God is God; I am Not

4 Jan

Romans 9:16, “So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

In studying about God’s sovereignty, not as an empty study to make myself seem edu-ma-cated, but rather so I will know and relate to my God aright, I constantly bump up against God’s sovereignty.

Definition from OED (Oxford English Dictionary, yeah, I’m Anglophile like that):  “possessing supreme or ultimate power.”

It seems simple to me:  either God knows the beginning from the end, as the Bible clearly says He does, or He does not (open theism is the new way of expressing the idea that He does not know, but that idea has been around in various forms forever.  Open theists say that even God does not know the end of the game, that even God can’t say who will be saved in the end).

Okay, so then if God knows, He has created a universe in which certain outcomes are going to happen.  So somehow, while God created us with choice, which is apparent from Genesis 3 (the story of man choosing to eat the forbidden fruit) onward, He also created a world in which He has chosen us.  

The great debate of the ages is who chooses first, God or us?  If we say He chooses first, then we are said to believe in “predestination.”  Calvin, and lots of other theologians, have taught on this topic.  Volumes have been written on it.

You have seen that I am studying the topic, slowly but surely.  I may never know, for myself, precisely what I believe about God’s choice vs. my choice.  It is a very complex topic.  It may also be one that is nearly impossible to put into human words, being something heavenly that has to do with the very attributes of God Himself.  

And, if so, I am okay with that. 

I know He has chosen me and I have responded, in my human capacities, to His choice.  I know His love and the blessedness of dwelling in Him.

And that makes for a really great life here, and the hope of life eternal!

   

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “God is God; I am Not”

  1. Tom W. January 5, 2013 at 9:51 PM #

    Just a quick thought on this subject…
    God has already chosen all of mankind…through all ages…through all lineages! However, He designed His creation such that in order for the actions corresponding to His choosing to occur, a reciprocation of that choice must occur from man choosing Him. Genesis 3 and John 3 show these principles clearly.
    I am no theologian or original languages scholar, but with my limited abilities with the tools I have learned, it seems that the issue with predestination is what man has written into the definition vice what man has learned the definition is from how God used it in His text. We must remember that we here, mankind, are the creation; finite, bounded, with limited abilities! Our God, the Creator, is none of that! He is infinite, unbounded, and has limitless abilities! He is outside all that He created; even time itself! Scripture teaches us these attributes of our Creator. We MUST use care when we speak of our limitless Creator in our limited terminology!

    • Mary Gardner Martin January 5, 2013 at 11:43 PM #

      Absolutely, Tom. And thanks for writing. I am not sure that my finite mind will ever understand the balance here before I get to heaven, and maybe not even then. God clearly has some mysteries He reserves to Himself, perhaps forever.
      I do know that Baptists were traditionally four-pointer Calvinists or five-pointer Calvinists (the difference between general and particular Baptists) until Finney came along and rejected his Presbyterian faith. He had such an issue with it, and influenced us so much, that some good Baptist people regard the word “Calvinist” as a cultic teaching to this present day.
      As you have probably seen, I am trying to unpack the five points of Calvinism and the five points of Arminianism and see how they relate to us as Baptists today. I am reading and comparing Scripture with Scripture to see where that all leads.
      I want to land where God’s Word lands on these topics.

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