(Part of the Election, Sovereign Grace, Will, Salvation bible study group.)
A roundabout objection to Election is sometimes offered.
"Why does the Bible teach about believing, repenting, obeying, etc., if God elects people to salvation?"
As with any newborn child, the parent must instruct the child in what is expected of them, what standards of conduct are acceptable and which aren't, what provides for healthy growth, etc. To the natural man the Bible and its admonitions are meaningless. However, to the "born-again", Holy Scripture contains God's instructions and standards. It teaches what is required in the advancement from newly born to maturity. It provides for the spiritual refinement of man.
The following is a typical argument offered:
"If you're going to heaven because God picked you, why bother with all the obeying, repenting, believing, etc.? You're going to heaven anyway!"
The answer is,
"Because, that is God's Will for His children."
"Well then, man can choose not to obey, repent, etc. And that means that it is man's free will which decides salvation."
That man can prevent God's will from being done by exercising a free choice, which is contrary to God's Will, is not Biblically sound. Basically what's being said is,
"Almighty God, who created all things by the power of His Will (and that will alone), can not carry out His Will if man freely chooses otherwise."
A good example from the Bible of God's will in operation is Jonah.
God says to Jonah,
- - "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."
Jonah chooses that he doesn't want to go and takes off for parts unknown.
God sends the storm & the great fish and Jonah takes up residence in the fish's belly. Jonah decides that he made a big mistake, repents, and God causes the fish to vomit him out.
God again tells Jonah to carry the message to Nineveh.
Jonah goes and delivers the message.
There are those who say that Jonah exercised his free choice to accept God's mission the second time. I think that Jonah 3 clearly shows that Jonah's "free choice" was not to become fish food again. He didn't want to go and was unhappy he went.
The person who is born again, by God's Sovereign Will, through the Holy Spirit, is not content to just vegetate as a saved person. The action of the Holy Spirit will not let them. Having experienced God's profound love for them, spurs them onward in their relationship with Our Heavenly Father. Being human, there will be times of stasis in the relationship, and even times of back sliding; however, the poking and prodding of the Holy Spirit, and the discontent that the Spirit causes, will eventually cause the true believer to conform to God's will.
In the light of biblical teaching it is shown that this objection is built on human logic & reasoning rather than on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. Therefore it has no effect on the validity of the belief in salvation by God's Sovereign Grace & Will, also called the Doctrine of Election.
Election & Believing, Repenting, etc
page updated 03/15/2011.