THE DECREE OF GOD
A. God from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, has declared itself free and unalterably: Pr. 19: 21; Is . 14: 24-27; 46:10, 11; Ps 115: 3; 135: 6; Ro. 9:19.
B. All things, everything that happens: Dn. 4:34, 35; Ro. 8:28; 11:36; Eph. 1:11.
C. However, so that is why God is neither the author of sin and fellowship with one in the same: Gn. 18:25;Stg. 1:13; 1 June 1: 5 . .
D. No violence is done to the will of the creature, neither liberty or contingency of second causes are removed, but rather established: Gn. 50:20; 2 Samuel 24: 1; Is . 10: 5-7; Mt. 17:12; 19:11 June.; Acts.2:23; 4:27 28.
E. In his wisdom which manifests itself in having all things, and power and faithfulness in carrying out its decrees: Nm. 23:19; Eph. 1: 3-5.
The title of this article may not be enough to indicate its theme explicit. This is due in part to the fact that very few Christians today, they are accustomed to meditate upon the personal perfections of God.Relatively few of those who read the Bible occasionally know the greatness of the divine nature, which inspires fear and incites worship. God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, yet full of mercy, is considered by many as almost the public domain; but consider something like a proper knowledge of their being, their nature, their attributes, as revealed in Holy Scripture, it is something that very few Christians have achieved in these decayed and degenerate times. God is unique in its excellence. "Who is like you, Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in their praises, doing wonders "?(Exodus 15: 11)
"In the beginning God" (Genesis 1: 1). There was a time, if "time" can be called, when God, in the unity of its nature (although existing in three equally divine beings) "people" lived alone. "In the beginning, God" There was no heaven, where His glory is now particularly manifested. There was no land to occupy his attention. There were no angels to sing his praises, or universe that could stand on the word of His power.There was nothing and no one but God; and this, not for a day, a year, or a time, but "from everlasting" During a past eternity, God was alone: Full, Sufficient, Pleased itself, needing nothing. If a universe, or angels, or humans it would have been necessary in some way, it had been called into existence from all eternity. God essentially added nothing to be created. He does not change (Malachi 3. 6), so its substantial glory can not be increased nor diminished.
God was not coerced, forced, nor any need to create. The fact that wished to do so was purely a sovereign act on his part, not produced by anything outside himself; not determined by anything but his own good will, since He "worketh all things after the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1: 11). He created was simply pair your manifestative glory. Do you think any of our students who have gone beyond what Scripture authorizes us? Then our appeal will be to the law and to the testimony: "Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting; and bless the name of Thine, glorious and exalted above all blessing and praise "(Nehemiah 9: 5). God does not leave even won anything with our worship. He did not need that external glory of his grace that comes from His redeemed, because it is glorious enough in Himself without it. What was it that moved him to ordain his elect to the praise of the glory of His grace? It was like Ephesians 1 tells us: 5, "The pleasure of his will."
We know that the high ground we are treading is new and strange to almost all of our students and readers; For this reason, we do well to move slowly. Let us turn back to the Scriptures. At the end of Romans 11: 34-35, where the Apostle concludes his long argument on salvation by pure and sovereign grace, he asks, "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who gave him first so that it is paid. The importance of this is that it is impossible to submit to Almighty obligation to the creature; God does not leave us won anything. "If you you are righteous, what do you give to Him? Or do you receive from your hand? Man like you Your wickedness, and the son of man your righteousness "(Job 35: 7-8), but can not really affect God, who is blessed in Himself. "When thou done all that I have commanded you, say, 'We are useless servants" (Luke 17: 10), our obedience is not used at all to God.
Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ added nothing to be essential glory of God, not for what he did, or what he suffered because itself has all its fullness of God, both as eternal and glorious existence. (John 1: 1-3). It is true, holy and glorious truth that told us the glory of God the Father, but added nothing to God. He himself declares explicitly and without appeal and without appeal saying: "My good not to thee" Psalm 16: 2). All this psalm is of Christ. The goodness or righteousness of Christ took to his saints on earth, (Psalms 16: 3), but God was above and beyond all this, it is "The Blessed" (Mark 14: 61).
It is absolutely true that God is honored and dishonored by men; not in their substantial Being, but in their official capacity. It is equally true that God has been "glorified" by creation, providence and redemption. This does not deny, nor dare to do so. But all this has to do with his manifestative Gloria, and our recognition of it. Yet if God had so desired, he could have continued alone for all eternity, without revealing his glory to any creature. Which he did so or not was determined solely by his own will. He was perfectly blessed in Himself before the first creature was created, or call to life. And, what are God all the works of their hands, even now? Let Scripture again answers.
"Behold, the nations are as a drop of a acetre, and as the dust of the weight; behold, He taketh up the isles as dust. Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its animals for sacrifice. As all nations are nothing before Him; and they are counted estimated at less than nothing, and what is not. "What then will ye liken God, or what likeness will?" (Isaiah 40: 15-18). This is the God of Scripture; yes, it is still "the unknown God" (Acts 17: 23) for neglected crowds. "He sits on the globe of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and tends as a tent to dwell; He becomes nothing the powerful, and those who govern the earth as vanity. " (Isaiah 40: 22-23). How infinitely different is the God of Scripture the "god" of current contemporary pulpits.
The testimony of the New Testament is no different than anything found in the Old: it could not be otherwise, both having the same author. Also there read: "Which in his time show the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6: 15-16). The such should be revered, worshiped and glorified. He is alone in his majesty, is unique in its excellence, unmatched in its perfections. He holds it all, but, in itself, is independent of everything. He gives everyone but is not enriched by anyone.
Such a God can not be known through research; He can only be known as the Holy Spirit he reveals to the heart, through the word. It is true that creation reveals a creator, and that men are totally "inexcusable" however, we have yet to say with Job, "Behold, these are parts of his ways; But, how little we have heard of Él¡ Because the thunder of his power, who will stop it "? (Job 26: 14). We think you called argument according to his purpose, used by some "apologists" sincere, has produced more harm than good, as they have tried to lose the great God to the level of finite comprehension, and thereby has lost sight of its only excellence.
It has drawn an analogy with the savage finding a watch in the jungle, who after careful consideration, follows that there is a watchmaker. So far this very well. But we try to go further: suppose the wild is to form a conception of this watchmaker, his personal affections and ways available, knowledge and moral character; all that together form a personality. Could you ever think or imagine a real man; the man who manufactured the watch and say, "I know him?" Such a question seems Futile But is the eternal and infinite God more accessible to human reason? Certainly not. The God of Scripture can be known only by those to whom he himself disclosed.
Neither the intellect can know God. "God is spirit" (John 4: 24), and therefore can only be known spiritually. The fallen man is not spiritual, but carnal. He's dead to all that is spiritual. Unless born again, it brought supernaturally from death to life, miraculously moved from darkness to light, you can not see the things of God (John 3: 3), much less understand (1 Cor 2. : 14). The Holy Spirit has to shine in our hearts (not the intellect) to give us "the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4: 6). And even spiritual knowledge is only fragmentary. The regenerated soul has to believe in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3: 18).
The main purpose of prayer and Christians must be the 2andar worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God "(Col. 1: 10).
A. Although God knows everything that could or may happen in all conditions which may involve: 1 Samuel 23:11, 12; Matthew 11:21, 23; Acts. 15:18.
B. However nothing has decreed that foresaw as future or as what had happened in these conditions: Is.40:13, 14; Ro. 9: 11-18; 11:34; 1 Cor 2:16.
A. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of the glory of his grace , 1 Tim. 5:21; Mt. 25:34; Eph. 1: 5, 6.
B. Others are left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of the glory of his justice: June 12: 37-40; Ro. 9: 6-24; 1 Peter 2: 8-10; Jud. Four.
"And we know that God causes all things work together for good to those who love him, that is, those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28) "according to the eternal purpose accomplished in Christ Jesus, our Lord". (Eph. 3:11) God's decree is their purpose or determination with respect to future things. Here we have used the singular, as does the Scripture because there was only one act of His infinite mind about the future.
We speak as if there had been many, because our minds can only think of successive cycles, as thoughts and occasions arise; or reference to the various objects of His decree, which, being many, we seem to require a different for each purpose. But gradually the Divine knowledge is not necessary, or in stages: (Acts 15:18;.). "Known unto God from eternity all his works"
The Scriptures mention the decrees of God in many places and using various terms. The word "decree" is found in Psalm 2: 7, (I will declare the decree.). In Efe. 3:11, we read about his "eternal purpose". In Acts.2:23 its "determinate counsel and foreknowledge." In Efe. 1: 9, the mystery of his "will." In Rom. 8:29, he also "predestined". In Efe. 1: 9, their "welcome".
God's decrees are called his "advice" to mean that they are perfectly wise. They are called his "will to show that God is under no restraint, but acts according to his own desire, in the Divine proceeding, wisdom is always associated with the will, and therefore it is said that God's decrees are "the counsel of his will."
The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception: everything is done in time, he was predetermined before the beginning of time. God's purpose affected everything, big or small, good or bad, but we must say that, although God is the Computer and Controller of sin, not its author in the same way that the author is good.
Sin could not come from a holy God by direct or positive creation, but only by his permission, by decree and its negative action. God's decree is as broad as its government, and extends to all creatures and events.It relates to our life and death; with our state in time and in eternity.
In the same way that we judge the plans of an architect inspecting the building erected under his direction, so by their works, we learn what is (was) the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will. God did not decree simply creating man, put on earth, and then leave under his own uncontrolled guidance; but set all the circumstances of the death of individuals, and all the details that the history of the human race comprises, from its beginning to its end.
Not only it decreed that they should be established laws for the government of the world, but ordered the implementation of the same in each case. Our days are numbered, as well as the hairs of our head.(Matt. 10:30). We can understand the scope of the Divine Decrees if we think dispensations of Providence in which those are met. The care of Providence reaches to the most insignificant of creatures and the most thorough of events such as the death of a sparrow or the fall of a hair. (Matt. 10:30).
Let us now consider some of the characteristics of the Divine Decrees. They are, first, eternal. Suppose that one of them was issued in time, is to say that there has been an unforeseen event or some combination of circumstances that has led to the Almighty to take a new resolution.
This would mean that the knowledge of the Godhead are limited and will eventually grow in wisdom, which would be a horrible blasphemy. No one who believes that the Divine understanding is infinite, encompassing the past, present and future, assert the doctrine of temporal decrees. God does not ignore the future events to be executed by the will; he predicted countless times, and prophecy is nothing but the manifestation of His eternal presence.
Scripture says that believers were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1: 4), moreover, that grace was their "dada" and then: (2 Tim. 1: 9). "It was he who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time." Second, the decrees of God are wise.
Wisdom is shown in the selection of the best possible ends, and the most appropriate means to achieve them. From what we know of the decrees of God is evident they deserve such a feature. We are discovered in compliance; all samples of wisdom in God's works are proof of the wisdom of the plan which are carried out. As says the psalmist (Ps. 104: 24). "How many are your works, O Lord! In all wisdom you have made;the earth is full of your creatures. " We can only see a small part of them, but, as in other cases, should we proceed to judge the whole by the sample; the unknown with the known.
One who, in examining part of the operation of a machine, perceives the admirable ingenuity of its construction, believe of course that the other parts are equally admirable. Similarly, when doubts about the works of God assail our minds, we should reject the objections suggested by something we can not reconcile with our ideas (Rom. 11:33).
"O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways "Third, they are free (Isa. 40: 13,14).."! Who has scrutinized the Spirit of the Lord, and who has been his counselor has taught him? who asked for advice to make him understand, or guided him on the right path, and taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? "
When God issued his decrees, he was alone, and its findings were not influenced by external cause. He was free to enact or quit, to decree one thing and not another. This freedom must be attributed to the One who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all its actions. Fourth, God's decrees are absolute and unconditional. Its implementation is not subject to any that may or may not fulfill condition. In all cases where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end.
Which he decreed the salvation of His elect also decreed to give faith (2 Thes. 2:13). "But we ought to thank God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth" (Isa 46:10.); "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things not yet done. I say: My plan will be made, and I will do everything I want. " But this might not be so if your council depended on a condition that could be waived.God "worketh all things after the counsel of his will" (Eph. 1:11).
Along with the immutability and inviolability of God's decrees. Scripture clearly teaches that man is responsible for his actions, which is accountable creature. And if our ideas are the way God's Word, the affirmation of a teaching of them will not lead to the denial of the other. We recognize that there is real difficulty in defining where one ends and the other begins. This occurs whenever the divine and the human are mixed. True prayer is written by the Spirit, however, is also the cry of a human heart.
The Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, but were written by men who were something more than machines in the hands of the Spirit. Christ is God and man. He is omniscient, more grew in wisdom (Lk. 2:52). "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" is all-powerful and yet was (2 Cor. 13: 4 "crucified in weakness"). Is the Spirit of life, however he died. These are great mysteries, but faith receives without discussion. In the past it has often been noted that every objection made against the eternal decrees of God applies with equal force against His eternal foreknowledge. "Whether God has decreed all things that occur as if you have not done, all who recognize the existence of a God, they acknowledge that knows all things beforehand.
Now it is evident that if He knows all things beforehand, approves or not, that is, or would that happen or not. But wanting is to order such that happen. " Finally treat yourself to make a guess, and then consider the opposite of it. Denying God's decrees would accept a world, and everything connected with it, regulated by an accident without design or blind fate.
So what peace, that security, what consolation would be for our poor hearts and minds? What would that qualify refuge in the hour of need and trial? Not the slightest. There would be nothing better than black darkness and the sickening horror of atheism. How grateful we should be that everything is determined by infinite wisdom and goodness!
How much praise and gratitude we owe to God for his decrees! It is for them that "We know that God makes all things work together for good to those who love him, that is, those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Well we can exclaim as Paul: "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen". (Rom. 11:36).
A. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it can not increase or decrease: Mt. 22: 1-14; 13:18 June.; Ro. 11: 5, 6; 1 Cor 7: 20-22; 2 Tim. 2:19.
A. Humans who are predestined to life, God (before the foundation of the world, according to his eternal and immutable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will) has chosen in Christ to everlasting glory, merely by his free grace and Love: Ro. 8:30; Eph. 1: 4 to 6.9; 2 Tim. 1: 9.
B. Without anything else in the creature as a condition or cause moving him to it: Ro. 9: 11-16; 11: 5.6.
When Predestination or Divine election terms are used, many people cringe; and imagine the man trapped in the clutches of a horrible and impersonal Destiny. Other -even some who believe in the doctrinal think this is fine but for classrooms of theology, but that need not be mentioned from the pulpit.They would prefer people to study secretly at home. *
such an attitude is unbiblical and originates from the lack of knowledge of the Bible it says about the election. Because the election, far from being a horrible doctrine, if understood biblically, is perhaps the best education, the warmest and most cheerful of the whole Bible. This will make the Christian praise God and thank him for his kindness to save it for free, as a sinner what he deserved was hell.
* As predestination is so closely associated with John Calvin, is very instructive to see the humble, pious and God - fearing attitude of the reformer took to the subject. It was so deliciously biblical and human, that I have quoted extensively in the final part of the study.
In order to understand what the Bible says about God's choice, examine it under the following aspects:
I. What it is.
II. Biblical Base.
In order to clearly understand what unconditional election, it will help to know the meaning of some terms:
Predetermination means the sovereign plan of God, by which he decides everything that will happen in the entire universe. Nothing happens in this world by chance. God is behind all things. He decides and makes things happen. It is not located outside, perhaps fearing what might happen next. No, He has predetermined all things "after the counsel of his will" (Eph. 1.11): the movement of a finger, the palpitation of the heart, the laughter of a child, the mistake of a typist-even sin. (See Gen. 45.5-8;. Acts 4.27-28;. And Chapter 6 of this book..)
Predestination is part of predetermination. While predetermination refers to the plans God has for all things happening, predestination is part of the predetermination that refers to man's eternal destiny: heaven or hell. Predestination is composed of two parts: election and reprobation. The choice has to do with going to heaven, and reprobation with those who go to hell.
To understand this term, we believe every word:
. 1. Election all know that is a national choice: choose between one candidate to be president. Select means to choose, choose, choose. Divine election means that God chooses some to go to heaven.Others are overlooked and they will go to hell.
2. Unconditional. A conditional election is a choice that is conditioned by something in the person who is chosen. For example, all political elections are conditional elections, voter choice is conditioned by something the candidate is or has promised.
Some candidates promise heaven if elected. Others promise only be good representatives and do whatever they think best. Others appeal to the fact that they are of a particular group or a particular social class. So human choices are always conditional election because voter's decision is based on the promises and nature of which will be chosen.
But, surprising as it may seem, the divine choice is always unconditional election. God never based their choice on what man thinks, says, does or is. We do not know what God bases his selection, but it is not something that is in man. Not that he sees something good in a specific man, something that induces God to decide choose.
And is not this wonderful? Suppose the choice God made heaven to be based on something that had to be or think or do. Who is then saved? Who could stand before God and say who has done something even for an instant, it was really good in the deepest sense of the word? All of us are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2).
There is no one who does good, no one (Rom. 3) If God's choice was based on a single good thing that is in us, then no one would be chosen. Then no one would go to heaven; all go to hell. Because no one is good.Therefore, thank God its unconditional election.
To make it clear what he means unconditional election, it is necessary to refer to Arminianism. I do not like having to do it, because may seem to be the enemy of the Arminians. On the contrary, I think Arminians can be born again Christians. * They believe there is a triune God, that Jesus is God and died for the sins of man, claim salvation by faith alone and not by works . Therefore, all true believers who trust in Jesus as his savior should feel in true Christian fellowship with Arminians. They are one in Christ.
Although the Arminians are sincere Christians, they are completely wrong about the following doctrines of total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints. And the only reason I mentioned Arminianism is to show more clearly the biblical teachings.
* Arminianism was named after the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius, who lived from 1560 to 1609. He developed the Five Points of Arminianism, against which the church council of Dort (Netherlands) ruled in 1618-1619.
Because the white neck is as white as when contrasted to black. Also, the biblical truths of Calvinism are never as clear as when it is contrary to the misconceptions of Arminianism. Thus, it is only with reluctance that I mention both Arminianism, but we do it for love and appreciation for them. We just want to present the full joy of the Christian faith that is not obscured by the misconception of conditional election.
According to the Arminian, divine election and if they believe in the election is unconditional. They believe that God foresees who will believe in Christ, and then, based on that foreknowledge, God decides to choose believers to heaven. They believe that sometimes the natural and unregenerate man has enough good in itself, so that if the Holy Spirit help, want to choose Jesus. Man chooses to God, and then God chooses the man. God's choice is conditioned by the choice of man. The Arminian, as taught conditional election; while the Calvinist teaches unconditional election.
The Five Points of Calvinism are closely linked. Which accepts one of the points accept others.Unconditional election necessarily follow from total depravity.
If men are totally depraved and yet some are saved, then it is obvious that the reason some are saved and others lost rests entirely on God. All mankind would continue to remain lost if left to himself and God chose some to be saved. Because by nature man he is spiritually dead (Eph. 2) and not just sick. He does not possess in itself neither life nor spiritual goodness. You can not do anything that is truly good nothing, not even understand the things of God and Christ, much less desire Christ or salvation.
Only when the Holy Spirit regenerates man to have faith in Christ and be saved. Therefore, if the total depravity is biblically true, then faith and consequent salvation is given only when the Holy Spirit acts through regeneration. And the decision as to what will be covered by its action should belong completely, one hundred percent, God, since man, as is spiritually dead, can not ask for help. This is unconditional election: God's choice does not depend on anything man does.
Jesus promised his listeners, "All that the Father gives me will come to me; and who comes to me will never drive away, and this is the will of the Father who sent me. Let everything that hath given me I should lose nothing but raise it up at the last day "
It looks very clearly that those who will be resurrected at the last day- all believers verdaderos- Father gives them to Christ. And only those that the Father Christ can come to him. Salvation is entirely in the hands of the Father. He is the one who gives them to Jesus to be saved. Once they have been handed over to Jesus, it is then worry that none of them is lost. Thus, salvation depends entirely on the Father give some to Christ. This is nothing but unconditional election.
Christ said, "You did not choose me but I chose you."
If there is some text which clearly point unconditional election is this. The Arminian says he chooses Christ. Christ says, "No, you did not choose me. On the contrary, I have chosen you. "
It is true that the Christian chooses Christ. Believe in it. It is up to you. And yet Christ says, "No, not choose me you to me." The negative observation of Christ is a way of saying that while Christians believe sometimes that he himself is the deciding factor in choosing Christ factor, the truth is that ultimately Christ who chooses the believer.
And then after that, the believer chooses Christ. We think that all the good things we do in life, as we believe in Christ's on our own; but we must remember that God is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.12, 13). John put it another way in his first letter, "We love Him because He first loved us." Love of God precedes the love of man. This is the selective love of God.
Lucas said, "They believed all those who were ordained to eternal life."
Here is another text complete clarity for anyone who read the Bible without preconceived notions about the election. Luke tells conversions occurred in Antioch where Paul and Barnabas had preached. Reporting on the results of their ministry uses the words of that text.
This has troubled Arminians to the extent that their theologians have tried to twist the words to make them say, "All who believed were ordained to eternal life"; and predecessor Unitarianism, Socino (1539-1604), in fact resulted in this way, but this completely violent text. This translation harmonize well with the Arminian theory that God foresees who will believe and then predetermines. But the Bible says exactly the opposite: "They believed all those who were ordained to eternal life." The full text of this simplicity is amazing.
The apostle Paul said, "But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth."
Note first of all that it is said that the Lord loved the Thessalonians. This is because selective love. The term "loved by" is never used in the case of the unbeliever, or the world, in any of the passages of the Bible.God never calls Judas or the world that rejects it, "beloved of the Lord." This term is reserved for those who love Jesus and who have been saved by his death. This is already a sign of eternal love of God and selective.
Then notice that Paul expressly says that God chose the Thessalonians, implying that others overlooked.
In addition, Paul writes that God chose from the beginning; ie before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1.4) -from eternity. Someone will say, "Surely he chose from eternity, which foreordained who would go to heaven; but it did so based on prior knowledge. God foresaw those who would believe in Christ and chose them based on this. "
This form of reasoning ignores the clear teaching of Paul. Paul does not say that God chose because they were saints or believed the Thessalonians. On the contrary, says exactly the opposite. God chose "salvation". Some of the modern versions translate "to be saved" (New International Version). Salvation comes only through faith; so that when Paul says that God chose "to be saved" to the Thessalonians, this, of course, implies that God chose them the only way to get that salvation namely faith.
If God chose to give someone the result without giving them the means to achieve this, the election has no meaning. In case there are still some who doubted that faith is a gift of God and not the result of the efforts of man (Eph. 2.8), Paul expressly says that God chose them to salvation "through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in truth. " In other words, salvation, sanctification and faith form a whole that the Thessalonians came from God. Thus, 2 Thessalonians teaches a choice of God does not depend on anything that is in man, or his holiness or his faith. No, God's election is unconditional.
Paul says that God the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, "as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ , according to the good pleasure of his will. "
Notice how Paul speaks force the election. He says that God "chose" not that we chose God. Then he adds that God has "predestined" us. In addition, the sovereign choice is emphasized more with the statement that God chose us in Christ; that is to say, because we chose not ourselves but for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps some Arminians will continue to argue that God does predestined to some, but this was based on the knowledge that God had of those who would believe. Therefore, the decision is actually man and not God. But note that Paul does not say that God chose because we are holy, but that we should be holy and without blame us. And holiness includes faith, because there is no holiness without faith. Ephesians 1 completely opposed to what the Arminian, and excludes the choice that is based on something that is in man-works or faith.
This conclusion is further reinforced when Paul adds that this election and predestination were "according to the good pleasure of his will". God did not choose the man because he foresaw that had in it something worthwhile, like faith, because then you would have said that predestined us "according to the faith foreseen in man." On the contrary, Paul omits any reference to the man and says the reason is found only in "the good pleasure" of God.
To emphasize more strongly this sovereign choice of God, which was not based on anything that exists in man, Paul adds the expression, "his will". This was not necessary for their reasoning. He had said that the election had been according to the purpose of God; this was sufficient to indicate that God's choice was based on reasons that were totally in it. But then adds "his will", which still indicates more vigorously the freedom of choice of God, the fact that the reason is to be found only in his will.
Paul says, who foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son ... And those whom he predestined he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. "
If there is a verse that seems to support the Arminian concept of predetermination based on prior knowledge, this is it. But only on a superficial reading it would lead to this conclusion. For the word translated in the old version as "foreknow" is a Greek and Hebrew expression meaning "love before."When the Bible says that Adam "knew" Eve, it does not mean that Adam knew how high it was and the kind of temperament he had. No, it means that Adam loved Eve. And when David says that God "knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish "(1 Sal), does not say that God knows the righteous and the wicked does not know. God knows all things and all people, including the poor. David itself means that God loves and hates right way the path of evil, which he punished.
In like manner, when God says through Amos, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (3.2), he does not deny his omniscience, saying he does not know anyone more intellectually. This is not a metaphor that means, "among all the families of the earth but I have loved you."
Similarly, when Paul says in Romans 8.29, "whom he foreknew he also predestined" Paul uses the biblical expression "know" instead of "love" and means "to those who previously loved, predestined . "If" knew "mean here only intellectual knowledge, then God would not know all; because then you would not know that he has not predestined for justification and glorification. What Paul says in Romans 8 is that there is a golden chain of salvation that begins with the eternal and selective love of God and continuous unbreakable links through predetermination, effective call, justification, until the final glorification in heaven .
Instead of supporting the Arminian view that predetermination is based on prior knowledge, Romans 8 agrees definitively with the rest of Scripture in the sense that the predetermination of the believer is based on the eternal love God. Thank God that there is this unbroken chain of salvation. He who believes in Christ knows that part of it.
All texts previously mentioned are excellent to show that God does not choose people because there is something about them that appeals to you. But the most splendid statement of all is in Romans 9.
The main problem of Romans 9-11 is this: "How can the Israelites, who possessed all the blessings of God in the past, be spiritually lost? Has God forgotten his promises to Israel? "Paul answers with a resounding no. "Not that the word of God has failed" (9.6). Then he spends the rest of the chapter to show that salvation is not obtained because one is physical descendant of Abraham, but that is received from the sovereign grace of God. And this is what we want to show: The first clue is in the fact that Rom. 9.7 Paul speaks of the sovereign choice of Isaac instead of Ishmael. God spoke sovereignly and selective, "in Isaac shall thy seed be called."
Then Paul says the same sovereign choice in the case of Jacob and Esau. Jacob and Esau had the same parents and had even been born at once: they were twins. But God sovereignly chose Jacob and Esau ignored.
To show that God's choice was not based on prior knowledge, Paul writes that God made known his choice Rebekah before the twins were born and before they had done anything good or bad (9.11). "That was Paul says that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not by works but by calling" (9.11). God chose Jacob because he saw in advance that would be good or believe. The source of the election is not in man, but in "calling", ie God simply says, "A. Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated "(9.13).
As human beings we would like to ask, "But why Dio? And God answered simply reiterating the fact, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" and gives no reason that satisfies the question concerned that man is made.
Paul perceives the feeling of dissatisfaction will certainly awaken in the minds of those who will listen to his letter. Spontaneously perceive that some will think, "What kind of God is this? It is not right to love and loathe one another even before they are born and before they have a chance to show what they are "why in the next verse (14) Paul asks." What shall we say then? What's injustice in God "This is the crux: Unconditional election seems to imply the idea of an unjust God and therefore can not be. So argues the man.
Before we move on to examine Paul's response to the accusation, we reflect a moment on the fact that this same question Paul unconditional election is assumed. The question of injustice in God never, never arises within the Arminian theory. For according to the Arminian, God does not choose arbitrarily, as it provides who will be good or bad, or who will believe. God's choice is based on something man does or thinks. His predetermination is completely fair; It is deciding on the merits of man.
The accusation of injustice done to God arises only if the election is unconditional; because the man seems foolish talk of a good and just God who simply chooses Jacob and Esau overlooked, especially when Jacob is not better than Esau, or has more merit than him. This is crazy, he thinks. God must be unjust.
Therefore, the fact that Paul raises the question about the injustice it presupposes that talks about unconditional election. According to the Arminian theory of unconditional election, there would be no possibility of raising the problem of injustice. But Paul does, which shows he is teaching unconditional election.
The response of the infallible word of God to Paul's question is not retract his comments about the sovereignty of God's choice, or try to offer a rational explanation for the man who doubts. Paul simply says "In any way." Neither dare to say or think that God is unfair. It is not. It is a good and holy God is never unjust.
Maybe we can not understand everything here. After all, we are only human; we are not God. Can he surprisingly petty sinners and not understand everything that refers to God? Do their ways are not higher than ours as much as the infinite sky is high above the earth?
Even Paul says otherwise unconditional election by God with an expression of the Old Testament. "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I compassion on whom I have compassion" (9.15). And later he says, "of whom he will have mercy, and whom he hardeneth" (9.18) According to the Bible, the choice is exclusively God. It is free to love you want and ignore the want, not because of how good or bad that is in man, but for their own good reasons.
Could be regarded as sufficient evidence alleged in any of the numerous points mentioned in Romans 9. Paul has demonstrated conclusively that salvation is not the acting, but the caller, and that election is unconditional. Needless to pursue other arguments. And yet it seems as if Paul had in mind Arminians when he wrote verse 16. Because Paul says so in so unequivocally that there can be no misunderstanding, "So do not depend on the man who wants, desires or decides; nor of him that runneth. It depends solely on God who has mercy.
If there is still someone who doubts these explicit statements of the Bible that our salvation is entirely in God's hands, and that does not depend in the least of which want or running, to read one and other time Romans 9.16. For this is the word of God.
A. As God has appointed the elect to glory, in the same way, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means for this: 1 Peter 1: 2; 2 Thes. 2:13; Eph. 1: 4; 2:10.
B. Therefore, those who are chosen, having fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ: 1 Thes. 5: 9, 10; Tit.2:14.
C. effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due time, they are justified, adopted, sanctified: Ro. 8:30; Eph. fifteen; 2 Thes. 2:13.
C. kept by his power through faith unto salvation: 1 Peter 1: 5.
D. nobody else is redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified , and saved, but only the elect: June 6. : 64.65; 8:47; 10:26; 17: 9; Ro. 8:28; 1 Jun. 2:19.
A. The doctrine of deep mystery of predestination be handled with special prudence and care: Dt. 29:29;Ro. 9:20; 11:33.
B: For men, when dealing with the will of God revealed in His Word and to obey it , they can, by the certainty of their effectual calling, be assured of their eternal election: 1 Thes. 1: 4, 5; 2 Peter 1:10.
C. Thus, this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence and admiration of God: Eph. 1: 6; Ro. 11:33.
D. And humility: Ro. 11: 5, 6.20; Col 3:12.
E. And diligence: 2 Peter 1:10.
F. and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel: Lk. 10:20.
Sometimes people complain that predestination is a hard doctrine that forces people to do what they do not want to do. They say that if they wanted to believe, could not, unless God had predestined; and if they wished not believe God would be forced to go to heaven. So, what good is believing?
It must be said very firmly that everyone gets exactly what they want. To put it in the sharpest possible way: Convicts are happy to be in hell. No one is in hell against their will. All who are there are happy about it.
Do not misinterpret that statement. Convicts know that after death all go or heaven or hell. They do not like hell, because otherwise there would be hell
* Neither God has free will, God can not choose to do evil, because it's just fine.
They do not like hell, because otherwise there would be hell. It is the place where the worms never die and where you fire never goes out. In hell there is only eternal agony. It is hellish. So those convicted do not like being there. But one thing hate more than the same torment: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The last place they want to be ele is in heaven. They can not digest the idea of repenting of their sins and to love God and others more than themselves. They do not want to be in hell, but when they know that the alternative is hell to heaven with a pure heart, prefer to stay in hell. It is therefore true that everyone gets what they want: Christians are happy to be with God, and the damned are not happy to be with God.
How often complains the non-Christian teaching of predestination, usually a hypocritical rationalization of their rejection of Christ. I would ask:
What do you want? Are you repented of his sins? Do you trust Christ as Savior? Do you love God and want to go to heaven? If the answer is yes, then you should know that it is Christian. It has already believed. And "that cometh to me I will never drive away", Jesus says. You have what you want.
If you answer no to these questions, then you ask, "Why do you complain? It has everything you want.Christ does not want, do not want the sky. Well, you have exactly what you want. "
These biblical teachings about the election are difficult to understand. If anyone still doubting them, you should remember that salvation depends not believe everything the Bible says about unconditional election. We can have confusion of ideas and even negate some biblical truths, and yet be saved. Salvation does not depend on having the knowledge of a theologian. It depends only on whether one has truly put trust in Jesus Christ to save him from his sins. Therefore, both Arminians and Calvinists who repent of their sins and turn to Christ for salvation will go to heaven.
But if I were Arminian, I would like to know with certainty what the Bible says about the choice; because it is undeniable that the Arminian loses much of the richness of Christian life because of their views. See how this happens in two ways:
If you believe that Christ died for their sins and that with the partial support of the Holy Spirit has come to this conviction, it will be very thankful to God. But suppose that, besides being grateful to Christ for dying on the cross for you, fall into the account that he had never loved Jesus unless he had first loved, I never would have chosen unless the I had chosen unless that would have given faith in him.
Then I would love more. His humility would be much greater because he would know that neither is good enough to distinguish something good that is before your eyes. His appreciation would be much higher because it would have much to be thankful for. His decision to live a better life would be much stronger because there would be more reasons to be grateful. How good it is God not only forgive sins but also to give us faith in Christ so that we can get the forgiveness of sins. How good is God!
If ultimately our salvation depended on our free will to accept Christ, and God will supply the vicarious atonement of Christ, but not our faith, then we are in a deplorable condition. Think about it - that remain Christian or not, depended on nosotros¡ What a terrible¡ thoughts Is salvation depends on us, who by nature are corrupt and do not love God? How we, as Christians we still have the old man in us? How we who hesitate, waver, and we sin? Is salvation depends on us? Oh, no, it's not. I think today, but maybe tomorrow will not believe.
Maybe I succumb to sinful desires rather than remain faithful to Christ. Perhaps my skeptical teachers convinced me that the Bible is not true. These may be the disturbances of thinking that faith ultimately it depends mainly on himself and who has not received from God.
But the Calvinist knows that all salvation depends on God and not himself. He knows that not only Christ died for their sins, but God gave him faith. Knows that it has begun a good work in him will continue until the day of judgment (Phil. 1.6) Thus the Arminian can not have the joy and comfort of salvation because it makes rest his faith in himself and not God.
Praise God, from whom all blessings, including faith, which is the means of securing the blessings of the Atonement of Christ. Praise God for his selective love.
"Canst thou trace of God? Can you find out the perfection of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven, what will you do? It is deeper than hell; what canst thou know? Its dimension is longer than the earth and wider than the sea "(Job 11: 7-9). In previous studies, we have observed some of the admirable and precious perfections of the Divine character.
After this simple and poor meditation attributes, it must be clear to all of us who God is, first, an incomprehensible being, and marvel at His infinite greatness, we are forced to use the words of Sofar, " You will reach the trail you God? Can you find out the perfection of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven, what will you do? It is deeper than hell; what canst thou know? Its dimension is longer than the earth and wider than the sea "When we turn our thoughts to the eternity of God, his immaterial being, his omnipresence and omnipotence, we feel overwhelmed.
But the impossibility of understanding the Divine nature is no reason to give up on our efforts and reverent devotees to understand what God himself has so graciously revealed in His Word. It would be crazy to say that, because we can not acquire a perfect knowledge it is better not strive to achieve part.
'Nothing increases both the capacity of the intellect and the human soul as the devout, sincere and constant research of the great theme of Divinity. The most excellent study to develop the soul is the science of Christ crucified and knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. " Quoting CH Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of the last century, we will say that:
"The proper study for Christians is the Divine: The highest science, the most sublime speculation and the most important philosophy that the son of God can occupy your attention is the name, nature, person, work and the existence of the great God whom he calls Father. "in meditation of Divinity there is something extremely beneficial to the mind. It is such a vast subject, which makes our thoughts are lost in the immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned.
We can understand and master other subjects; in doing so, we are satisfied, we say: I am here wise, and follow our own path. However, we approach our master science and we realize that our plumb line does not reach its depth, and that our eagle eye can not reach its height, we turn away thinking: We are of yesterday, and know nothing, (Mal. 3: 6). Yes, our inability to understand the divine nature should teach us to be humble, cautious and reverent.
After all our search and meditation, we have to say like Job: "Behold, these are parts of his ways; But, how little is heard of him! "(Job 26:14). When Moses implored to show him his glory, he replied: "I proclaim the name of the Lord before thee" (Exodus 33:19.), And, as someone said, "the name is the set of attributes".
We can dedicate ourselves completely to the study of the various perfections by which God reveals his own self, attributing all, although we still poor and bad of each conceptions. However, while our understanding corresponds to the revelation he gives us his several Excellencies, we have this vision of his glory.
Indeed, the difference between the knowledge of God have the saints in this life and which will in heaven is great; however, neither the first to be dismissed, or exaggerated the second. It is true that Scripture declares that "face to face" and "know as we are known" (1 Cor. 13:12).
But to deduce from this then know God as he knows us is to be seduced by the mere appearance of words, and without limitation that necessarily impose themselves on subject like this.
There is a big difference between saying that the saints will be glorified, and that will be divine facts.Christians, even in his state of glory, are finite creatures, and, therefore, unable to fully comprehend the infinite God. "In heaven, the saints see God with spiritual eyes, because he will always be invisible to the physical eye; you will see more clearly as you could see by reason and faith, and more extensively than they have so far revealed their works and dispensations; but the ability of their minds will not be increased to the extent to behold at a time and in detail all the excellence of their nature.
To understand the infinite perfection would require them to be infinite. Even in heaven their knowledge will be partial; however, their happiness will be complete because their knowledge will be perfect, in the sense that it will be appropriate to the capacity of being, although not exhaust the fullness of the end, we believe it will be progressive, and, as his vision to develop , your bliss will also increase; but it will never reach a limit beyond which there is nothing more to discover; and when the centuries have passed, he will still be the incomprehensible God.
Second, the study of the perfections of God is evident that it is quite enough. It is in itself and for itself.First of all beings could not receive any other thing. Being infinite, it is in possession of all perfection possible.
When the triune God was just, he was all for himself. His understanding, love and energy were directed at himself. If I had needed something external, it had not been independent, and therefore had not been God. He created all things "for him" it (Col. 1:16). However, he did not to meet any need you may have, but to transmit life and happiness to angels and men, and to admit them to the vision of His own glory. It is true that demands loyalty and devotion of his intelligent creatures; however, it does not benefit from their service, on the contrary, they are the beneficiaries (Job 22: 2,3).
God uses means and instruments to fulfill his purposes, not because his power is inadequate, but often to prove more surprising despite the weakness of the instruments mode. The all-sufficiency of God makes the supreme object of our aspirations. True happiness consists only in the enjoyment of God. His favor is life, and his care is better than life itself.
"My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore I hope in him "(Lam. 3:24); the perception of his love, his grace and glory is the main object of the desires of the saints, and the source of its noblest satisfaction.Many say, "Who will show us good?" Make shine upon us, O Lord, the light of your face. You have given such joy to my heart that surpasses the joy that they have on the occasion of his harvest and his harvest "(Ps. 4: 6-7)..
Yes when the Christian is in his right mind can say: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom or the vines fruit, even if it fails the olive crop and produce no food fields, although sheep sheepfold run out and no cattle in the stables; yet I will rejoice in the Lord and I will joy in the God of my salvation "(Hab. 3: 17-18).
Third, the study of the perfections of God highlights the fact that He is Supreme Ruler of the universe.Someone has said rightly that "no domain is as absolute as that of creation. One who could not have hacho anything, had the right to do everything according to his will.
In the exercise of its sovereign power made some parts of creation were mere inanimate matter, more or less refined texture, very different qualities, but inert and unconscious. He gave other body, and made them capable of growth and expansion, but still, lifeless in the proper sense of the word. Others gave them not only body but also conscious existence, organs of sense and proper motion. To these added in man the gift of reason and an immortal spirit which is connected to a higher order of beings that inhabit the upper regions.
The waves the scepter of omnipotence over the world he created. Praised and honored him who lives forever; whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom for all ages. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, does as he pleases: none can stay his hand and say, what are you doing? (Dan. 4: 3435).
The creature, considered as such, has no rights. You can not demand anything to your Creator, and whatever it is treated, has no reason to complain. However, the thought of the absolute lordship of God over all things, we should never forget their moral perfections. God is just and good, and always does what is right. However, it exercises its sovereignty by imperial and equitable will.
Assigns each creature his place as seems good to him. Arrange the different circumstances of each according to its own devices. Molds each vessel according to its immutable determination. He has mercy he wants, and he wants to harden. Wherever we are, His eye is upon us. Whoever we are, our lives and possessions are at your disposal.
For Christians it is a tender Father; for the rebellious sinner he will be consuming fire. "Therefore, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen "(1 Tim. 1:17).