| Salvation(free will and the sovereignty of God) |
I am a new convert of about maybe a little over a year old now and have believed Calvin and many other puritans like Edwards on our election and God's sovereignty. I am struggling to harmonize a more Wesleyan or Richard Baxter type theology with our election and security. What I mean is how we are told to endure temptation, are called to act, to obey, we are warned, exhorted to various things &c... and yet God is in complete control. God does not tempt and it is not His will, yet reprobation and damnation are His job? Or heres another: "Keep yourselves in the love of God"(Jude 1:21), and " that He who began a good work in you will perfect it"? These are seeming contradictions in Scripture and I am honestly seeking a system to reconcile these. I don't like thinking that its only a mystery and theres no way to comprehend it. I believe there are some things we cannot explain or understand like the Trinity(how One can be Many and yet One), how long eternity is or why and how the devil sinned in heaven and Adam and Eve fell, even though it certainly did not catch God off guard. But for things such as these, I believe there is a way to cope with them, and if God had intended all this to be a mystery than how come it was written at all then? These I know were truths written for us, for the good of our souls and prosperity of God's bride, as He has spoken to her for guidance. I don't like arminian theology because I know I'm so week and pitiful, and have no strength to repent, pray, seek God's face without His grace, though I know I am to seek Him for this grace, still I cannot even do that; God must be first to act else I die. I don't like the doctrine that says that one can be truly saved and yet then through some fault of there own ruin God's work(I think that is utterly inconceivable). I also don't see how we are dead, "dead in sin" and that no man can come unto the Father(the words of our Lord Himself) yet arminians believe we have to do the impossible and indeed come. Or some may not believe that exactly, as with Baxter. As I read some of his directory, he says in effect(if I remember and understood him correctly) that grace is given in measure and we can squander that grace and lose it. So that it is God's work, but we can forfeit it! Its definitely more sound than decisionism but still I believe its wrong. So why is this? I am open to hear arguments for a free will theology, I just want to have sound doctrine in my mind. That my soul would sail away from the cliffs and rocks that is false teaching. A link, a book, anything from any to help? Grace to you.
| 2020/10/14 16:05||Profile|
| Re: Salvation(free will and the sovereignty of God) |
First, I want you to know that my theology is reformed. So understand that when I say this; I don’t mean it in a way that is counter to your own:
Theology (the study of God) is never about our preferences and our likes/dislikes. Part of the perfection of God is that He is mysterious to us in all aspects. If I tasked you to explain the depths of His love, the breadth of His holiness, or the severity of His wrath, you nor all creation with you could spend all eternity doing so and do nothing more than scratch the surface. That being said:
God is indeed sovereign in all things. But you don’t know His will other than what is in His word. You are responsible for your actions, because you chose to do them. But if you intend evil, God intends good for His people and for the glory of His own name. We know that from the story of Joseph. Genesis 50:20 shows that the same Hebrew word is used of both Joseph’s brothers and of God—intend. His brothers INTENDED evil. And they were held liable for it. God INTENDED the very same thing for good. How does that work out? It’s a mystery brother! And if we explain it away, our knowledge does not truly increase because it is a guess, but our awe of God decreases because we think we have Him nailed down.
Do not let your own self or anyone else convince you that being awestruck and dumbfounded before God is a negative or subpar reaction. It is not. The world could use some people who fall down in utter humility at the majesty and glory of God.
Finally, my advice to you is this: make sure at this stage in your walk you spend more time reading and meditating the Scriptures than you do studying theologians. By all means study and know God, but I have found that as a baby Christian, it’s best to cut your teeth on the scriptures than on man’s interpretation of Scripture. If you don’t do that and instead spend far more time and meditative power on other people’s words, your foundation will be weak, and you will be in the habit of asking other men their opinions instead of pursuing the Lord.
PS: Here is an excellent book “All That is in God” by James E. Dolezal
PPS: if you want to text me, my number is 9 36 five five six 55 2 9. Feel free to holler at me if ya wanna chat about theology.
| 2020/10/14 18:39||Profile|
| Re: Salvation(free will and the sovereignty of God) |
If the link above doesn't work for you then go to the root directory and follow the book list on the Left Side of Page - Book - Then = Watchman Nee and The Normal Christian Life.
Or else if you please then email me and I will send you the book by email in PDF format at no cost. Just copy and paste the email address - don't try to type it you won't be able to type it into the email address bar of your email client.
William, the reason I am offering this book and recommending it is because it answers all of your questions and in the spirit in which you have asked them. It is that spirit of asking that will give you the power to understand this book and find the living answer to your dilemma.
Imagine, William if you were to have spoken with the Apostle John on his bed on Patmos just before he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ from which we are given that which was, which is and which is to come! Imagine if John had said to you, 'well brother William he that is born of God cannot sin.' Then just as you were leaving he then said, 'we know that we sin every day!'
If that seems like a contradiction, then it is that precise paradox that we have in our faith into Christ. How do we reconcile the new creature that cannot sin and the flesh of the old man who sins daily? Trying to find mere doctrines of men to answer that difficulty will cause you to fail because mere men cannot reconcile these things in truth. The Father has given us just one answer and it is the cross. Not simply the visible and easily understood well hewn and polished wood of an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to the Father in which obedience Christ purchased us by His own blood - but the rough hewn timber of the side of the cross we are afraid to look at because it speaks of our death in Christ and an end to a self driven life.
May the Lord grant you your liberty in obedience and give you peace. Amen
| 2020/10/14 20:07||Profile|