Friday, May 27, 2005

"Now, the calling of the Holy Spirit is without any regard to any merit in us. If this day the Holy Spirit shall call out of this congregation a hundred men, and bring them out of their estate of sin into a state of righteousness, you shall bring these hundred men, and let them march in review, and if you could read their hearts, you would be compelled to say, "I see no reason why the Spirit of God should have operated upon these. I see nothing whatever that could have merited such grace as this - nothing that could have caused the operations and motions of the Spirit to work in these men." For, look ye here. By nature, men are said to be dead in sin. If the Holy Spirit quickens, it cannot be because of any power in the dead men, or any merit in them, for they are dead, corrupt and rotten in the grave of their sin. If then, the Holy Spirit says, "Come forth and live," it is not because of anything in the dry bones, it must be for some reason in His own mind, but not in us. Therefore, know ye this, men and brethren, that we all stand upon a level. We have none of us anything that can recommend us to God; and if the Spirit shall choose to operate in our hearts unto salvation, He must be moved to do it by His own supreme love, for He cannot be moved to do it by any good will, good desire, or good deed, that dwells in us by nature."
C.H. Spurgeon

11 comments:

Rand said...

Indeed,

Will I ever have the answer to this question:

Why me?

Rand

Frank Martens said...

deep rand, deep.

Daniel said...

So God have no reason for picking certain individuals over others? He must not, if He unconditionally elects them. Getting electing is just based on mere chance if God's choice is just random. That sounds more like winning the lottery. I don't see how such a view would bring glory to God.

Rand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rand said...

Daniel seems to be quick to ascribe thoughts and concepts to those who affirm the Doctrines of Grace that are not correct.

The fact of the matter is, no one knows why God chose some over others, the Scriptures simply doesn't say.

If election somehow doesn't glorify God, I wonder how Mr. Daniel explains Israel. Were they not the elect nation of God? Why didn't God choose the Philistines or the Egyptians? Were the Israelites more worthy? Hardly! In numerous places in Scripture, God refers to Israel as alike to Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet we read that God chose Israel to be His people.

Election glorifies God. The Bible is clear. We may never fully understand how, but it does.

Take care,

Rand

Righteous Sinner said...

Daniel,

It's important to go to scripture. Certainly every decision we make is influenced by something outside ourselves. As kids picking teams for baseball we either pick the good players because we want to win or pick the kids for which we feel sorry. We're influenced by something. If God were to elect based upon some good quality in us, then none would be chosen because we are all sinful and undeserving of His favor. God's choice does not need to come from an outside influence because God acts according to the counsel of His will and according to His own good pleasure.

See Ephesians 1:11 -
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

Why?

Read the next verse

so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

If God's predestination were based on our attractiveness to Him then how could we not boast in our salvation?

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast - Eph 2:8-9

See also:

Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call - Romans 9:11

God's election is not based on us, but because of Himself - according to the counsel of His own will and for His own good pleasure. This is a high and lofty thing, and very hard to get our head around. If we cannot, then we ought to simply respond as Paul at the end of Romans 11 saying,

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."

Daniel said...

Rand,

I didn't say that election doesn't glorify God. I believe in election, only conditional election. I said that I don't see how a particular view of election glorifies God. It seems to me that the doctrine of unconditional election makes God random and capricious. If His election is merely arbitrary, I don't see how you could avoid that conclusion.

I'm glad that you brought up the case of Israel. God's election of Israel was not an election to salvation, rather God's purpose in electing Israel was primarily as a means of revealing Himself to the world. This election was never meant to guarantee the salvation of every Israelite as Romans 9 clearly points out. You're comparing apples and ardvarks.

Daniel

Rand said...

"If His election is merely arbitrary..."

And my point was that there is no Biblical basis for equating unconditional election with arbitrary election.

"God's election of Israel was not an election to salvation..."

"This election was never meant to guarantee the salvation of every Israelite..."

Oh yeah?

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. AND SO ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from JACOB: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. FOR THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE." (Romans 11:25-29)

I don't know Daniel, seems like you are ignorant of the above mystery.

Peace,

Righteous Sinner said...

Daniel,

I don't mean to but in or gang up, but Romans 9 definately speaks of true Israel (being the remnant according to the promise) being elected unto salvation. The point being made is to clarify who Israel is - not according to flesh

For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. - v 6-8

Also, not according to acts done or even birth order - conditions met.

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Election doesn't even have to do with our exerting our will.

So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy.

There definately is salvation. Why else would it be called mercy, and why else refer to a remnant being saved?

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel[c] be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." 29And as Isaiah predicted,

"If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah."

Also, to call God's election arbitrary seems to avoid THE most important reason for God making a selection - namely the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11). You cannot find a better source for making a choice. Is it better for God to go outside Himself in determining what is right? He is the ultimate authority, and always does what is right. This is the farthest thing from arbitrary.

Again, not trying to gang up, just wanting to shed some of God's word on a very difficult subject. Knowing that this is not a matter of ignorance or intelligence, but instead God's act of revealing Himself, I then pray like Paul, who said

the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,

With this in mind there's no room for boasting - only praising God.

Grace to you,

Brian

Daniel said...

Brian,

Thanks for your prayers. I could really use more wisdom from God. That is very gracious of you.



Rand,

I'm sure that you would agree with that Romans 11:25-29 does not guarantee the salvation of every Jew that has ever lived. This passage is hotly contested between dispensationalists and covenant theologians. As you well may know, the debate is over the meaning of "all Israel." I think that I remember reading that you're a dispensationalist so for the sake of argument I will agree with you (even though I'm undecided on the issue).

Dispensationalism holds that in this passage Paul is referring to the the endtimes generation of Jews. So Paul is saying that all (or most) of that generation will be saved when Christ returns.

Covenant theology holds that "all Israel" refers to the church as spiritual Israel as opposed to physical Israel. My purpose is not say which view I believe is right, but to say that neither views holds that Paul is saying that every Jew that has ever lived will be saved.

So Romans 11 cannot be contradicting Romans 9 in asserting that some Jews will be lost.

Rand said...

Daniel,

I am a dispensationalist, but this is beside the point.

You said that the election of Israel wasn't unto salvation. This is false. God elected to save Israel... as in salvation. We agree that not all Israel are of Israel, but the election is unto salvation. He never made this promise with the US, or Italy, or China. Does this make God "arbitrary"? That was my point.

Election unto salvation glorifies God, just as all His other doings.

Peace,