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Rom. 9 & Eph. 1
Eph. 1 - Exegesis
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Calvinists believe God has chosen only certain individuals to be saved, based entirely on His sovereignty. By this they mean that God does not take into consideration any future faith or response to His grace by the individual. Rather, He decides whom He will save completely independently of man's own will. Since mankind is allegedly incapable of responding to God's grace apart from God's choosing him, and infusing the revelation necessary to receive salvation, God has essentially condemned the majority of the human race to hell with absolutely no chance of salvation. While Calvinists claim that the reason God created the mass of doomed humanity was to show his justice in condemning sin, the effect of such a display is no monument to God, but a stain on His character. The bulk of human race was essentially created to be the objects of the wrath of God for all eternity. The implications of this concept on the integrity and character of God are staggering. His cruelty and sadism are incomprehensible! What would we think of someone who goes out and buys a puppy so he can take it home and torture it night and day (as a monument to his "justice") when the poor animal continually relieves himself on the carpet? Rather than putting the poor animal outside, and training it, he just continues to torture it? This is NOT the God of the Bible. Granted, most of mankind will suffer the wrath of God forever. But, that is NOT God's intent, nor His purpose for man.
The Scriptures plainly teach that salvation is available to all who will receive (John 3:16, Acts 17:30, 1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, Rev. 22:17). If God offers salvation to only an elect few, then God's offers in Scripture of salvation to "whosoever will" are not genuine. How can God say to the lost, "whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely," and then hold the water of life out of reach from the majority of mankind? This kind of reasoning reduces God to a cruel prankster. The many offers of salvation to "whosoever will" viewed in light of Calvinism leads to the inescapable conclusion that such offers are disingenuous. If Calvinism is true, God is not being totally honest in such Scriptures. He gives the impression that the cause of man's damnation is his own choice to remain in his sin, and that all he need do is respond to God of his free will, and God will save him. Yet, He knows that it is utterly impossible for man to do so. To give this impression, when in fact God has made no provision for his salvation (limited atonement), makes God into a cruel prankster. This also impugns God's character. If this is the God of the Bible, then a specific example of His disingenuous offer of salvation, and His taunting the sinner, is found in Genesis 4:7.
God told Cain that he too could be accepted. God laid out for Cain a scenario where the entire history of humanity could have been different, if only Cain would repent, and willingly bring the offering God required. If Cain would "do well," God would accept Him, and he would rule over his younger brother. But, Cain did not repent. He instead killed his brother. He was obviously not one of the "elect" according to Calvinism. Why then did God offer salvation to him personally? Why did God ask Cain, "shalt thou not be accepted?" Was God taunting him? The obvious answer is that God genuinely desired that Cain would repent and be saved. His offer of salvation was genuine. Cain made his choice of his own free will, and suffered the consequences of that choice.
That God calls even those who will ultimately reject Him, can be shown from many passages. Saul was "CHOSEN" (elect) by God to be king of Israel.
1 Sam 10:23-24
Even after God's election of Saul to be king of Israel, God later rejected him.
1 Sam 15:23
Although this passage is not speaking of salvation, there is a clear principle apparent in the story of Saul. The same precedent regarding God's "election" to be the king can also be applied to God's "election" regarding individual salvation. God "chose" a man knowing full well that later He would reject that same man, and remove him from being king. This concept flies in the face of Calvinism's five points.
God is not a monster. He did not create millions of people for the sole purpose of torturing them forever (as monuments of His justice). The Bible teaches plainly that God's will is that all be saved.
1 Timothy 2
2 Peter 3
Here God's will is clearly laid out. His heart is exposed for us to see. It is His sincere desire that every single person be saved. He does not want to condemn anyone. God weeps over the lost. Yet, Calvinists insist that God chose only a small number to save. His decision is based solely on His own sovereign choosing. If this is so, God's desire is completely contrary to His actions! On the one hand, He strongly desires to save ALL. He is sovereign and all powerful, so He can save the non-elect just as easily as the "elect." Yet, He chooses to save only a select few. God does not act rationally, according to His own will, in Calvinism!
Even after being "elect" of God, Peter indicated that it is our responsibility and within our power to make our "calling" and "election" sure. This is utterly impossible in Calvinism.
2 Pet 1:10