Posts Tagged ‘The Believer’s Security in Christ

28
May
18

If God is For Us

 

In Romans 8:31, Paul asks his readers to begin to draw encouraging conclusions and he does so by asking a series of rhetorical questions intended to lead them to rejoice in the absolute certainty of their final glorification. It should not escape our attention that he does so, not by asking them to focus on a decision they have made but on the salvific work of the Triune God.

In that verse, Paul asks his readers to begin to draw encouraging conclusions and he does so by asking a series of rhetorical questions intended to lead them to rejoice in the absolute certainty of their final glorification.

It is to the first series of questions that I would like to draw your attention and then leave you with a question. Paul asks, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Then, as evidence that God is for believers, he writes concerning this God, “He that did not spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all [In the context he is clearly referring to all those who have been foreknown, predestined, called according to his purpose and justified by his grace through faith in Christ.]” then asks, “How shall he not along with him [the greatest gift he could give] freely give us all things [all the lesser gifts that belong to salvation including glorification].” His point is that if God is for us and if Jesus gave his life for the purpose of securing our redemption, our glorification is certain. In whatever sense God “gave Him up for us all,” He also “gives (the same people) all things.” After all, the “will he not also along with him freely give us all things?” is clearly rhetorical and expects an emphatic “Yes,” not an “I will…If you decide.”

I am amazed at the number of professing Christian people who will quite unabashedly state that Jesus did not save anyone by his death. Additionally, they will be quick to add that it was their faith that saved them. If one should ask them about the origin of that faith, they never seem to even question the idea that God has given a measure of faith to everyone without exception, then it is up to us to decide for or against Jesus. Apparently, the idea of God giving a measure of faith to every person is taken from a gross misrepresentation of Romans 12:3 that speaks of God granting to each believer a measure of faith for the exercise of the gift God has given them. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that has granted to sinners universally the ability to believe.

It is difficult to blame these people because they are merely parroting what they have been told from “Evangelical” pulpits. In fact, I think they are rather astute in drawing the conclusion from what they have heard that Jesus did not save anyone by his death. If he accomplished no more for those who would believe than for those who will perish for eternity, his death, in itself, did not save anyone. If his death did not save everyone it was intended to redeem, it could not have, in itself, saved anyone it was intended to redeem.

We often hear the analogy of a ship being dispatched for the rescue of shipwreck victims who are in danger of drowning. To effect this rescue, the captain of the ship instructs his crew to throw a life ring into the water. He must not do anything more because if he did, he might violate the free will of the perishing. Apparently, since he has not determined to save any of these victims but merely to give them the potential for salvation by tossing the life ring, it is conceivable they will all perish because he clearly cares more about the preservation of their free will than about their rescue. If any are rescued, it will be solely because they made the right decision and grabbed the life ring. The life ring is nothing but the means of rescue. The true savior is the victim who is willing to use the means provided to get himself to safety.

This is far different from the image the Bible paints for us. In the biblical picture, the victims are murderous and pillaging pirates who have attacked the very ship that is being sent for their rescue. They are hostile toward the captain and his crew and would rather perish than dine at his table. At his own peril, the captain’s son dives into the frigid water, overcomes their hostility and brings them to safety. Had they been left to the ability of their wills, their doom would have been certain.

The question I would like you to ponder is this. Assuming for the sake of argument that synergists are correct in their views, would one not have to assume that God is for every person without exception and that he gave his Son to make salvation possible for every sinner without exception? Would we not have to conclude that God gave up his Son in that sense for every sinner? And if that is the case, how can one escape the conclusion that God has pledged himself to grant “all things” that belong to salvation including glorification to every sinner without exception?

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