Equity of Election
O. B. Mink
- Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
Invariably He shall, He cannot do otherwise. "As for God, His way is perfect..."
ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, 0 house of Israel;
Is not My way equal? Are not your ways unequal?" (Ezekiel 18:25) "...
Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25)
Lest I presume too much, and take for granted everyone reading this paper
knows what is meant by the term "election", we offer the following
definition which is taken from two of the foremost authorities on elucidation
of english words: ELECTION- "The act of choosing, the selection by Divine
Sovereignty of certain individuals to eternal life," (Webster). "Selected,
chosen, picked out, chose of God for salvation," (Funk Wagenhals Dictionary).
These definitions provide the sense in which we will be using the term.
Namely, "The selection by Divine sovereignty of certain individuals to
eternal life." It is, when used in this sense the term becomes a means
of aggravating human pride.
DECREES DO NOT NEED HUMAN APPROBATION OR VINDICATION
The election of some of Adam's fallen posterity unto salvation is a Sovereign
act of God. God's determinations are not submitted to man for approbation,
for God's determinations are co-eternal with God. God's purpose to create
Adam is of no greater antiquity than His purpose to drown Pharaoh, or to
crucify His Son, or damn Lucifer in the lake of fire, (Genesis 1:26,
Exodus 9:16, Acts 2:23, Revelation 20:10). Neither does God submit
His completed actions to the bar of man's reason for vindication. God says,
"... As I have purposed, so shall it stand ..." (Isaiah 14:24).
And a once mighty and haughty Monarch made humble by the exercise of God's
power said, "... None can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?"
God does not need the approbation of man ere He executes His decrees, nor
does He look to man for vindication of His actions. However, He does look
to all of His disciples to rebuke any and all
would impugn His justice, or make His will subject to human arbitrariness,
(Titus 1:15). I am not in the least surprised, nor disheartened
to find many who cry out against the doctrine of Sovereign election, and
in their arraignment of God indict Him for being unjust, for natural man's
heart is enmity against God, and "Vain man would be wise though he be born
like a wild ass's colt," (Romans 8:7 Job 11:12). But God says to
man, "My ways are just, your ways are unjust," (Ezekiel 18:25).
Redemption of the elect is God's exclusive work and He accomplishes it
by His sovereign, free and unmerited grace. Elective grace originated with
God, and emanates from Him. It is absolutely sovereign in all of its operations,
and needs not to be underwritten by men or angels.
IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS SPIRITUAL INABILITY
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:8)
Originally, man had great ability in spiritual things, he was in direct
communion with God as he stood in Adam. The total life of all humanity
was then in Adam. Life's essence was as yet bound up in the first man.
As a thousand flowers may be bound up in one small bottle of perfume, so
did the race of mankind have its being in the one man, Adam. God's command
to Adam was, "Multiply and replenish the earth."
The power to obey this command was vested in Adam. The preparations of
all humanity was localized in him. Its forces were not as yet disturbed
nor distributed. The power to reproduce which now exist in individual men
were then unified and localized in Adam. ADAM'S WILL WAS YET THE WILL OF
EVERY HUMAN SPECIE. Thus, it is, the whole human race participated in the
fall, as plainly stated in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man
sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon
all men, for that all have sinned." Please note: "All have sinned." This
is in the past tense and points to a former time and action wherein all
of mankind took part. In Adam's uncoerced revolt against God, the race
of mankind became corrupt, and are, by nature, the children of wrath. Man
had spiritual ability, but sinned it away, and the nature man now receives
from his parents is the nature that corrupted itself in Adam. Not merely
the same kind, but the same as flowing uninterrupted from him. In Adam
"all have sinned," and each individual is responsible for his spiritual
inability and depraved nature.
The Arminian recoils at the thought of unconditional election and remonstrates
by saying, "God would be unfair not to give man a chance to be saved."
A "chance" to be saved accomplishes nothing for man. That is equal to saying
to a physically dead person, "I have given you a chance, rise up and walk."
This chance is of no value to the dead person because the ability to walk
is absent. Lost people are spiritually dead and destitute of all ability
to come to Christ. Therefore, if any are to be saved they must be made
spiritually alive, and Divinely enabled to come to Christ. Yet, the Arminian
says, "But God owes man this ability." But they need to stop and think,
this ability which they say God owes man is salvation itself, hence salvation
would not be of grace, but of debt. Any proposition that places obligation
on God has for its womb the depraved intellect of man. The doctrine of
chance which creates an uncertain situation is totally incongruous to the
omniscience of God (Acts. 15:18). The terms; chance, luck, accident,
fate, etc. belong to "another gospel," which is not a gospel but a perversion
of the true gospel.
Man once had God given ability to choose either good or evil. In due season,
he squandered it, losing every inclination toward good, and now his thoughts
are only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Is God under obligation
to renew that ability? Nay, absolute sovereignty cannot be obligated. God
was under no obligation to create Adam, much less to recreate him. What
man needs is not a chance to be saved, but a change that saves him.
of the mass of depraved mankind God has chosen those whom He pleased for
just and holy reasons known only to Himself. All others He leaves to the
due recompense of their sins. God's election did not make sinners out of
mankind. Election is God's initial act in saving some from sin. If a rich
man chooses one beggar out of many, and gives him wealth, can it be truthfully
charged, by so doing, he fixes the perpetual poverty of the other beggars?
Nay, all are merit less, and none are the worse off.
there inequity in God to choose out of fallen mankind a few when all are
justly condemned to die? Bear in mind, that all men are not merely undeserving
of the least of God's favors, but ill-deserving. Therefore, had all perished
there would have been no injustice in God. "... Is there unrighteousness
with God? God forbid," (Romans 9:14).
"May not the Sovereign God of all,
dispense His favors as He will,
choose some to life, while others fall,
yet be just and holy still?"
It is God's sovereign prerogative to bestow favor on whom He will. And,
to dispense this favor to a few, who with the entire family of man, are
equally unfit and doomed, works no ill to the rest. Among other crude and
unscriptural notions is the idea that justice and partiality are necessarily
antagonistic. This deserves more consideration. God's sovereignty, wisdom,
and independence give Him rights that our ignorance, subjection, and dependence
deny us. God is partial to fallen men in comparison to fallen angels. For
an innumerable host of fallen men God had provided salvation, while all
the fallen angels are ''Reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto
the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6).
God has been partial to America in both spiritual and material things as
compared with India, but I have never heard anyone say God was unjust to
deal with the fallen angels as He did. Nor have I heard any American say,
it is cruel of God to show so great favor to the United States while India
suffers perpetual famine. None can successfully argue against the fact,
that God could have, had He been pleased, saved all the fallen angels,
and He certainly was not bound to make America affluent, nor is India's
poverty something alien to His designs.
God made a difference between Israel and Egypt, Jacob and Esau, between
the two thieves, between Peter and Judas, and there is a profound difference
between the believer and unbeliever in this closing period of the age.
God did not make the difference because one was morally better than the
other. None are fit objects for the grace of God, and man by nature, "hath
no preeminence above a beast," (Ecclesiastes 3:19). When we pray
and ask God to save people, are we not asking God to make a difference
between the subjects of our prayer and the lost which are not included
in our prayer? To ask God to save all of mankind is to ask God to do something
He has not designed to do, and is to make of one's self a greater priest
than Christ, for Christ prayed only for the elect, (John 17:9).
I have not as yet, found the Arminian who prayed God to leave the salvation
of their loved ones to the freedom of their own will. Why pray to God at
all for the salvation of a loved one if the final decision rests in the
person's will? The doctrine of the sovereignty of the human will reverses
the position of God and man, and lays God in the dust at the feet of His
creatures, begging them to annex their will with His, so as He may realize
His gracious desires for them. God does not have but one way of saving
His people, and that is by free grace. All agencies employed in the salvation
of God's people come under one heading, sovereign grace. The Bible says
the saved person is "God's workmanship," (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore,
a product of God's free grace. When God's says He is not a respecter of
persons, He makes room for every class and kind of men, for His dealings
with men are not determined by any outward difference, such as race, wealth,
social position, or any such thing. But it involves no respect of persons
to make a difference between equally ill deserving people.
GRACE REACHES ALL KINDS OF MEN
Grace is nullified when there is not indisputable sovereignty to minister,
or dispense it. To strip God of His power to elect whom He will, is to
endow man with the power of self salvation, and is to say the Angel erred
when he told Joseph the name of the Son of God would be Jesus (Matthew
Deny God His right to exercise His pleasure in redeeming whom He will and
you deny that salvation is by the unmerited favor of God. To make man's
will or work the procuring cause of his salvation, is to destroy the efficacy
of grace, and terminate the supremacy of God. God forbid. "Even so then
at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election
of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works,.." (Romans 11:5-6).
The Father's election, the Son's redemption and the Holy Spirit's calling
are all equal in design and effect. The fruition of which is manifested
in the salvation of some rich men and some poor men. It has brought many
a bum up from skid row and has caused many rich to esteem themselves low.
The elective decree of God has gone into Africa, Asia, Europe and both
Americas, but always and in every place adhering to the predetermined line.
Many among the literate and illiterate are the beneficiaries of elective
grace, and when all the company of the elect reach heaven, Christ alone
will be their eternal object of praise. And they that go to hell will have
nobody to blame but themselves. It is man's rejection and not God's election
that consigns them to everlasting woe. God's election of some, put nothing
of evil into those passed by, it only leaves them as they were. "Let favour
be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land
of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of
the Lord," (Isaiah 26:10.)
Grace Advocate - February, 1977)
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