|Sit down, relax and have some blue tea, and we can talk and reason together.|
(You must not confused this as saying that temporal salvation by the obedience of God's children is without means. The gospel ministry is vital for the temporal salvation of God's children. Your inability to distinguish the two is the source of your confusion!)
Romans 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Let's put it this way to emphasize a certain aspect of this passage:
WHOM he did foreknow, he also did predestinate...
[to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.]
WHOM he did predestinate, them he also called: and
WHOM he called, them he also justified: and
WHOM he justified, them he also glorified.
These two verses of the Holy Scriptures are probably the most tortured and abused passages of the Bible. Even the Calvinistic folks messed it up big time!
A few obvious facts about the passage:
1. The object acted upon by EACH of the divine activities are co-extensive throughout, an EXACTLY SAME number of, and EXACTLY SAME people are involved in each activity of God, not one more and not one less, that is, every action spoken of applies to EVERY elect, with exception. That's pretty obvious... "whom he did... he also... whom he did... he also..."
2. The divine activities here - foreknowing, predestinating, calling, justifying and glorifying - are all the sole activities of God. All these activities are by the free and sovereign grace of God, i.e. not conditioned upon anything in, by or of the objects. Those acted upon in these divine activities are completely passive, absolutely incapable of helping or even cooperating. In fact they, by nature, were actively in ENMITY and REBELLION against God.
3. Those acted upon in these divine activities are EQUALLY ACTED upon - they are ALL EQUALLY foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified - no one more, and no one less in any sense. Every free grace divine action applies to ABSOLUTELY EVERY ELECT, in absolutely equal and same extent. No exception. The activities here deal with, and secure ETERNAL salvation for the elect by the sole and monergistic activities of the Triune God.
4. The divine activities stated here are all that are necessary for the ETERNAL salvation of every elect, without exception. There is no room to place other activities into the five-link chain. The five-link chain is complete and DOES NOT NEED other activities of God; and it DOES NOT PERMIT any activities of man.
- Why is there no regeneration… sanctification… conversion… repentance, etc etc?
- Ask if you wish to know.
5. This passage says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, ZILCH about all those needful activities that involve human instrumentality (means) and, are needful for the TEMPORAL salvation of God's children already made fit for eternal glory. If you imagine any such activities necessary for eternal salvation, then you have prostituted the pure gospel of grace, deny true monergism, and end up with synergistic view of salvation - which is so common even among many Calvinists!
6. One more observation: all the divine activities are expressed in the simple past tense... even glorification of all the elect! The explanation is quite simple. Since all these are divine activities, and God has decreed to do them, they are considered as good as have been completed. Those activities are absolutely certain and assured of the execution and accomplishment and fulfillment.
When this passage is properly understood, then eternal salvation by God's free grace is adequately appreciated. I know many people have some objections. I'm ready for them. If you can stick to the subject, comment.
There is the ETERNAL salvation which God in Jesus Christ has completely and perfectly worked out for His people, and freely and sovereignly applies to each elect by His Spirit, perfectly fitting each for eternal glory... no human instrumentality is involved the eternal salvation of each elect. God alone purposed it, Christ alone accomplished it, and the Spirit alone applies it.
- This is the true context/sphere of 'divine sovereignty' in salvation.
There is the TEMPORAL salvation which God's children (those already bestowed with eternal salvation by God's free grace) have to work out for themselves with fear and trembling for their well being and usefulness in this present life.
The gospel ministry, administered through human instrumentality, is the divinely ordained means for this specific purpose of saints working out their own salvation: "12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2.
- This is the true context/sphere of 'human responsibility' in salvation. God's children are responsible to work out their own salvation through obedience to the Father's will.
The measure to which men cannot distinguish eternal salvation from temporal salvation, is the same measure to which they are messed up in their understanding of salvation by grace alone! They give lip service to salvation by grace alone but in reality are all work-based salvation to different degree... EVEN the Calvinists!
1. The object acted upon by the divine activities are co-extensive throughout, an EXACTLY SAME number of, and people are involved in each activity of God, not one more and not one less, that is, every action applies to EVERY elect, with exception.
- The call is the effectual call because ONLY IN EFFECTUAL CALL is every elect called. This is God calling an elect out of his native state of sin and death to that of grace and eternal salvation.
There is absolutely no gospel call here because there are God's children (regenerated elect) that are incapable of being called by the gospel, either because of inability or not reached by the gospel call., therefore no opportunity to believe.
Gospel call has to do with temporal salvation of God's children. And there are God's children who are not called by he gospel. The gospel call is NOT NECESSARY for the eternal salvation of God's elect. It is the eternal salvation by God's free and sovereign grace that enables a child of God to believe.
However because the Calvinists being ignorant of the distinction between ETERNAL salvation and TEMPORAL salvation, insist that the gospel call is necessary for one's eternal salvation!
2. The justification here is the vital justification by God's free grace because this aspect of justification is true of every elect. This is God's act of justifying the condemned by applying the righteousness of Christ to him personally and forgiving him his sins... when he is utterly incapable of believing, being under the condemnation of sin and death.
- Justification of life, applying Christ’s righteousness give warrants to eternal life…
There is no justification by man's act of believing here because there are God's children who are INCAPABLE of believing... either because of their inability or not called by the gospel.
However because the Calvinists being ignorant of the distinct aspects of justification, confuse the VITAL justification by the free grace of God as the EXPERIENTIAL justification by their faith in Christ.
There are more... if you want to hear!