SALVATION IS A GOD ONLY WORK
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Praise to God that He has given us His Word and Spirit to make himself known. The treasures in His word are limitless. I will attempt to bring forth some of those treasures but first I like to lay the foundation for this theology and that is the Sovereignty of God. In our finite minds we can only understand so much and as God reveals it by His Spirit. In developing our theology if we understand this about God we will be in a good place to learn. That God is not limited to time and is beyond time. We often forget that all things are under God’s rule and control, and nothing happens without His direction or permission. All time is before him past, present and future. This brings us to a doctrine that has for years been controversial and avoided the doctrine of Election.
One of the hard facts about election is not that God has chosen some and not others but that man cannot come and WILL not come to God. The depravity of man is not taught enough, this has left the door open to Lordship or works-oriented theology. This puts man’s destiny in his hands. If man is the author of his salvation then is God Sovereign? Scripture tell us that man in his state of depravity does not have the spiritual capacity to choose God.
1 Corinthians 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
God in His Sovereign Grace chose His people before the Foundation of the world.
Ephesians 1:1-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will (bold my emphasis)
But doesn’t the Scriptures say that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16) that it is a choice? This is so, but it says whosoever. If man in his depraved state cannot and WILL not come to God then who is the whosoever, it is the "chosen us" (the elect).
It is by God’s power we become the sons of God,
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:
God draws us to Him,
John 6: 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
God draws us with the Word,
James 1:18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
By the Word we are Born-Again
1 Peter 1:23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
God gives us the faith for this
Philippians 1:29. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
All this by God’s Grace not our works,
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Salvation is all a work of God. It is by faith only. Luther describes the realization like this.
"When God works in us, the will, being changed and sweetly breathed on by the Spirit of God, desires and acts not from compulsion but responsively" (Bondage of the Will, XXV).
I remember my experience when the Word of God was presented to me some 40 years ago
"I said I believe that, that's me that's me". Everyone is different there isn't a repentive prayer you have to say or a sacrament that you take just the realization (faith) given by God that you are His child.
Until then I was a dead man walking. When God quickened me by His Word I became alive in Him.