A Quest for God’s Glory Makes the Supralapsarian

Scott Price

Throughout recorded theological history nicknames have been created, some good and others bad. When asked if I am a “Calvinist” I must be careful how to answer because they may be wondering if I am a Calvinist in my view of baptism or church government. On the other hand they may think that Calvinism is equated to what a Freewill Arminian Baptist would call eternal security with no effectual atonement to ground it on. Thanks, but no thanks. But if you mean do I hold to the doctrine commonly called Sovereign Grace that includes 5 points in the form of T-U-L-I-P, then yes, I am very much so a Calvinist in that sense. It is a shame that truth so precious has become referenced by the name of a mere man. But if it is a means to use to communicate initially in today’s world then I will take advantage of it just as I would a letter, computer, cell phone or any such other communicating device. Today, some 400-500 years after the systematic formation (not the creation of the actual truth of these doctrines since they are very Biblical) of these doctrines for easy remembrance and use in study, one must even distinguish further their position for clarifying where they stand.

Today, for example, the term or name Christian has been watered down so much that it means so many DIFFERENT things to so many people that it is seemly a weak term left by itself without further clarification. This is the same with the term Calvinism. This site seeks to make the necessary clarifications and expose misconceptions of what has at times been called “High Calvinism”. Drugs are not done to get me high. I do not in any case promote high mindedness, but rather the very opposite. If any know me they know I do not promote a high spot for myself (Popish) in my view of the way the church is run (religion’s way of separating “clergy” from “laity”). This is not the high I speak of when readily identify with the nickname of High Calvinist. It is a high view, a Biblical view, of the only true Most High God and a high view of His grace. Every attempt is made to NOT undervalue or conceive of His grace as being something common or ineffectual. This is for His glory, His very Name’s sake.

Note very carefully that this blog site is for educational purposes; Mainly MY education, yours too hopefully, unless you already know everything. Please get involved and take a little time to view Him as “high and lifted up”. We will look at gospel doctrine, gospel theology, theological history, real conspiracies against the truth, investigating past and current controversies about sovereign grace, define theological terms such as Supralapsarianism, Infralapsarianism and Hyper-Calvinism, looking at the different views of Predestination by even using charts, etc., all to see the interesting world of the Christ centered Supralapsarian mind-set. It is my comfort zone.

Do you find yourself or others almost apologizing for God’s absolute sovereignty in all things, trying desperately to phrase things so people don’t accuse the God of the Bible of being a monster? Have you developed your doctrine in such a way as to try to give God an excuse or conditions for being sovereign? Are you embarrassed by a sovereign God who really does not give all without exception “chances” to go be saved or does not get the gospel to everybody without exception (the old: man-on-the-dessert-island question?). Do you have a problem talking about what is commonly called Double Predestination? Does it make you nervous? Do you use the phrase Reprobate and explain it in such a way that God did not do this on purpose but rather some Divine reluctance? Do you claim you left Arminian works-based religion but still use much of the same language in describing God? Do you think none of this really even matters in the first place? Think again….at least think.

Lastly, I say all this, having been somewhat in a different zone (as what some call a “Low Calvinist” or Infralapsarian) very early after my conversion and even 4-5 years prior to my conversion as a Calvinist who did not know the Lord. I thank God for providentially sending the various means that led me a different Lapsarian view, the higher and Biblical view of God as He is on His throne. This will be a place where current and past preachers, theologians and writers will be referenced so you may do further study. I have a brief list offered of Supralapsarians. We need links provided for good articles and sites that promote Supralapsarianism. We will give names of books and even book reviews of good books dealing with these issues. God uses means for these truths to enter the mind-gate and we want them available as many people as possible. They have been suppressed way too long.

That is what this blog site is designed for, to attempt to promote thinking in this neglected area. Requesting someone to think at all is very offensive to many in this day and age. These are just a few things we plan looking into. Stick around. Visit, partake, participate, give feedback, spread the word, etc. Hope to hear from you very soon.

 


Just sayin

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Face Book page on Supralapsarianism

If you use Face Book I have a page there called “I Am Supralapsarian”. Feel free to drop by and Like the page and interact with many other Supras on Face Book.

The link is:

https://www.facebook.com/I-am-a-Supralapsarian-296583889562/

Thanks,

Scott Price


Sovereign Grace: What is it all about?

By Scott Price

Rom 9:18-23 “Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? No, but, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him who formed it, Why have you made me this way? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He had before prepared to glory;”

Sovereign Grace is all about Christ. It is the way that God saves sinners completely and fully, in a way that God receives all the glory and credit for doing so. It is salvation conditioned on Christ alone. It is a salvation that no sinner can take credit for, as to brag of any merit or righteousness in them, but only by the righteousness the LORD Jesus Christ earned as He was obedient in His life and death to do a work that fully satisfied all the strict demands of God’s Law and unbending justice.

One thing very offensive to the pride of a sinner is that in this exclusive way of salvation (there is no other way) God rules out all works or merit that sinners may try to use as a means or basis to earn justification on Judgment Day and enter heaven.  This would include any works of the Law or obedience in any form done by the sinner, even actions that would credit the sinner’s will or sincerity. No prayer, no ceremony, no ritual, no formula, no matter how religious, pious, zealous, even done with good intentions will save, help save or add to salvation in any way. This means that salvation is by grace 100% or there is NO salvation at all.

Most people in “Evangelical” churches would credit the sinner for FAITH and REPENTANCE. They do this in such a way as to credit these to the exercise of the will, making their supposed free action of the will be be the determining factor between heaven or hell. This shifts credit from the life and death of Christ and puts Man’s will in direct competition with the glorious, perfect, finished work of Jesus Christ. God, of course, will not have this. He will never share His glory with another (a guilty sinner especially).

The word of God clearly teaches that, both, faith and repentance are gifts from God, which He works in the heart of the sinner by His Spirit, powerfully. Soon one begins to see that at every turn in describing how salvation is NOT by the works or the will of the sinner and neither by any possible cause or condition done by the sinner is always Biblically eliminated. It is here that one will start to see that the remedy for sin MUST be totally in the hands of God alone and be done in a sovereign way, His way.

The doctrine of God’s sovereign grace is that God Almighty alone is the determining factor in who will be saved and who will not be saved. It is just that simple. In the wickedness of the natural, sinful heart and mind mankind will rebel against this truth, saying that it is not fair and that God does NOT have the Divine right to decide their eternal destiny. Feel free to take that up with the LORD when you face Him at Judgment. He will destroy you with such an accusation. God’s word is clear in many places that He is sovereign, not only in creation and providence, but especially in salvation because of his Redemptive Glory. That glory was magnified by the LORD Jesus Christ himself. Sovereign Grace is Christ-centered.

This article is not to be exhaustive in the description of sovereign grace but to introduce a few basic points.

Historically and even currently the teachings of sovereign grace have taken on many different names by friends and foes alike. Let me just list some of the terms and or names you might see this doctrine called: Sovereign Grace, The Doctrines of Grace, Free and Sovereign Grace, Particular Grace, Effectual Grace, T.U.L.I.P. Doctrine , The 5 Points of Calvinism,  Reformed Theology, or Reformation Theology.

These doctrines were not created or invented by man, but rather Biblical and taught by the Prophets, Christ Himself and the Apostles. You may easily find these doctrines taught in church history also. They are nothing new to say the least. I say that because some of the nicknames assigned to the sovereign grace of God have the names of men or movements attached to them. These men or movements may have promoted, defended, systematized these doctrines and made them well publicized but they did not author them at all.

The Doctrines of God’s free and sovereign grace are more easily remembered by the acrostic TULIP:

T = Total Depravity (Total Inability of Man)

U = Unconditional Election (Not conditioned on Man)

L = Limited Atonement (Particular or Effectual)

I =  Irresistible Grace (Effectual Grace)

P = Preservation of the Saints(Eternal Security)

There are many variations and explanations of the titles and terms for particular emphasis and most of the time, but not always, the core of what is being taught is the same.

Total Depravity: Mankind is in such a state when they come into the world that they are in a state of condemnation and have a sinful nature, which makes them unable do anything acceptable to God. God says they are not good, not righteous, do not understand spiritual things, and will not or cannot seek after God unless God first gives spiritual life. Man’s will is even affected because of his sin nature. Natural man may act religious, moral and sincere but the Bible says they are spiritually and judicially dead.

Unconditional Election: Before the world was created, God, in His sovereignty, purposed to set His affection on and chose a group of people, not conditioned on anything they would do good in the future, but conditioned their election solely on the merit of the LORD Jesus Christ. These are people the sovereign God purposed to save before they even sinned. Unconditional Election is Christ-centered, in that, God set fourth Christ as being the One He looks to as the only cause of acceptance and to fulfill all the conditions required in the whole of salvation.

Limited Atonement: Jesus Christ died exclusively for the ones God purposed and chose before the world began to save. There will not be anyone for whom Christ died that will end up in hell. He effectively saves His people based on the merit of the Person and work of Christ crucified,fully satisfying the demands of the Law for their Justification by establishing righteousness for them as their Representative and Substitute, once and for all time. This Atonement is the center-piece and, therefore, the gospel aspect of TULIP.

Irresistible Grace: God, using the same power it took to raise Christ from the dead, works in the heart and mind of His elect people to give them eternal life by imputing the righteousness of Jesus Christ to their account and regenerating them by the Holy Spirit, giving them, both, faith and repentance to trust Him and reject their own righteousness, thus Justifying them. It is the creation of a brand new state and standing, what the Bible calls the New Man, created in righteousness and holiness.

Preservation of the Saints: God preserves His people based solely upon the work Christ done for them, which put them in the unchanging, legal state of Justification. This means they are not only forgiven but also placed in the state where sin cannot be imputed or charged to their account. They are both forgiven of all past, present and future sin and are judged perfectly righteous based on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. God actually dwells in the justified by His Spirit and works in them to produce good works by faith. God causes them to continue in the faith all their life, energizing them to grow in the grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ.

This is SOVEREIGN GRACE.


God is No Respecter of Persons

by Scott Price

“Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34

The truth that God is not a respecter of persons is mentioned throughout the Bible. When God’s people declare that God the Father has elected or chosen a multitude of people that were loved in Christ, their Mediator and Representative, and has rejected the rest who were not loved, many people respond with; “God is no respecter of persons.” God’s people readily agree and would not defame or pervert the character of God by making salvation conditioned on God’s respect for man, or even for what God sees that man will do in the future.
The Bible teaches, therefore we believe that God is no respecter of persons in election because sovereign electing grace is conditioned on Christ as the elect are chose “in Him” and for His sake. Before they were chosen in Him they were loved in Him, not conditioned on ANYTHING in them or on ANYTHING that God sees in the future that will do. We are “accepted in the beloved” (Christ) from start to finish. This is the thrust of the good news of the gospel.

Those that would object to unconditional election and claim that God is no respecter of persons are the very one’s who make God a respecter of persons in their defense of conditional election. They condition election of God looking down through the future to see who will have faith and respects the person because of their action and then elects them on that basis. This definitely makes God a respecter of persons. Since the only true God of the Bible is not a respecter of persons in this way, any other god that is would be a false god of someone’s imagination.
God is absolutely sovereign in salvation and is not a respecter of persons since salvation is unconditional on man. Those that believe other wise have not repented of man’s humanistic idols of freewill, works religion. Christ will have the honor, glory, and preeminence or there will not be salvation at all.


If You Hate God’s Sovereign Right to Chose You Love Works For Salvation

by Scott Price

(for the children being not yet been born, neither having done any good or evil; that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who called,)   Romans 9:11

Even so in this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work.  Romans 11:5

These two texts show us that the sovereign grace of God in election stands opposed to the humanistic idea of salvation by works. Without God electing His people in Jesus Christ there would be no salvation at all. The word of God has many, many references to God the Father choosing His people in Jesus Christ, before the world began. The religion of the world, which promotes self-righteous efforts at attaining or maintaining a salvation before God, is either ignorant of God’s electing grace, or they outright reject and hate it. Why is this? Because election exposes what false religion holds dearest: Self-righteous pride, will-worship, and an unending attempt at human merit in salvation.

Those who hate God’s election of grace not only have a problem with the gospel of salvation by grace alone, but they also have a problem with the only God of grace. Yes, they have a problem with God Himself. They put God under an obligation to save all without exception. This opposes the idea of mercy of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Mercy and grace are NOT obligated. God has the choice in the matter. These are not concepts that take a genius to grasp. Rather, it is something a humble and simple person can understand.  It is in the Lord’s hands to cause a person to believe and love this truth. God’s people submit and love His truth. Children of the devil hate the gospel of grace, where the righteousness of God is revealed. Thank the Lord God for HIS electing love, grace and mercy!


An Unnecessary Question Raised of the Atonement’s Sufficiency

by Scott Price

Many today in “sovereign grace, Calvinistic, Reformed”circles, in attempt to soften the offense of the cross, raise an unnecessary question concerning whether the atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient enough for any for whom it was not intended for. The question is; Are the merits of Christ’s life and death in anyway sufficient to save anyone other than the elect? Some who would say yes to this question state their position; “Christ died sufficiently for all men and efficiently for only the elect.”

Just a few things that must be asserted here in reference to the excuse to use the above unscriptural phrase. God is not unjust if there is no universal provision for salvation in the atonement since mercy and grace are always particular and are not obligated to the non-elect. God does not have to “offer” salvation to all to be fair, but rather commands all to repent. The non-elect are inexcusable at judgment even if there is no provision for them since unbelief is only one of many sins they are guilty of. These ideas are basic to the understanding of the doctrines of sovereign grace.

The atonement is not sufficient for the non-elect in any way because it was not willed, decreed, or purposed for them in any way. It was not intended for them in any way. It was not extended to them in any way.There is no propitiation, no substitution, no representation, no redemption, and no reconciliation for them at all whatsoever, because there was no love, no mercy, no grace, and no election unto eternal life for them at all whatsoever. These are undisputed theological facts of sovereign grace and reprobation.

In short, the atonement of Jesus Christ is NOT sufficient for all without exception who has ever been born or ever will be born because it simply did not happen for them all. This point is made to stress the fact that the atonement is real or actual, not imaginary, hypothetical, potential, or even conditional (on man). It is a finished work with a particular purpose and for a particular people. The atonement is ONLY sufficient for who it was for, the elect,loved of God. So, sufficiency is NOT extended in any form to the non-elect.

The idea of universal sufficiency does not broaden the love of God but rather makes it not effectual. The idea weakens all the attributes of God. The idea does not help the gospel message but rather hinders and perverts it. It takes away the offense of the cross, which states the merits of death of Christ in and of itself is what makes the difference between saved and lost, heaven and hell. Universal sufficiency is an attempt to make the cross of Christ of none effect. It is an attempt to make the work of Christ out of harmony with the will of the Father in election and purpose of the atonement. Universal sufficiency, when taken to its logical conclusion is universal atonement, plain and simple.

In conclusion, we are commanded to preach the gospel of Christ’s successful atonement to all without exception. No appeal is made to the flesh at all, but repentance is commanded of any thoughts of leaning on the self righteous “arm of the flesh”. No assurance is given to anyone who has not believed the gospel that they are of the elect. While evangelizing sinners, they are to be addressed as unbelievers not elect or none elect. They are not to be told God loves them or Christ died for them or the Spirit wants to save them. They are to be told of an effectual work done by Jesus Christ to establish an everlasting righteousness, which is the ground of justification, showing Him to be both a just God and a Savior. Faith in that gospel evidences them as being the elect of God who God loved and Christ died for. That gospel glorifies God. The elect will believe it and the non-elect will not.


The Absolute Sovereignty of God & the Non-elect

By James Nyahuye Guyo

Luke 22:22, “”And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

John 17:12, “”While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

John 13:26-27, “Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it .” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
1) Introduction:
Judas Iscariot was born to his parents and Judas also had a grandmother and grandfather. They had high hopes for him as their son and grandson respectively. Judah’s mother nursed him, changed his diapers (did not have our kind-Procter and Gamble had not yet been formed, but you get the point). She was joyful when he was born. He was a cute little boy with a lot of life ahead of him-very good life ahead of him at least it seemed to them by many accounts of human judgment. Judas had hopes to raise his own family too like every boy on his street I presume-they did not have metrosexuals then. But whilst all this was happening-Judas did not know that He had been raised for a different mission. He had been raised for the glory of God. Like Pharaoh, Judas also had this written on his resume, “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.”

2) Judas did not know that he was raised for this very purpose-of betraying the Son of God. That God may demonstrate His power in him. God appointed him to be the instrument of His Son’s betrayal. To which the Son of God would come and say, Luke 22:22, “”And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Jesus said, “He has to go.” Go where? Go to the cross. But Jesus how? By the way that has been appointed. Appointed/determined/decreed by whom? Not by the Devil, not by the Holy Angels, not by His parents-Joseph and Mary, but by God. God determined it. What does it mean to determine. It is the Greek word-Horizo-which was transliterated and migrated into English as horizon. IT means to mark out the boundaries or limits-as the horizon is the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet. It means to decide, to predetermine, to ordain, to appoint. So, what did God predetermine? He determined by His own counsel that Christ would die by crucifixion for the salvation of His people through the hands of sinful man. Acts 2:22-23, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know–– Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;” Also Acts 4:27-28, “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together; to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”” The Greek word translated determined before is proorizo. It means to appoint before hand-to decide before hand-to predestinate. And so Jesus was delivered-that is, crucified by the predetermination of God. The template of His death was designed by God (every detail of it) and the resources to carry out that purpose were provided by God. Before any building can be constructed engineers come up with a detailed plan and quantity surveyors determine the resources needed to accomplish the project. Judas, the chief priests, Pilate, Herod were all part of the resources that God raised for this very end. Jesus had to be crucified by the hands of sinful men and not hands of holy and righteous man. Jesus was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world and sin entered into the world by God’s decree and purpose that His Son may be lifted up by these kinds of men. If you are following God’s argument you cannot come to any other conclusion.

3) They (Judas, the Chief Priests, Pilate, and Herod) had no way to avoid it. They could not decide to go on vacation on the beach and leave this work undone. For the hour of the cross was appointed from eternity. God had fixed the date, time and the people with godly precision. Judas had to do it. His will (whether free or not) could not stop him from doing what God had determined to be done. He was appointed to this task. He had no power of contrary choice for to say so is to say God is resistible. When God said –let there be light. The light did not say-wait a minute- not at the moment. No, the command was irresistible. The scriptures say- and there was light.

Brother Job knew what many in the sovereign and even reformed people do not understand. This is what Job knew of God even though Job did not have the book of Job written to read and learn from it. Job 42:2, “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” No purpose of God can be thwarted and God always accomplishes His good pleasure. And His good pleasure was determined from eternity.

4) And God accomplished His good pleasure through the instrumentality of Judas. God is the one who raised the whole line of Judas’s family. All his fore parents before him were raised that Judas maybe raised-they could not catch pneumonia and die. They could not catch TB or any of the diseases that would threaten their lives. Their teeth could have cavities, but they could not die without offspring. God kept them and fed them and He made sure they continued to have children. Judas’ mother had to conceive-her womb could not be closed like that of Sarah until Judas showed up on the scene. God was not passively doing this. He was actively working as the Lord Jesus Christ said of His Father. In John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” God was moving heaven and earth to the finale on the cross. The Devil was in on this and God was moving him too. He had very specific instructions. He knew He was going to enter someone like Peter if not Judas. But He overheard the conversation between the Lord and the disciple that Jesus loved. “Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” And here is Jesus’s response. John 13:26-27, “Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Jesus pointed to the disciples and to the Devil who was supposed to betray Him. Judas could not resist-it was impossible-Devil could not resist either. Both their wills meant nothing. God’s sovereignty was ruling and over ruling and moving every minute detail. What is Satan doing at this place anyway? Why was He not messing with the Canaanites or the Samaritans at this time? What business of his was it that he should show up where the Lord was gathered with His disciples? Answer: He had to be there only by God’s sovereign determination, will, purpose and power. Judas, the Devil and their sin were servants in God’s hands to do His bidding. And so there he was and so Jesus-the Son of God-who had all power and authority gave him and Judas instruction-listen to this: “And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

5) The Devil immediately enters Judas Iscariot. The work that he has to do needs more than Judas. It needs the Devil because this story does not begin here. IT has roots in the events of the Garden. The serpent has come to bruise the heel of Eve’s seed-Jesus Christ. And so Jesus commanded Judas and the Devil to expedite their mission-to keep the schedule of His crucifixion on time. That is absolute and unrivaled sovereignty. You will not see it if you are beholden to this human responsibility and human will stuff. Human responsibility and human will accomplishes nothing and you will miss glorious theology of God’s sovereignty. Human responsibility does not mean that sinners have power to accomplish anything useful by themselves. It just means God makes man accountable for things that He determined for them to do-things that He appointed for them. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and yet made him accountable for resisting that which he could not do-obey. Pharaoh could not obey God because it is God who makes one to obey God and yet God made Pharaoh accountable for something that He could not do and He destroyed him. All these people seem to be doing things freely and yet God non-invasively moves them and everything to their appointed end. The Devil has to march at Jesus’ order-whatever you do-do it quickly was the command. Even the Devil did not have the free-will to delay or say no. For He knew exactly who had commanded Him and so he obliged because God is irresistible and Jesus is God.

6) So, what am saying? I am saying God is absolutely sovereign. He is the first cause of all things and in all things. It was not sin for God to appoint the Devil and Judas to do His bidding in the crucifixion of Christ. That shows us that God is untouchable. His ways are past finding out. God cannot sin. God is not a man. He is not a creature. Only moral creatures sin (Angels and man). God is holy, righteous and immutable. His judgments and His ways are holy and righteous even when they are contrary to our silly sensibilities of moralism. Sinners know nothing of righteousness. It is God who determines what is righteous. Whatever God does is righteous because it is God who does it. If God does anything it is righteous. God is righteous even if He does not do anything. If God decrees for there to be sin-it is righteous for Him to do that-but it is sin for you to sin and so it was sin for the Devil and Judas-and yet it is God who purposed it. But that is not fair-why then does He still find fault-whoever resisted His will? Answer: “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 is God saying? He is saying a creature has no right to question Him period-end of story-full stop. All these doctrinal formulations around the sovereignty of God are designed to provide a soft landing about God’s sovereignty-to make it pleasant to the taste and soft to the touch-to put some Nivea lotion on it. The arguments are designed to make something of the clay-when God has said-the clay has no power of self-determination and is nothing. It is clay-a product of dust and can be trampled upon.

So, back to Judas:
1) Why did Judas betray Jesus? Many, many professing Christians and sadly a lot in the camp of those who profess that God is sovereign will say-because of his human will and human responsibility and will even go as far as to say-Judas could have repented. What a false statement. Let Jesus answer that question. John 17:12, “”While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” Just from this verse we learn a number of important things from Jesus. 1) Those the Father gave to Him He kept and He kept them in “Your name”-the name that God gave Jesus, which is Jesus-all of God’s people are kept not by their diligence-but are kept in His name. 2) None of those that the Father gave to Jesus were lost-because Jesus kept them, 3) The son of perdition was lost-lost where? To go to Hell. Why? 4) That the scripture might be fulfilled. So, Judas could not repent and be saved because that would have broken scripture and Jesus said-scripture cannot be broken. Judas was not among those given by the Father to be saved or kept by Jesus. Judas was no worse sinner than Peter who denied Jesus three times. Judas had the money bag but he did not buy a Bentley with it. He was no different from all the many folks on Wall Street and politicians. He was a hustler-He was sent to Hell not because he loved money-but because he was not elect. Here is Judas’ problem again and it was a serious problem. According to Jesus-Judas never was chosen to be saved by Jesus Christ. He was a Son of perdition-one destined to destruction -that is one who was predetermined to go to Hell. But Judas’ parents did not know that and Judas did not know that either. They too like every parent thought they had a nice kid who was doing what other kids in the neighborhood did. Play and steal from their neighbors once in a while. So, to Steve Larson’s tweet that, “man come to heaven by God’s sovereign will and go to Hell by their own will.” That is a patently and theologically false statement. People go to Hell like Judas because they are sons of perdition, they were not given to Christ, Christ did not die or intercede for them and so that the scriptures may be fulfilled.

2) Judas had a Priest problem, an election problem and a clay problem. I said earlier that Judas was no worse than Peter and yet Peter in spite of his problems with foot and mouth disease was saved. Why? Because of this right here. Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me , strengthen your brethren.” Peter had an intercessor. He had a Mediator between Him and God. A mediator whom the Father hears and loves-Jesus Christ. A mediator who prayed for Him. Peter had election going on for him and his hope was not in his repentance but in that He was given to Christ and Christ kept Him and Christ interceded for Him.

3) Judas on the other hand was clay prepared for destruction. He missed only by one verse to be a vessel of honor-there is a thin line between love and hate. Judas was in Romans 9:22, “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 Peter was covered by Romans 9:23, “ that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.” Peter was prepared as a vessel of mercy whilst Judas was a vessel of destruction-Son of perdition. Judas had a clay problem that He could not fix by His own will. This level of discussion is over and above human responsibility. If anyone drags human responsibility at this level of discussion then they do not understand what is being said. This is the arena of God’s sovereignty and humans are not invited here. So, Judas had to go because God from eternity wrote down the name of Judas and said-it is he who would betray His Son-he is the son of perdition.
Cause and Effect and not Compatibilism:
1) A lot of people who hold to a very low Sovereignty will say-see God’s sovereignty and human responsibility side by side. God’s sovereignty contains, establishes and enforces human responsibility. This is about first cause and secondary cause. It is about cause and effect. Here is Luke 22:22 again, “”And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” The first part of Jesus’ statement establishes the first cause-God’s determination of how the Son goes and the second part establishes the effect and result of it-the instrumentality of the secondary cause and the responsibility brought upon the secondary agent for doing what God predetermined and moved them to be done. The first cause establishes what the secondary does and never vice versa. The secondary cause because they are limited in power and knowledge thinks everything that they are doing is uncaused. They do not feel any violation of their will, but that does not remove the reality that God is constantly violating their will to move them exactly where He wants them to go. God is always violating people’s will when we ask Him to convert them to Christ. But He does not need us for that to happen. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1. And it is this that many do not understand. God does not make secondary agents responsible because He was not involved in their actions as many assume-as that would make Him unfair. What people miss is that it is part of what it means to be sovereign to make someone accountable for not performing something that they are not able to do. Or to cause them to perform something that He moved them to do by His hand and yet still charge them guilty. God always stirs the hearts of Kings to go to war but make them responsible for it-Isaiah 10.

2) God moved David to number His men in Israel and yet God chastised David for doing something that He made him to do. In 1Sam 24 we are told that God was angry at Israel and so the scriptures say: “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” It is the LORD-the first cause who moved David to number Israel (1 Chronicles 21 reports that it is the Devil that moved him-but at God’s instruction-still God is the first cause of that cascade of actions or events). David numbers Israel and yet God comes and punishes David for doing something that God moved David to do. That is cause and effect. David did not even know that God is the one who moved His heart to number Israel and yet God made David responsible for a sin that He caused Him to do. Listen to David’s response: “And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” David assumes the responsibility of doing something that God made Him to do. If David had any power he would have stood up on his hind legs and protested, but no. God made him responsible and accountable for his actions. This my friends is pure and unadulterated sovereignty. This is not compatibilism.

3) Sadly and unfortunately this kind of Sovereignty has been muted in most pulpits and that is why people who think they know something about sovereignty get shocked when they begin to hear it and realizing that compatibilism is a very muted and lowest form of God’s sovereignty. Humans have no space that they are free from God. God controls everything about them and yet He still makes them responsible for things that they do.

4) So, what can also learn from this? We learn that God is absolutely sovereign and because of this sovereign power that He makes men responsible. I do not at all deny that men are not responsible. The question is why are they responsible for things that God causes them to do? Answer: Because God is sovereign and men are not. God is not waiting for man to act and then He responds. God does not respond to anything. He is always the first mover and so what we see are cause and effects. Human actions are not the first cause of things. They are only effects of the One who works all things according to the counsel of His own will. The one who says, “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:10-11.

5) The other important lesson is that many church people think that they are better than Judas. They think they could have pulled this off differently than Judas did. They think they are able to repent by their own power. No man can turn by themselves unless God turns them. Human will is powerless and impotent. And that is why those who understood their impotence prayed thus, “Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old,” Lam 5:21. It is sheer arrogance on the part of men to exalt man’s will over God’s sovereignty. They do not compare and do not exist on the same page. Professing Christians do not realize that the only reason why they stand is because God was pleased in Himself to not make them vessels of dishonor-to make them sons and daughters of perdition. And that is to say-the difference between you and Judas is not in you but in grace not that you acted good and diligently on your human responsibility. The difference between you and Hell is Jesus Christ the High Priest of our confession. The difference between two lumps of clay is Jesus Christ and Him alone. It is in Him that we were chosen, in Him justified and accepted by God as vessels of mercy. Forget your will-it belongs to the realm of flesh and the Lord says of the flesh, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”” John 6:63
Amen!


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