The last time that I wrote about Calvinism I looked into the first doctrine, known as Total Depravity or more appropriately Total Inability. By the way, Phil Johnson has an excellent series on this subject over at Team Pyro which I strongly encourage you to check out. By Total Inability, I am referring to the doctrine that man is totally unable to respond to God because he is spiritually dead. Romans 3:10-12 – as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Because man is spiritually dead and has no ability to respond to God, all men are hopelessly condemned. This is where Unconditional Election comes in. While man was dead in his trespasses and sins, unable to respond to God, God in His mercy has chosen to save some and these are known as the elect. The Five Points of Calvinism by Steele, Thomas and Quinn defines election this way, “His eternal choice of particular sinners for salvation was not based upon any foreseen act or response on the part of those selected, but was based solely on His own good pleasure and sovereign will.” That is to say that God’s choice of the elect was not based upon anything other than His own will. Exodus 33:19 says, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” The goodness of God is seen in His mercy, as he chooses to save some who otherwise would be utterly lost in the deadness of their own hearts.
It would be impossible to examine all of the passages that teach the doctrine of Unconditional Election, but here are a few that are especially worthy of consideration.
John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you…
John 6:44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…
Acts 13:48 – And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, but few are chosen.
In an earlier post I wrote that the heart of Calvinism is humility. This truth shines brightly in the doctrine of election. The doctrine of election forces us to admit that there was nothing that we could do to be saved, it puts us squarely in our place of utter dependence and cries out to a merciful God to act and save some.Share on Facebook
February 13 2008 09:11 pm | Doctrines of Grace