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Christian Doctrine of Election Sovereign Grace Salvation

REFERENCES


Man's Spiritual Depravity 

Man's spiritual depravity and corrupt nature are proclaimed in the Bible.

"The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good, No, not one." (Psalms 14:2-3)

"God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good, No, not one." (Psalms 53:2-3)

As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. 
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12

 

Man's Incapability

 To hold the belief that man, upon hearing the Gospel, has the capacity to freely choose to accept, believe, in Jesus Christ contradicts the teachings of the Bible.

"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
This verse coupled with:
"There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12)
And Psalms 14:2-3 & 52:2-3

These four verses, reinforced by Jesus' teachings that only those "drawn" or "given" to Him by the Father can come to Him, clearly show that man does not have the capability to seek salvation through his own free will. In fact, according to 1Co 2:14, natural man considers the Gospel message to be foolishness, and it has no impact upon him.

 

Fairness & Unfairness

 Nowhere in the Bible will you find any statement claiming God is ‘fair.’ You will find that He is “just” and “merciful.” But neither of these have anything to do with the human concept of ‘fairness.’ Salvation is an act of mercy. It has nothing to do with fairness.

‘Fairness’ is a human concept, which is entirely subjective. The degree of fairness, or unfairness, always rests with the person who is on the receiving end. For example, as children often when we were punished we would claim that the punishment was unfair, and to us it was. However, to our parents it was considered to be fair. Fairness is also subject to time and location and is not a constant value. What was "fair" 50 years ago might not be considered "fair" by today's standards. Or what's considered "fair" in the U.S. may not be considered the same in other countries.

 

Unjust

 This line of reasoning provides for one of the human objections to "election." And if salvation were a matter of justice it would be a valid objection. However, salvation is a matter of "mercy" not "justice".

 

If salvation were a matter of justice then there is no hope for mankind for we find the following entries in the Bible:

Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death,"

 

But salvation is solely an act of God's mercy and we find in Holy Scripture:

" 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:15-16)

"Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." (Romans 9:18)

"But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, " (Romans 9:20-23)

 

From a human perspective:
“A couple goes to an orphanage to adopt a child. For their own reasons they chose to adopt one child from all the children at the orphanage." Since all the children are adoptable and in need of a family & home, is it "unjust" that the adopting parents picked one child over the rest?

 

Believing, Repenting, Obeying, etc.

 As with any newborn child, the parent must instruct the child in what is expected of them, what standards of conduct are acceptable and which aren't, what provides for healthy growth, etc. To the natural man the Bible and its admonitions are meaningless. However, to the "born-again", Holy Scripture contains God's instructions and standards. It teaches what is required in the advancement from newly born to maturity. It provides for the spiritual refinement of man.

The following is a typical argument offered:
"If you're going to heaven because God picked you, why bother with all the obeying, repenting, believing, etc.? You're going to heaven anyway!"

The answer is, "Because, that is His will."

"Well then, man can choose not to obey, repent, etc. And that means that it is man's free will which decides salvation."

That man can prevent God's will from being done by exercising a free choice, which is contrary to God's will, is not Biblically sound. Basically what's being said is, "Almighty God, who created all things by the power of His will (and that will alone), cannot carry out His will if man freely chooses otherwise." A good example of God's will in operation is Jonah.

God says to Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."

Jonah chooses that he doesn't want to go and takes off for parts unknown.

God sends the storm & the great fish and Jonah takes up residence in the fish's belly.

Jonah decides that he made a big mistake, repents, and God causes the fish to puke him out.

God again tells Jonah to carry the message to Nineveh.

Jonah goes and delivers the message.

There are those who say that Jonah exercised his free choice to accept God's mission the second time. I think that Jonah 3 clearly shows that Jonah's "free choice" was not to become fish food again. He didn't want to go and was unhappy as he went.

 

The person who is born again, by God's Sovereign Will, through the Holy Spirit, is not content to just vegetate as a saved person. The action of the Holy Spirit will not let them. Having experienced God's profound love for them, spurs them onward in their relationship with Our Heavenly Father. Being human, there will be times of stasis in the relationship, and even times of backsliding; however, the poking and prodding of the Holy Spirit, and the discontent that the Spirit causes, will eventually cause the true believer to conform to God's will.

 

Limitation of Election to the Jews

That "election" is limited to the Jews is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. In Holy Scripture we find:

"Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48)

"and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:23-24)

 

Predestined to Hell

 It is true that nowhere in the Bible will you find the statement that "God predestines some to Hell, or damnation." However, this is nothing but a word game! For you find the following in Holy Scripture:

"Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' " (John 12:39-40)

"Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." (Romans 9:18)

"What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction," (Romans 9:22)

"What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded." (Romans 11:7)

"And for this reason God will send them strong delusion,
that they should believe the lie," (2 Thessalonians 2:11)

 

These are just a few of the verses which show that God, by exercise of His Sovereign will, bars some from the truth of the Gospel message. The end result of which is damnation by God's action.

"But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" (Romans 9:20)

 

Man's Conscience

Every person does have a God given conscience; however, the contentions that it will lead him to God, and/or means that he is not spiritually depraved, are not Biblically correct. (See Man's Spiritual Depravity and Scriptural Proofs sections of this site for the teaching of the Bible, God's inspired word.)

 Also, Holy Scripture teaches that, due to the fall of man, his conscience has been:
Perverted

""They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." (John 16:2)

""Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." (Acts 26:9)

"who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them" (Romans 2:15)

Defiled

"To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled." (Titus 1:15)

Seared

"speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,-" (1 Timothy 4:2)

 

Romans 3:10-12 and Psalms 14:2-3, serve to confirm that the conscience of man is corrupted. In both of these verses, inspired by God, and in fact one directly attributable to Him, we see that God says, “there is no one who seeks Him.” And that, “all turned aside.” Since we know that God is eternal, that He stands outside of time, and that He knows all things, these verses are not limited to a specific age or time frame. The scope of this condemnation of man stretches from Creation to Destruction and is from Our Creator.

 

Consider

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

 

That God has to draw man to the Gospel message is clearly evident. However, the contention that man then has the capacity to choose, or reject, the message of salvation is not correct according to Bible teaching. You will notice that in John 6:44, Jesus plainly states, the one that the Father draws, He will raise up. He reiterates this in several other verses of Holy Scripture:

""All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)

""This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day." (John 6:39)

"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him." (John 17:2)

See Jesus' teachings for more verses.

 

You will notice that nowhere does Jesus teach, or indicate, that the one "drawn", or "given", to Him by the Father has the capacity to accept or reject. There is no room in Jesus' overall teaching to interject, "if they choose to accept." In fact, Jesus has this to say in another section of the Bible:

""My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)

 

Human Reasoning

 This is a fine example of rational, human, reasoning being applied to spiritual matters. However, spiritual matters are not bound by man's rationality, conventions, or wisdom. The Bible gives us several verses as a basis showing that human and spiritual reasoning are not necessarily dependent upon each other.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

"Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
'He catches the wise in their own craftiness' " (1 Corinthians 3:19)

The problem with this reasoning is that it contradicts God's word given to us in Holy Scripture. (See "Spiritual Depravity", "Natural Man", and "Jesus' teachings" sections for Biblical basis.)

 

Office or Position

 It is true that apostles, ministers, prophets, etc. are chosen, "elected", by God. The Bible, however, clearly teaches that "election" is not limited to position, or office.

Consider the following verses of Holy Scripture:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:3-6)
(This is a general salutation to all the believers at Ephesus.)

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you,
brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth," (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
(This is a message to all the believers at Thessalonica.)

"“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
(The entire chapter of Romans 8 is directed at all those being addressed.)

 

Seeking God

This argument has one major drawback; it contradicts what God says in His inspired word, the Bible. (See Psalms 14:2-3, 53:2-3, and Romans 3:10-12.)

The history of man is full of his attempts to seek a higher being. We have Baal, Moloch, Ra, Mars, Venus, Zeus, Odin, Ravi, Buddha and countless other proofs of man, in his corrupt nature, seeking a higher being.

 

Not True - The Problem

There are several problems with this belief:

It maintains that the Creator is obligated to the created.

It states that God's will is not sovereign; that it is subject to the will of man.

It changes the basis of salvation from God's act of mercy through His Sovereign will; to it being based on the actions of man, which contradicts many verses in the Bible.

Consider the following verses of Holy Scripture:

“So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” (Romans 9:16)

"having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Ephesians 1:5)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)

"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,-" (Ephesians 1:11)

Theses are a few of the verses which state that salvation is based on God's will and purpose, not on man's present, or future, actions.

 

Holy Scripture's Proclamation

Holy Scripture steadfastly proclaims, from beginning to end, that God chooses His people.

Consider:

"I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jeremiah 31:33)

"I will call them My people, who were not My people" (Romans 9:25)

"And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God." (Romans 9:27)

There is no room to interject "if they choose" in these statements in the Bible.

 

Consider also:

"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God," (Romans 8:16)

"that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' " (Galatians 4:5 )

"having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will," (Ephesians 1:5)

No one can choose to be born into a family. The choice in adoption rests with the person doing the adopting, not with the one being adopted.

 

Two statements made by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which reinforce the fabric of Scripture:

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)

Sheep do not pick the shepherd; it is the Shepherd who picks the sheep.

"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)

It is the King who does the choosing, not those hearing the invitation.

 

The Bible, God's inspired word, proclaims salvation by "election", not by man's "free will."

 

Man's Free Will & Salvation

Is there such a thing as free will salvation? It is widely taught among the Christian community and accepted as sound doctrine. Yet, is it really a biblically sound doctrine? Or, is free will salvation a man-made fabrication, which makes the Creator subject to the will of the created?

" So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy. " (Rom 9:16 )

" But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods,
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God. " (John 1:12-13)

"according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, " (Eph 1:4-5)

These verses along with numerous other verses of Holy Scripture, a good variety of which you will find on the other pages of this site, show that salvation is by God's will, not the free-will of man. The Bible clearly reveals that free will salvation is a man-made, satanically-influenced, doctrine based on supposition, self-serving interpretation, piecemeal Bible study, and faulty logic. Since it subjects God's Will to the choices (free-will) of man, it in effect makes salvation an act of man not of God. Thereby, glorifying man above the Savior & Redeemer. The whole fabric of Scripture, in its entirety, teaches that Sovereign God, according to His will, chooses His people, not the other way around.

The false doctrine of Free Will Salvation has given rise to a number of false beliefs, which are widely accepted. Since it teaches salvation is man's choice it follows that there is no eternal security, for what man can choose He can also lose. A more insidious, and growing, belief generated by this false doctrine is that, " Man has the right to salvation." Biblical evidence clearly reveals these beliefs to be false.

Free-Will Salvation inadvertently makes Jesus out to be a liar and a failure.

 " My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. " (John 10:27)

Since free will salvation teaches that man can choose, or not choose, to follow, it would mean that the above statement, and all other similar verses, by the Author of Salvation are false, in effect labeling Jesus a liar.

" And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day. " (John 6:39 )

If man can choose to follow, or not follow, and since not following results in damnation, free will salvation, If True, would mean that Jesus was unable to carry out His Commission from the Father. Also, it would mean that the will of man is superior to that of Almighty God.

The Bible speaks volumes about man and the exercise of his "free will." Checking through the account of man's relationship with God as related by Holy Scripture, the following are a few examples of man's widely proclaimed "free will":

Mankind's Fall from Grace
Cain killed Abel
The Tower of Babel
The reason for the great flood
The Golden Calf
The 40 year Exodus
David & Bathsheba
Samson & Delilah
Sodom & Gomorrah's destruction
The exile to Babylon
The crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ
etc., etc.

The results of man exercising his "free will" are readily apparent. Also shown most clearly is that this exercise of "free will" leads man away from God not towards Him.

 

The Great Commission

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."  (Mark 16:15)

 

It is God's will that all should hear the Gospel message of salvation. That the seed of the Gospel be spread to all mankind. Many take this as support for the concept of free will salvation.

They disregard, or misinterpret, the teachings of the Bible concerning:

man's spiritual depravity

the inability of natural man to understand or accept spiritual matters.

They disregard, or misinterpret, Jesus' teachings in Holy Scripture:

Matthew 13:3-23, Parable of the Sower & the Seed

Matthew 22:1-14, Parable of the Wedding Feast

None of us knows if another person is elected, or not, therefore we are commanded by Our Lord & Savior, in the Bible, to act as though everyone we meet is elected. The newly spiritually born must be nurtured, fed, and instructed; that is the purpose of the "Great Commission."

 

Words Definition

Based on Strong's Concordance, the KJV New Testament Lexicon, and Young's Analytical Concordance

"Calledklhtov

Transliterated Word = Kletos
Definition = 'called, invited'

"Called 2"   kalew

Transliterated Word = Kaleo

Definition = 'called, invited'

"Chosen"   "Electeklektov

Transliterated Word = Eklektos
Definition = 'picked out, set aside'

"Election"   eklogh

Transliterated Word = Ekloge

Definition = "the act of picking out, choosing"

"Choseeklegw

Transliterated Word = Eklegomai

Definition = 'to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self'

"Chose 2airew

Transliterated Word = Haireomai
Definition = 'to take for oneself, to prefer, choose'

"Appointed"  (Ordained)  tassw, tattw

Transliterated Word = Tasso of tatto

Definition = 'to appoint, ordain'

"Foreknewproginwskw

Transliterated Word =  Proginosko
Definition = to know beforehand, i.e. foresee:
--foreknow (ordain), know (before).

"Predestinedproorizw

Transliterated Word = Proorizo

Definition = to predetermine, decide beforehand,
in the NT of God decreeing from eternity,
to foreordain, appoint beforehand

"Justified"   dikaiow

Transliterated Word = dikaioo

Definition = to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent
--free, justify(-ier), be righteous.

"Qualifiedikanow

Transliterated Word = Hikanoo

Definition = 'to make sufficient, render fit'

"Wrought"     katergazomai

Transliterated Word = Katergazomai

Definition = to perform, accomplish, achieve to work out i.e. to do that from which something results;
of things: bring about, result in to fashion i.e. render one fit for a thing.

 

Further Biblical Evidence

 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:39)

"-and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:23-24)

"Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Romans 11:5)

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

“but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.-" (2 Corinthians 5:5)

"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,-" (Ephesians 1:11)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,-" (Ephesians 2:8)

"But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,-" (Titus 3:4-5)

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,-"(2 Peter 1:2-3)

Jesus' Teachings

"All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. "(Matthew 11:27)

"When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. "(Matthew 19:25-26)

"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)

"For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will." (John 5:21)

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)

"This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day." (John 6:39)

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing." (John 6:63)

And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." (John 6:65)

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him." (John 17:2)

"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours." (John 17:9) [If you think He is speaking only of the Apostles, see verse 20.]

"And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:24)

John 3:16

This is the most common verse cited as a contradiction to "Election." Let's look at John 3:16:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

You’ll notice that the verse says “whosoever”, or plainly stated “whoever.” It does not address who has the capacity to believe and it definitely does not state anyone can believe in Jesus Christ. To hold the belief that this verse means anybody can choose to believe in Jesus Christ is not biblically sound. It would contradict several areas of Holy Scripture. If you refer to the verses, which deal with man’s spiritual depravity, you will find that Scripture teaches that there is no one who seeks God. In fact, Scripture teaches that man in his natural state is incapable of understanding and accepting the Gospel message, because it is a spiritual matter. It is for this reason that Jesus teaches that no one can come to Him unless the Father “draws” or "gives" that person to Jesus (John 6:65). Also for these reasons, Scripture flatly proclaims in Ephesians 2:8

"For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God"

The verse John 3:16, forms the basis for the much proclaimed belief in free-will salvation. It is interpreted to mean that man can freely choose to believe in Jesus Christ. We have seen that the Bible, in Eph 2:8, proclaims otherwise. Additionally, other areas of Scripture disprove the contention of 'free-will' salvation.

"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. "(KJV)

" So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy." Romans 9:16(RSV)

"But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God. " John 1:12-13

"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, "Titus 3:5

"Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. "James 1:8

The Bible proclaims that belief in Jesus Christ, and thereby salvation, is by the Will and action of God, not that of man.

"-God chose (picked out, selected) what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." (1Co 1:27-29)

John 12:32

 This, and similar, verses, a few of which are listed below, are often cited to justify "free-will" salvation; and to attempt to disprove the doctrine of "election." The rendering of these verses as a basis for "free-will" salvation presents us with several very large contradictions and paradoxes in the Gospel message.

 A sampling of this type of verse

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32)

"For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." (Romans 11:32)

"who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,-." (1 Timothy 2:6)

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

 The Contradictions and paradoxes

When the words "all men" and "world" are taken in a literal sense, i.e. meaning each and every person, several problems arise.

We know that the Bible clearly teaches that each and every person does not come to Jesus. Therefore, if you take John 12:32, and similar verses, literally you create the following problems: either,

Jesus is not being truthful, since all men are not drawn to Him;
or,
Jesus is not capable of drawing all men to Himself.
or,
There is "Universal Salvation" and the sections of the Bible which state otherwise are untrue, thereby invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,-";
or,
John misunderstood what Jesus was saying, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16.

Since the Bible clearly teaches that not all are saved, which is an act of God's mercy, taking Romans 11:32, and similar verses, literally poses its own problems: either,

Paul is teaching lie, or has misunderstood what he was taught, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16;
or,
God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone;
or,
There is "Universal Salvation" and the Bible is not valid.

Since the Gospel message clearly teaches that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the atonement sacrifice for all time, and also teaches that not all are saved, taking 1 John 2:2, and similar verses, literally poses more problems:
either,

John is teaching error, invalidating the veracity of the Bible;
or,
God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone;
or,
There is "Universal Salvation."

Since none of these is true, it must be realized that these types of verses are not meant to be taken literally. Verses in Holy Scripture must be taken in the entire context of all Scripture. Additionally, they should be taken in context of the book they are from and who was being addressed. Verses such as John 12:32 had a dual purpose. They notified the followers of Judaism that the Covenant no longer applied solely to the Jewish Nation but that it had been expanded to the Gentiles also. And, they proclaim that salvation was not limited to office, health or station in life. It was common among the Jews to believe that the condition of people who were extremely poor, or suffered from some handicap or disease, was due to sin and that it was also a sign from God that they were accursed.

 

1Timothy 2:3-4 & 2 Peter 3:9

 (These two verses, along with similar ones, are often cited as an objection to "Election.")

 

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4)

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

On the surface these verses if viewed on a stand-alone basis can be misconstrued; however, no verse of Scripture can be viewed and interpreted if isolated from the entire context of Holy Scripture. (Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture.)

Following are two of the reasons that these two verses along with several others can not be taken to mean all mankind in general.

In matters of doctrine there can be no contradiction in any of the verses of Holy Scripture. All were inspired by a perfect being in whom 'there is no shadow of turning.' The following verses contradict the interpretation of 1Ti 2:3-4 & 2 Peter 3:9, as meaning each and every human bring.

"At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes." (Mat 11:25)

"Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2Th 2:11-12)

"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." (John 12:40)

"Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens." (Romans 9:18)

"What then? Israel failed to obtain what it sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, 'God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day." (Romans 11:7-8)

We see that God by His action and according to His Sovereign Will and purpose prevents some from coming to the truth of the Gospel message of salvation. Therefore, the verses from 1 Tim and 2 Peter cannot be taken to mean each and every human being. That interpretation disagrees with the entire context of Holy Scripture

These types of verses, if taken literally, pose quite a contradiction to the teachings of Holy Scripture. Consider:

God is all-powerful.

His will is sovereign, what He wills is what is done on earth and in Heaven.

By the power of His will, and that will alone, He created all things.

Therefore:
If these verses are cited as a basis for salvation, and are taken literally, it would mean that all men would come to salvation because it is God's will.

Since we know that the Bible clearly teaches that not all will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, the interpretation, that each and every human being is meant by these verses, would mean that God is not all-powerful and that His will is subject to the will and choices of man.

Titus 2:11

 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,-"

While this verse is sometimes cited as an objection to "Election", it can be seen from the context of the previous verses in Titus 2 that what is actually meant is that "salvation has appeared to all types of men. (Slave as well as free man, servant as well as master, etc.)" It does not support or disprove any beliefs regarding salvation, as it does not say that the appearance of salvation conveys the opportunity of salvation. To take this verse literally, and as a basis for salvation, presents quite a few contradictions in the teachings of Holy Scripture. Also it would bring the validity of the Bible into question. (See 1 Timothy explanation.)

Matthew 13:3-9     The Sower & the Seed

Matthew 13:3-9, the parable of the sower and the seed, is often cited as another example of verses, which refute "election."

Overlooking verses Mat 13:10-11,

And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"

He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."

A jump is made to verse Mat 13:23,

"But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Then the claim is made that anyone who hears the Gospel message has the capacity to accept or reject its message of salvation. Jesus' declaration in verse 11 is slid under the rug, His teachings in other portions of Scripture are overlooked, and the Biblical teachings concerning natural man and his spiritual depravity are disregarded.

Any farmer can tell you that spreading seed on his best, unprepared, soil will not yield a harvestable crop. To one knowledgeable in growing crops, good soil is that which has been worked, fertilized, and prepared prior to planting seed. Therefore, it follows that someone prepared, made open or receptive, the "good ground" in verse 23, to the "seed" of the Gospel. The Bible teaches that it was God, not man.

Matthew 22:1-14  "Wedding Feast" Parable

This parable taught by Jesus and related in the Bible serves a dual purpose; but it has a singular theme, "The Kingdom of Heaven." Verses Mat 22:2-7, notify the Chosen People of Israel that the "Promise" is no longer made solely to them. Verses Mat 22:8-14 show that it was now being extended to the Gentiles.

Many focus on verses Mat 22:11-13, claiming that the one who was thrown out was expelled because he did not choose to put on a wedding garment, which is symbolic of salvation. Therefore, they say that this proves "free choice", or "free will", salvation, and thereby refutes the doctrine of "election."

However, you will note in verse Mat 22:10, the following:

"So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests."

In Scripture, 'bad' and 'good', in this type of context, are equivalent to 'unrighteous' and 'righteous.' We know that the Bible teaches that only the righteous will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and attend the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. And that the righteous will have a wedding garment; whereas the unrighteous will not have one. Therefore, there is no choice indicated in verses Mat 22:11-13. The one put out was illustrative of all the unrighteous, who do not have a wedding garment.

Verse 10, affirms the "Great Commission", that the Gospel invitation is to be spread to all. But it does not provide a guarantee of being allowed to attend the feast, as evidenced by verses Mat 22:11-13.

 "For many are called, but few are chosen."

Verse Mat 22:14, affirms that receiving the invitation does not guarantee the right to attend. Further it clearly states that attendees are chosen by the Great King, who we know is symbolic of Our Heavenly Father. Therefore, contrary to the claims of many, this parable does not affirm "free choice" salvation; it proclaims salvation by God's Sovereign will, "election" through the "Sovereign Grace" of God.

1 John 4:8

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

Citing this verse as an objection to "election" the claim is made that God, who is love, would not pick, elect, some to salvation while, in effect, sentencing the rest to eternal damnation. Several things are wrong and not Biblically accurate with this line of reasoning.

 

That God is love is one facet of the complex being, God. We also find in Holy Scripture that:

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)

"A just God and a Savior;-" (Isaiah 45:21)

"I am Almighty God-." (Genesis 17:1)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

These are many more aspects of God. It is not possible to focus solely on one characteristic of God while ignoring the rest of His Nature. Following the rationale cited above, if God were solely "love" then how could He, being Almighty and a Savior, allow anyone to be lost? The Bible teaches that there is no universal salvation; so, it is readily apparent that this rationale does not hold true.

Acts 16:30-31

 "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,"

This verse, along with all the verses, which say, "believe, repent, and obey" in connection with salvation, are often given as proof that the doctrine of election is not valid. It must be kept in mind that these are all spiritual acts, also that Holy Scripture is a spiritual document and that it deals with spiritual matters. We know the Bible teaches that to natural man spiritual matters are meaningless and cannot be discerned by him. Therefore the supposition that these types of verses disprove "election" is not valid. In addition, none of these types of verses indicate that all mankind has the capability to follow their admonition.

Then why does the Bible say to repent, believe, obey, etc. (See refinement.)

Hebrews 6:4-6

" For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted of the heavenly gift,
and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good Word of God
and the powers of the world to come,
and who have fallen away; it is impossible, I say,
to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify the Son
of God afresh to themselves and put Him to an open shame. "
( Hebrews 6:4-6 )

Hebrews 6:4-6, if taken out of context, appears to support the claims of the believers in ' free will ' salvation; and it is often cited as an objection to salvation by God's Sovereign Grace, Election . However, when viewed according to the entire context of the Apostle Paul's teachings and the Epistle (letter) it is found in, this objection is without merit.

Paul's overall teaching on Salvation:

The Apostle Paul proclaims the basis for his beliefs & teachings, in Galatians 1:11-12, "And, brothers, I make known to you the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not according to man. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it except by a revelation of Jesus Christ."

The validity of, and the basis for, Paul's teachings is unquestionable. Paul has much to say on the subject of salvation throughout his many teaching letters, Epistles. If you have viewed the Scriptural Basis for Election sections of this site you will have seen some of Paul's teaching concerning Sovereign Grace Salvation. Often, some make the mistake of focusing only on the verses they are citing, without considering the overall message and teachings of the author.

Paul would not change his basic teaching to address different gatherings of believers. Paul's basic salvation message is crystal clear, "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. "( Ephesians 2:8-9 )

"But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified. And whom He justified, these He also glorified." ( Romans 8:30 )

"-according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, "( Eph 1:4 )

"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ( Romans 8:38-39 )

There are those who like to add, "except yourself", at the end of Romans 8:39; but that is not what Paul wrote, or taught. Paul's basic, and inspired, salvation message is summed up in the above verses, although you will find many similar verses throughout his Epistles.

The Context of the Epistle to the Hebrews:

What Paul presents in Hebrews 6:4-6 is a teaching exercise. Having finished with the basics, he now takes the group on to more advanced matters. These verses actually allude to Luke 8, the parable of the Sower & the Seed , this is confirmed by Heb 6:7-8.

Paul expands upon Luke 8:14, "And those which fell among thorns are the ones who, when they have heard, go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of life, and do not bear to maturity. "by explaining why it is not possible for these people to be brought to repentance. They have heard and know the word; they know of the true believer's reward; they may have participated in baptism and the Lord's Supper; and they may even have had some outward gift, such as preaching, performing miracles, etc. But they never had God's gift of belief and truly followed Jesus Christ. "For also we have had the gospel preached, as well as them. But the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. " ( Heb 4:2 )