“Predestination leads to antinomianism,” goes the tired old Arminian objection. They have never gotten tired of this worn out motto, despite the fact that Dort anathematized it as false and every Reformed theologian worth his weight in feathers has torn it to ribbons. Some people never learn. What saith the Scripture? - - -
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:2
Peter says, “foreknowledge of God the Father,” referring to His foreknowledge of the Fall, which foreknowledge made it necessary that election should be decreed to take effect not independently from the Son and Spirit (sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ). This shows us five important truths.
1. All three divine Persons are equally concerned in the salvation of sinners. The Father elected them; the Son shed His blood for them; the Spirit sanctifies them.
2. The objects of election were considered, in that eternal decree, as fallen. How else could they be chosen unto the sprinkling of Christ’s blood and sanctification of the Spirit?
3. Election, though productive of good works, is not founded upon them. On the contrary, they are one of the ends for which the elect are chosen. – “Elect unto obedience.”
4. Those who have been elected by God the Father, shall be sprinkled by the Son, that is, legally purified by His atonement as their pardon. Further they shall experience the Spirit’s sanctification in beginning, advancing and perfecting the work of grace in their souls.
5. The elect, this sprinkled and sanctified, are made to obey the commands of God. They imitate Christ as a pattern as they trust in Him as their propitiation.
An Arminian may seize upon my words “made to obey,” and ask, “Are the elect robots?” No. Of course not. God’s people are made willing (Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Ps. 110:3). There is no such thing as a willing robot.