Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36
Paul burst into this exultation of praise after being led of the Holy Spirit to write about the work of God in salvation. Starting with Romans chapter nine Paul explains the plan of God in relation to the Jewish nation and why they have rejected their God. Those who are the elect of God are saved from unbelieving Israel.
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He will He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Romans 9:10-24
Praise God, God through Paul also includes those who are saved from the unbelieving Gentiles as the elect of God. Here we see that it is God’s grace and glory to save sinners as He sees fit, as Paul, by the Spirit of God, says in the book of Romans.
For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Romans 11:32
This verse dovetails into the verses, As it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” Romans 3:10-11
Apart from the gracious election of God, none would be saved; for all are sinners, seeking their own way, not God’s way. We cannot stand in judgment of God and His ways, we must only humbly thank Him for salvation given to us in Christ Jesus.
Men, starting with the election of God have attempted to set up a system of theology to neatly explain and package the work of God performed by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior on behalf of wicked sinners. Such attempts always rest on the reasoning of sinful men and of necessity reject and neglect the Word of God to in order to prop up their doctrine.
Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9
Here is an open invitation to all sinners to repent and believe in the Lord for salvation. There is no mention of election here, and the salvation that God freely truly offers to all sinners is His unique call that is not what mankind would expect. I have seen the doctrine of election improperly applied to the searching sinner, who was given a book on election and not brought to the wonderful Word of God, leading that one to reject faith in Christ. At the close of the Bible, one of the very last verses, there is an open invitation to all to come to Christ.
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17
We are to share the gospel freely with all regardless of who they may be, knowing that it isn’t the will of the Father that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle-I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying-a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-7
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9
This is the will of God, the salvation of sinners, so the gospel is to be preached to all nations.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 18-20.
So how do we reconcile the free call of God to all sinners to repent, and the fact that the elect are saved? Do we set up a system of theology to join what could be considered disparate doctrines? Or do we just worship our inscrutable God knowing that His ways are not our ways?
Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior! They shall be ashamed And also disgraced, all of them; They shall go in confusion together, Who are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever. For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Isaiah 45:15-19
We trust what the Bible says about God, salvation, and His work accomplished for us through His Son Jesus Christ. We do not add to or take away from the Word of God regarding the great and mysterious work of salvation.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19
Let us hold fast the doctrines of the Word of God, and eschew the puny putrid doctrines of man. We don’t have to reconcile what we read in the Scriptures, we only need to believe and obey. Praise God for His mercy to us through His Son Jesus Christ!