Understanding Election & Free Will

Though I am not nearly as studied up as many of the brilliant scholars I have read in the past few years, I do think that it is good to get people talking and thinking about what the Bible teaches about Sovereign election and free will. Though I embrace the teachings of many of those who came out of the reformation such as Luther and Calvin, I still think it is possible to have a well balanced view of men who are responsible in their choosing and a God who is ultimately Sovereign over everything and at the same time working out all things for his glory. I will start off by saying I am not an Arminian, and though I find the five points of Calvinism to be true to the Bible when centered around God`s grace, I would still rather consider myself a follower of Christ just as the great reformers would rather be considered also.image
The problem with the Arminian take on the Christian life is that it stands too close to slope of worldliness. I mean man centered theology. In our quest to be free we eliminate God`s Sovereign authority over the universe of our lives and in the end we are enslaved to that so called freedom. I have talked to people who have such a hate for the doctrine of election, but at the same time they are struggling in their lives for complete control over everything and everyone. I think that many of us have no desire to submit to a God who is higher than us and our desires in life and who actually has a personality, a mission, and a will of His own. This is why we often have a problem with His perfect judgment and especially understanding His wrath for sin. This stance of free will actually takes God`s authority in man`s life away and makes man Sovereign. But this slope, once the slide is taken, is none other than the stance of humanism and atheism in the form of God. People like this believe in Jesus, but not the Jesus in the Bible. The Jesus they serve looks, sounds, and actually is themselves. They prefer a Jesus who doesn`t tell them how to live, but rather one who pops out of a golden lamp, looks like a blue genie, and sounds like Robin Williams.
A similar danger stands in many Calvinist corners where we look feel that election bypasses evangelism. We risk becoming arrogant based on our own calling. But if we are following the servant like Christ of the Bible who is indeed Sovereign, then the confirmation of our election should not be in our appearances lest we fall into the same humanist slope on a different angle. The confirmation should be in our love for Christ and others, which includes evangelism.
My take is that God is Sovereign and that He has the right to save and to damn who He pleases considering all have sinned and fallen short and that God`s wrath is upon sin as seen in Romans 1 and 2. But God`s love extends to sinners and that He loves the world as seen in John 3. But God does not compromise His glory. He sent Christ to pour out His own life and to suffer the ultimate sentence of God`s wrath in order to save sinners. Those who have a free will are not free at all though. They are only free to choose who is to rule over them as Paul says in Romans 5 on being slaves to righteousness or slaves to sin. But ultimately God chose who would be predestined for adoption before the foundations of the earth as described in Ephesians 1. Does this mean that God`s judgment is not fair? The answer is no, His judgment is perfect and He has mercy on whom He has mercy. If you are saved by Christ, your salvation is a miracle, and in a sense, not fair. You and I and all sinners in general deserve hell. But why doesn`t God save everyone then? Who are we to find fault with God? Has the potter authority over the clay? See Romans 9:15. God is supremely Holy and Righteous and we are so fallen and depraved that we depend on His mercy just to breath and for our hearts to beat. Who are we to tell Him that He owes us more mercy?
Because God is loving and does not desire the death of the wicked as said by the prophet Ezekiel, He graciously sets out a foreknown plan. His foreknowledge is not based on our works, that would be humanism again. His foreknowledge is based on Christ`s works and Christ`s atonement, not ours. Christ was worthy and we are not which is why we need Him and He doesn`t need us. Yet He still chooses us because loves us. In Ephesians Paul describes Christ`s love for sinners as the great mystery of the Gospel. So when we can come to a point of humility from our revealed depravity instead of complaining about it, then we can begin to understand the balance of election and free will. God is Sovereign, you are free to choose Him or the world, but if you are chosen by Him then your choice will reflect that as your find supreme value in Him. In the meantime let us continue to pray to God that His kingdom will come and His will be done here as it is done perfectly in Heaven. Then we will love others out of the humility of Grace and seek to call those to salvation whom the Father has drawn for this purpose. These are essential doctrines that hold a high view of God and a high view of those in whom He has ransomed by His great Grace.

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