God’s Free Will and Choice to Save Whom He Wills by His Grace

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling (Prv 16:18). There is absolutely nothing in the doctrines of God’s sovereign predestination and irresistible grace that warrant any pride. In addition, no man knows for sure whether another person is elect or reprobate. The Bible clearly teaches election and reprobation (Rom 9:22–23), but only God knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19). His omniscience ensures that He alone is an able Judge (Gen 18:25). Our desire is to exalt the sovereignty of God and deny the myth of man’s autonomous will.

If God is obligated to give man regeneration, in response to man’s willful decision, then God is not God. In truth, God is entirely free in His eternal purpose and decree. He is free to do all His holy will (Eph 1:11). All things are from God (Rom 11:36), and all things have their place in His predetermined plan and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23). At no point is God subject to man; therefore, we must reject the Arminian error as heresy.

God is free of any obligation to man, not just because man is a sinner, but because man is a creature (Gen 1–2; Col 1:16). God has the sovereign right to withhold grace or extend grace, as with the unmerited gift of regeneration (Jn 3:1–8; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3). God does with His own what He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6), and He owns everything (Ps 24:1), being the Creator of all things (Col 1:16; Heb 3:4; 11:10). It is clear from Scripture that grace from God is undeserved and unmerited. Grace is God’s work for the benefit of His people.

Man contributes nothing to his relationship with God…except his sin (Ps 51:5; Rom 3:23; 5:12; 1 Cor 15:22a). The will and works of man merit condemnation and eternal punishment in fiery hell (Is 64:6; Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15). The nature of man is sin (Eph 2:3). The inclination of his heart is only evil all the time (Gen 6:5). His works are filthy rags (Is 64:6). That God would save even one man is profound. It is a shocking act of just mercy (Rom 9:15). No man deserves salvation from God, but the fact that God saves all of His people from all their sins is cause for thanksgiving (Mt 1:21; 2 Cor 9:15; 1 Thess 5:17–18).

True Christians are humbled by the knowledge of salvation (Phil 2:5–11). They give thanks to God in everything and for everything. They praise Him for His mighty works that have led to the application of Christ’s redemption. The indwelling Holy Spirit has made grace evident to the one He occupies (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16; Jas 4:5); therefore, the occupied boast in the Lord (1 Cor 1:31). This is a far cry from those who boast in their free will decision to let Jesus be their savior, according to their excellent choice.

Obviously, God’s elect people are those who receive this grace (Eph 1:4–5; 2:8–9). The reprobate are those who receive no grace from God. Whereas thanksgiving is an eternal expression for recipients of grace, the marks of the unbeliever are quite different.

Men of the world are known by their words and actions, generated from their minds, hearts, and wills (Mt 7:16, 20). They love the world and the things of the world (Jn 3:19). They are indifferent to spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14), as Esau was indifferent to his birthright (Gen 25:32–34). Simply put, the natural man, in his flesh, is self-interested.

If a goat were to be raised amidst a flock of sheep, he would know and even mimic the ways of the sheep. In his nature, however, he would remain a goat. Some unelect, unregenerate, unbelievers occupy space in the pews of local churches. They mimic life as a Christian. They, of course, are hypocrites who produce within themselves a false security. How should the born again treat those who profess Christ in the visible church?

As Jesus’ parable teaches, the wheat and the tares must grow up together (Mt 13:30). God will accurately separate them on the day of judgment (Jn 5:28–29). Although you shall know them by their fruit, the carnal “Christian” is a deceiver. Grace produces good fruit from the Spirit (Gal 5:22–23), while pride produces boasting in oneself.

Obviously, the day of regeneration for each elect soul is known only to the Lord, who baptizes with the Spirit (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38; 10:45). Therefore, some in the church will eventually be called by the preached Gospel in God’s time; therefore, it is imperative to treat those who are in church with a judgment of love. Christians must pray for the salvation of the lost in their midst, and they must faithfully preach the Gospel (1 Cor 1:23; 2:2, 4; 2 Tim 4:2), so that some might be saved. The preaching of the Gospel will also produce those who will go out from us because they truly were not of us (1 Jn 2:19).

In humility, true believers rejoice in so great a salvation (Heb 2:3), giving thanks to God. The Christian is amazed that grace has been granted to him. He knows in his heart that He has done nothing to warrant grace. He does not deserve it. The saint walks humbly with her God because her God has baptized and indwells her.

In conclusion, grace unto salvation is freely given by God to whom He wills to give it (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16). Salvation is God’s gracious choice to give as a gift (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9). Recipients of His gift manifest certain desires, attitudes, and behaviors. Humility and gratitude mark the recipient of grace from God, as he properly assesses that salvation is all of God and none of him (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). Thus, his exclusive boast is in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Not our will, but Your will be done, O God, for Your glory!

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

May 26, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher