Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Perseverance of the Saints 2

A couple of days ago, we looked at the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints as demonstrated in two beautiful passages. Today we will approach the subject from another angle: the immutability of Election

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— (Romans 9:11 ESV)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30 ESV)

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, (Hebrews 6:17 ESV)

But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 ESV)

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6 ESV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)

For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27 ESV)

These verses need very little explanation for our present purpose. Election is an eternal decree. Because it was done by God, who never changes, it is an immutable decree. To suppose election to be mutable is to make God less than an idol. The only possible reason election could be mutable is if God could be mistaken. Since this is a blasphemous assumption, we can rule it out.

This is also why election cannot be along the lines of the cart-before-the-horse Arminian version of election based on foreseen faith. This travesty of reason makes the actions of a finite being the cause of the knowledge of the infinite God. Stupidity!

Here’s the gist of the argument: God has chosen a certain number of people to salvation. This choice was made without any reference to works, good or bad. This is an eternal and immutable decree because God is not a man that he should change His mind, either by miscalculation or false assumptions. He is sovereign over all things – and that says everything. If God has immutably elected someone to salvation, then there is no way in heaven or on earth that this person can fail to be saved. If he could, God would be either mutable or less than perfect and almighty. Case closed.

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