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Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Five - Not of Human Will or Exertion
Benjamin Yim  2014-02-04 13:47:06, 조회 : 1,968, 추천 : 338

            Hello to another wonderful day to further our knowledge of God. Today, we will be coming from chapter five, Not of Human Will or Exertion.

         The author starts off this chapter by giving us verses from Romans 9:15-16
      
         “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9: 15-16)
        
          Previously, we have stated that a good way to approach the doctrine of predestination is by analyzing the logical relationship between God’s choice of us and our choice of Him. So we will be analyzing the points of Calvinism, for it says directly that it is God’s choice that is primary and decisive. We see that salvation is completely from the Lord and we are saved entirely by the grace of God.

          Just as Arminians had put out their points, Calvinistic theologians had also put out their main points in the acronym of TULIP: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Though this acronym doesn’t fully describe the Calvinistic view, it is still used due to making it easier for us to remember.

          The T in TULIP, Total Depravity, or what others call Spiritual Inability, asserts that the fall of man has led to us being unable to think, will, or do anything truly good without divine assistance and that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. The core idea of this statement is that until God regenerate us by giving us spiritual rebirth, we have neither the ability nor the intent to cooperate with His grace. So regeneration must be something that we are passive and God alone is working because the Fall has made us totally unable to do anything of spiritual or saving value.

            In regeneration we are acted upon and changed by the Holy Spirit. He raises us from the dead and gives us new life and new hearts, and it is only then do we begin to cooperate with God by repenting, believing the gospel, and seeking God. And such statements and this Calvinistic view on the doctrine of predestination is fully warranted from the Scripture. But what I must say is that Calvinism does not teach that fallen human beings are not able to make intellectual sense of the Christian faith, however what it does teach is that in our fallen state we are incapable of desiring God. We run from God, not to Him, and we try our hardest to suppress as well as reject our knowledge of Him. When we read Romans 8:5-8, and 1 Corinthians 2:14, we see Paul writing that the natural person or those who live according to the flesh is only set on what his nature desires, but the desires of that nature conflict with what the Spirit desires. What Paul is saying is that the natural man is not able to see the truth and beauty of God. They find the gospel foolish and unattractive, and all their desires are set against it.

              Then we can see that it is impossible for such a person to ever come on his own to accept Christ. He desires Christ neither as Savior nor as Lord; all he really wants to do with Christ is to forget Him, or else reinterpret Him so as to fit Him into some man-made religious system like people are doing world-wide. And what distinguishes the Christian from such person is The Holy Spirit. It is the presence of the Spirit in us that enables us to understand the things of God and receive them. Unless God enables us we will never believe. Evidence is scattered throughout the Bible, but we will look specifically at Jesus’ teaching in John 6:35-40.
          
              Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never third. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

               What Jesus is clearly affirming is that no one can come to Him unless drawn by the Father. Jesus is also referring that salvation does not happen due to the exercise of human free will but is the power of God. Human beings are oriented away from God, so much so that they are incapable of believing rightly in Christ. However, some people have tried to question the fairness of such interpretation.  A just God would never command us to repent and believe if repentance and belief were beyond our abilities.

               However, this is not the only place where God commands the impossible, throughout the Bible there are many instances where the impossibility has happened. For example, Lazarus’ revival from the grave, or even the command that Jesus tells us that we must be perfect, even as God is perfect. We all know those two things are impossible in our ability, but with divine input it is. The reason for telling us of such commands as these that are beyond our ability seems to be God’s way of bringing us to recognize our need for Him.

               Now we will move on to see Unconditional Election. If human beings are in voluntary rebellion against God, it follows necessarily that God’s choosing of those who will believe cannot be based on His foreknowledge of their choices, so it must eliminate the Arminians’ way of thinking. So we can say that our election is unconditional, rooted not in any acts or decisions that might commend us to God, but solely in His own good pleasure.

                The Father and the Son are both involved in the work of choosing and calling. In none of the passages in Scripture, however, does it suggest that the cause of election is to be located in the ones who are chosen. The emphasis is clearly put on the divine initiative in salvation, as said throughout the Scriptures. God chooses His people for His own pleasure and will, to the end that His grace may be praised. As shown, election is designed to bring praise to God, as the One who freely gives grace to the undeserving and the One who sovereign power enables Him to work out all things in conformity with the council of His will.

                 So we can conclude that Election is not by human desire or effort but by grace. It is an expression of God’s freedom to show mercy where He will. It has nothing whatever to do with foreseen faith; it has everything to do with God’s plan and sovereign power.
                
                 Unconditional Election, however, raises a couple of questions that seem to be very important towards our belief to such doctrine. One, which we will be discussing in chapter 9, is if election depends solely on God and not at all on us, then why doesn’t God elect everybody. But the question we will be discussing is, If His decision to choose one person over another is completely unrelated to the character or decisions of those two people, then isn’t God behaving like a tyrant?

                 Tyrant meaning a cruel or oppressive leader. What this seems to say is that, it appears as if God is forcing some to hell, while others to heaven for no reason, in which making it seem arbitrary. Now, Paul knew that such objections would arise during his ministry as well as until the Return of Christ. We look at verse 20 of Romans 9, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” What Paul is reminding us is of our creature-hood and the fact that we have no right whatsoever to be talking back to God, especially in a negative way. But what we should respond when such question arises within our own minds is that we humble and quiet ourselves before God and ask Him to give us power to understand what we are capable of understanding and to continue trusting when understanding fails us.

                 And another thing about this objection is that God is arbitrary. The term arbitrary suggests to us a person who is out of control or one whose actions conform to no moral principles. What we must never forget is that God is infinitely holy; He is righteous in all His deeds. Yet, election does seem arbitrary. This is mainly due to the way we think, we believe that if the reason for our election does not lie within us, then there must not be any reason at all. What we must know is that we can be confident that God has reasons for His choices, but we must recognize that He is not obligated to reveal them to us. All that we need to know is that we are not chosen because of any goodness in ourselves; our salvation is entirely of grace.

                 Secondly, we view election as something of arbitrary because we forget our guilt and liability to punishment. We are delusional if we believe that we are innocent victims of God’s cruel punishment. What the doctrine of election says is that although all deserve hell, God has graciously chosen to give heaven to some. He didn’t need to do that at all. Instead He has chosen a great multitude to be saved and given His Son to die in our place. The truth which we must always remember is that we are guilty as charged. If all are executed, that is justice. If some are executed and others have their sentences nullified, then the first group receives justice and the second receives mercy. No one is treated unjustly.
                
                 To conclude, I hope that you were able to grasp the two concepts, Total Depravity and Unconditional Election, out of the five of the Calvinistic points of TULIP. More importantly, I hope that you will be able to implement these concepts within your very own heart and will be able to enhance your life of faith. Thank you!!

* admin님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2015-12-31 06:13)


편 집 자
And another thing about this objection is that God is arbitrary. The term arbitrary suggests to us a person who is out of control or one whose actions conform to no moral principles. What we must never forget is that God is infinitely holy; He is righteous in all His deeds. Yet, election does seem arbitrary. This is mainly due to the way we think, we believe that if the reason for our election does not lie within us, then there must not be any reason at all. What we must know is that we can be confident that God has reasons for His choices, but we must recognize that He is not obligated to reveal them to us. All that we need to know is that we are not chosen because of any goodness in ourselves; our salvation is entirely of grace.

정말 왜 우리를 하나님께서 택하셨는지는 잘 모릅니다. 그것은 아마도 삼위일체 만큼이나 비밀스럽고, 혹시 하나님 나라에서나 알 수 있는 일이 아닌가 생각이 듭니다. 또 한가지 분명한 것은 그 비밀을 하나님께서 우리들에게 계시하시 않으시겠다고 작정을 하셨다면 우리는 영원히 알 수 없는 일임에 틀림이 없습니다.

그렇다고 해서 우리가 하나님을 제멋대로, 어떤 기준이나 원리도 없이 행동하는 사람이라는 생각은 논리적으로 맞지를 않습니다. 절대로 이런 생각을 해서는 안되는 것이, 우리가 성경을 통해서 알고, 성경을 통해서 배우는 하나님은 항상 자기의 속성을 따라서 행동하는 분이시기 때문입니다. 자기의 속성과 자기의 본질이 곧 그 분의 생각과 행동과 선택의 기준이요, 원리입니다. 그리고 한가지 분명한 것은 그 분의 생각과 행동은 항상 논리적이고 선합니다.

그러면 우리는 선택에 대해서 우리에게 알려주지 않는 것을 알려고 할 필요는 없을 것입니다.

그러나 알려준 것만큼은 누구에게 양보함이 없이 알아야 하고, 알려주어야 합니다.

그것이 바로 하나님의 은혜로 우리가 선택을 받은 것이지, 선택의 조건을 제공하였기에 하나님께서 선택한 것은 아니라는 것입니다.
2014-02-19
17:27:20

 


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번호 제목 작성자 작성일   추천 조회
9  Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Nine - The Riches of His Glory (Final Chapter)    Benjamin Yim 2014/03/05 290 1744
8  Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Eight - Redemption Through His Blood    Benjamin Yim 2014/02/26 281 1742
7  Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Seven - The Chastisement that Brought Us Peace    Benjamin Yim 2014/02/19 338 1943
6  Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Six - Not of Human Will or Exertion    Benjamin Yim 2014/02/12 322 1835
 Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Five - Not of Human Will or Exertion  [1]  Benjamin Yim 2014/02/04 338 1968
4  'Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Four - His Choice, My Choice  [1]  Benjamin Yim 2014/01/25 303 2175
3  Sinners in the Hands of a Good God-Chapter Three-The Light of israel Will Become a Fire    Benjamin Yim 2014/01/15 222 1305
2  'Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter Two - Forever and Ever    Benjamin Yim 2014/01/07 243 1319
1  New Bible Study! 'Sinners in the Hands of a Good God' Chapter One - The Soul That Sins, It Shall Die!!  [1]  Benjamin Yim 2013/12/31 247 1477

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