DOES GOD ELECT AND CONDEMN?
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Romans 9:14-16
I’m writing prayerfully, and with trembling, about these passages of scripture. These are, admittedly by teachers, scholars, and theologians, the most difficult to understand in all of Scripture.
It is impossible to have God choosing some without the counterpart also being true; that He passes over others. There is a blessing and a condemnation happening simultaneously. But does God really pick out people to condemn? To understand the answer, I have to look again at election.
To see the glory of Jesus and believe, my eyes had to be opened. God’s grace and the wind of His Spirit came to me, and enabled belief. Although I, of my free will, chose God, He gave me the grace to understand the Gospel.
It is not so with those who are not elected. God does not open their eyes to see the truth. However, God does not cause them to disbelieve. He is not the author of their condemnation. Those who are condemned choose to reject God on their own. Their condemnation is the result of their sin of disbelief.
So, all of us are tempted to rise up and say, “That’s not fair. God is like that?” In order for my faith in God to stay in tact and not be eroded by my many questions, I must take this doctrine and put it in the context of the whole of Scripture. God loves. God rules righteously. It is not His will that any perish. We do have the free will to choose or reject Christ. God is trustworthy.
In the stable foundation of God’s love and mercy, there is the doctrine of election and reprobation (passing over of some). To rise up and put God on trial is to put myself in a position to never understand these concepts. God teaches the humble. When I don’t understand, I don’t question God. I dig in deeper and cry out, “Have mercy on me. Teach me.”
I trust Your character, even in this. Amen