the word predestined, according to them in this passage, they say that because the word predestined is exclusively dedicated to being conformed to the image of Christ, only in that context predestination is spoken of and not be used for being predestined to faith or salvation. I do not understand, where the difference is between being predestined to salvation or predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus. There is no difference between the two, because those predestined to salvation are also predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, that is part of a person’s salvation.
To be conformed to the image of Christ has two meanings.
The first one is sanctification, that is, the obtaining of His character and the second is when we will be transformed into His image His likeness in glory, see 1 JOHN 3:1-3.Another passage that creates a great disturbance in the minds of some people is ROMANS 9:8-24 Let’s examine it divided in sectionsRomans 9:8-13 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
(The doctrine that God foreknows those who will believe and that is the reason why He elects or predestines them, has no place here, since Paul says that God chooses the person even before they are born, before the person could have done any good or evil.
This fact also includes belief, faith, because faith is a good work, in fact the only thing that pleases God. This is so that the purpose of God remains firm only according to election and not according to works, it depends solely on who calls, that is God.
We have seen previously in the brief exposition of ROMANS 8:29-30 that those who God foreknew He also predestined, and those who He predestined also He called, He also justified and glorified them.
As we see it is entirely the work of God and how it says in this passage in order to remain firm the purpose of God according to election, which is determined not by works but by He who calls) “The elder shall serve the younger ‘ as it is written: “I loved Jacob and Esau I hated.” (Here lies one of the main objections that are raised by those who advocate a salvation purely based on human free will and choice, they say:
“The God of predestination is an unjust God because it is He who chooses the man and leaves man no choice”
but Paul anticipates this objection asking if there is any injustice with God because He is the one who chooses and then gives us the answer in the verses to follow) Romans 9:14-19 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. Another question at this point is made by those who refuse to accept a completely sovereign God: “What? So if there is no choice on the part of man in the matter, how can God be fair and judge with justice? “But Paul has also a response to these objections: Romans 9:14-19 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
Romans 9:19-24 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
As you can see the doctrine of predestination is widely found in the Scriptures, Paul himself says that God has mercy on whom He will, while leaving others to harden their heart. He does not harden it himself actively in those people, they are the ones who are left to themselves and their sinful rebellion is what hardens their hearts.
Does Paul portray an unjust God you think? And Jesus, does He? As for what God’s word shows and what we read so far, shows that it is God who chooses, preordained and predestined people to the faith, which must attract them and drag them to Christ, It is the Father who reveals and teaches men to believe in Jesus. Many will say that, no, no the word of God does not show us that at all, they say Scripture does not say that no one can go to Jesus if it is not given by the Father, it does not teach this at all. Even after reading that this is actually true?
If Jesus says that “no one can” what do you think it means then?
No one can seems pretty exclusive to me. Is it or is not what Jesus said? What other meaning could this have other than what is really presented clearly and bluntly in the word of God?
Can man continue to believe in his feelings, his personal feelings toward God rather than believing the words set out in Scripture itself, a word which reveals God as He wants to be revealed and known? Apparently yes.
The biblical doctrine of election or predestination, is not well accepted in great part because is not well understood, but it exists and it is clearly exposed in the Bible.
The complete sovereignty of God is perfectly merciful and perfectly just and does no violence at all to the free will of any man. This is clear for those who understand this doctrine in the specific way in which God has revealed in His word, in keeping with His character, which I repeat is totally fair and just. Paul also made it clear to us in Romans 9.
So here’s the final passages that I want to share with you, surely this is not a completely exhaustive exegesis and exposition of this subject but it is enough to realize that the word of God shows us that this doctrine exists and is not a Calvinist doctrine or human but it is biblical, apostolic and above all divine. Thus spake Jesus in
John 17:1-10 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
Jesus declares that the Father has given Him authority over all flesh and to give eternal life only to those whom He has received from the Father.
This expression shows that there are people that His Father did not give Him and therefore these will not have eternal life exactly because of this fact.
Is this therefore not predestination? Is it not election? If not, what is it then? See also verse 10 says, I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
This is in perfect accord with what we read before in MATTHEW 11:25-28 and JOHN 6:37-45 John 6:39-45 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” 41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
In conclusion, the whole doctrine of predestination is in fact based on the love and mercy of God and consequently on the grace of God. Well, these things are themselves based on the fact that God is just and holy and must judge sin and so consequently the sinner. The Bible teaches us that in many places the human being is a slave of his sinful nature JOHN 8:34-36, that man is dead spiritually EPHESIANS 2:1-6, that man is completely corrupt, can not and does not want to seek God and does not want and can not submit to the will of God and the law.
Passages that explain this, there are plenty of and here are just some of the main ones GENESIS 6:5,GENESIS 8:21, JEREMIAH 17:9,ROMANS 1:18 -32,ROMANS 3:10-20,ROMANS 8:7-8, 1 CORINTHIANS 2:14.
These are truths that the word of God teaches us in regard to a complete and radical corruption and depravity of every human being without exception, and the inability of man to understand the things of the Spirit and to seek God in such a way that any possibility of any chance of a man making the right decision by himself is impossible.
A human being can only be in a condition of spiritual death, absence of true morality and cannot accept God nor seek God nor can he ever do God’s will. It would be enough to really read these mentioned passages and to be honest with oneself to see that it is impossible for any human being to believe on his own, since it is impossible for natural man to understand the things of the Spirit, unless that person becomes a spiritual man, a person brought back to life, born again. So based on these irrefutable facts in regard to the complete moral corruption of man and his total bondage to sin it is impossible for any person to believe in Christ, repent and confess Jesus as Lord by their own free will without God’s intervention, see ROMANS 10:9-10 and 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3.
One can only confess Jesus by the Spirit of God and the natural man can not do this and since this is a requirement for salvation, that is part of the life of the Holy Spirit and of the regenerate, it is clear that a person must be regenerated in order to have faith and confess that Jesus is Lord.
Which only conclusion must we to arrive to here? The fact is that only God can save man and that the only way is if He elects some to salvation otherwise if God did not do things, ALL would be and should be in hell, if indeed they were left alone to decide their eternal fate. Adam and Satan destined us all to hell without any exceptions, but God has predestined some, actually many, to salvation and eternal life, even you if you’re born again. If God had not predestined many to salvation in His righteousness He obviously would have been right for Him if He had left all go to into perdition.
However, the love and mercy of God would not have been expressed, so then God in His mercy and His love by grace elected or predestined many to salvation in Christ. God is not cruel because He predestined some people to salvation, people who would otherwise go to perdition, the God who elects is not pleased at all in the death of the unjust and has no fun at all letting them go to hell, but this occurs only by their choice not His. This is the choice of the wicked, they do not want and can not believe on their own, without the intervention of God in their life, unless God first regenerates them to be able to believe to make the right choice according to His will, without this none of us could.
Ezekiel 33:11 As surely as I live, saith the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that they turn from their way and live: repent, repent from your evil ways, why would die, O house of Israel? ”
In fact there are people who accuse God of injustice because He predestines, but God is not unjust. It is man who is unjust not God, this concept is not new.
Ezekiel 33:17 And the children of thy people say, “The Way of the Lord is not fair,” while their way that is not fair Then you wonder why does He not call all to repentance and conversion if it is all decided by Him? First of all, human beings are not actually all called to repentance through the Gospel. Many, many people have never heard the Gospel and have perished in their iniquity just the same. Second, as long as no man knows Jesus as his Lord and Savior does not know he is elected, no one, only God knows, and then evangelism is also necessary, in fact is important because it is the method with which God chose to save 1 CORINTHIANS 1: 21-31,ROMANS 10:17. Yes God has chosen not only the method but also the people to believe in it. In addition, evangelism is not useless in the doctrine of predestination as some say,it is not useless at all, because it is the method chosen by God but it is also a commandment that God gave to His church.
Even if God had decided to stop saving, we should still have to obey what God commands us to do or not? We do not save it is God who saves using us, we are only servants who obey their Lord, we do not know who is chosen by God, it is not our concern, our concern should be only to preach the Gospel and the Lord will save them who He has chosen. The third reason is that while God calls His elect to salvation through the Gospel, even others still hear the gospel. Others are also called indirectly, but they reject the grace of God, because no one can go to Jesus unless the Father draws them and gives them to Him.
This is done so that all men may be without excuse before God and can not blame God for not giving them the chance to be saved and to demonstrate to man what man can do without God, without His grace and without His intervention, we know we can not do anything spiritually and morally acceptable for God to save us. Now, I ask, where is God unjust in all this? Do you want a merciful or a just God? God is both, and has fulfilled His righteousness and His wrath pouring out His judgment and wrath on His Son Jesus, and has thus demonstrated His love and His grace, His only saving grace for many, so being able to reconcile His justice with His mercy , His love with His holiness without compromising neither the one nor the other. If you want only a just God, then everyone should be going to hell without screaming injustice, if you want a just and merciful God and that He is, there is no injustice in God, this is confirmed in the light of His sovereignty in choosing to salvation, and that famous disputed passage we have also read previously
Is He unjust because he saved you and me and not others?
Only you can answer this question honestly. Romans 9:14-24 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
The word is clear indeed very clear for those who want to accept it. God is righteous in everything He does, God is merciful to those who have been prepared by him for glory, those He has called, even us, not only among Jews but also among the Gentiles, for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son so that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. This is not Calvinism or Arminianism, but what the Scriptures teach.