adapted from multiple sources
The sovereign grace of God determines who will find salvation, not human decision. Human choices are crucial, but they are not the final, determining factor in bringing a person to final glory. That belongs to God’s sovereign grace.
1. Before the foundation of the world God chose (elected) whom he will save. God’s choosing is unconditional, not on the basis of foreseen faith that humans produce by a supposed power of ultimate self-determination (“free will”).
Acts 13:48, “When the gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of God. And as many as were for ordained to eternal life believed.”
Romans 11:7, “Israel failed to obtain what is sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened.”
John 6:37, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.” John 17:6, “I have manifested my name to them whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me.” (John 6:44, 65).
2. The Atonement, the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of those he came to save, applies to the elect in a unique, particular way, although the death of Christ is sufficient to propitiate the sins of the whole world. The death of Christ effectually accomplished the salvation for all God’s people.
Eph. 5:25, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Heb. 10:14, “By a single offering he perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
John 10:15, “I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Rom. 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?”
3. Because of the Fall, humans are incapable of any saving good apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, called being born from above, or born again. We are helpless and dead in sin. We have a mindset that “cannot submit to God without divine enabling.
Rom. 8:7-8, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
4. God’s call to salvation is effectual, and, hence His grace cannot be ultimately thwarted by human resistance. God’s regenerating call can overcome all human resistance.
Acts 16:14, “The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.”
1 Cor. 1:23-24, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
5. Those whom God calls and regenerates He also keeps, so that they do not totally and finally fall away from faith and grace (apostasize).
Rom. 8:30, “Those whom he predestined, he also called and those whom he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me; and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”
1 Thess. 5:23, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
God’s sovereign grace is a doctrine found in the pages of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. Sovereign grace doctrine exalts God and humbles men. Anyone who would become prideful for having been chosen by God for salvation does not understand it. The one who would claim that God’s sovereign grace limits the free will of man does not understand the will of fallen men, nor does he understand the awesome power of God to being men to willing choose Christ.
Romans 11:36, “From him, through him, and to him are all things, to him be glory forever amen!”