Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Irresistible Grace of the Father and its role in Salvation

I had resisted the pull from the Father toward the cross and His moment of justification. (John 6:44). I was not successful, obviously. But I vividly remember the feeling that I was OK about the concept of God but not OK with the sin and the blood of Jesus. It was just too weird. Of course we know the bible teaches that Jesus' general call to the world (Matthew 22:14) was not an effectual call for each person upon it. (Romans 8:28). My thoughts and opinions of the matter didn't figure into His process of salvation for me one iota.

I remember feeling like I was being drawn somewhere, (John 6:65) but kicking and screaming. I used to liken it (mentally) to the science fiction use of the famous "tractor beam."


The 1960s show Star Trek used the tractor beam a lot, with ship engineer Scotty always yelling they were caught in it and they couldn't get out no matter how many shields they put up or how much force they turned the engined up to. Star Wars too.

"We're caught in a tractor beam! It's pulling us in!" ―Han Solo, Star Wars

In "Star Trek," tractor beams were often used to pull spaceships and other objects closer to the focal point of the light source attached to another ship. The term came from a 1931 science fiction story where the author had used the term "attractor beam".

I used to call this palpable draw 'the invisible tractor beam' and now I know it was the Father drawing me to Jesus. I resisted it forcibly.

I was unsuccessful. Thank God!

After I was saved, I was talking with another Christian and I was laughing about my foolishness to resist the Holy Spirit. I said, "I was dragged kicking and screaming to the cross." They looked at me disdainfully and said "You were not!" I knew I was. The notion that person had, and so many others have, is that we all come to the cross gently and walking on cotton candy rainbows, placidly and willingly. It is such a false view. We resist salvation every step of the way and it is the Father drawing us that gets us there. (So none may boast- Ephesians 2:9)

We resist the grace of Jesus in salvation, we are in a spiritual war in which we are the enemy combatants, and we never, ever seek after righteousness or holiness, in fact we resist it.

I picture Justification as a courtroom where the guilty criminal is hustled by burly bailiffs to stand before the judge in handcuffs for his own safety, the accused yelling he's innocent, but made to look at the judge and receive his sentence while he writhes against the process. (Sentence: PARDON!). It is all spiritual warfare and none of it is easy or gentle. But Scripture reveals a truth about a call, a summons that cannot be ignored and it cannot be resisted. It is the unyielding summons from God. It is a subpoena to appear before Him in His court for the purpose of being declared righteous… ~John MacArthur

We're all dragged in the 'invisible tractor beam' toward the point of Light, and we all resist - some more than others but resistance is 100% for each person. However just like the science fiction stories say, "Resistance is futile!" lol. Wouldn't you like to see a behind the scenes view of the process of our own justification, the angels around us, both holy and unholy, and the Spirit doing His work?

My own experience notwithstanding, as I learned by studying the Doctrines of Grace, His grace is irresistible. That is a very good thing, because if we had the strength to resist Him fully we would be sovereign over God. In addition, He would not be God if His will could be thwarted. And finally, none of us would be saved. (Romans 3:11)

Here are three good essays on the Irresistible Grace of the Savior. I've included an excerpt from each.

John Piper: Irresistible Grace
"The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when he wills. "He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand!" (Daniel 4:35). "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases" (Psalm 115:3). When God undertakes to fulfill his sovereign purpose, no one can successfully resist him.This is what Paul taught in Romans 9:14-18, which caused his opponent to say, "Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"

"Irresistible Grace - is it biblical?"
"Simply put, the doctrine of irresistible grace refers to the biblical truth that whatever God decrees to happen will inevitably come to pass, even in the salvation of individuals. The Holy Spirit will work in the lives of the elect so that they inevitably will come to faith in Christ. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit never fails to bring to salvation those sinners whom He personally calls to Christ (John 6:37-40)."

John Murray: Irresistible Grace
"When we speak of irresistible grace, therefore, it is not to assert that all grace is irresistible, nor is it to deny the numberless respects in which grace is resisted and resisted to the culmination of resistance in everlasting doom."

The Doctrine of God's Effectual Call
Paul understood that he was just grabbed by the neck by God and awakened to the glory of Christ and saved and made an Apostle.

16 comments:

  1. I love you dearly (and pray for you!) Elizabeth! I love that you love the Word.

    Got to go whole hog though & tell you that I do not agree with calvinistic viewpoints. John Calvin was even a murderer!! It's true -- I know it may be hard to swallow, but look it up!! [Further consider: UNLESS he repented; then are you familiar with the New Test. Scripture that says no murderer has eternal life abiding in him??]

    Scripture speaks that God is NOT WILLING that **ANY** should perish!!! Yet most will perish as they foolishly reject Him -- whether given one opportunity or ten thousand. Then they die, and immediately: the judgment.

    Also Revelation clearly states that let he who is thirsty (ANYBODY!!!)
    "W H O S O E V E R"!!!! ~ let the same come and drink of the fountain of life.

    It is not the Lord's will that ANYONE should perish. We are not puppets. He is not an evil dictator, One Who creates a mere few to be saved & most to be tortured eternally ~ without giving them fair chance to be saved by repentance to God and faith in Jesus Christ, then following Jesus in holiness and obedience and doing the will of the Father.

    Yes, I am well aware of the Romans Scriptures, however we must remember that Scripture must ALWAYS support and harmonize with Scripture!! Otherwise it would contradict itself which would therefore make God a liar. We know He CANNOT lie.

    Praying you will accept this as truth from God's Word. I agree with most everything else you write about; just not this. I have a few friends who believe this way & I find it almost laughable that for those who think "God picks and chooses a SELECT FEW" to be saved without any response on their part -- the attitude is rather smug that it *just happens* to BE THEM and their children and relatives. Hmmm??!!
    If calvinist thoughts were true, there would be no need to even come to the cross, as those certain few would be saved regardless of what they did or didn't do.

    Like I say, I love you & pray for you! Your blog means a lot to a lot of people!

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    1. Hi Reva,

      The Doctrines of Grace always rile people up, so I knew that this blog essay would. I thank you deeply for your graceful response even though you disagree. Thank you Sister.

      However since you're praying I also ask you to pray for the Spirit to open your eyes and as you read carefully through these matters for Him to illuminate you. We must look rightly into things, and though I'm always grateful for prayer, don't misdirect it to me when each of us needs to be careful that we rightly understand even the difficult or unpalatable things from the word of God. Pray for humility and wisdom, for yourself, too.

      These are not 'my Calvinistic viewpoints' but doctrines straight from the bible. God does choose. If you read the following links or read the links in this blog you'll see that God's sovereign election of His saints are throughout the old and new testament (And Apostle Paul was a murderer, too, but we still read his new Testament Epistles). As a matter of fact Paul is a great example of irresistible grace. He was pursuing unrighteousness, zealously by his own statement. Then Jesus knocked Him to the ground, chastised him, blinded him, and justified him, all to do Jesus' work. Could Paul resist? No.

      part 2 to continue below

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    2. part 2

      We can't reconcile the 'Whosoevers' to the doctrine of election. But God can, and does. Can one resist His call unto their own destruction? No. God is sovereign and if He selects someone for salvation, there is no resistance. Could Lazarus resist the call to regeneration? Could he say, 'Nah, I think I'll stay in the tomb'? No.

      As far as a "SELECT FEW" Jesus said many will go to destruction and few are saved. Few. Reva, it is equally laughable that we, in our totally depraved and *dead* state, decide suddenly that we choose righteousness. It is not possible, and we don't. He chooses us and we cannot resist. Therefore we cannot boast, except in His sovereign choice and holy works.

      Here is the answer to the whosoever wills:

      "The Bible affirms human responsibility right alongside the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Moreover, the offer of mercy in the gospel is extended to all alike. Isaiah 55:1 and Revelation 22:17 call "whosoever will" to be saved. Isaiah 45:22 and Acts 17:30 command all men to turn to God, repent and be saved. First Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God is not willing that any should perish, but desires that all should be saved. Finally, the Lord Jesus said that, "the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out" (John 6:37).

      “In summary, we can say that God has had a special love relationship with the elect from all eternity, and on the basis of that love relationship chosen them for salvation. The ultimate question of why God chose some for salvation and left others in their sinful state is one that we, with our finite knowledge, cannot answer. We do know that God's attributes always are in perfect harmony with each other, so that God's sovereignty will always operate in perfect harmony with His goodness, love, wisdom, and justice."

      It's time for us all to put on our Big Girl panties and look into the doctrines which trouble us and see what the bible says about them. In the linked below there are over 50 scriptures from OT and NT showing that God chooses what He wants to do. In the case of grace unto salvation, He also chooses. We have nothing to do with choosing Him and when He chooses us we cannot resist.

      As for the doctrine of irresistible inconsistent with the character of God, or being difficult or unpalatable, laughable, it is only because man wants to believe we have something to do with our own salvation that we consider the doctrines of grace as monstrous or makes God unfair somehow. Do we really want what’s fair though? We all deserve hell. That’s fair. Equally difficult for us is the doctrine of hell? Equally difficult to understand is the hypostatic union- Jesus is fully man and fully God. How can a person be two hundred percent of something? Or this one: Who is living your Christian life? You? How about when you sin? The Holy Spirit? Then you're blaming Him. Or, Who wrote the book of Romans (or any book)? Paul? Then what about the Spirit? What was His part? We can't understand some seemingly contradictory things from the bible. These, like God's sovereign election and our responsibility for our sin is one of those tensions. But God revealed them to us so we must look into them. Paul said in Romans 9:18-21,

      "One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?"

      So we agree tension exists but only in our mind, not in God's. God is OK with His election of His saints and His irresistible grace.
      http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/a331/what-is-the-doctrine-of-election

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  2. Hi Elizabeth,
    Didn't God give everyone free will to choose? Laura

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    1. The notion of free will needs to be defined. But before I do, let's look at Eve, and Adam. He gave them "free will." What did they choose? To sin. He gave an intellect and a free will to the holy angels. What did a third of them choose? To sin.

      Man is dead in his sins and no one seeks after God. (Rom 3:11) No one chooses God. If He didn't intervene, no one would be in heaven except the Trinity and two-thirds of the angels.

      Here is part of an essay from GotQuestions defining free will- AND its limits:

      If “free will” means that God gives humans the opportunity to make choices that genuinely affect their destiny, then yes, human beings do have a free will. The world’s current sinful state is directly linked to choices made by Adam and Eve. God created mankind in His own image, and that included the ability to choose.

      However, free will does not mean that mankind can do anything he pleases. Our choices are limited to what is in keeping with our nature. For example, a man may choose to walk across a bridge or not to walk across it; what he may not choose is to fly over the bridge—his nature prevents him from flying. In a similar way, a man cannot choose to make himself righteous—his (sin) nature prevents him from canceling his guilt (Romans 3:23). So, free will is limited by nature.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/free-will.html#ixzz31DF2Mirk
      -------------------------

      In other words, we're free to choose sin, and we do. Every time.

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  3. Thank you Elizabeth for this post especially and the one from this morning. I really needed these sermons from this particular post today and am going to listen to the one from John MacArthur after I post this comment.

    Colette

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  4. Hey Elisabeth, salvation grace.org, pastor Jim McClarty, in his Q&A section has a great explanation of John 3:16. You will love him! His commentaries are so good.
    Pam

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  5. Elizabeth,

    I am a follower of your blog and I admit I enjoy it a lot most of the time. You have some great insight to God's word, and I often talk about what you write here with my dad, who has studied the Bible for years and is a teacher of it.

    That being said, I have to make some inquiries about your column here.

    First of all, I do not recall anywhere in the Bible where God will force you to be with Him (the tractor beam, as you put it). You quoted Ephesians 2:9, which states "not a result of works, that none may boast." In my studies, I was taught that means that your good works mean nothing to God as far as you making it to Heaven - in other words, it doesn't matter how much you help others, how much money you donate/tithe, etc., you are only saved by the gift of God's grace if you choose to accept it. If you look at Ephesians 2:8, it explains that a little more:

    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8 - 9)

    Isaiah 64:6 also addresses our "good deeds" :

    "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

    Second, God doesn't drag you kicking and screaming, He wants you to choose him. You don't have to, and that's the power of free will that He gave to us. Why would He want people that don't want Him, that actively resist Him and His will?

    You are also told by the Bible to choose life or death:

    I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deuteronomy 30:19)

    Of course He wants you to choose Him, to choose eternal life after death. But there are a lot of people that will refuse and therefore choose death (even if they don't realize it). You don't have to, though. Again, that's the power of our gift of free will - we can choose where we want to be when we die. Where we end up is completely on our own heads. Otherwise, what is the point of God giving us free will, if we will be forced to go to Him whether we want to or not?

    The only way we can get to Heaven is if we choose to accept the gift of grace by our own free will. If grace didn't exist, then who in the world would make it there?

    All that being said, I'd like to thank you for your blog :) May God bless you always.

    Sincerely,

    Cassandra C.

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  6. Nice post Elizabeth. Welcome to the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. :-) Few things get people more upset than the sovereignty of God. You did a great job of replying to the other comments with humility and Biblical grounding.

    Reva makes the same mistake most people do when she says: "God picks and chooses a SELECT FEW" to be saved without any response on their part -- the attitude is rather smug that it *just happens* to BE THEM and their children and relatives. Hmmm??!!

    I don't know anyone who teaches that God saves without any response on mans part. Of course He requires repentance. Dr. James White is a great source for understanding Calvinism.

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  7. I agree with you entirely on this post. I was saved in 2001 at the age of 27, though I never had believed there wasn't a God, I just had no interest in Him before He began to draw me. Though raised in the South, I wasn't raised in church, and knew very little about Christ. However, I was saved at home, alone, in my bedroom, while reading the Gospels just to find out what Jesus was all about and if I thought it was all just a myth. I was just desperate to know truth, whatever it may be, even if it meant eliminating God as a possibility. This had gone on for a few weeks.... and there I was, reading about Jesus, and one minute I literally did not understand what I was reading or necessarily believe it..... and the next minute it all opened up to me and started making sense! I realized that I am not the good person I thought I was, and I realized that Jesus was REAL and suddenly understood why He died for me! It was entirely His work in me! My heart became new, and everything began to change! It wasn't until December of 2012, that as I was reading my Bible, I began to notice "election" and "predestination".... and thought, "what IS this that I keep seeing"? It took 11 years of walking with the Lord before this truth began to jump out at me. Then through further reading of scripture, cross referencing of verses, and looking up what trusted preachers like John MacArthur and Paul Washer said about it, the Lord graciously revealed this truth to me. I didn't even know it was controversial until later! Coming to the understanding of this doctrine has been a complete blessing for me, as it changed the way I view everything concerning my faith.... by that, I mean, my walk with the Lord deepened tremendously, my already strong faith grew stronger, my love for His Word increased ten fold, and I now trust in His sovereignty entirely. It even helped me to have more compassion and patience for my unbelieving husband.... no longer do I feel frustrated that he cannot see what I try to tell him about God. Now I just cheerfully witness to him in word and behavior, pray for Him constantly, and let God do the rest, now that I understand that it is not me but HIM that removes the scales from blind eyes! What a great burden to have been lifted from me.... makes me want to share Jesus with everyone more than I ever did before!

    I truly believe that the understanding of the doctrines of election simply come from a maturity of faith. It is a mystery revealed for God's purposes and in His timing, just as is salvation itself. My own mother, who has been a Christian for 50-something years believes entirely in free will, but I am certain she is a believer. That said, I would like to share the following paragraph from Charles Spurgeon, that, I think sums up nicely how a Christian comes to understand election..... and I go along with his assessment because this is pretty much the way it happened with me, too. See what you think:

    "When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the very young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when I first received those truths in my own soul--- when they were, as John Bunyun says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron; and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all of a sudden from a babe into a man--- that I had made progress in scriptural knowledge, though having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.... I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of faith opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, I ascribe my change wholly to God." ---- C. H. Spurgeon, Autobiography :1, The Early Years, Banner of Truth, p. 164.

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  8. Two of my favorite verses regarding the doctrine of election:

    "Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth..." II Timothy 2:25

    This makes it clear that repentance is given by God - we can't even be sorry for our sins without His enabling us to!

    If we had anything to do with our salvation we would mess it up. Also, if we had something to do with our salvation, it would logically follow that we would have something to do with keeping our salvation - God forbid! This is a difficult thing because it is hard for people - even the elect - to admit that there is nothing good in us (in our old nature) that seeks after God. Sin is not just what we do - it's who we are (in our old nature), and there is no hope for that old nature except to be crucified with Christ.

    "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

    If we believe that God is just and righteous, we have to believe that what He does is right, even if we don't understand it. If we think He isn't being fair, it is we who are wrong - how can we know what is fair in our fallen state? When we are finally with Him, then we will know as we are known, but until then we walk by faith, not by sight. That means trusting that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways - and to that, I say amen and thank goodness!

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  9. First of all, I want to tell you that when I came to your sight on my desktop just now, it was blocked as a dangerous site! The liberal mentaility that anything they disagree with is dangerous makes me so mad!!!

    Now, on to my actual comment. I love you and your blog, and we see eye to eye on almost everything except this topic you just blogged about. I know I am not going to change your mind, and you are not going to change mine, but I just wanted to state that for the record. Also, I ask you to truly take a moment and ask yourself, what if you and your reformed brethren are wrong? Seriously. What if you are not correct in this view of election. I think that would be awfully uncomfortable to someday be in eternity with Jesus and know that you believed something so contrary to His nature. I know you love HIm more than anything, so imagine facing Him and seeing his sadness over this belief. I know you won't agree, but I do challenge you to just contemplate it for a minute.
    We can agree to disagree on this doctrine, because I find your blog on everything else so edifying!
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

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  10. God is Sovereign and Man is Responsible
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=NogNeT9k6Ug

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  11. Elizabeth, I sincerely hope you can accept what I am saying without thinking I am trying to be a smart alec, because I'm not. Really. But anyway, here goes:

    A few months ago I actually didn't know what Calvinism was. I casually assumed it was some dusty old bore of a doctrine that was no longer relevant, and had no interest whatsoever in learning anything about it. Somehow I had managed to go decades with no exposure to it at all.

    Then I read something on your blog about unconditional election, and it got my attention. Honestly, my initial reaction was that it was the most grievous insult to God I had ever heard. I was stunned that there were actually people who named the name of Christ and who believed that God was up in heaven with a big Salvation Dartboard. It made me wince to think that there were people who could somehow twist John 3:16 and other clear verses to mean something other than what they plainly said. It sickened and angered me to think that there were people who thought God arbitrarily chose to save a few lucky sinners, and by default chose the rest to burn for eternity--and then had the gall to try to deny that that's how it worked. Because that's *exactly* how it works if it's followed to its logical extreme.

    (cont.)

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  12. So, I went to the Word. I dug into it, and discovered to my genuine surprise that there really were such verses that seemed to say just exactly that. There really were verses that seemed to indicate that God just chose us with no regard for our free will. It's as if I had never seen them before. I was convinced that someone must have slipped them into my Bible while I was sleeping.

    So I went to the Word some more. Eventually, I came to the same conclusion that many others before me have come to: there really are verses that teach unconditional election, and there really are verses that clearly indicate we have a responsibility to respond to the Gospel--the "whosoevers," as you referred to them. And I had never been led to the point of trying to reconcile these before.

    Elizabeth, I love and respect you as my sister in Christ, and I love your blog. So this is just one point where we see things differently. Personally, I felt that just saying I couldn't reconcile them wasn't good enough. I felt that God's Word deserved better than that. I felt God deserved better than that from me, because I know He is a holy, just, loving God. I know He's not a cold, capricious monster. But the inescapable logic of unconditional election makes Him out to be just that, vehement denials notwithstanding.

    I couldn't rest until I found a way to reconcile these truths. Or at least come up with a working hypothesis that made sense. I believe that God's sovereign choice and our response existed in the mind of God from before creation. Of course He chose us. Of course we responded to Him. Those events were never separated in time in the mind of God. He didn't "look through the corridors of time." He didn't have to. That would suggest God experiences time linearly the way we do, when He doesn't experience it all, at least not in a way we can begin to comprehend. Why should He? He created it.

    Of course, Calvinists will scream that this is just pseudo-scientific double-talk.

    Well, let 'em scream.

    This harmonizes everything beautifully for me, and the Bible (all of it) makes good sense to me, and more importantly, my heavenly Father is still the holy, just, loving God I know Him to be.

    I know you strongly disagree, Elizabeth, and that's perfectly fine. I'm not going to arrogantly attempt to change your mind, or condescendingly tell you to read your Bible until you see the truth. I've learned my lesson. I'm finally learning to listen when the Holy Spirit tells me "Don't go there."

    My point is that if it weren't for your blog, I never would have studied these things and I never would have found my way out of this doctrinal thicket that so many are tangled up in.

    Thank you for that, Elizabeth.

    And it's not a smart-alecky, left-handed thank you, either. I mean it sincerely.

    You see the Word the way you do, and God is glorified in your heart and in your life. That is obvious to all.

    I see the Word the way I do, and I can only humbly hope that someday someone can say the same for me.

    Your brother in the Lord, Greg

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  13. Hello All,

    Thank you for your comments. I'm going to add another, some scriptures, then close debate. I'm only going to directly respond to one commenter, Greg.

    Greg, "God has a big dartboard in heaven" is offensive. He is sovereign. He chooses what He will do. He doesn't have a dartboard in heaven, but HE DOES choose. Even if He did have a big dartboard in heaven, as Puritan William Perkins, "We must not think that God does a thing because it's good and right, but rather the thing is good and right because God does it." If you're a brother in Christ you understand His sovereignty in choosing through no other reason than it is His choice. He does what He does because He is Who He Is- including who to save. You had nothing to do with your own salvation. You were blind, lost, naked, and on the broad path to hell before Jesus plucked you up and saved you thru no merit of your own.

    He chooses whom He will choose and He had that plan since before the foundation of the world. He's God. If salvation was up to us, then what would we praise God about?

    His grace in salvation is irresistible. He set His decision on salvation for the names He set prior to the foundation of the world (please read Ephesians 1 & 2) and when it was time, He gracefully drew them to himself. Though we resist because we're hostile to God (Rom 8:7-8) and dead in our sins, He opens our heart to receive the gift of faith and our mind to understand the scriptures. It is all Him.

    In Acts 13:48- "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."
    Acts 16:14, Lydia was saved when, "... the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."
    Romans 8:29-30, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
    Ephesians 1:4-5,11, "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will ... also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."
    Ephesians 2:8 says even our faith is a gift from God.
    In 2 Thessalonians 2:13, "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation."
    Second Timothy 1:9, God "has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity."
    1 Peter 1:2 says the elect are chosen "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father," and Romans 8:29 says, "whom He foreknew, He also predestined."

    We are still responsible for our sins because we perform them willingly. Yet His word affirms the human's responsibility for sins alongside His election of the saved, and the offer of mercy in the gospel is extended to all alike.

    Isaiah 55:1 and Revelation 22:17 call "whosoever will" to be saved.
    Isaiah 45:22 and Acts 17:30 command all men to turn to God, repent and be saved.
    First Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God is not willing that any should perish, but desires that all should be saved.
    Finally, the Lord Jesus said that, "the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out" (John 6:37).

    Please do not reply that "I don't believe in God's sovereign choice of the saved" yet use no scriptures to support your stance. A fleshly response is not called for here, but a grace-filled one. Study, pray, and appeal to God for wisdom and understanding. These doctrines affirm His position as God and humbles us in gratitude that He saves at all.

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