Posted On August 30, 2021

The People of God

by | Aug 30, 2021 | Featured, Romans

Romans 9:25-26, “As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

God’s election to salvation and His reprobation to punishment are parallel but not equivalent. Most significantly, because the elect and the reprobate come from the same lump of fallen clay (Rom. 9:21), the Lord in effecting salvation must work against sinners’ natural inclinations. On the other hand, fallen people oppose the Lord by nature, so in reprobation He needs only to leave them alone. Therefore, we say that God passes over the reprobate, leaving them in sin, or that He permits the reprobate to remain in their existing condition. Still, as John Calvin said, God does not give “bare” permission, for He ordains all things. The Lord has no moral responsibility for damnation and does not work in it the same way He works in salvation, but He does not passively observe His creation either.

The objections to the Lord’s hardening of Pharaoh that the Apostle anticipates and answers show us that he is not talking about mere permission (v. 19). Few would object that it is “unfair” for God to allow sinners to choose their own damnation as long as His permission does not guarantee their choice. After all, we give people under our charge the freedom to make choices—even wrong choices—knowing that if they make the wrong decisions, our permission will not have made their choices certain. Yet God’s permission guarantees the outcome He has ordained, though He remains blameless when people, having been permitted to do evil, commit sin. That raises questions about the Lord’s justice, but Paul’s only answer is that we may not believe our Creator is unjust in this matter (vv. 20-21). By faith we continue to believe that God is just even when He has not explained Himself fully to us.

God does not tell us what motivates His election and reprobation in specific cases—we do not know why He saves Alice but passes over Suzie. But He does tell us the elect and reprobate exist to show forth the riches of His glory (vv. 22-23). In passing by some for salvation, He reveals His just wrath against sin and His power. In saving the undeserving, He shows His mercy on sinners and His tremendous love in adopting for Himself a people who by nature are not His people. Without the dual reality of predestination to salvation and reprobation unto damnation, we would not see the fullness of God’s attributes and disposition. The Lord shows forth the glory of His character in saving some and condemning others, and this is to be praised because His glory is the highest good of all.

Coram Deo

God chooses us for His glory and not on account of any good in us. John Calvin comments that God’s glory is revealed in destroying the reprobate, because the only thing that separates the elect from the reprobate is that the elect “are delivered by the Lord from the same gulf of destruction [as the reprobate] . . . by no merit of their own, but through his gratuitous kindness.” Let God’s elect—those who persevere in faith—remember this and learn humility.

The People of God, Copyright (2021), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

The challenges before us each day may seem daunting to us. We live in a culture that relies heavily on hunches, intuitions, and feelings. The emphasis on the subjective has led many to deny biblical Christianity and reject any notion of truth. The witty British...

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Romans 11:25-27, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...

The Miracle of Restoration

The Miracle of Restoration

Romans 11:23-24, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Is a Necessary Evil Biblical?” What you’ll hear in this episode How Scripture Speaks of Evil. Three Helps for Facing Evil and Suffering. Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe to the Servants...

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the meaning of Sola Scripture, tradition, and the value of church history, the authority of Scripture, Christian conscience, and tradition, and why the Church has good answers to the issues of the day. What you’ll...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tweet3
Reddit
Share
Email
Buffer