Sovereignty of God?
Unravelling the “sovereignty of God” straw man.
The Reformers, especially Calvin, high jacked the Power, Character, and Authority of God, what is better known as the Majesty of God, and labeled it “sovereignty of God”.
The irony of the “sovereignty of God” is that man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A god that is less than sovereign could not bestow freedom of choice upon his creatures, because he would be afraid to do so. God did divinely decree that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between righteous and unrighteous deeds. God's sovereign decree was for man to have freewill, but His desire and intent was that man should obey HIM voluntarily out of love from the heart via the influence of HIS Spirit, the “Spirit of truth”. Therefore when man chooses to do that which is evil, he does not countervail the “sovereignty of God”. This in no way suggests that God is the author of sin, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice that man would make, but rather that he should be free to make it, because, knowing this first; all things work for the good of those that love HIM.
God works out His decree by conviction of the Spirit, John 16-8, Romans 1-18, bringing about countless circumstances which will allow man to seek God or self through a freewill choice which accompanies the desires of his heart. Such as He did with Pharaoh. Yes exactly as He decreed it! God is completely Sovereign in this manner of decreeing man’s freewill choice. God ALWAYS influences with truth, and the devil always uses lies to influence. God "NEVER" desired for man to be disobedient, but His decree provided for the choice to do so. All men, must absolutely, without exception, choose whether to obey the gospel or turn away in unbelief and reject its authority. Each mans' choice is his own, but the consequences of that choice have already been determined by the majesty of Almighty God from the foundations of the world, and from this there is no appeal. A more simple answer is that God did predestine the body of Christ, the church, but He did not predetermine individuals to salvation from the foundation of the world. He did not decree robots with the inability to reason with HIM. Amen! Glory to God!
God hates sin. Therefore there is no way to defend a viewpoint that says that God created mankind for the purpose of sinning against HIM in order to show that HE hates sin. This is circular reasoning, and is not of a sound mind that diligently seeks God’s truth while labouring in the scriptures.
The Calvinist view of sovereign determination centers the focus on the believer’s complete dependence on the Lord, and seeks to undermine any sound reasoning we have, and that we can do anything of value apart from God, which maligns Hebrews ch. 11, the faith chapter, while also undermining the true gospel message of man striving with God in unison.
I would have to ask them; How then did Cornelius please God? Because of God's great goodness, His Divine Council, His power & Authority; why is it then impossible to believe that He has determined to give us a choice of will? For God ever did so reason in HIS council to make man in His own image Genesis:3-26,27. No matter how much you double talk the term "Sovereignty of God", the ultimate conclusion by reason is; unless God stands back and gives man the ability to choose then man is condemned without cause because he is created to sin, which makes Gods' character worse than the devil himself. Nay, may God forbid such heresy! Therefore, to condemn such helpless beings would COMPLETELY malign the very character of God revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures. God is loving, righteous, just, all-powerful, forever present, and all-knowing. Jehovah doesn't need to glorify Himself through sending lost people to hell before they were born.
1) God takes "no pleasure" in the destruction of the wicked, Ezekiel 33-11. 2) Yet all things were created for HIS "pleasure", Rev. 4-11. The harmonization of these 2 verses teaches us that God did not create man to be destroyed, because this destruction does not bring Him pleasure.
God doesn't need the cross. Sinners need the cross. God doesn’t need to be reconciled back to man. God is content and self-contained within Himself, perfectly righteous in all things and in need of nothing. I can see the flesh attraction, flatteries, and temptation in the false doctrine of "predetermined election" as applying to individuals before the world was. In such to the degree of believing that the Lord chooses some and passes over others for salvation establishing a twice blessed scenario in the mind of the deceived subject of sin. (Most cults are founded upon flatteries; the doctrine of the predestined special elect is but one more flattery). Almost all cults set up a click that appeals to the pride of man because he perceives he belongs to some special group that is twice blessed.
The false humility within the doctrine of predestined elitism. They will say in false-humility, "God chooses us based upon nothing in us", but, however, they believe they are chosen to be the elect, while in practice they feel superior to those other people that they think God chose for damnation or somehow overlooked for election, depending on how deep the trans of Calvinism has affected their reasoning ability. Then when Gods' wholesome reasoning is applied in rebuke through discernment of such matters in scripture, they cry foul, reaching for their straw man, all the while proclaiming Sovereignty of God, Sovereignty of God!!! The "willingly" ignorant will parrot this false description of Gods authority and power, even defending it to the bitter end.
The terms believer, saint, Christian, are referenced
as individuals in the plan of salvation. However, predestination,
"the elect", the remnant, refers to the body of Christ as a whole, not
individuals to salvation. There is such a thing as a "remnant believer"
the believer is the individual belonging to the remnant body of
Christ. However, it was salvation in this remnant body of Christ that was
predestined, not the individuals themselves.. It was the remnant body
that was foreordained "IN" Christ, not individual believers. If not; this
would make the cross a mere secondary link in the chain of Salvation, thus
diminishing Christ's finished works on the cross, His blood atonement, and
placing HIM not at the centre of the cosmos, but rather off to the side of the
playing field and of secondary importance..
The election is the body of Christ, it is so important to know this, because they have maligned all the definition of words to the point of no recognition....No individual is an elect, only the body of Christ is elect. The only passage that says chosen before the foundation of the world refers to those who would make up the body of Christ. Why? Because Christ was the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, decided by Magisterial decree in Geneses 3-15
The new-age Calvinists are compatibilists at times, but the truth is: compatibilists and their philosophies are flawed no matter how one tries to twist logic. I think all the different doctrines arise when the philosophies of men are mixed in with the pure word of God, because men have continually come up with new spins on interpreting scripture even from the inception of the church, and especially since Constantine and the RCC.
Such human philosophy came from Gnostic Manichaeism, then Augustine, then Luther & Calvin, and then to such as Finney, Spurgeon, and Pink,>on up to today’s mighty men of renown; such as Washer, McCarther, Piper, Sproul etc. Each placing their own twist of compatibility on this fable, while deriving at a mixed bag of nuts calling it doctrine. However, this is merely flawed reasoning.
In doing so, they truly have turned Psalm 51 into a Psalm of excuse rather than a Psalm of repentance. Once again this is not "logical". Jesus is the "Word" (Logos). He is God in the flesh of who is "logical". He gave us this very same reasoning ability; "come let us reason together” Isaiah 1-18> He said this to sinners. He is the light that lighteth “everyman” that cometh into the world, John 1-9 Is Jesus so foolish to call everyone to the wedding supper if some are not predestined to attend? Where is the “logos” in that mindset? And that men as sinners have no ability to reason His call? It makes no since, and is void of sound reasoning.
Calvinism has not a clue what "predestined" means. Peter said God has desired all to be saved. God gave us sound reasoning ability. That’s why the apostle Paul warned us so strongly to watch out, be careful, as to what you hear. God was speaking directly to sinners in Isaiah 1-18 when He said “come let us reason together”. Yes sinners can reason! It was divinely given to all men to do so. Otherwise God cannot justly command all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel Acts 17-30. Yes, this is simple reasoning ability, all men have it. No “prevenient grace” is necessary. Titus 2-11 proves this to be true. The command to repent was not a mere suggestion by God. But a commandment. Can God command a man to do something he is not capable of? Nay, may God forbid such heresy!
One might ask: Do you feel like a mind-numbing machine carrying out a pre-programmed decree? Or do you reason that you are doing and choosing what you want, thus having a sense of guilt when you choose wrongly? A robot, born in sin, predestined to sin, cannot have a sense of guilt for doing that which is unrighteous.
God holds us accountable for our understanding, and knowledge of transgression, Romans:7-7,8,9. Therefore knowing not to sin, and sinning anyway, makes us guilty because we KNOW better, even though God has determined our free choice ability. Always keep in remembrance; that a robot without freewill can have no guilt. It’s impossible. The real truth is, deep down people don't rally believe in these silly Calvinist fables, but by the liberty of freewill they choose to cling to them.
An important fact in the parable of the kings wedding supper. It shows that God calls all people, but only few are chosen. They were not skipped over and un-chosen, but rather they rejected the call (Matthew 22:1-14). Received not the love of the truth that they should be saved 2 Thes. 2-10. We know that God's love is only for His body of believers in covenant with HIM. Yet we have Jesus Christ interceding with God on man’s behalf. Gods' whole mission purpose ever since Gen. 3-22 has been to reconcile mankind back to God. Thus we have 2 identities working together 1) God, 2) man. They can only be united in love; there is no other possible way. I find it remarkable that the mediator Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man. This makes Him the perfect mediator interceding for the people. He as a man is full of passion and love for the lost, and HE is also God Almighty and all righteeous! No, I am not suggesting that man saves himself, but he does have to by faith grab on and hold the life saving grace of God to the end. “He that endures to the end the same shall be saved” sayeth the Lord.
The Lord has been back in heaven for centuries, yet he retains a glorious “body” that identifies him as a man, in addition to being Divine. As one scholar expressed the matter, his “glorious body” is “His sacred human body, as he resumed it in the Resurrection, and carried it up in Ascension, and is manifested in it to the Blessed” He has done everything possible to show us the way home. It is all about love, and yes, there is no other way. As God said in Isaiah 5 “what more could I have done”. Expressed also in Luke 16- 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead.
Foreordained, and predestined, ordained, what do they mean?
There is a great confusion of words among Christians today.
They struggle so much with foreknowledge and predestined. however foreknowledge is a moot point, rather it be open or closed theism, it really makes no difference, especially when it comes down to what Gods requires of man) foreknowledge is an attribute of God, and predestined is an action of God; destination is simple (to set in motion and continuum until the end)
What was predestined is that man should have freewill and moral guidance of the conscience Gen 1-26,27. The consequences for sin were also predestined, however man’s choices were never predestined, and likewise the reward for righteousness was predestined also. Because all things work for good for those that love him Rom8:28-29, there is a huge misunderstanding of words, this is amazing since we are perceived to be in the so-called age of education and enlightenment. I contend that the masses are no less blind than those of the dark ages.
The scriptures NEVER says the saints themselves were "foreordained" (before ordained), however it does say they were ordained through BELIEF. In other words, Belief establishes ordination by God. The only thing said to be 'foreordained" was Jesus Christ, nothing else, and that was for the purpose of redemption.
He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 1Pet 1:20