The Impotent god of a Sovereign People?
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” - John 6:44 ESV

     Vincent Cheung, an outspoken and widely known Christian of our day says this regarding God’s sovereignty in our salvation:

“you think I will tell you, God has sent Christ to make salvation possible (emphasis mine) for everyone, even you, so that in the end you will determine your own destiny…… But God has not left even this for the sinner to determine. Jesus says that no one can be saved except the Father has chosen him; unless God first shows you mercy, you will not and cannot choose him. Thus even in this aspect you are powerless, and you are completely at His mercy.” (V. Cheung).

     A constant occurrence within modern day evangelicalism is the notion that the God of Scripture is in Heaven wringing His hands, crying, because His creation will not come to Him for salvation, and that He has done all that He can to save them. Within this view is the thinking that the will of man is untouchable by God, and that He will not force Himself on His creation; that He will only try to “woo” people to come to His Son Jesus, not that He will as Scripture teaches “draw” His people to His Son irresistibly. As we move forward in this short essay a case will be made for the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation, and a hope that with the apostle Paul you will say: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” - Phil. 2:13 ESV

     Is the will of man neutral and left untouched by God, so as to preserve the free choice of His creatures in regards to salvation? A prevailing belief in Christendom is that for God to affect the will of man is to do violence to the autonomy and free agency that He has granted him. But the question this writer has is: where is this stated in the Scriptures? The answer is that it is not. The only proof needed to show that it is not there stated, is the Bible itself. This belief in the autonomy and free will of man originated in the sinful mind of man, and has been held up as scriptural when in fact there is not one verse to confirm or prove its validity; the burden of proof is left on the one who holds to these beliefs. If one is open to the possibility that indeed God does act upon the will of man when He saves him then the Scripture is replete with proofs of this very fact. For instance, let’s look at the verse quoted at the conclusion of my introduction:

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” - Phil. 2:13 ESV

     Where is there in this verse any possibility of the change of man’s will attributed to man himself? You might say: “Yes, but this is after a man has given himself to God and is already saved!”, very well then, are you willing to admit that you in fact do not belong to God and are not saved? Because you are in fact unwilling to have God working on or changing your will as we speak, for Scripture clearly states:

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” - 1 Cor. 2:14

     Once again, Scripture is clear, that it is God who changes the will of man to make him willing to fulfill His purpose and pleasure, even when it comes to the saving of man himself. After all, the regeneration (spiritual birth) of God’s people is indeed also, “His good pleasure”(Phil.2:13). Now we will move on to the proof that man is unable to come to Christ on his own.

     Along with the aforementioned beliefs within modern evangelicalism is the belief that since God does not affect the will of man, man is able to obey the call of Scripture to come to Christ for salvation. Once again we have a conflict between the mind of sinful man, and the mind of God. Who shall we believe? Paul the apostle to the Gentiles had no trouble with the reality of God being the One Who gets all of the glory and credit in regards to the salvation of His people. So when it came to the subject of “what can man do?” he tells us this in regards to the faith we have in Christ for salvation:

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” - Phil. 1:29 ESV

     As stated in the introduction, Jesus told His audience:“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44) further proving that God is sovereign in the salvation of His people, and that He hasn’t left it up to us to come to Him of our own “free will”. How is this proven? Read your Bible again. Lastly, we will prove God’s sovereignty in salvation by the fact that man has no desire whatsoever to come to Christ for salvation.

     Existent with the views of the modern evangelical mind is the belief that an unregenerate (spiritually dead), carnal, fleshly minded man/woman, there can be the desire to come to Jesus for salvation from sin. The question this writer will ask again is this: where is this in Scripture? You already know my answer. So I will quickly give you proof that there is in fact NO inherent desire within any person to ever come to Jesus for salvation. The apostle Paul once again smashes the pride of sinful man by making this statement pertaining to how man thinks about the sovereign God:

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God” - Rom. 8:7 NIV

     What does Paul mean when he says we are “hostile” to God? In the original Greek manuscripts the word for “hostile” is “eáxqra”(Strong’s) which means: “to have a hatred for; to be at war with”. Even someone who has great rhetorical abilities couldn’t make Romans 8:7 say that man, in and of himself has or can work up the desire to come to God, without God first changing his mind and will. Now we will move on to sum up what we have covered so far regarding the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of man.

     It is my heart’s desire to have this essay be used by the Spirit of God to stir up the hearts of its readers who are in opposition to the Scriptures (and God Himself), to search for themselves to see if the views presented here of this writer are the product of some man-made system of thought, or are the teachings of Scripture itself. The proof has been laid down as to the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of man, with the Scriptural view of man’s will, desire, and natural abilities. The views of this writer are believed to be both honoring and glorifying to God and give to Him the credit due for the salvation of His people. In closing, with the apostle to the Gentiles, I will end with his words to Timothy:

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” - 2 Tim. 2:24-26 ESV

     - Travis Findley

Vincent Cheung, ”Prayer and Revelation” pg. 19

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible pg. 108; Nelson Publishers
Holy Bible English Standard Version

Topics: Pristine Grace Gospel Distinctives
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