"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 10)
The doctrine of salvation by grace confirms the fact that man is dead in sin, and can do nothing to come to God. Again, in terms of salvation, grace is not God enabling man to do something, but grace is God doing everything. Works are not an operative of God’s grace. They are separate and independent of each other. If one is saved by works one cannot look to grace, and if one is saved by grace one will not look to works. Salvation is by grace, and, therefore, is totally reliant on grace, on what God has done, and never on what a man can, or, is enabled to do. "For by GRACE ARE YE SAVED through Faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9; cf. Rom. 3:27; 1 Cor. 1:27-31). Notice how there is no qualification here of the word works. Works of any kind, be they solely attributable to a man or something which the man is enabled to do by grace, DO NOT PLAY ANY PART IN THE SALVATION OF MAN. Salvation is purely by a work of God and not by a work of man. The word for works is "...‘ergon’ and that particular word means ‘deeds’ or ‘actions.’ And the word ‘boast’ actually means ‘a glorying'. Now, it’s a different Greek word than the other word ‘glory’ – like we have the glory of God (and that’s the word ‘doxa’). But this type of glory is a word, which is found many times in the New Testament, and it is defined by its context. For example, 'not of works, lest any man should boast' or 'not of works, lest any man should GLORY in those particular works'...grace is the bestowing of salvation on people who have done NOTHING to earn it. And you can even really add an addendum on there that not only is the bestowing of salvation on people who have done nothing to earn it, but it’s the bestowing of salvation on people who do not EXPECT it...Now, of course, there’s a great movement out there which seeks to ‘accept Christ'. And of course, you CANNOT ‘accept Christ’ that would be a work, because that’s an ACTION. That’s an ACTION on our part...the salvation plan of God is void of ANY action on the part of the one that, by grace, has received the gift of salvation".
"...the grand distinction God has made among men, lies in His special, distinguishing, and everlasting love to some, and not others; in His choice of them in Christ unto everlasting salvation; in the gift of them to Christ in the eternal covenant; in the redemption of them by His blood; in His powerful and prevalent intercession for them; in God's effectual calling of them by His grace; in His resurrection of them from the dead to everlasting life, placing them at Christ's right hand, and their entrance into everlasting glory; when the distinction will be kept up, as in the above instances, throughout the endless ages of eternity; all which is owing, not to anything of man's, but to the free grace, Sovereign will, and good pleasure of God." Salvation BELONGS to God! It is something only He can set in motion, and not that which depends on man giving it a kick start. "For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?..." (1 Cor. 4:7). "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God" (Rev. 19:1). "Salvation, temporal, spiritual and eternal, is of God; 'salvation' from antichristian power and tyranny, and from all enemies, and the everlasting salvation of the soul; and the 'glory' of it belongs to all the three Persons; They are glorious in Themselves, and deserve all glory to be ascribed to Them by man, and especially by the saints: 'honour' is also Their due; God the Father is to be honoured because He is the Father, and the Son is to be honoured as the Father is, and the Holy Spirit is not to be grieved, but to be highly esteemed and valued, and equally with the other two Persons: and 'power' belongs to Them all, and is seen in the works of creation, redemption, and sanctification." "SALVATION BELONGETH TO THE LORD..." (Psa. 3:8). Salvation is God's plan. Salvation is by God's grace. Salvation belongs to the Father, Son and Spirit and needs nothing which God has not done, nor does it call for man to take an active part in its instigation, for the whole concept of salvation by grace alone is based on GOD DOING that which man cannot do, and man receiving what is done, not by a work, free will, but because of Free Grace. All the glory for salvation belongs to God. (see my book 'To Whom Belongs the Glory?') That means that God has done everything from beginning to final glory in salvation, and that man has done nothing, for there is nothing he can do. This coincides perfectly with the doctrine which teaches man is dead in sin, dead to God and by nature does not have any affection for, and does not seek, the True God.
All the doctrines of salvation show that grace covers all that was necessary to save a man from his sins. There is nothing man can add that is not covered by grace, and there is nothing necessary for a man to do that will make salvation any more complete than what it already is because of the grace of God. The Word of God says that true Christians are "...complete in Him..." (Col. 2:10) for "...OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus..." (1 Cor. 1:30). Grace does everything for man can do nothing. To say grace needs any assistance from man is to say that God cannot save any without their help. No more grace is needed for a man's salvation than what has already been employed by God for there is nothing more that needs to be done. It is not a man's decision that makes him to differ from another, but God's decision to save him and Christ's death for him. All of salvation is covered by grace and all of grace covers all of salvation and it is more than sufficient to save everyone to whom it is given. Grace requires no help from man to be more successful than what it is, just like God needs nothing from man in order to make His salvation plan any more complete, or to make it any more effectual, in the lives of all whom God has entrusted to His Son. God's salvation plan is according to, and dependent on, God's grace, and no part of it hinges upon a man's decision. No part of God's salvation plan requires even one work of man. The only salvation plan which includes both grace and works is one devised in the desperately wicked mind of man, and which has never saved anyone. It is a plan which arrogantly states 'God will not get to do what He wants to do unless I give my consent'. It is carnal thinking through and through. Man cannot choose, or even seek, God and so must be made alive by God.
What further proof could anyone need to convince them that man is dead when it comes to the true God, which is why salvation had to be all of God. Now, no professing Christian would dare disagree that all the glory for salvation belongs to God. How then can they entertain the blasphemous notion that man must do something, if God has obviously done everything in salvation, seeing that all the glory for it belongs to Him? God enabling man to do something in order that he get saved is NOT grace! It is works. Salvation does not come because "...of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). With just part of one Scripture the myth of free will is obliterated! Salvation does not come because of God enabling a man's will, BUT PURELY BY GOD'S WILL, by what God can and does do. Salvation is either by grace (God) or by works (man). Salvation is either dependant on what God does, or on what a man must do. If salvation is by God enabling a man to do something upon which his salvation would depend, then salvation would be by works, for that upon which salvation is dependent is what salvation is by. It is either by God’s grace, His choice of you, or by a man's work, your choice of Him. God's grace, far from being involved in this process, would be neutralized, nullified, for salvation would ultimately be dependent upon what a man does, which according to Arminianism, is something that is completely independent of any interference by, or influence of, God's grace. The apostle Paul was not guilty of this in his teachings for he declares: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21). The word frustrate here means: “to do away with; to set aside, to disesteem, neutralize or violate or disregard; to thwart the efficacy of; nullify, make void, to reject, to refuse, to slight; to cast off, despise, disannul, to bring to nought”. Can you see how the works of a man is an utter enemy to the grace of God? Works always seek to replace grace. Paul is saying that if saving Righteousness comes by a man's obedience, a man's works, then what this does is to completely do away with grace. Works violate the very principle of salvation by grace which is God doing. Works despises grace and is an all-encompassing rejection of grace. The whole concept of works playing any part in a man's salvation is a violation of grace, a disannulling of grace and a refusal of grace, replacing it with works, and so making Christ's death a vain thing. Grace does not work with works! There is no partnership required between God and man in order to achieve salvation. What is required for a man's salvation must be grace-shaped and not works-shaped, for no work of man's will fit, or can be squeezed into, the salvation space which God's grace has already filled. If it is by grace THEN IT IS NO LONGER WORKS. If grace has done it, then works have not done it. And, if works have done it, then grace has not. If salvation is by grace then salvation is by God. ENTIRELY!! No works of man are involved, for it is all done by grace, by the God of grace. If salvation is conditioned on any work of man's, THEN SALVATION CAN NO LONGER BE BY GRACE, AT ALL! If salvation is of God, alone, as the Scriptures teach, then it is not at all dependent on what a man does or is enabled to do. Why would God enable a man to do something when God HAS DONE EVERTHING?
All the glory for salvation belongs solely to God, therefore, it must be that God has done everything to save, and is solely responsible for everything that saves a man from beginning to final glory. Grace demands that God needed to do all that was necessary in the salvation of His people, and God has done it all. There is nothing left to conclude but the Scriptural fact, that God's doing all that was necessary in the salvation of His people, is yet more evidence that His people could do nothing to come to Him, for, prior to their salvation they were, like others, dead to God and children of His Wrath. Even if a man could have actively participated in his own salvation, he would not have been permitted to do so for salvation is by God ALONE. Whilst in a state of spiritual death those who would be saved did not even seek God at any time. "...whom HE did predestinate, them HE also called: and whom HE called, them HE also justified: and whom HE justified, them HE also glorified" (Rom. 8:30). "...ye are washed...ye are sanctified...ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and BY the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11; cf. 1 Pet. 2:9). You will notice that no enabling is present here, but only that which God has actually done. There is no room for man here; no requirement, or condition he must meet; nothing he can do to get himself saved, or keep himself saved and, therefore, no reason or right for any glory to be attributed to a man for his salvation. God gets all the glory because God has done all the work!! There is no work which remains to be done. "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for HIS great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath (HE) quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And (HE) hath raised us up together, and (HE) made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6). People say, 'Yes, but a man must believe'. Indeed he must, but this believing is a gift from God (see Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29). A saved man's believing does not come from any inherent faith, but from the Faith given to him by a gracious and loving Father. If this were not true, then believing would be a work, and salvation would be a wage earned and not a gift given. It would depend on man (works) and not solely on God (grace). Such a teaching would take away from God's Sovereignty as well as other attributes which are essential to knowing the True and only God. GOD makes the decision and man is made willing. "So then it (salvation) is NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, BUT OF GOD that sheweth mercy" (Rom. 9:16). Salvation requires God's mercy not man's will.
Notably, the jailer in Acts 16 did not ask what he had to do to get saved, but rather, "...what must I do to BE saved?" (Acts 16:30). The answer he received was "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." Believing in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the evidence of salvation, and not a prerequisite to salvation. "...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48; cf. Acts 2:47). If man's believing comes first, if his free will decision for God comes first, then it would precede his being appointed by God to eternal life, and this verse of Scripture would mean nothing. No man by nature knows God or seeks God. Man must be given understanding, so that he may know the True God. John the apostle writes: "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true..." (1 Jn. 5:20; cf. Matt. 13:11). If a man's believing, if a man's knowing God, is something which is inherent in him, within the scope of man, and not a gift from without, then man would have hope even though he is without God and cannot seek Him. Seeing that this is patently not the case all must agree with the Scriptures that man is dead to, because he is without, God. Man, by nature, does not understand nor seek after God. Knowing that man would become spiritually dead to God after the Fall, there was nothing else God could do if any were to be saved, but be the One Who chose man, not based on anything in man, but solely in accord with His will, grace, purpose and commitment to love. God had to choose man, for man could not choose God. God had to love man, for man did not/could not seek, let alone love, God. The fact that God has done the choosing, by His love, shows that salvation had to be by grace, for it could not be by works. God had to ordain man to salvation, for no man could ordain, or appoint, himself. God had to choose man, or none could, or would, be saved. This He did from before the foundation of the world. A man is freed from the punishment due unto his sins and made Righteous before God, through the Person and Work of Christ. In God causing a man to come to Him we see that no man, by nature, can will himself to come to God (see Psa. 56:4; 110:3).
God draws the man and the man then comes, not by his own energy but because he is energized by the grace of Almighty God. "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him..." (Jn. 6:44). Man does not draw God to him but it is God Who draws the man, for God is the One Who has the power to draw and the power to save. God does not bring about an opportunity for all to get saved, for MAN IS DEAD TO GOD and can do nothing, in and of himself, to respond to God or even desire to seek the true God. What would be the point in offering a lovely meal to a dead creature? You'll notice in John 6 that Jesus does not include man's doing anything to get to God, for it is God Who draws the man, and man's coming is something which is given to him and not something which is of him. Man's coming to God is not man's gift to God but God's gift to man. God is the active one. Without this drawing, without this gift, none can come to the Savior. In other words, take God out of the picture, and all that remains is helpless and hopeless man with whom salvation is impossible "...With men it (salvation) is impossible, but not with God..." (Mk. 10:27). Man has an inbuilt hatred for the True God, and in no way desires Him. This hatred is seen in the fact that no one who believes in free will has ever chosen the true God, the Sovereign God, who has predestinated all those whom He has chosen. NOBODY HAS BEEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE GOD BASED ON THEIR WILL, FOR ALL ARE DEAD TO GOD. What madness is this which says that God has given an opportunity to everyone to choose Him, WHEN SCRIPTURE STATES THERE IS NO ONE THAT EVEN SEEKS HIM!! All those whom God chose, and for whom Jesus died, have been granted grace by God, and at the appointed time are drawn to God, by the will of God, for they alone have been appointed by God to obtain salvation by their Lord Jesus Christ Who died for them, and thus they believe these and the other doctrines of the Gospel, and are saved. Writing to the Church at Thessalonica the apostle Paul said: "For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us..." (1 Thess. 5:9,10; cf. 1 Pet. 2:8,9). Salvation is solely by the blessing of grace at work in the soul of man. Salvation is by God's choosing according to the good pleasure of HIS will (see Eph. 1:4-7). Salvation is not according to, and, therefore, not by a man's will. Salvation comes by means of God's appointing His chosen ones to obtain salvation through Christ Jesus the Lord Who died for them.
The doctrine of free will goes hand in hand not with the Word of God, but with the equally spurious and unscriptural doctrine that man is not utterly, spiritually dead to God. There are no Scriptures which support the teaching that man can, or even wants to come to God, before God makes the man alive unto Him. Man does not come to God for he does not have the will to come to God for he does not even know the True God. Christ said "...No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto Him of My Father" (Jn. 6:65), and, "...no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn. 14:6). If a man cannot, if no man can, then he is without hope. There is no hope if one cannot do, much less, if one cannot will to do. 'Where there's a will there's a way', but WHERE THERE IS NO WILL THERE IS NO WAY! Only with God’s will is there a way, and only by God’s will can a man come unto the Savior. It would be bad enough for man not being able to come to God, evidenced in Jesus’ words that without the Father's intervention no man can come, but Scripture goes even further than this and reveals that MAN CANNOT EVEN WILL TO COME, in that no man seeks after, or even desires, the True God. Therefore, God is man's only hope for salvation. Salvation is only possible with, and by, God, for without God man simply has no hope. Again, Scripture speaks of saved people as those who have been ordained to eternal life, ordained to believe. (see Acts 13:48). The Word of God does not teach that those who believed were then ordained to eternal life, thereby, dismissing any thought that believing was a prerequisite to salvation. Ordination, just like God's choosing, comes first and then the believing. The appointment must be made before it can be fulfilled. If man is not dead to God, not hopeless, then man can come to God of his own free will. However, seeing that salvation is by God, and that God, not man, is man's only hope, it is clear that without God man is without hope and, therefore, cannot choose.
To God belongs all the glory for salvation for He, by grace, has done everything necessary to save all His people from all their sins. Now, if all the glory for salvation belongs to God alone, then none of it belongs to man. Therefore, salvation is wholly by grace and not at all by works. This makes it transparently clear that nothing done by man, with or without the grace of God, plays any part in his salvation. Therefore, NO part of salvation can be conditioned, or reliant upon what a man ‘must do’, for if there was, part of the glory for salvation would be shared between God and man. For salvation conditioned on what a man does, even if it is claimed he can only do it by God's grace, is a salvation dependent on works. You see, God does not enable a man to do anything to get saved, for a man is saved purely by what God has done. Man is not saved according to any of his own obedience, for Scripture states that it is only by the obedience of Christ Jesus that a man is saved (see Rom. 5:19). Man is appointed to obedience, but is not saved because of that obedience (see 1 Pet. 1:2). Man’s obedience comes because he is saved. Man’s obedience is subsequent to his salvation and is not a precursor to salvation. Man is “…created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). God's enabling a man to do something to get saved would take salvation out of God's hands and place it under the dominion of man. Arminianism teaches it is not the enabling that saves the man, but rather his free will decision. Anything done by man before salvation to obtain salvation is a work of man's, and not an act of grace upon the man. If salvation is dependent upon a man's doing this or that then it becomes a salvation by works. Shout grace all you like, but if salvation is reliant on a man's free will to choose, then salvation would no longer be something given by the grace of God but procurable through a work of man. It becomes a wage and no longer a gift. Anything which man must do prior to salvation would be something which salvation is dependent upon. Salvation would then be taken out of the hands of grace, and become something which would be dependent upon man and what he does. Of course, those who deny this insist that a man's choosing is because of God's grace, His enabling the man to choose. But this cannot be seeing that Arminians insist that God’s grace is resistible, and that He does not interfere with a man's will, but only makes it possible for a decision to be made. Thus, this makes a man’s free will decision completely independent of God and His grace. And so this takes us right back again to salvation being dependent upon man, and not wholly upon God. If salvation depends, or is conditioned, on what a man does, then that is a salvation by works even if the grace of God is claimed to be the only reason a man has done what is necessary to secure his salvation. The Pharisee thanked God for what he, the Pharisee, did, but he did not thank God for His mercy and grace. His focus was not on what God had done but on what he did. Thus, the Lord Jesus declared that the Pharisee was not justified, for he exalted himself. Likewise, those who came to the Lord in Matthew 7:21-23 boasted in what they did, and were promptly told by the Lord that He did not know them (see also Jn. 7:7). In fact, it is revealed by Scripture that these people did not even love the True God, for “…if any man love God, the same is known of Him” (1 Cor. 8:3). Christ’s not knowing them was a sure sign that He did not love them, and, consequently, of the impossibility that they loved Him. The Arminian, too, is in this same category for their salvation hinges on their free will decision. While the Arminian boasts in himself, what he has done, the true Christian boasts in God for what HE has done. Why would anyone claiming to be a Christian want to talk about what they have done? The joy of the Lord is simply not in them, for if it were they would be praising and rejoicing in God for what He alone has done. The Christian's cry is the same as that of the Psalmist's "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare WHAT HE HATH DONE for my soul" (Psa. 66:16).
What a man does cannot/does not justify him. A Christian's works do not get him, or keep him saved, for his works are the fruit of salvation, or, the fruit of grace. Just as the fruit does not precede the tree, a man’s works, to which he has been appointed, are not the source of salvation but only come because of salvation. The tree is in no way dependent on the fruit because it is the one that produces the fruit, so too, salvation is not dependent upon works, for salvation is responsible for those works. Arminianism would have us believe that the fruit precedes the tree! Salvation does not come after works, but produces works. Scripture teaches that: "...we are His workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). This statement is made in the context of salvation being by grace, through faith, and not at all by man and his good works. Notice, that the Scripture says a Christian is saved unto good works and not because of good works. A man is not alive because he breathes, but he breathes because he is alive. You do not breathe so as to make yourself alive, but the fact you are alive is evidenced by your breathing. Breathing does not precede life, but life is what always precedes breathing. Without physical life there can be no breathing, and without spiritual life there can be no salvation. God does not say to anyone 'Breath, and I will then make you alive', for God makes them alive and so they breathe. So too, God does not order a man to believe so that He can then make him alive, but God makes the man alive ensuring that he will believe. God is just as responsible for the effect as He is the cause of a man's salvation. There can be no believing prior to a man being made alive by God, just as there can be no breathing whilst a man is dead. A newborn child does not choose to breathe, he simply breathes because he is alive. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE HE CAN DO FOR GOD HAS MADE HIM ALIVE. Likewise, a person's believing does not, indeed cannot, come before salvation. First a man is made alive, saved, and then he believes but only as the result of his being made alive, by grace. IT IS NOT A DECISION MADE BY HIM BUT ONE THAT HAS BEEN MADE FOR HIM! The newborn child is alive and breathing. His breathing does not occur days or weeks after he is born, so too, the true Christian who is made alive by God, does not believe the Gospel weeks or months after he is born again, but his Faith is immediately apparent. Believing is the first fruit of salvation, and not the cause. Salvation is not dependent on a man believing, but is what produces the believing. This is all done by the grace of God. Colossians 1:12 tells us that the Father "...hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the Inheritance of the saints in light". The Gospel of God proclaims salvation by God alone, and so God alone is deserving of all the glory for salvation. Therefore, it stands to biblical reason that not only is there no room in the Gospel for man to boast in something he has done, but man has done nothing of which he can boast in! Can you see the difference between salvation by grace and salvation dependent upon what a man must do whether by grace or not? I hope so, for this has everything to do with man believing in the true God or believing in a man-made god who cannot save.
The concept of free will stands in eternal opposition to the doctrine of free grace, and consequently, the Sovereign free will of God. The purported free will of man is an attack upon the very nature of Who God is. It attacks His Character and His Sovereignty. As there is no hope in man, so too, there must of necessity be no freedom in man to do anything that would draw him to God, let alone effectuate his salvation. Any inherent ability to understand and choose the True God, would strongly suggest that man does have hope even though he is without God. No man is born free, but must be made free by the Son of God: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (Jn. 8:36). Not free to choose God, but made free in, and by, Christ. "...we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus..." (Eph. 2:10). The new creature born of God, is a work of God's, and is given freedom from servitude to sin by being created by God in Christ Jesus. "Men are home born slaves; the chosen people of God are such by nature; they are born in sin, and are the servants of it; Christ the Son makes them free; and then they are no more foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. This suggests, that true freedom is by Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (see Gal. 5:1). He it is that makes the saints free from sin; not from the being of it in this life, but from the bondage and servitude of it, from its power and dominion, and from its guilt and liableness to punishment for it, by procuring the pardon of their sins through His blood, and justifying their persons by His Righteousness: He also makes them free, or delivers them from the captivity of Satan, by ransoming them out of his hands, taking the prey from the mighty, binding the strong man armed, and delivering them from him, and from the power of darkness, and putting them into His own Kingdom; He does not indeed free them altogether from his temptations, but he preserves them by His power from being hurt and destroyed by him: He likewise makes His people free from the law, not only the ceremonial law, which is abolished by Him, but from the moral law; not from obedience to it, as it is in His hands, and a rule of walk and conversation to them, but as in the hands of Moses, and as a covenant of works, and from the rigorous exaction of it, and from seeking justification and life by it, and from its curse and condemnation: and He gives them freedom of access to God, as their Father, through His blood and by His Spirit (see Heb. 4:14-16); and admits them to all the privileges and immunities of the Church below; and gives them a right to, faith in, and an expectation of the glorious liberty of the children of God hereafter; and such are truly Christ's freemen."
The doctrine of the alleged free will of man is diametrically opposed to the Sovereignty of God, and, subsequently, the right for God to be God. The very fact that man, by nature, believes that he can come to God by his own free will, is actual evidence of his spiritual death, his spiritual bondage to sin: do and live disobey and die. It shows that such a man is still hopelessly trapped within a system which dictates that man must do something before God will accept him. This is the mindset, and the distinguishing aspect, of every spiritually dead man. No matter how much the free will teaching tries to incorporate grace into its world, everything it teaches all boils down to man doing something prior to regeneration. It teaches that man making a decision for God, is what salvation is conditioned on rather than on what God alone does. If the adherents of free will dare to propose that man's choice of God is only possible by the grace of God, then they destroy their own doctrine, for Scripture says God's grace is only for His chosen, and not the ones who 'choose' Him. Moreover, to say a man's free will choice is dependent upon the grace of God, is to condition salvation on God and not on what a man must do, for it does away with the Arminian assertion that a man must do before salvation can come. The only way free will could even begin to be taken seriously is if the Scriptures taught that God loves man because man loved God first. The fact that man is without hope and without God in the world, is verified by the Scriptures which make it abundantly clear that man loves God only because God loved the man first. That God loved the man first is a categorical statement that proves God is the one Who does the choosing, and, therefore, that God alone is responsible for the ones that will be saved. God has chosen those whom He has entrusted to His Son for the purpose of salvation before the foundation of the world, not according to anything He saw man would or could do, for no man seeks after God, but wholly because of His grace, purpose and the good pleasure of His Will. Christ, praying to the Father states: "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him" (Jn. 17:2; cf. Heb. 2:13). Notice, that eternal life is not given to those who choose Christ, but to as many as have been given to Him by the Father, Who chose them before the foundation of the world.
Rather than man being without God and, therefore, without hope of salvation, free-willism teaches that God is the one who is without man, and, therefore, God is the one who is without hope of saving anyone unless a man sovereignly decides to choose Him. But how can this be when the Word of God clearly states that man has no hope within himself, or in any of his fellow men, and that man has no hope outside of himself for the only help that exists outside of mankind is God, and Scripture says that man is without God also. UTTERLY HOPELESS! I dare say that if man is without hope, this would include any fictional free will to want God, seek God or choose God. How absurd would it be to say that though man is without God and without hope, he can still choose God of his own free will! If man is without God he is utterly without hope. But without hope of what? Without hope of salvation! However, if man does have a free will to choose God, if his hopelessness and helplessness has not made him will-less, then he is not without hope of salvation. In fact, the doctrine of free will teaches that, without man, God is the one without hope. Without a man’s ‘free will decision for God’, the Lord has no hope of saving anyone! Man being without God does not mean God is without hope of saving a man, for God is the one Who has the power to save. To throw in man's alleged free-will is to pervert everything and end up with a distorted, confusing gospel and an impotent god who cannot save anyone by His will. Such a god is left with nothing else to do but to sit, wait and hope that someone will choose him before he can do anything for them. Conversely, the True God does whatsoever He wills, whilst the Arminian god is held captive under the yoke of man's free will. What an impotent god free willism proffers to man. Election, predestination and Christ's death being for the people God the Father gave to God the Son, because He had appointed them to obtain salvation through Christ's death for them, and not for those God has appointed unto His Wrath, must all be placed on the back burner, in fact, they must be taken off the stove altogether, in the mind of the Arminian, for unless he chooses God, God is without any hope of saving him. Therefore, there is no predestination, no election, no adoption, no justification, no atoning substitutionary and vicarious death, etc., but only a man's will. Like the Pharisee in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18, those who teach free will praise God for what they do rather than praising God for what HE has done and which can only be done by God. This, as Jesus taught, is not a person who is justified before God for they are still boasters in themselves and what they claim to have accomplished. THE TRUE CHRISTIAN BOASTS ONLY IN WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR HIM: "...Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9), and, "...GOD HATH CHOSEN the foolish things of the world...GOD HATH CHOSEN the weak things of the world...And base things of the world, and things which are despised, HATH GOD CHOSEN...THAT no flesh should glory in His Presence... (FOR) OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus...That, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1:27-31; cf. 1 Pet. 1:21). We see, then, that it is absolutely and entirely by God’s work that a man is in Christ Jesus, and that such a man glories ONLY in the Lord and what HE has done. I know that the Arminian does not walk about overtly boasting in himself, but he does say that God enabled him to make a free will choice of God. They do say 'I chose God'. When you start saying you did something, even if you are careful to always praise God for what you have done, you are no different to the unjustified Pharisee of Luke 18.
The true Christian knows that in him dwelleth no good thing (see Rom. 7:18), and that the only reason he is saved is not because he chose God, not because God gave him grace to believe, but because God has made him alive solely through the grace of God. The apostle Paul did not choose God, but God clearly chose him, irresistibly causing Paul to see the Light. Prior to this Paul had not the slightest inkling of what was about to happen to him. Far from wanting to become a Christian, or in the process of doubting his pharisaical beliefs and lifestyle, Paul was hell bent on continuing his persecution of Christians. God has elected, He has chosen, those He wills to be saved, having appointed them all to obtain salvation through the death of the Lord Jesus. There is no need for man to choose God, for God has done the choosing and appointed His chosen to obtain salvation (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10). Election took place not only before the existence of any man, but before the very foundation of the world! Interestingly, Scripture also refers to the Lord Jesus Who died for the elect, as “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8; cf. Rev. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:19,20). Many believe that those chosen by God are those whom He foresaw would choose Him. The words foreknew (Rom. 11:2), and foreknow (Rom. 8:29) each appear only once in the whole of Scripture, and have to do with God knowing intimately, because of an affinity or kinship with, rather than a mere seeing into the future. The word, foresaw, also appears only once in all of Scripture. It appears in Acts 2:25, and is taken from the Messianic Psalm 16:8 which talks of Christ’s “…dependence on the Almighty power of God to support and protect Him”. As if God would need to see into the future anyway in order to discover who would choose Him. God created the future, and needs not look into it in order to know what is to come! The Lord did not need to look into the future, to find out ‘who would choose Him’ for God is Omniscient. God has known and chosen His people from before the foundation of the world. There are those whom Christ has never known (see Matt. 7:23; cf. Jn. 7:7), and so it stands to reason that there are those whom He has always known. Likewise, as there are those whose names are not, and so never were, written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world (see Rev. 16:8), those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life have been there from the foundation of the world. “…this regards the everlasting love of God to His own people, His delight in them, and approbation of them; in this sense He knew them, He foreknew them from everlasting, affectionately loved them, and took infinite delight and pleasure in them; and this is the foundation of their predestination and election, of their conformity to Christ, of their calling, justification, and glorification." God’s chosen are distinguished from the rest of mankind by His love for them. Christ said he did not ever know those in Matthew 7 who came to Him boasting of their works. The Lord Jesus, however, did say He knows His sheep "I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of mine" (Jn. 10:14). The people in Matthew 7 were not known by Jesus for they were not of His sheep. Among these people are all the ones who boasted in what they did, rather than in what God does by grace and mercy in saving His sheep. Though millions claim to know Him it does not necessarily mean they are all known of Him. This powerful evidence irrefutably points to the fact that salvation is by the grace of God, and not at all by anything a man can do, even if he attributes it to God. God is the sole reason, the only cause, the Instigator and the DOER in a man's salvation. Man is merely a recipient, but even his receptiveness is solely by the grace of God, for if he was not first made a vessel of mercy and unto honor he would never, and could never, have been saved (see Rom. 9). Anyone who cannot see this, and accept it as God's Truth can only be described as dead to God, and dead to His Truth. Why would God have to look into the future to see who would choose Him, when HE is the one who has prepared all those He would save unto glory.