Just a Thought About Election and Man’s Will.

If God, being completely transcendent, says two things, that to us, being limited, finite, creatures, whose reason is corrupted by sin, seem to be mutually exclusive, isn’t it possible that those two things are true, despite our inability to perceive the greater truth?  Of course it is possible.  It is necessary that we don’t exclude one truth, at the expense of another, simply due to our limited faculties. 

That is why, some Christians who affirm God’s sovereignty, and man’s ability to exercise his volition within his nature, are not affirming something wrong.  It is merely a more mature understanding of God’s sovereignty, the centrality of Christ, the transcendent holiness of God, the utterly created, finite, and sinful nature of man. 

Predestination, and election are not doctrines that are arbitrarily arrived at through implicit inference.  They are arrived at from exposition of the explicit teachings of scripture.  Contrast the resulting theologies derived from a man centered, (anthropocentric) decisional regeneration, with the more comprehensive God centered (theocentric) sovereign election. 

We don’t deny, as some might say, that man makes choices.  We just understand that in a compatible, and transcendent way, the sovereign God, ordained those choices in eternity, for His ultimate glory, and our good.  The people who ask, “Does God ordain the murdering of a man?”  We should reply, “Was that man born without sin?  As a sinner, what does he deserve?”  The matter of theodicy is all but ignored in this modern age of mediocrity, and ignorance. 

We can study the past, and stand on the shoulders of giants, or we can crawl, blindly in the muck, and mire, searching for a morsel of truth, trying to rediscover what was once common knowledge amongst Protestants, while sinners descend to the pit, temporally, and eternally, all around us.

Sovereign Election, and Man’s Volition.

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God is omniscient. He knows everything. He cannot learn. He has always known who He would save, and who He would not. He did not have to look down the corridors of time to see who would choose Him. He knew before He made them. It is not evil for God to save only the elect. We cannot judge God. He is the infinite, transcendent Creator. We are small, finite, creatures, with limited faculties as creatures, then add on to that the noetic effect of our sin natures inherited from the fall of original sin. In Adam all die. The wages of sin is death. All of us, even the newborn, deserve death and Hell, but God in His mercy saves some. If there are two doctrines that are seemingly at odds, in your understanding, it is not the truth of God that is wrong. If the Bible says we have a volition, make choices, and suffer the consequence, or reap the rewards of those choices, then it is true. If it says that God has determined, or ordained all things to come to pass according to His will, then that is also true. Just because someone can’t justify the two ideas in their small, finite, creaturely, sin sick minds doesn’t negate the truth of God.

We are limited to an existence in space/time. We only experience life in a linear progression through unfolding time, in space. We see our lives as a series of instances, and of choices, and outcomes. Eternity is not like that. God is bigger than space/time. He transcends His creation. He sees all things, perfectly, as the actually are, forever. God made the construct of this material world for us to live in, and for His story to be experienced in. He made it for His glory.

The Bible, the Gospel of Christ, are theocentric, not anthropocentric. In Eternity, God sovereignly chose who would respond to their sin, and the gospel, with repentance and faith. He grants repentance and faith, to those whom He chose. This does not negate our culpability. He says as much in Romans. It doesn’t mean that we don’t experience choices and the outcomes of those choices. Let God be true.

You can read that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, Israel was chosen, Aaron, and Moses were chosen, Hosea, and Gomer were chosen, even the pagans were chosen to work God’s will in their wickedness they were used to punish Israel when they strayed. Christ chose His Apostles. Paul was chosen, and we see that on the road to Damascus. Romans 9, Ephesians 1, God’s sovereign choices are all over the old and new Testaments. We can’t ignore it, or interpret in a way that makes it anthropocentric. Our purpose is to glorify God, not man.

Sanctification is about being conformed to the Word of God and His likeness. A Christian would love for His sinful will in the unredeemed flesh to be gone. It is one of the things we look forward to in eternity, is being in a glorified body, that no longer desires to sin, but entirely desires to do God’s will only. People make the accusation that God wouldn’t make a bunch of mindless robots, but I would love it if I no longer sinned or were tempted to sin. It doesn’t mean that I would be mindless. Election, and man’s volition are both true. Before a man is saved, his will is enslaved to his sinful nature. After he is saved, it is enslaved to the Christ Jesus His Lord and Savior, who died for his sins.