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MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/election/elmss913.s.htm
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part II: Examining Scripture On The Will-Related Doctrines
Chapter II: Examining God's Predestination Throughout Scripture
F. Summary Conclusion On Divine Predestination
- Our view that God's election does not result in justification would lead some to ask how we would handle a verse like Acts 13:48 KJV that says: " . . . as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
- We answered this, and all the other key questions, and viewed the pertinent Scripture words and passages on the subject.
- Accordingly, in view of these studies, we now briefly summarize divine predestination as follows:
- Out of all of the Scripture passages and words we viewed on divine predestination, nothing in any of them clearly implies or states God predestined people unto either justification or eternal hell. One must start with theological presuppositions foreign to Scripture teaching on God's predestination itself to conclude any cause-effect relationship exists between God's and man's volition in affecting who God justifies.
- Also, no Scripture passage on divine predestination undeniably reveals God even directly intervenes in the human will itself to alter a decision by man, and that whether the party is an unbeliever or one who is justified by God. Even though God influences Christian believers to want to do His will (Philippians 2:12-13), they all at times sin against that divine will (1 John 1:8-10), meaning God does not author or invasively control the Christian believer's will!
- Additionally, the unregenerate (and rebellious believer, cf. Hebrews 3:13-15) can be influenced so that his initial decision may be augmented, or that he might be motivated to make a choice in a specific direction should he yield of his own volition, but no where does Scripture prove the existence of divine, invasive authorship of the human will itself in the unsaved or the justified.
- Thus, in view of our findings on the influence of Church Father, Bishop Augustine and his paganistic Neo-Platonism as it has impacted and helped to formulate the Calvinistic view of divine predestination, an influence that we will extensively document and describe in Part IV, Chapter 2 of this work, in contrast to Calvinism, we conclude divine predestination involves God's sovereign work to arrange events to occur apart from an invasive divine authorship of man's will. God's influence to cause man's decisions is thus no different in kind that what a human parent might exert relative to his child! God's omniscient, omnipotent attributes equip Him always to know precisely the correct, "non-will-invasive influence" to exert on man in exactly the right way to produce His exactly decreed responses from man, and that without God's sinning against His righteousness in the process!
- This conclusion on divine predestination is fully compatible with our divine election definition. As we before established, God's election is a choice of people who are already viewed by God to be in some relationship with God as opposed to God's sovereignly selecting certain unregenerate men to will to believe unto justification.
- Our studies on other will-related doctrines are needed to discern how faith is authored in salvation.