The Sovereign, Eternal and Free Nature of God’s Grace

9 02 2008

In this post you will find a continuation of the discussion of God’s sovereign grace in regards to the salvation of mankind. With so much teaching these days following the lines of “free will” Arminianism, this decidedly Calvinistic stance in regards to the “doctrines of grace” will run counter to the understanding of many people regarding election, predestination, God’s sovereignty, etc.

But my goal here is not to be strident or extreme in presenting these views concerning the working of God’s grace. Indeed, it is more important for someone such as myself to actually “live in a manner that pleases the Lord”, “carrying every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”, “putting to death the deeds of the flesh”, than to obstinantly demand complete and full acceptance by others of these Calvinistic doctrines of grace.

However, I would also say that what a person believes regarding their biblical theology in general, and about the doctrines pertaining to the grace of God in particular, are the very foundations of our views and faith toward God, of how our lives are to be lived before Him, and of how He and we view other people (both the saved in Jesus Christ and the unsaved). It is of no small importance that we correctly understand what God has revealed to us in this written Word in regards to who He is and what He does and how we should respond to Him. Forever, forever, and forever we need to resist the continually creeping disease of the effect of man-centered humanism upon our view of God and His dealings with us. “To God be the glory!” is not meant to only be an idle, emotional exhortation among us Christ-believing church-goers. It is a call to all of us as Christians to have an accurate understanding of God, and in the living of our very lives to acknowledge God and bring honor to Him.

My personal conviction is that having a grace-oriented view of God and His workings in bringing about our salvation brings honor to Him. Conversely, man-centered viewpoints of how our salvation comes about (i.e., Arminianism, works salvation, new-age teaching, etc.) ultimately seek to allow mankind to gain some credit in the endeavor (credit that should all belong to God alone).

So, I encourage you to read through these passages, and to pray about and think upon the sovereign role of God in the effectual carrying out of our salvation in Christ Jesus.

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In A.W. Pink’s book “The Attributes of God” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2001) (click here), the author discusses the Grace of God (Chapter 13, pages 66-71). This post continues to draw upon Pink’s explanation of the grace of God…

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A. God’s Grace is Eternal, Free, and Sovereign

B. God Sovereignly Exercises His Unmerited Favor (Grace) Toward Sinful Man

C. Eternal Life is a Gift from God

D. Natural Man’s Resistance Toward Acceptance of God’s Sovereign Grace

D. God’s Distinguishing Choice of His Elect Children

Ephesians 5:1-21 (Be Imitators of God)

(1) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; (2) and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

(3) But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; (4) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (5) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (6) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (7) Therefore do not be partakers with them; (8) for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (9) (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), (10) trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (11) Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (12) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (13) But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (14) For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

(15) Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, (16) making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (17) So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (18) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (20) always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (21) and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

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Coming posts will continue to focus on the doctrines of God’s grace. Lets examine them together.

Churchlayman

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