Monday, August 19, 2013

God's Soveriegnty vs. Man's Will

Well, it has been a very long time since I have posted anything, and I have felt guilty because of this. It is my God-given duty to proclaim the Gospel, and I have done poorly at that lately. So, by His grace, I have been able to devote some time to this post. It is on the sovereignty of God and its relation to salvation and man's will. This is a very controversial topic, but only because of our sin. In this post, I will briefly go over many foundational truths of the Gospel, and I beg you to pay attention and read to the end. This is not even the beginning of the wonderful grace which God has granted us to know through the Bible, but it is a good place to peer into the marvelous plan of God called the Gospel.


As with every theological truth, we must start with the basics. The current problem of mankind goes back to the Fall of man (and finds its origin in an eternal decree of God, but I will get into that in later posts). When Adam decided to rebel against the authority of God and submit himself to Satan, God made a most interesting decree. In Genesis 3:15, God said to Satan,


"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel."     

In part, God is speaking of the ultimate Seed of the woman, which is Christ, the Son of God. What is extremely crucial for us to also grasp is that the first half of this verse is speaking also of two separate, non-deity seeds. In this context, God is speaking of two separate, distinct families, the offspring of two separate personages. The first is the offspring of Satan. Who are these people? According to John 8 vs. 41 and 44,


"You are doing the deeds of your father... You are of your father the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of all lies."

Here our Lord declares that those who both do and want to do the desires of the Devil are born of him. This is not mere conjecture on my part, since the Spirit reminded John again of this teaching, and he repeated it in 1 John 3,


"The one who practices sin is of the Devil; for the Devil has sinned from the beginning... By this the children of God and the children of the Devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." 

So, we now know that any man who practices sin and hates righteousness is born of the Devil. Now we must ask, who specifically is born of the Devil? To answer that, we must understand that you can only be one of two seeds: the seed of the woman or the seed of Satan. In innumerable passages, we see the seed of the woman equated with the Children of God. This is especially seen in John 3. Here the Lord declares, that you must be born from above, of water and Spirit, in order to inherit the Kingdom of God (John 3:3 & 5). This is set in contrast with those born of the flesh in vs. 6. However, every man is born of the flesh. Look at your body, is that flesh or is that spirit? By virtue of your physical birth, you are a child of the Devil. From your conception you were a sinner (Psalm 51:5). This is especially frightening when we see that if one sins, he is a slave to sin (John 8:34). Since everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23), that means that all men who are born solely of the flesh are slaves to sin and thus sons of the Devil.



So, everyone (at first) is a son of the Devil, of the flesh. This is a huge problem, since this means that no man can inherit the Kingdom of God, since flesh and blood can't inherit it (1 Cor. 15:50). Thus, our Lord brings a wonderful solution to mankind's impending doom: we must be born of God (John 3:5). Easy enough, right? All you have to do is be born of God.

What is holding you back? Is this not the easiest of actions one could do? Can you not make yourself born of God? Can't you make God give you birth? Well, did you make your mother bear you in your flesh? No. It is the same with this spiritual birth. You do not have the ability to make God bear you.

"But read John 3:16! It says that if we believe in Jesus, we will be saved! Since only those who are born of God are saved, then it must mean that if I believe in Jesus, I will be born of God!" Well, I will grant you that those who truly believe in Christ are born of God. However, can you really, truly believe in Christ? “Yes”, you say. Well, let us test your assertion.

First off, if we want to know whether man is capable of believing in Christ, which is a righteous deed, we must understand his heart. This is because the heart is the wellspring, the origin, of our whole life (Prov. 4:23). So, what is in man’s heart? Well, our Lord, who knew the hearts of every man, gave a list which summarizes man’s heart in Matthew 15:19,

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

Notice that nothing is said about love or faith or obedience here. This is because the hearts of men are desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). There really is nothing good left in there. Why? Because they are the image of their father’s heart, which is devoid of all good. So, it is only natural that they are devoid of all good and full of all evil. Thus, no man can do anything, anything, good. Nothing at all. This is especially evident as Paul repeats in Romans 3:10-12,

“There is none righteous, not even one:

There is none who understands,

There is none who seeks for God;

All have turned aside, together they have become useless;

There is none who does good,

There is not even one.”

This is an extremely bleak picture. If this is true, which it is God’s Word and is thus true, then no man can do anything good. Nothing good at all. In fact, it can be said that every unsaved man is just like the unsaved before the flood, with every wish of their heart always being pure evil (Genesis 6:5).

So, can you, of your own will, believe in Christ? “Yes, it must be possible!” If this is still your reply, understand that it is only possible if the Scripture is either wrong or if belief in Christ is evil. Both arguments are sick and unthinkable. Thus, you are left with the fact that you cannot believe in Christ. Moreover, since those who obey Christ are those who are born of God, and since you cannot obey Christ, you cannot make yourself born of God. To make matters worse, you don’t even want to be.

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. Because everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19)

If you remember nothing of this post, remember this: you are impotent, hopeless, and purely evil. There is nothing in you that is good, and you in fact hate all good with all of your being. It is true that you are as much a son of the Devil as Hitler, Stalin, and even the arch-son of Hell Judas Iscariot. You cannot save yourself, nor would you do so if you had the ability. No, you prefer to have your sin and your impending doom along with it. Well, you don’t like the idea of going to Hell, where God will pour out His perfect, terrifying wrath on you forever. However, you don’t hate the idea enough to cause you to beg God for mercy. Yet, that is to be expected, since you can’t do anything good because of your own fleshly nature. So, again, you are hopeless. No, you can’t “choose Christ”, or “open the door of your heart to Him”. You can’t accept the Light because you hate the Light and absolutely love evil. Thus, you are headed straight to Hell, where God will pour out His wrath on you for eternity as a result of your rebellion against Him. You are hopeless.

Yet, there is hope, hope that comes from outside of you. This hope is birth from God. Since we have established the fact that you can do nothing good, this hope must come completely from God. Realize, birth from above is a completely new creation inside of you. Through being born of God’s Spirit, you become spirit (John 3:6). In so doing, God creates a clean heart in you, a heart that actually wants and does His will (1 John 3, Ezekiel 36). He truly gives birth to you by miraculously creating a new soul in you, which makes you His son/daughter. As a result, you will inherit the Kingdom of God, which was prepared for you since before time began (Mat. 25:34). All of this is of God, for it is by His grace, through his granting of faith to us, since this work is not of ourselves but is of God (Eph. 2:8).

One of the central tenets of the true Gospel of our Lord is that man is impotent. You are impotent. You can do nothing at all that will allow you to be saved, since you can’t do anything good. Thus, God must save you, He must birth you. Every single part of salvation, from obedience to God to “saving faith”, is impossible for man. Yet, nothing is impossible for God.

Do you understand your utter inability to obey God? Do you realize how wretched, miserable, and poor you are? Good. Are you truly broken and mourning over this fact? Good. Are you humbled before the Almighty, realizing His Greatness and your utter lack of worth? Are you craving for His righteousness as a starving and parched man for food and water? Are you now granting mercy to others? Is your heart purified? Realize, the Kingdom of Heaven is yours. Why? God birthed you, for these are the fruits only of spiritual birth. Our Lord lays it out clearly,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in Heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mat. 5:3-12)

If the above is true of you, rejoice! Be thankful, for while you were still a sinner and enemy of God, God chose you, sent His Son to die in your place, and thus demonstrated His perfect love for you (Rom. 5:8). However, remember that this was not of you. So, lay aside your pride, acting as if you somehow earned salvation. Rather, live a life of perfect humility and love towards all men. Most of all, love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

You are My friends if you do what I command you.

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

This I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:12-17)


“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

And those whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)


Nothing in your walk as a Christian comes from yourself (if it is good). No, either your works are wrought in God alone, by God alone, and by His blessed Will alone, or your works are of the flesh and evil (John 3:20-21). Thank God that He gave us life by His Will. When we could not obey and submit to Him, He granted us faith and repentance in spite of our flesh and evil wills (John 1:12-13). All glory to His Name.


God bless.