||2017-04-30 02:22:14, 조회 : 630, 추천 : 125
| The Sovereignty of God|
Arthur W. Pink
Chapter 8 - Part 2 - The Sovereignty fo God and Human Responsibility
April 30, 2017
Hello to another beautiful day that has been given to us by God! Today we continue our book, The Sovereignty of God, by the author Arthur W. Pink. And we are finishing up chapter 8, God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility.
Last time, we looked at how the human responsibility and God’s sovereignty comes to play with one another. Although, admitting it is not explicit in the Scriptures, we can have general hints with specific verses and cases. To open up our discussion we look at the first two of our four questions concerning this matter. The first question we answered concerned itself with how it was possible for God to bear upon his power on mankind and yet hold them responsible. And the second question we looked at was concerning itself with the sinner being held responsible for the doing of something he is unable to do and how God can justly condemn the man for not doing what he could not do.
And now we move along to the third question: “How is it possible for God to DECREE that men SHOULD commit certain sins, hold them RESPONSIBLE in the committing of them, and then judge them GUILTY because they committed the sins?”
Let us consider the extreme case that is Judas Iscariot. In Scripture it is clearly told to us that God decreed from all eternity that Judas should betray Jesus. We know this when we see the prophecy of Zechariah, through whom God declared that His Son should be sold for “thirty pieces of silver.” And as we know, Judas did sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. But the question we have to face with this situation is whether or not Judas is responsible for fulfilling this degree of God. Following the way we answered the last two questions we must say that he is responsible. Responsibility attaches mainly to the motive and intention of the act. This is recognized almost everywhere.
Even in human law, it distinguishes between an assault that was premeditated and an assault that happened by accident. And if we apply this principle to Judas, then we have to hold Judas responsible. In his heart he had no intentions of fulfilling God’s decree, which was also unknown to him. His intentions was evil only, and therefore, though God had decreed and directed his act, his own evil intention made him justly guilty. This is why afterwards he tried to return the silver with the confession that “I have betrayed innocent blood.”
Even in the crucifixion of Christ. Although the people crucifying and going against Jesus fulfilled God’s ultimate decree of salvation through Jesus’ death, all these people did it with their own purpose for doing evil. God does NOT produce the sinful dispositions of any of His creatures, though He does restrain and direct them in order to accomplish His own purposes. What we are insisting here is that it wasn’t God’s decree that lead to the necessity of the sin of men but the fore-determination of man’s sinful acts. If we look back at Jesus’ betrayal, it was not God put an evil heart into Judas in order for Jesus to be sold and for such a terrible deed to occur. Instead, God decreed the act and selected the one who was to perform the act, but He did not make him evil in order for it to be fulfilled. God simply directed Judas’ actions, actions which complied with his evil will, and performed with the most wicked intentions. Thus it was with the Crucifixion.
Now, we move on to the fourth question: How can the sinner be held responsible to receive Christ, and be damned for rejecting Him, when God FOREORDAINED him TO condemnation?
First of all, no sinner, while in this world, knows for certain if he is a “vessel fitted to destruction.” This belongs to the hidden counsel of God, which none of us have access to. God’s secret will is no business of ours and it is God’s revealed will in the Word which is the standard of human responsibility. And God’s revealed will is not too difficult to understand. Each sinner is among those whom God now commands to repent. Each sinner who hears the Gospel is commanded to believe. And all who do truly repent and believe are saved. Therefore, every sinner is responsible to repent and believe.
Secondly, it is the duty of ever sinner to search the Scripture in order to find out how to obtain salvation. It is the sinner’s “duty” because the Son of God has commanded all sinners to search for the Scriptures. If a sinner searches the Scriptures with a heart that is seeking after God, then the sinner places himself where God is ready to meet with the sinner. Let us do what God has commanded and leave the rest on God’s will. The whole world should use God’s principles as their actions. Let us do our own duty and refer to God for success in it. For those that really seek for God, God is already with. Since He is with us, and has not shown any lie in our good, we have no reason to despair if we have His grace and mercy, but rather we can only hope for the best.
God has been pleased to give to all men the Bible, which is the testimony for a Savior and makes known the way to salvation. Ever sinner has the same natural ability for reading the Bible just as he has for reading a book. If, however, the sinner may be blind or without the ability to read, then he has his mouth in order to ask a friend to read the Bible to him. Do you really think if an illiterate man or a blind man goes to church to ask for the Bible to be read to him that he would be denied? The answer is, “NO!” God has given to us His Word, and in that Word He has made known how to obtain salvation. If men are commanded to search for these Scriptures and refuse to do so, then it can be concluded that the judgment rightfully falls on them.
If you do agree up to this point, then there is one question we must consider. Couldn’t we still argue that, then, the non-elect are still unable to repent and believe? The answer to this question is, yes. For every sinner, the fact of the matter is, none can come to Christ. What we do not consider, however, is the fact that, while every man is born in the mind of moral inability, man is also very willing to be unable to repent and believe. When we read the Scripture, we view sinners who are not only unable to do good, but also delighting in evil. So, in actuality, there is no non-ability but a willingness not to repent and believe.
All sinners are responsible to acknowledge before God his inability, and to cry unto God for his grace and mercy. It is our duty to own before God our ignorance, our weakness, our sinfulness, and our incapability to comply with His holy and just requirements. It is also our duty to seek for God and ask of Him for wisdom, strength, and grace, which will enable us to do the things that are pleasing to His sight; to ask Him to work in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)
In similar manner, ever sinner is responsible to call upon the Lord. By ourselves we cannot repent nor believe. We can neither come to Crist nor turn from our own sins. And so God tells us sinners to view Him as the truth. Then we are to cry to God for His power and to ask for mercy to overcome our enmity and bring us to Christ. If we do that, then most surely God will respond to our appeals, for it is written in Romans 10:13, “For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
To sum up, the fact of man’s responsibility lies upon our own natural ability. The basis for man’s responsibility is in the fact that we are rational creatures who are capable of weighing eternal issues and that we all possess a written Revelation from God. The measure of responsibility may vary in each person due to the different degree of light given to each person from God. It is, however, our responsibility to use every means that God has given to us. This concludes the whole of chapter 8, The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility.
1) What does the case of Judas Iscariot tell us?
3) Is there any blame against God for his predetermination of those who are saved? Why or why not?