All of grace, or do we just say that? Part 2
This is not meant to be a wordy post, but rather a simple Q&A styled post in attempts to encourage those who may be seeking what Scripture says on this topic. I have found that many times people tend to not really interact with the text, they simply read it and wait for something to jump out and slap ’em in the face. I spoke with one man who has known The LORD for a little over 27 years and he admitted to reading The Scriptures this way for most of his Christian life. He said he would just read and not ask any questions, and now, as he studies to find what God says he finds it helpful to ask things as simple as “What is being said here?”.
May God be pleased to use this simple post for His glory!!
“28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Q: Is everyone who ever lived called?
A: vs. 28 – NO. “To those who are called” tells us that there are those who are not called. There is a group that all things do not work together for their good.
Q: Why are some called and some not?
A” vs 28 – “According to His purpose” Nothing in the chosen, EVERYTHING in the Chooser.
Q: What is meant by “Foreknew”?
A:vs 29 – It does not say “what He foreknew” but “whom He foreknew” Nor does it say “those whom HE foreknew would believe” but just “whom He foreknew”; therefore God foreknows people in this verse, not their actions. Matt 7:22-23 tells us there are some God does not know. We are also told in the OT that God knew Israel and not the other nations. This foreknowing is a term of intimacy not one of merely being cognizant of a fact.
Q: What is our predestination based on?
A: vs 29 God’s foreknowledge (or His choosing to love us before hand)
Q:Does God call everyone?
A: vs 30 – NO. Only those He predestined.
Q: Does God justify every one he calls?
A: vs 30 – YES “Those whom He called He justified” God doesn’t loose one so it is with every step in this verse.
Q: How does this verse prove “Irresistible Grace”?
A: All He calls He justifies. Yet we are told earlier in Romans that we are justified by faith (chapter 5) We are told that all He calls He justifies. His calling creates the needed faith.
Q: How do we know He didn’t call based on foreseen faith?
A: (See “What is it to Foreknow”) also allow Scripture to guide our logic. Scripture tells us we are saved not by anything we do or any merit in us. If God chose us based on something in us then we are saved by our works and His “choosing” us is just a façade to make it appear that we are saved because of Him when it is really something within ourselves that makes us savable.
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
Q:What has God done?
A: vs 3 – Blessed the saints (set apart ones) in Christ
A: vs 4 – as He chose us (why we are set apart), before the foundation of the world (when He determined it), that we should be holy and blameless before Him (what He chose sinners to be), He predestined us to adoption (we were not His sons, but He chose to make us His sons)
Q: Why did He choose as He did?
A: vs 5 “According to the purpose of His will”
Q: What is His purpose?
A: vs 6 “the praise of His glorious grace”
Q: According to what do we have redemption through His blood and forgiveness of sins?
A: vs 7 the riches of His grace (not our faith) Also note, it’s not offered, but obtained by His grace. We have it.
Q: How is it that we have obtained an inheritance?
A:vs 11 – Because of our being predestined to it
Q: According to what?
A: vs 11 – according to His purpose
Q: Can something happen that God doesn’t will?
A: vs 11 – NO. He works all things according to the counsel of His will. Not just the outcome of things (it doesn’t say He works all things out for the big picture He was shooting for. It says He works all things according to the counsel of His will.) If He doesn’t want it to happen then it doesn’t happen.
Q: Why does Paul thank God for the faith and love of the saints?
A: vs 19 – It is the greatness of God’s power that is at work in those who are believing. The same power that raised Christ from the dead. This power is at work in the group that are believing, not in the unbelieving. Their belief is the result of the power, not the permission of it to work.