WHAT mATTERS? Thoughts on Election and the Sovereignty of God
Let me start out to say that I fully believe that God is sovereign. By that I mean that God does whatsoever He wants to do as the all-powerful creator God of the universe. He possesses the highest authority to do as He pleases without any external influence. Concerning God’s dealings with mankind’s salvation however, sovereignty does not mean that He forces His will to be done apart from the cooperation of man. God has sovereignly chosen to give mankind a free will to either believe Him or not to believe Him. God’s sovereign will is to save them that believe the things concerning Jesus and His accomplished work of the cross for salvation. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him:” Hebrews 11:6; Romans 1:16
From the beginning in the garden of Eden, God created man with an independent will. Adam chose to do his own will instead of the will of God, by eating what he was told not to eat, which produced both physical and spiritual death. “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 As the representative head of humanity, the consequences of Adam’s choice passed on to all who are physically born of him, inheriting his sinful nature. God then provided humanity the payment for that disobedience via the shedding of the innocent blood of an animal, which was a shadow of the ultimate payment by the perfect lamb of God - Jesus. Jesus became the new representative head of humanity and the consequences of His choice to become obedient unto death passed on to all who are spiritually born of Him, inheriting His sinless nature.
God sends no one to hell because He wants to exercise His right and authority to do so, “(He is) not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 But He provides the promise of heaven and eternal life with Him by faith in what He has accomplished via the work of the cross. He did the work; we have the “power” to believe it or reject it. A clue to our understanding is in the word power from John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” The word power here means “authority, or privilege to agree to believe.” The call to believe God has gone out to the whole world. Some, reject and don’t receive Him (John 1:11.) But to those who do receive Him (which is to believe He is and did what He said He was and did,) God gave “power,” or the ability to believe, which produces a new birth as adopted sons of God. Them who are chosen, (called the “elect,”) are called the elect not because He randomly chose some to hell and some to heaven, but He chose to save those that believe Him, thus they become His elect. The elect are those who believe. He doesn’t make His elect believe because He is sovereign, He allows those who believe to be His elect. A subtle difference worthy of our contemplation.
What matters is if you have believed what God says is true. That Jesus died on the cross paying for your sin and sins. That He was buried for three days as proof of that physical death. That God raised Him from the dead alive to give that same resurrected life to whomsoever believes it. This is what the sovereign God has declared. You get to decide if what God says is true. Your eternal destiny depends on it.