c) 2012' name='copyright'/>Michael DeShane Hinton: Solving the Sovereignty/Free Will Dilemma

Monday, May 12, 2014

Solving the Sovereignty/Free Will Dilemma

Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed” … so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:8 and 14 ESV)

These verses solve the sovereignty/free will dilemma.

The last reference to faith above is not mere faith but is modified in the original Greek by the definite article.  It should read, “so that we might receive the promised Spirit through the Faith.”

The Faith of Jesus Christ was foreseen.  All election and pre-destination passages in Paul, including security verses, refer to the broad strokes of salvation history (Peter first and then Paul preaching to Gentiles) in which God changed his religion from Judaism to Christianity, replacing the old covenant with a new one in Jesus’ blood.  Verses that seem to teach special election or double pre-destination do not refer to individuals.  Each of us must choose to become and live as a Christian of our own free will and out of rational, healthy self-interest.

And what does God promise to those that trust and obey?  He gives the Holy Spirit, which by conviction, regeneration, sanctification, and empowerment transforms us from sinners to saints.  Only we must not grieve, quench, or outrage the Spirit, but rather cooperate with God in the means of grace that he has ordained through one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

In other words, the means of grace is pre-destined but not who may or may not be saved.  That is entirely up to us, given God’s generous offer in Christ.

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