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THE SPIRITUAL SAGACITY OF PREDESTINATION IN LOVE
FOREKNOWLEDGE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
ISBN 09758436 9 9
Extended May-June- August 2006
June 2007, February, September 2009, December
June - August 2010
In this volume, there is much attention given to the heights and wonders of a freedom that soars, yet is not autonomy, a foreknowledge which selects, but is not a 'horrible decree', to use Calvin's term, a predestination in love and the simple fact that these biblical concepts are an apologetic triumph for biblical Christianity, for the lost who seek and for the insecure who long.
They are drawn from several chapters in other works, published since the fifth volume of the PQ or Predestination Quintet saw the light of day, with provision for further additions, one more being presented with this publication.
Now it is necessary to change that name PQ to PH, as in chemistry, where it refers to hydrogen ion concentration, the most acidic as ph 1, and the more alkaline assembling itself after ph 7. Here however, since this is not chemistry, it is a matter of PREDESTINATION HEXAD, for the latter term can mean simply a group of six. It is no longer the PQ. That is the new name for what is now a six volume set on predestination, freewill, responsibility, love, justice, judgment and duty.
When therefore one may see somewhere on this site, the PQ designation, this will now in fact refer to the PH, this current work.
Note that Chapters 20-23 are now with a further large Chapter in review, part of Volume 7 of this set, which has a large work of overview and development to give the whole a distinctive place. They are left in this set because they also relate closely to its theme, as does the further work, Ch. 4 in Volume 7, though all there have a review function equally.
THE GENESIS OF MAN, HIS GENES,
HIS GROWTH IN GRACE AND HIS PLACE
THE GENESIS OF MAN, HIS GENES,
The True God has God, Gives Grace and Glory
The True God has God, Gives Grace and Glory Ch. 4.
This chapter leads us to consider genetics and liberty, liberty and love, love and predestination, this and foreknowledge.
In addition, you may consult
News 45, 166, 153,
Licence for Liberty Ch. 6, 8,
Lord of Life Ch. 5,
Beauty of Holiness Chs. 7 , 8,
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 10,
Ancient Words and Modern Events Ch. 9;
Defining Drama Ch. 10
THE TURMOIL OF TOLSTOY AND THE TRUTH
Chapter 2 THE TURMOIL OF TOLSTOY AND THE TRUTH
Bon Voyage Ch. 1
Bon Voyage Ch. 1
In this, we examine some of the ideas of Tolstoy in this field, and find a proto-Marxist approach, which however, while urbane enough, does not come to the depth of that false prophet.
We see that it is not a question of endless causative dynamics in a consequential world, for this is a mere creaking of the structure of things. There is far more to account for, but Tolstoy is a good starting point.
Chapter 3 THE LAVISH LUXURY OF LIBERTY IN THE HAND OF GOD
Chapter 3 THE LAVISH LUXURY OF LIBERTY IN THE HAND OF GOD
Scaling the Heights, Scanning the Depths, Spanning the Breadth
Scaling the Heights, Scanning the Depths, Spanning the BreadthCh. 5. Though this chapter has a multiple involvement in these themes, it gives special attention to FREEDOM and its correlative powers in man, spirit and its functions in man, and the nature of love.
DESTINY, JUDGMENT AND MERCY
Chapter 4 DESTINY, JUDGMENT AND MERCY
The Pride of Life, The Prince of Life and the Destiny of Man
The Pride of Life, The Prince of Life and the Destiny of ManCh. 7.
In this chapter, destiny and judgment receive focus, and how our basic topics relate to them.
Chapter 5 THE LORD LOVES, AND DON'T YOU BE FORGETTING IT
Chapter 5 THE LORD LOVES, AND DON'T YOU BE FORGETTING IT
... from Christ's Ineffable
Peace and Grace
Christ's Ineffable Peace and GraceCh. 2
This is a large chapter, roving
through much of our whole domain, with attention to the very nature of love,
longing, pity, compassion and results. With this may be placed some later
biblical exposition and application in the same field, namely:
The Uncomprehending Darkness and the Self-Revealing
Chs. 1 and 2, esp. Ch. 2, Endnote 1. These in turn relate to Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 6. With Unserl 1 and 2, see also Unserl Ch. 11 on Habakkuk 2:13 and its place in the conspectus of the nature of the love of God, the faith which He honours and His overall plans.
Further, love and liberty, sovereignty and self, the unique and the necessary, the glory of the Lord in His foreknowledge and predestination, wholly pure and wholly righteous, an eternal enactment in unselfish love and charge in delicious splendour of amplitude and understanding: this receives a brief expose in Ch. 6 of Uncomprehending Darkness .... His sagacity in salvation has no rapacity, a holy flame of illimitable purity and undimmable wisdom, allied to truth, wrought in peace, salvage from war, granting rest.
In terms of Biblical Christian
Apologetics, here lies the ONLY answer to the strife of voluntarism and
determinism, the soaring human spirit and the crushing burden of containment, of
liberty and responsibility, sovereignty and salvation, good works and good
grace. As to the latter, they follow, as fruit always does, the planting! (cf.
Also as always, the answer in demanding issues lies in a precise acknowledgement and insistence on EVERY point the Bible makes in these areas, as often outside this Chapter, in this HEXAD, but here exhibited pointedly. Nor is this the only such case; this is the normative phenomenon for all theology, assessment of history, man, his nature, destiny, meaning and issuance. In this, here as always, it leaves all philosophy from the mind of man, as far behind as you would expect, when our Source, the Spirit of God Himself, is ignored and His speech in His word, the Bible, is either thrust away, treated indifferently, or wrongly divided by stress here and not there. This is the standard for knowledge, what He has caused to be written, by His prophets and apostles, a finished work (Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18-19, Ephesians 2:19-22); and here lies what never lies, never falls, but remains more sure than the universe, which will fizzle and roar in departing dismissal (II Peter 3). The word of God however remains for ever (I Peter 1).
It is a place for the praise of His grace that He has provided His word, both written to teach and incarnate to reach. As for man, with this he can do what he will, but he does not change what the Lord, or what He has given in His word, the indefeasible doctrine that will stand when all man's adventures finish, worming outside the truth, while reality is lit up by the Lord, in His sunshine of splendour.
OBVERSE AND OBSERVATION
OBVERSE AND OBSERVATION
Are there two sides to divine mercy and justice, human need and its provisions sent from the Lord ?
BRANDING FOR BEAUTY
VOLUNTARY BLINDNESS FOR VITAL DELIGHT
from Christ's Ineffable Peace and Grace . Ch. 3
from Christ's Ineffable Peace and Grace ...
THE HAPPY, HALLOWED and
HARMONIOUS NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN TEACHING
OF THE BIBLE, CONCERNING THE PASSION BEYOND PITY,
MATTERS OF LOVE, WHOSE LABOUR
IS NEVER LOST
WHEN THE LOVE IS OF GOD,
AS SHOWN IN THE EARLY CHAPTERS OF JEREMIAH
TIME TO LOOK AROUND IN THE WORD OF GOD
Gratitude for His Glorious Grace
from Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch. 2
FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE GENERATION OF GRACE
Grace's prodigality and pervasive presentation
from Gracious Goodness and This World in Disorder Epilogue
THE LOVE OF GOD IS PURE, NOT INFLAMED,
KIND, NOT TO BE DEFAMED
from Downfall from Defamation Ch. 3
A deeply reviewing prelude to this, stressing the comprehensive coverage of all things by God in His plans, purposes, programs and procedures, in startling beauty, is to be found
at Ch. 9
of the same volume.
INVETERATE TREND TO MISCONSTRUE:
It is almost like a theological flirtation with Miss-Understanding:
but it is necessary to 'go steady' with God, by faith,
trusting Him and all He says:
such is the way of love, and it is founded in truth.
Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Ch. 7, 9;
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes
and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth
Ch. 6, esp. *3
Massifs of Pure Splendour Ch. 7.
To Know God ... Ch. 1,
The Kingdoms of This World and the Kingdom of Christ Ch. 3
(here the nature of love, responsibility, duty and suffering are considered together, with Victorian bushfires 2009 in view)
Aspects of the Glory of the God of All Grace Ch. 6
(in this, Romans 9 is given
consideration in a broader biblical setting, and in its own, and an opportunity
for salient aspects of the overall topic of this Hexad to be considered in one
site, is given by a series of excerpts). This also is a 2009 addition.
THE DYNAMIC AND DENIAL OF GOODNESS
- From THE COURT OF CULTURE
to THE COMPANY OF CHRIST
from Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 7
UNIMPEACHABLE and UNIMPAIRED
from God to man
THE AWESOME WONDER
OF THE ILLIMITABLE CASCADE
OF DIVINE LOVE
from Ch. 7 Grand Biblical Perspectives
Ch. 13(2007 addition)
The Design of Predestination
The Depravity of Sin, the Engulfing Dynamic of Evil
and its Engulfment
from Ch. 10 of Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny
November-December 2009 addition
SERENITY NOT SERENDIPITY, CALLED TO BE SAINTS,
NOT RECONSTRUCTED TO BE ROBOTS Chs. 5, 14
With the title topics in view, extensive pursuit of biblical thematics is provided,
with results modern as today, their light ancient as the word of God,
and their applications enriching to understanding.
ALL the word of God is needed to secure this birth-right to the people of God.
Ch. 15December 2009 addition
SUMS, SUMMITS and IN SUM
Adding Things Up, and Getting Things Down
Volition, Ultra-Volition: The Knowledge of God
WHOM HE FOREKNEW THESE HE PREDESTINED
Ch. 16January 2010 addition
Ch. 9, SUMS, SUMMITS AND IN SUM
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT
FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS
SECURING SPIRITUALITY AND
MAKING SENSE OF THIS WORLD
Ch. 17March 2010 addition
Let's Be Reasonable, for God is! Ch. 6
EXQUISITE IN CLARITY,
SPLENDID IN CHARITY
IMMENSE IN LOVE
SOVEREIGN BUT NOT DICTATORIAL
CHASTE IN APPROACH
SEEMLY IN SELF-CONTROL
THE MARVELS OF THE DIVINE CHOICE
OF THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Ch. 18April 2010 addition
ALPHA AND OMEGA:
AND YOU'VE GOT A MUDDLE IN THE MIDDLE
If You Don't Grasp That,
You'll be Grasped by the Wrong Party
LIVING IN CHRIST:
WHEN THE MIDDLE IS BETWEEN TWO FIXED POLES,
IT IS BEAUTIFUL -
SANCTIFICATION HAS SCOPE IN SPIRITUAL LIVING,
IN WILL AS IN WONDER:
BASED ON THE ALPHA AND OMEGA
The only mystery is the profundity of His love,
the magnitude of His patience, and the majesty
that never leaves humility.
Ch. 19April 2010 addition
LIGHTS AND PERFECTIONS IN THE LORD Ch. 1
MORE PRAISE FOR CHRIST
WILL, WON'T, WANDER AND WORK
LIGHT, PERFECTIONS IN PREDESTINATION
THAT IS NOT MYSTERIOUS BUT BEAUTIFUL IN CLARITY
For further considerations, see
Ch. 2 of this volume, where
the relationship to the Trinity is included, as also Ch. 10,
where applications historically are in view, in terms of
the trinity, and of the nature of man. It helps faith, being
part of God's gracious provision for man, encouraging
to the utmost point, while discouraging to rationalising, which
can thus provide no rearguard for renegades.
This ends Volume 6, the remaining Chapters and more, now being found in PREDESTINATION REVIEW, which is Volume 7. They are however left available here for continuity for any used to finding them here, and because they relate both to the topic of this Volume and to the Review Chapters of Vol. 7. With the latter, there is added a large further review, Ch. 5 of Volume 7, which gives it a distinctive place in the set.
Ch. 20May-June 2010 addition
POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Ch. 1
THE BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN HAS THE ANSWER TO WHAT NEITHER THIS WORLD
NOR BIBLICAL CONTORTIONISTS CAN FIND
APPENDIX ON GRACE, LIBERTY, LOVE,
RIGHTEOUSNESS, TRUTH, MEANING
AND THEIR UNIQUE CONSISTENCY
IN THE BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
liberty not lost
Seeing foreknowledge and predestination, love and repudiation, history and liberty, in the scriptural light, that all may be seen in harmonious uniqueness: nothing less is found in the word of God, than what meets all the scope of man's thought in these arenas, leaving him naked to the word, but invited to be covered.
While such things have been touched before, providing a background for this -
cf. Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 6, 'theology' and Bible;
Ch. 6, *2, will and meritless operation;
Ch. 2 (selections);
The Pride of Life, the Prince of Life and the Destiny of Man Ch. 3, *1
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 11, esp. pp.172ff.;
Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Ch. 9;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4 (also contrasted with Islamic deficiencies);
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 7,
Earth Spasm... Ch. 6;
Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 5 -
yet this is considered in the light of the findings of Ch. 9, above, so that if any lack, they may feed on the word of God.
POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Vol. 2, Ch. 9 (June 2010)
THE ESSENCE OF POSSESSING YOUR POSSESSIONS
the reality of human responsibility, the integrity of the image of God in man in its fulfilment,
the meaning of duty and the nature of love without truncation or trespass.
This being found in the Bible, not only in text, but in the very exhibition of the principles involved, it would be folly to foul it with imported philosophies, defiling what God says. This is a supreme case of the biblical word: Possess Your Possessions. Nothing else so resolves the entire mystery of man, as the biblical teaching, neither expansionist in what is not attested in fact, nor reductionist, in trying to omit this or that component of the situation of man, and the scope of his spirit.
and freedom a mere illusion.
IF, on the other hand, the divine will exclusivistically determined, without reference to the essential desire of the human will, as ONLY God in infinite wisdom CAN know it (cf. Jeremiah 17), then it becomes an exercise in divine preference, on whatever criterion, one that annuls human liberty in its meaning, as created, and substitutes another person for the former one, not thus giving freedom to the original, or to its actual preference, but a mere correlative being, created by God. The regenerate thus simply replaces the degenerate. There is no responsibility, meaning to love or relationship to choice.
In God's choice the X-factor*1of divine preference, however good in itself, would then mean that some being what they are, in the turmoil of many events, or even in the character of their construction with this or that ingredient, become preferable to Him. If human will is not even relevant, then the divine will merely expresses itself, and what more desirable to God than godliness! Without human will in the equation, freedom TO WILL, becoming irrelevant, man becomes a subject to the confines of what he is, as he wills, and so lacking in liberty to chose to will as he will, is left a niggardly relic of the image of God, supplanted by what follows, like something painted over.
We would then come to a kind of divine determinism, where the whole meaning of man in the image of God, and with such power to choose that his very choice becomes assessable, so that for this he is responsible, and hence arraignable, with results according, becomes instead mere human irresponsibility, where what you are becomes your captive cage and you cannot break out, being merely judged in situ for being defective and deficient, or selected with no type of opportunity to be other or find something other than yourself, the limit of your will and the obfuscation of your sight. Irrelevant here entirely is actual fault, for the question is not how responsible we all are in defects, defection and the like, the topic being other.
It is nothing else or other than this: how is human responsibility real, justly estimable, and human depravity not the governor that eliminates the reality of divine love, defacing human liberty to the very heart of the meaning of life ? How is love real from God to man, and not a mere selection process to meet desire; and if so, how is it not an expression that favours what is more desirable, and hence an end to human liberty, responsibility, meaning and a defilement of life in its very altitude and depth ? How is liberty meaningful enough to avoid mockery, responsibility actual enough to deserve requital, and love sufficiently authentic to be sustainable in its integrity, to and in and from and through man, in ultimate terms ? How is man more than mockery!
The answer is found in careful attention to divine prescriptions concerning the love of God, its scope in the field of desired salvation, the nature of the construction of man, the ability of God to use foreknowledge of man, not in his attainments, but in essential reality, and to apply this, the liberty which is given by payment for entry to pardon and peace out of what does not intrinsically deserve it, the fulfilment of mercy, justice, love and equity altogether, the base for life and its meaning.
Thus, this is not to prescribe to God, but the very opposite. It is to note what He says and does, in history and in principle, and to apply His own word which provides the standard for concern and the answer to it. In doing so, the resolution of all these matters is total, without residue, and the meaningfulness of human life and the intensity of the necessity to find God alike are established. Nowhere else is this so; nor could it be so, for reasons to be noted briefly, in part, below.
God did not have to be just, to be reasonable, to so love the world that, without desiring to judge, but to save it, He came and made free the way back to Himself with all responsibility, while assigning guilt to those who rejected it in terms of that very love. Either this love reached what rejected it, in reality, or it did not. If it did not, then there is no ground for condemnation at the level of rejection, which is the one divinely assigned in John 3:19. SINCE however God expressly states that He would have all reconciled and to repent and come to a knowledge of the truth, this His desire, AND accords guilt and failure in this situation to those who THEN do not come to the light of this love as in John 3, THEREFORE it follows that the human will, not as incapable and so irrelevant to love, but as made relevant, is indeed responsible at this secondary level. That is, it not only is responsible for sinning but for the relevant sin of rejecting free salvation.
God took action and paid for the free pardon, enabled the free admission and all the consequential action, involved in making redeemed persons accessible to Him in direct personal style, and Himself to them.
Just as this clears God's name from a pretentious and merely apparent love that in fact by some mystery of Calvin's creation, does not really extend to all things in heaven and earth as He Himself states in Colossians 1 and I Timothy 2 for example, yes to all the world as seen in the context of God on the one side and this world on the other, as He likewise intimates, so it elevates man to meaningfulness of life to the ultimate degree.
Extend ? perhaps in some way, says Calvin, but not in THIS way. Yet this way, that involved in meeting with, knowing and living with and for God, covered with mercy, pardon and love, is the very one relevant for the application of the divinely stated principles concerning God Himself: and He knows intimately at such levels, what we know derivatively by READING WHAT HE SAYS. This provision and this alone does contain, as it has contained for millenia, the key to understanding and the resolution of mysteries.
Hence the will, foreknown as God says, before time and hence the human will in sin and the world in its thrall, the will of man being known in this ultimate manner, is not a distorting agent because of circumstances that limit and scar. What HE knows is the truth; and the will of man, this He knows. In Him and Him alone is no confusion, neither extenuation in soppish squeamishness, nor intrusion in fickle fashion for what is simply wanted more. HE SO LOVED ... THE WORLD ... that He sought to save in so coming. He did not so love part of it, that this part of it .... etc. etc.. This is NOT what He says. It contradicts all that He says. For this resolution available over the millenia only in the Bible, that is mere contradiction. Taking it as it comes, however, this is where it goes. Each part taken, must be assembled with each other, and none ever contradicted. It is hardly injuriously hard!
Thus some are SO chosen in Christ, through divine foreknowledge, before even this world was founded (Ephesians 1:4), so that the human will is freed in irrelevance, from NOT being free to will as it will. Being chosen before sin smote man's will, and known in reality, the will is indeed free to will as realities impound, God its guarantor. God in SO loving has ensured this, and in SO acting has done it, first in foreknowledge, then on the all-capacious cross (as in Colossians 1:19ff. perfectly explicitly, word for word).
It is given meaning, as only God CAN know it, this will of man; and while sin of course degrades its significance, and erodes its integrity, making a mess of its function like that of a radio set in a crashed aircraft, yet it does not have the last word on man, since God has the first word on Him, and ensures its application according to truth. Thus indeed, in the end, JUDGMENT IS ACCORDING TO TRUTH (as in Romans 2). There is none, in the face of this love, action, power and knowledge, ABLE to be excluded, except for this very preference for darkness in the face of light in Christ.
That indeed means that the judgment accords with the truth of the divine love for this world, that it might be saved, and the reality of the human rejection by many, that such a provision can go to blazes, or be left as indifferent, or be parodied or disregarded.
If the mind is such, then is heaven hell to the recalcitrant; and hell is the site chosen by the removal of the mercy of the remedy in redemption of Jesus Christ. In longing to be free from God, or lodging indifference, man is chained to what results in such absence. There his too willing heart goes in such cases.
Outside the knowledge of man, the will can be solicited, subjected, distorted, the depths of his heart misaligned by various differential squalls. It is not however outside the knowledge of God before any squall could appall, or laceration benumb. Hence nothing is merely adventitious, nor does what is meretricious mangle meaning. God is indeed sovereign, and it is well that He is, since nowhere else is infallible love found, for things appertaining to very eternity itself! Yet there is no sovereign OVER HIS love and mercy and principles and declared wishes concerning the scope of salvation; and thus His VERY sovereignty, He being who He is, is indeed a glorious fact, and that nothing ever escapes it, this is the pith of mercy and the acme of pity.
That life outside God is a misnomer is both obvious and necessary, since it is designed to be lived inside Him, in the sense of harmony and peace and understanding and mutual communication and obedience giving a liberty unmarred by presumption.
Thus, never outside the understanding of God through its diverse delinquencies and schemings, the human will has relevance. In its own sovereign power, for exercise on this earth, it is dethroned (John 1:12), and it is well that it is! Only grace operates, purity of love intimates. Regeneration then merely implements. In its own image-of-God integrity it is sustained. Life remains, desired or dumped. The cross of Christ deletes not only guilt, but inability of any to come home to meaning and grace and understanding and cohesion in reality, even the knowledge of God, so that life now becomes a thrilling opportunity for all that is given man, to be exercised in His will. It rather reminds one of riding a horse: the greater the mutual understanding, the more excellent the riding on the wings of the wind for both!
It is then not a matter of circumstance or education, divine preference supervening the limitations through ignorance, confusion or contorting sin and its parameters from the past in any given person, and his arrival in this earthly setting: but of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. And that, it is truth. Judgment will be made according to it (Romans 2).
It has always been well not to toy with the truth.
its limitations are removed from dominance, as occasioning limits on liberty in choice,
its responsibility is established,
its double guilt is given ground (both to sin and to refuse sin's remedy),
the sense of injustice in some having more 'chance' than others is removed,
the integrity of the Creator is made manifest,
the point of history is secured,
The rich young ruler of Mark is an illustration, as are so many others like Jerusalem, Babylon, Judah and Moab (Luke 19:42ff., Jeremiah 51, Hosea 7:1, Jeremiah 48). Despite divine desire for them to the point of deliverance in entirety for Himself, from themselves and their delusive drag-races to destructive destiny, they go, and He does not grab and compel. He laments whether as seen in Isaiah 48:16ff., or Luke 19:42ff., for the Lord of the Old Testament who seeks is the Lord of the New Testament who finds (cf. Luke 15).
Nothing else CAN provide the entire solution in this vast arena of will, responsibility, justice, truth and love, but this.
Here alone is the KNOWLEDGE which in very essence surpasses all circumstances and loaded differentiae which might seem to give to some inordinately better 'chance' of divine felicity.
Here alone is CHOICE beyond the barriers of inhibition, differentially accorded - as when some on this earth become so scarred by early horrors that bitterness differentially possesses their doubly ruined psyches.
It is here a safeguarded and guaranteed choice by KNOWLEDGE of TRUTH, and truth, absolute in its entirety, is what is needed if justice is to be done.
To know the TRUTH concerning anyone gives a basis for choice, and the divine choice is the only way to ensure this; and at the same time, the divine principle that PREFERENCE FOR DARKNESS IN THE LIGHT OF SAVING TRUTH is man's entire culpability is verified and enabled (as in John 3:19).
The purity of a love which does not seek its own preference, but ALL that they might be reconciled to truth, to Himself, and this with a payment sufficient for ANY, to cover the cost of EACH ONE actually saved (as in Romans 8:32) with what clears and conveys salvation (II Timothy 1:8ff.), this prevents a sovereign disregard of the love and mind and will of what is to be saved, so making it a salvation of the person concerned, and not a substitution of someone else for that person, annulling all liberty in the transition.
Liberty thus stands; guilt stands; exclusion is vindicated; inclusion is enabled; equity is total, and salvation becomes neither a divine exercise in preference nor a human exercise in quaint delusions psychically oppressive; but it is instead, a thing of love, of the God who SO loved the world that He wanted to save it, and took action to the uttermost to secure this. He even went so far that He sacrificed an infinitely precious life, at His own level, that of Christ, as testimony and attestation to ALL in this world that He would have ANY who received this, all costs covered, and that His truthful heart was in this with no reservations. The truth itself is the criterion, who He is and what He gives, and His word is the guarantee that it will be so used, never twisted to His mere taste, but always open to the ones He so loves, which are ALL.
The exclusion is then by preference for darkness in each individual, in the face of this saving light, and as ensured by the KNOWLEDGE, in the form of foreknowledge, of God, beyond the limitations and distortions of this world, and with no reference to mere taste or character preference in Him. HIS choice is already made, in terms of a love for ALL such that WHOEVER comes to it is received, and such, further, that His desire that all might be saved is expressed, not chopped down: the exclusive agency for negation being as stated, a preference in SUCH a situation of divine power, provision and desire as this, given in this light, for darkness!
Neither is any clammily brought to heaven, dragged out of a will essentially to the contrary, either with annulment of what the one wanted, or violation; nor is any left out who might have come, for the divine power and knowledge and love is such that this is excluded before creation even commenced. When you KNOW what you are doing, have all power and wisdom, and those with whom you deal, with infinite depth, and having made them in your own image, so that they relate to you meaningfully in will and character and choice, and are no robots for mere relish by another, but rather objects of desire, then nothing is missed out. God is the only One who has all that this takes, and being willing and the only One who IS God, this is the only possible way for it.
But look! consider: if you are pressed financially, and only one way on is present, and it has no evils in it, is this not .... enough!
The power of God, His purity, knowledge, undistorted desire, unselfish sacrificial readiness for any, and seeking for all, provides the ground for the responsibility of man both in the way he was in fact created and in his response at all levels. Its activation is given in the use of means to make so free the restoration of diversely fallen man, that he does not have to contribute from his variously marred resources, but is taken not by some event of variable will, but by the transcendent power of the God who KNOWS the case and in integrity applies this knowledge.
There is no poverty here, in mind or will or culture that captures, differentiates: God overseeing all, knowing all, acts beyond the thrall of the call of this or that defect, or defective twist. As in the creation, and in the salvation through the cross of Christ: it is said and then done, and applied. It is this which provides all answers, leaves no questions unmet, in its essence. Moreover it is not duplicable, since only the God who, beyond all, knows all without limitation, CAN know enough, and only the God who has such pure and sacrificial love WILL so act, that the residual responsibility CAN be man's.
Then is man not circumvented into salvation of a quiddity which never was, a mere substitute, someone made from what he was, by a new fiat that does not relate; nor is he to circumvent his own being in the passing parade of psychic disturbances in variable degrees of ignorance. THEN liberty is real, responsibility is total, love that is in man to such vast degrees but so variably, becomes crucial, construction in the form of reconstruction becomes meaningful and man is no longer the butt of limited resources, with shocking oversight left to a drag race to hell or some other site of his creative thrust or just desert, with heartless oversight.
The contrary is the case. With tender concern, and massive reconstruction, first in the sending of the Saviour, then in His attestation in humble human reality of His identity, then in His meeting the futile follies of dissident and pompously self-possessed man in the judgment and the crucifixion, then in the resurrection of Christ from dead (just as He had raised others from the dead), God has made all, stated all, done all.
Some thus in all integrity and reality, are won, and eternal life is then theirs, not just to talk about ruminatively and discursively, but to HAVE. Talk is futile compared with reality; it is only when it issues from reality, as the Word from God as in John 1, 5:19ff., 8:58, Isaiah 48:16ff., Micah 5:1-3, that the word is as beautiful as the original, or source.
Some are not won. Their will is not violated by force.
What then of man in that state ? He eats indeed, the fruit of his own doings as in just such a setting, as God affirms in both Proverbs 1 in the Old Testament, and John 15:22ff., in the New. Nor is it as if history were irrelevant, for God KNOWS where the impact penetrates, how, and with what integrity, and can so deal with man on this earth, even in this history, that His Spirit can realise in the very fallen heart of man, and show so that he may know what is its sin, as also what is God's own righteousness and His just judgment (John 16), and so have imported from eternity, through divine grace, what is the TRUTH. This in all real continuity of spirit, man can know, and at conversion does.
Then in meaningful life, not as autonomous but as understood, in intimate communication and co-operation with God (cf. Matthew 28:19ff., Psalm 32), living in love, that of the Lord, and seeking to export it, along with truth in peace, man continues to echo the trumpet of truth from the lips of the divine Lover, who having given all, takes some, and gives again to them, eternal life (I John 1:1-4, John 4:14, 5:24, I John 5:11-12, Romans 3:23ff., Titus 2-3).
On the X-factor, see:
Predestination and Freewill Section 2,
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4
Christ's Ineffable Peace ... Ch. 2,
The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4, see also
Celestial Harmony ... 2
Ch. 21July 2010 addition
POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Vol. 5, Ch. 6
This is a wide-ranging chapter on soteriology, grace, gates and doors, foreknowledge and love, the things that are sure as opposed to the extremism which goes like a happy dog, rushing after a stick, with more force than precision, more intent than prevalence.
It is necessary in all things, through the sheer grandeur of the grace of God, to find the glorious harmony of the Bible with itself, and through this provision of the word of God, competence to cover and resolve in truth all the problems of ramifying philosophy, amidst this beatific provision for man: only there is the constraint to be ACCURATE with it. He gives; He enables.
It is not for man to impose on it, this, the written word of God, but to expose what it gives. THEN great are its rewards. It works, it prevails, it provides, it exposes and interprets reality as by a brilliant light, with no glare. From God it comes, for God it works, it makes clear His work, and taking off the spectacles of confusion, it brings back to what actually is.
In His light we see light; and in what it is given in objective biblical revelation, there is such rigour as well as grace, such a coverage as well as faithfulness, that there is nothing at which one may baulk in all the realms of human thought (cf. II Corinthians 5:10, Daniel 2:28, 5:12, Romans 1:17ff., Psalm 119, I Peter 3:15). It liberates, it enlightens, it prevails, unassailable. In it, His Spirit has prevailed and does prevail. Thus in His light, we see light, and in His provisions what casts down all contest, alone effective in knowledge, with no competition or comparison. It solves, it resolves, it prevails.
The divine word exposes the errors of wandering or wavering human thought, imposes the discipline of truth, reveals the truth, enables resolution of enigmas, puzzles and riddles; for He is the exposer of errors and the grant basis for all truth. Given infallibly, His written word as given, the Bible, prevails inexorably, accurate and effective to the uttermost, and so leaves one free of the rudiments of philosophy with the operative dynamic of a just revelation, spiritually provided, friend of logic, cutting off all confusion, prevailing in all disputation.
With God, there is light; without Him, there is none, nothing at all.
Ch. 22August 2010 addition
POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Vol. 5, Ch. 10
In the form of a dialogue, this presentation enables, at no great length, a simple and reciprocal realisation of some of the basic features in this realm.
Ch. 23August 2010 addition
POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Vol. 6, Ch. 2
SOVEREIGN LOVE LACKS ALL SHOVE
AND THE NEED TO FOLLOW ON
Genesis 3:15, John 3:16, Revelation 3:17
For more in this field, see VOLUME 7 of this Set, named: PREDESTINATION REVIEW.
This appears as Ch. 4 in that volume.