Posts Tagged ‘unconditional election’

Potter & Clay

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?” (v. 21).

See – – Romans 9:14-24

If only some people are predestined to be saved, then it logically must follow that other people are not. The doctrine of predestination to salvation is called the doctrine of election, and the doctrine of predestination to damnation is called the doctrine of reprobation.

There is some mystery in these doctrines of predestination, but as we have said before, if we don’t say that God predestines all things, we don’t have a God at all. If He is not totally sovereign, He is only a “big man” like Zeus or Baal. At the same time, there are some things we can say about the doctrines of election and reprobation, and we need to say them.

First, the fact is that all mankind is in sin and rebellion against God. God does not have to elect anybody. When God chooses to save a sinner, He puts forth an action to save that person. God works to create belief in us. This contrasts with the doctrine of reprobation. God does not put forth an effort to cause people to sin. When God chooses to bypass a sinner, He does not work to create unbelief in that person’s heart. Rather, God simply lets him go his own way.

Thus, second, we say that election and reprobation are not “equally ultimate.” In election, God powerfully acts to change a person from a sinner to a saint. God does not act to change a saint into a sinner. Election is an act of God; reprobation is simply the reflex of that action, the fact that God has not elected everybody.

Third, we have to say that God’s action of deciding to save some is simultaneously a decision not to save others. The decision to save is called election, and the decision not to save is called preterition. Since this is one action, it can be seen as two sides of one coin, and “equally ultimate” in that sense.

But, and this is most important, when God implements election by calling the saints, He saves us apart from anything we have done. When God implements preterition by reprobating the wicked, He does not do anything to them; He simply leaves them alone. In this important sense, the work of God in condemning the wicked is not the reverse side of His work in saving sinners.

Many people are put off by the things we have discussed today. Read Romans 9:19–21. Notice how Paul deals with those who objected. The bottom line of Paul’s reply is this: We must bow the knee to God. He has decided not to save everybody, and we have no right to criticize Him. Can you agree?

Shared from www.ligonier.org.

Canons-of-Dort-Word-Cloud

TULIP

The historic five points of Calvinism, simplified in the acrostic TULIP, distinguish Reformed theology at the key points of issue, but in no way exhaust the content of Reformed theology. These five points include:

T – total depravity
U – unconditional election
L – limited atonement
I – irresistible grace
P – perseverance of the saints

Briefly, total depravity declares that all men are corrupted by the Fall to the extent that sin penetrates the whole person, leaving them in a state by which they are now by nature spiritually dead and at enmity with God. This results in the bondage of the will to sin by which the sinner is morally unable to incline himself to God, or to convert himself, or to exercise faith without first being spiritually reborn by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit (Ps. 51:5, Rom. 5:12, Col. 2:13, John 3:5-7).

Unconditional election refers to God’s sovereign and gracious work of election by which, from all eternity, God determines to exercise saving grace to a particular group of people chosen from out of the mass of fallen humanity. God gives this saving grace according to the good pleasure of His will, and not according to some foreseen actions, responses, or conditions met by men. God’s election is based purely on His sovereign grace and not upon anything done by humans. The elect are brought to saving faith by the work of the Holy Spirit. The elect receive special grace from God. The non-elect receive common grace, but in the end receive the justice of God (Deut. 7:6,7; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 2:8,9; John 6:44).

Limited atonement means that though the value and merit of Christ’s atonement are unlimited and sufficient to save the whole world and are offered to all who repent and believe, the efficacy of the atonement is applied only to the elect, and that, by God’s design. This means that in God’s eternal plan of salvation the atonement was designed to accomplish redemption for the elect and that God’s plan of redemption is not frustrated by the refusal of the impenitent to avail themselves of its benefits. In this sense all for whom the atonement was designed to save, will be saved (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Gal 3:13; John 11).

Irresistible grace refers to the grace of regeneration by which God effectually calls His elect inwardly, converting them to Himself, and quickening them from spiritual death to spiritual life. Regeneration is the sovereign and immediate work of the Holy Spirit, working monergistically. This grace is operative, not cooperative, meaning that those who are regenerate always come to saving faith, as they are made willing to come to Christ to Whom they most certainly flee and cling for their redemption (Ez. 36:26-27; Rom. 8:30; John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:1-10).

Perseverance of the saints means that those who are truly regenerate and truly come to saving faith will never lose their salvation. They may fall via manifold temptations and spiritual weakness, even into radical sin but never fully and finally because God, by His grace, preserves them. The intercession of Christ for the elect is efficacious unto eternity (John 3:16; John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Jn. 5:13).