Thesis #75 of 95 - Christ as personal Saviour may only be apprehended by those the Father chooses for Him
John6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John1:12-13 As many as received (Christ), to them God gave the capacity to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
Rom7:24-25a Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God (it is) through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Rom8:29 For those He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
Heb1:3 (Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, who upholds all things by the word of His power, and who when He had provided a purification of sins (καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος), sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Jn14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been such a long time with you and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father; so why say ‘Show us the Father’”?
Jesus is later joined by Paul, John and Luke (in Acts) in affirming that fallen man is incapable of coming to gospel salvation unless fore ordained and divinely enabled to do so (e.g., Jn1:13 & 6:44; Rom8:29; Acts13:48). This is a profoundly difficult concept for many bible-believing Christians to get their heads round – evangelistically, theologically and philosophically. At least that is the case for those who think the matter through. In reality, many do not, or dare not.
THE THEOLOGIAN’S DILEMMA
So, should one “go liberal” and reject the bible’s teaching on the matter altogether? Or, like myself in the past, one could adopt the Protestant Reformers’ maxim, “Let God be God”, i.e. He may appear incomprehensibly unjust and harsh to us but that is His prerogative. Such might be a feasible supposition if the One who “exactly represents His Father’s nature” (Heb1:3) even during His earthly ministry (Jn14:9) had not demonstrated that that simply cannot be the case. Like Jesus, our Heavenly Father is comprehensively and comprehensibly adorable. He is compassionate, loving and equitable from an enlightened human perspective. Satan (gleefully) and many Western theologians (reluctantly) would have us believe otherwise.
As I have been explaining, such mystifying and unintentional maligning of the divine nature arises from a misunderstanding of the context of election/predestination within broader providence. That in turn results from a failure to understand what the elect are being saved from and for what purpose . The verses from Rom 7&8 (above) supply clues for each aspect, the solution is set out in full in the Little Book of Providence.