Is it God, or us?

Vaclav's picture

Is it God's will, or men's will that is done in the end in the matter of our salvation? I believe it is God's will. But our will is done as well, in another sense. God does as he pleases, but so do the people.

If God has no choice as to our destiny, than we control God, which would make us stronger than God, which is not true.

John 1:11-13 says, "He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God."Born...not of human decision - no one willed it into being, or because of any earthly father decided to make a child and it would be a child of God, a Christian from birth. No! But if I am a Christian and a child of God, it is because I was "born of God", that is, my birth came from God, I derive life as a child of God out of God, he is the source of it. I did not will it into being nor anyone else in that sense, but God did, and so I have become one. It is an absolute miracle! This is the reality. God is on the throne, he gives the authority and ability for us to turn from our selfish pursuits, and trust and seek his Son Jesus. The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of it. A hater of Christ and his people, doing his own thing, Jesus stops him dead in his tracks, Jesus goes against Paul's will, gives him new life, faith, he enables him to see what he didn't want to see, and Paul becomes a child of God. This is my story, and a story of all that are true children of God.

Romans 3:9d-18 reads, "...all under the power of sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” "

This may sound pessimistic, but it is the truth of God about us all that in all of us there is a seed of all sin. This is the reality of how much we need God. In the end we only do what we want to do, we only will what we desire, and never against our desire. We desire and will only sin, to please ourselves. So if we go against our natural will, it's because someone greater and more powerful than ourselves from outside of us gave us the power and ability to choose otherwise. And that is how we choose God, because of God's doing and choosing us first. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you." (John 15:16a)

"What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy." Romans 9:14-16) And do we need to justify or defend God in his actions? No, we don't. He is God, he is powerful, but he is good. If we understood God perfectly, i guess he would not be God. As Lucy asked the Beaver about Aslan, the Beaver responded, "Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you." (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

But, are we responsible to respond to the call of God to turn and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, or persih? Yes! But can we satisfactorily explain how God's sovereign will and human responsibility, and God's power and human inability are reconciled and compatible? No! God's salvation applied to us is a miracle, but also a mystery. "For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Simply put, God must give us life first or we will not believe, we have no power or ability to do so. All life even the spiritual life comes from God. Praise be to God alone, who loved us and gave himself for us!

"But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) "It is from HIM! (Capitalization mine) It is God who has done it! It is God through Jesus Christ, who alone has and is accomplishing the salvation of those who are his- salvation through the covenant of Jesus' blood shed for our sins, received by faith or trust. It's all of grace!