Monday, August 17, 2009

No cause outside His will

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 22 - Confirmation of Election from Scripture

Sections 7-11 - Objections to election answered
7. Jesus confirms unconditional election - John 6:37, 39, 44-45; 17:6; 13:18 - and our preservation by grace - John 10:28-29; 17:11-12. We begin to be joined with - received into - Christ by "the Father's gift" not our work or faith.

8. Ambrose, Origen and Jerome all believed God was gracious as He foresaw men used His grace well. They were wrong, or rather, spoke confusedly about this, sometimes better. Paul would have pointed to foreseen goodness as the condition of election if it were true, in response to the objection that God is unfair in this in Rom 9:14ff. But instead Paul turns to God's will, not to "him who runs." Ex 33:19.

9. Thomas Aquinas thought we could view election as conditional, from our perspective - not God's. But that still has us contemplating our merits/works/faith, instead of God's mercy. He said God predestines grace to us, that we may merit glory. But God predestined us to glory, and thus gave us grace freely. [Rom 8:30]

10. How can God invite all universally to repent, then only give the spirit of repentance to a few? God is not bound to "call all men equally." Amos 4:7; 8:11; Acts 16:6-7; Isa 8:16; 53:1. "Election... is the mother of faith." See Eph 1:3-4; Titus 1:1; Matt 13:11; Rom 8:29. "If He willed all to be saved, He would set His Son over them, and would engraft all into His body with the sacred bond of faith."

11. We patronize Paul if we say God rejected Esau because of his works; Paul points to God's will for them both, before either did anything good or bad. We should "seek no cause [for election] outside His will."

No comments:

Post a Comment