The Equity of Election Elder O. B. Mink
The Equity of Election
Elder O. B. Mink
Pastor – Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
„Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, 0 house of Israel; Is not My way equal? Are not your ways unequal?” (Ezekiel 18:25) „… Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)
Invariably He shall, He cannot do otherwise. „As for God, His way is perfect…” (Psalms 18:30).
Lest I presume too much, and take for granted everyone reading this paper knows what is meant by the term „election”, we offer the following definition which is taken from two of the foremost authorities on elucidation of english words: ELECTION- „The act of choosing, the selection by Divine Sovereignty of certain individuals to eternal life,” (Webster). „Selected, chosen, picked out, chose of God for salvation,” (Funk Wagenhals Dictionary). These definitions provide the sense in which we will be using the term. Namely, „The selection by Divine sovereignty of certain individuals to eternal life.” It is, when used in this sense the term becomes a means of aggravating human pride.
GOD’S DECREES DO NOT NEED HUMAN APPROBATION OR VINDICATION
The election of some of Adam’s fallen posterity unto salvation is a Sovereign act of God. God’s determinations are not submitted to man for approbation, for God’s determinations are co-eternal with God. God’s purpose to create Adam is of no greater antiquity than His purpose to drown Pharaoh, or to crucify His Son, or damn Lucifer in the lake of fire, (Genesis 1:26, Exodus 9:16, Acts 2:23, Revelation 20:10). Neither does God submit His completed actions to the bar of man’s reason for vindication. God says, „… As I have purposed, so shall it stand …” (Isaiah 14:24). And a once mighty and haughty Monarch made humble by the exercise of God’s power said, „… None can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” (Daniel 4:35).
God does not need the approbation of man ere He executes His decrees, nor does He look to man for vindication of His actions. However, He does look to all of His disciples to rebuke any and all
‘that would impugn His justice, or make His will subject to human arbitrariness, (Titus 1:15). I am not in the least surprised, nor disheartened to find many who cry out against the doctrine of Sovereign election, and in their arraignment of God indict Him for being unjust, for natural man’s heart is enmity against God, and „Vain man would be wise though he be born like a wild ass’s colt,” (Romans 8:7 Job 11:12). But God says to man, „My ways are just, your ways are unjust,” (Ezekiel 18:25).
Redemption of the elect is God’s exclusive work and He accomplishes it by His sovereign, free and unmerited grace. Elective grace originated with God, and emanates from Him. It is absolutely sovereign in all of its operations, and needs not to be underwritten by men or angels.
MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS SPIRITUAL INABILITY
„So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8) Originally, man had great ability in spiritual things, he was in direct communion with God as he stood in Adam. The total life of all humanity was then in Adam. Life’s essence was as yet bound up in the first man. As a thousand flowers may be bound up in one small bottle of perfume, so did the race of mankind have its being in the one man, Adam. God’s command to Adam was, „Multiply and replenish the earth.”
The power to obey this command was vested in Adam. The preparations of all humanity was localized in him. Its forces were not as yet disturbed nor distributed. The power to reproduce which now exist in individual men were then unified and localized in Adam. ADAM’S WILL WAS YET THE WILL OF EVERY HUMAN SPECIE. Thus, it is, the whole human race participated in the fall, as plainly stated in Romans 5:12, „Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Please note: „All have sinned.” This is in the past tense and points to a former time and action wherein all of mankind took part. In Adam’s uncoerced revolt against God, the race of mankind became corrupt, and are, by nature, the children of wrath. Man had spiritual ability, but sinned it away, and the nature man now receives from his parents is the nature that corrupted itself in Adam. Not merely the same kind, but the same as flowing uninterrupted from him. In Adam „all have sinned,” and each individual is responsible for his spiritual inability and depraved nature.
The Arminian recoils at the thought of unconditional election and remonstrates by saying, „God would be unfair not to give man a chance to be saved.” A „chance” to be saved accomplishes nothing for man. That is equal to saying to a physically dead person, „I have given you a chance, rise up and walk.” This chance is of no value to the dead person because the ability to walk is absent. Lost people are spiritually dead and destitute of all ability to come to Christ. Therefore, if any are to be saved they must be made spiritually alive, and Divinely enabled to come to Christ. Yet, the Arminian says, „But God owes man this ability.” But they need to stop and think, this ability which they say God owes man is salvation itself, hence salvation would not be of grace, but of debt. Any proposition that places obligation on God has for its womb the depraved intellect of man. The doctrine of chance which creates an uncertain situation is totally incongruous to the omniscience of God (Acts. 15:18). The terms; chance, luck, accident, fate, etc. belong to „another gospel,” which is not a gospel but a perversion of the true gospel.
Man once had God given ability to choose either good or evil. In due season, he squandered it, losing every inclination toward good, and now his thoughts are only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Is God under obligation to renew that ability? Nay, absolute sovereignty cannot be obligated. God was under no obligation to create Adam, much less to recreate him. What man needs is not a chance to be saved, but a change that saves him.
ELECTION AND PARTIALITY
Out of the mass of depraved mankind God has chosen those whom He pleased for just and holy reasons known only to Himself. All others He leaves to the due recompense of their sins. God’s election did not make sinners out of mankind. Election is God’s initial act in saving some from sin. If a rich man chooses one beggar out of many, and gives him wealth, can it be truthfully charged, by so doing, he fixes the perpetual poverty of the other beggars? Nay, all are merit less, and none are the worse off.
Is there inequity in God to choose out of fallen mankind a few when all are justly condemned to die? Bear in mind, that all men are not merely undeserving of the least of God’s favors, but ill-deserving. Therefore, had all perished there would have been no injustice in God. „… Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid,” (Romans 9:14).
„May not the Sovereign God of all,
dispense His favors as He will,
choose some to life, while others fall,
yet be just and holy still?”
It is God’s sovereign prerogative to bestow favor on whom He will. And, to dispense this favor to a few, who with the entire family of man, are equally unfit and doomed, works no ill to the rest. Among other crude and unscriptural notions is the idea that justice and partiality are necessarily antagonistic. This deserves more consideration. God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and independence give Him rights that our ignorance, subjection, and dependence deny us. God is partial to fallen men in comparison to fallen angels. For an innumerable host of fallen men God had provided salvation, while all the fallen angels are ”Reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6).
God has been partial to America in both spiritual and material things as compared with India, but I have never heard anyone say God was unjust to deal with the fallen angels as He did. Nor have I heard any American say, it is cruel of God to show so great favor to the United States while India suffers perpetual famine. None can successfully argue against the fact, that God could have, had He been pleased, saved all the fallen angels, and He certainly was not bound to make America affluent, nor is India’s poverty something alien to His designs.
God made a difference between Israel and Egypt, Jacob and Esau, between the two thieves, between Peter and Judas, and there is a profound difference between the believer and unbeliever in this closing period of the age. God did not make the difference because one was morally better than the other. None are fit objects for the grace of God, and man by nature, „hath no preeminence above a beast,” (Ecclesiastes 3:19). When we pray and ask God to save people, are we not asking God to make a difference between the subjects of our prayer and the lost which are not included in our prayer? To ask God to save all of mankind is to ask God to do something He has not designed to do, and is to make of one’s self a greater priest than Christ, for Christ prayed only for the elect, (John 17:9). I have not as yet, found the Arminian who prayed God to leave the salvation of their loved ones to the freedom of their own will. Why pray to God at all for the salvation of a loved one if the final decision rests in the person’s will? The doctrine of the sovereignty of the human will reverses the position of God and man, and lays God in the dust at the feet of His creatures, begging them to annex their will with His, so as He may realize His gracious desires for them. God does not have but one way of saving His people, and that is by free grace. All agencies employed in the salvation of God’s people come under one heading, sovereign grace. The Bible says the saved person is „God’s workmanship,” (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, a product of God’s free grace. When God’s says He is not a respecter of persons, He makes room for every class and kind of men, for His dealings with men are not determined by any outward difference, such as race, wealth, social position, or any such thing. But it involves no respect of persons to make a difference between equally ill deserving people.
SAVING GRACE REACHES ALL KINDS OF MEN
Grace is nullified when there is not indisputable sovereignty to minister, or dispense it. To strip God of His power to elect whom He will, is to endow man with the power of self salvation, and is to say the Angel erred when he told Joseph the name of the Son of God would be Jesus (Matthew 1:21).
Deny God His right to exercise His pleasure in redeeming whom He will and you deny that salvation is by the unmerited favor of God. To make man’s will or work the procuring cause of his salvation, is to destroy the efficacy of grace, and terminate the supremacy of God. God forbid. „Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works,..” (Romans 11:5-6). The Father’s election, the Son’s redemption and the Holy Spirit’s calling are all equal in design and effect. The fruition of which is manifested in the salvation of some rich men and some poor men. It has brought many a bum up from skid row and has caused many rich to esteem themselves low. The elective decree of God has gone into Africa, Asia, Europe and both Americas, but always and in every place adhering to the predetermined line. Many among the literate and illiterate are the beneficiaries of elective grace, and when all the company of the elect reach heaven, Christ alone will be their eternal object of praise. And they that go to hell will have nobody to blame but themselves. It is man’s rejection and not God’s election that consigns them to everlasting woe. God’s election of some, put nothing of evil into those passed by, it only leaves them as they were. „Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord,” (Isaiah 26:10.)
(Sovereign Grace Advocate – February, 1977