John’s Teaching Agrees with Paul’s

In Romans 9:16, Paul taught that a man’s salvation does not depend upon his own will or choice in the matter, or upon any effort of his own, but upon God’s will and choice as to whether or not He will show mercy to him. The Apostle John also emphasized that man’s own will is not involved in his salvation when he wrote: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even 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 man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13, emphasis added). For one to assert that

man’s own will and decision as to whether or not he will receive Christ is the determining factor in his salvation would contradict not only Paul’s


teaching of God’s sovereign choice in Romans 9, but would also contradict John’s teaching here in verse 13 of this passage where he clearly stated that the children of God are not born by way of their own will.


All who come to faith in Christ do receive Him, and they do believe in Him (John 1:12). But the receiving of Christ and the believing in Him are not the means by which unregenerate man avails himself of God’s “offer” of salvation, as some would say. Rather the receiving of Christ and the believing in Him are evidence in an individual’s life that they have already been called by God to faith in Christ; they have already been born again.


In God’s time, His elect are born into the world, and again in His time they are all called by Him to faith in Christ. Those who are called by God, He also justifies, and those whom He justifies, He also glorifies together with Christ in Heaven, all according to the order Paul described in Romans 8:29-30.


God Himself brings about an individual’s salvation from beginning to end, and He does this only for those whom He foreknew from before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5). And according to Romans 9:16 and John 1:13 their own will or decision has absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. If we are still not convinced, and we still insist that a man’s own cooperation and willful agreement to believe in Christ is the determining factor in his salvation, then let us once again recall the conversion of Saul on the Damascus Road, which occurred apart from his own will or decision in the matter, and in fact contrary to his own will at the time (Acts 9:1).


Jesus said: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me…” (John 6:37). Those whom the Father has given to His Son Jesus Christ are those who were foreknown by God and chosen by Him before the creation of the world to be brought to faith in Christ. In God’s time He calls them to faith in His Son, and none refuse His calling; they all come. God’s word does not return to Him void, but always accomplishes the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).

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