Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On Redeemed Will

If God has predestined us, why should we be baptized? If God has made us for eternal life and secured us, why do anything at all? Why evangelize? Won't God save people anyway? Why bother helping? Why do anything really?
This is a valid question, but not a difficult one to answer. We have previously established that the natural man has enmity to God, and is free to choose how much evil he wants to revel in, but what happens to the elect? The opposite of the reprobate: we are free to choose as much good as we like. Remember at no point does man lose freedom of choice, but his will to choose is enslaved at all times. Either to God or to sin (Romans 6)

In John 2 Jesus is at the wedding feast of Canaan and has the servants fill the jugs with water, even though he could have done that himself. 2 Kings 3:14, if God is all powerful then why do anything, surely he could have won the battle without human intervention? What do these verses teach us?

That God wants and encourages our participation. He enjoys it. He graciously allows us to toil alongside of him, even though he could do it all himself. Think of your infant son helping you fix the house and you will have the idea. A father does not benefit when his son hands him the needed tools to work on the car, he could just as easily grab the tools himself, but he chooses to let his son experience it with him. He is training up his son and showing him while accomplishing his will.

So God has allowed us to share and enjoy working with Him. Not to bring Salvation to ourselves, salvation belongs to the Lord (Ps 3:8), but to choose Him back, and practice choosing him, and participate in it. God chose us before we were able or wanting to choose him, and is willing that. If we do a bad job of it we still go to heaven if we do a poor job, God has guarenteed us, but if we do a good job we are rewarded for it. This is the clear meaning of Philippians 2: Work out salvation with fear and trembling for it's the Lord who works in you. God is allowing you to share in your sanctifacation, but he is the backstop for you.
In essence He has redeemed our wills from darkness to light. He does not cancel them or undo them, they are still us, our decisions, our mind, but he guides them. Think of a train on tracks, it is our train to go fast or slow or backwards, but He has decided what tracks we are on and where we are going. It is a very great joy to participate in a project with Him, by Him, and through Him.

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