A Pilgrimage -- From Free Will to the Sovereignty of God in Salvation

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by OldRegular, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    Please note: I do not submit this post to start another debate but to see if there others out there who have experienced a similar pilgrimage they would be willing to share.

    There was a time early in my Christian life when the doctrine of election was repugnant to me. I could not understand why God would choose some unto Salvation in Jesus Christ and leave others to perish in their sins. Like many on this forum I either ignored or rationalized away Scripture that clearly taught that Salvation was by the Sovereign Grace of God.

    Having stated the above I also believed that no one could come to Jesus Christ for Salvation without the wooing or drawing of the Holy Spirit, but that was as far as I would go. However, with the passage of time two things began to affect my viewpoint of the Biblical Doctrine of Salvation.

    1. I noticed, with some wonder, that there were many people who exhibited absolutely no interest in their relationship with God or for that matter anything having to do with the Christian Faith.

    2. It gradually dawned on me that I could not continue to ignore or rationalize away the clear teaching of Scripture.


    Salvation, the blessing of grace, is that work of the Triune God by which He eternally redeems and reconciles to Himself those chosen in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4], freeing them from bondage to sin and His holy wrath. That Salvation is purchased by the blood of the Incarnate Son [Romans 5: 9; Hebrews 9: 14; 1 Peter 1: 18; 1 John 1: 7; Revelation 1: 5; Revelation 7: 14], the blood of the everlasting covenant [Matthew 26: 28; Hebrews 13: 20], and is made effective in the life of the elect by the Holy Spirit through regeneration and union with Jesus Christ. Salvation from beginning to end is entirely by the Sovereign Grace of the Triune God.

    During his earthly ministry Jesus Christ expressed the truth of the sovereignty of God in Salvation by the following simple statement:

    John 10:26-29, KJV
    26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
    27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


    The Sovereignty of God in the Salvation of the elect is also demonstrated very clearly in the following Scripture: Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:3-7, Ephesians 2:1-8, Philippians 2:6-8, Revelation 1:5, Revelation 5:9, 1 Peter 1:18,19.

    From this sampling of many such Scripture we see that:

    1. It is God the Father who fore knew and chose His people before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4].
    2. It is God the Father who predestinated that His people would be conformed to the image of His Son that they might be adopted as His children [Ephesians 1: 5] and become heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ [Romans 8: 16, 17].
    3. It is God the Son who humbles Himself, take upon Himself the form of man, Jesus Christ, and sheds His blood on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for the sins of those whom the Father has chosen to Salvation [John 17; Philippians 2:6-8].
    4. It is God the Holy Spirit, who applies the work of the Jesus Christ to those chosen by God unto Salvation so that none are lost [John 6: 37, 39, 40, 44].
    5. It is the Triune God who, in time, will regenerate, call, justify, and glorify those whom He chose to Salvation before the foundation of the world, therefore, they can never fall away or lose that Salvation [Romans 8:28-30].

    The Holy Scriptures from the first words in the book of Genesis, In the beginning God created to the last words in the book of Revelation, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen, are a testimony to the sovereignty of God. By Sovereignty is meant, not simply the omnipotence of God, but the exercise of that omnipotence in the governing of all things. Similarly, from the shedding of blood to provide a covering for the nakedness of Adam and Eve, to the birth of Jesus Christ - God the Son, His death and resurrection, and finally to the declaration of His return in power and glory, Scripture clearly declares the Sovereignty of God in Salvation. God not only takes the initiative in Salvation but completes that good work.

    Philippians 1:6, KJV
    6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

    Again please note: I do not submit this post to start another debate but to see if there others out there who have experienced a similar pilgrimage they would be willing to share.
     
  2. Bro. James

    Bro. James
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    "A similar pilgrimage"---

    It is a marvelous awakening to realize that "our" "free will" knows not how to choose that which is good--that God in His sovereignty and divine purpose has made the choice.

    It is a spiritual, emotional and intellectual event which will change your spiritual condition--forever.

    It is simple:

    We are totally depraved--

    Jesus paid the price--

    God gives the faith--

    God does the calling--

    It is all a gift from God's Grace, Mercy and Love.

    God showed me these truths when I was 55.

    There are at least two of us who believe--it is enough. There have been many witnesses. There is a peace that passes understanding.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  3. Bob Krajcik

    Bob Krajcik
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    While my pilgrimage has not been just as yours, I think I understand, and appreciate what you are saying. I started off my pilgrimage after having been convinced that there was nothing I could do of myself to gain salvation, and those clear passages that confirm it is of the Lord if one is to be saved or not were understandable enough to me, very clear to me, and with this I discovered there is a direct involvement of the Holy Spirit, a drawing to Christ. Throughout my walk I have not excluded those that have not learned the same as I have understood, for I believe the Lord teaches as He will (Ps 25:12), revealing one thing but not another. All must be taught of the Lord, for that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit. Those that were not of the sovereign grace understanding, as I saw, nevertheless sometimes manifested evidence of the new life, not to imply my light always shines brighly.

    There are plenty that present themselves as the only channel, the only true authorized light bulb, and so I have never sought that position, for I figured there were enough different ones that had that exclusive isolated position.

    By Grace,
     
  4. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    Please note that I pleaded twice in the introductory post that this not be a debate thread but a testimony thread. There are a number of other threads on this forum where you can debate to your little pea pikin heart's content. Please be gracious enough to avoid debate.

    [ April 22, 2005, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  5. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    I have restarted this thread on General Baptist Discussions. I hope to see some of you who have already posted there.
     

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