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The Doctrines of Grace: TULIP Revisited
by Carol Berubee

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Unconditional Election, Part II

Who are the Elect?
Let's go back to the Garden of Eden. Remember, God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden and put an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance. This angel was there to guard against anyone from coming to Eden to partake of the tree of life. Man could not, and cannot now, do anything to act on behalf of his own redemption. He cannot partake of the tree and live; the way is blocked. God had commanded Adam to obey and, today, man is still responsible to obey. The problem is, man is now morally corrupt and cannot obey; in fact, he does not even desire to do so.

Yet, God has called men everywhere to repent. As we saw earlier, God often commands things that are not possible for man to obey. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27).

We know that Yeshua is omniscient. That being so, He knows that not everyone will repent. Yet, He called all men to repent. Why would He call a man to repent whom He knew would not? Others whom He called to repent did so. How were they able to, but others were not? The answer lies in God's sovereign election and subsequent enablement.

John 3:16
"'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'"

We mistakenly take John 3:16 as strictly an invitation. In one sense, it is an invitation, but the thrust of the chapter would indicate that that is not what Yeshua was conveying to Nicodemus. When He said that whoever believes in Him would have everlasting life, He was not saying that it is within man to choose or decide. John 3:16 does not mean that God draws everyone equally and leaves it up to us to decide. Rather, Yesahua told Nicodemus that every single person who puts his or her trust in Him will be saved. This was a statement of fact, not an invitation implying that every person in the world could potentially be saved, if they would only make the right decision.

John 6:44
"'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.'"

No man can freely, of his own volition, come to Christ. But if the Father has drawn the man, then he can come.

John 6:65
"And He said, 'Therefore, I have said to you that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted to him by My Father.'"

There are two ways to read this verse. In one sense, this 'granting' speaks of being given the ability to come rather than permission to come. But even if you read it as saying that all who implore the Father to be drawn to Christ are granted permission, this question must still be asked: Who would want to give up their lives and follow Christ? Who is it who would want to suffer and die to self all for the glory of God? Only the elect, of course, who have already been called and regenerated. It is only the regenerate who  desires Christ. (This does not mean that every person who responds "positively" to an altar call is one of the elect. More on this later.)

John 10:25-26
"Jesus answered them, 'I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep..."

Yeshua says to the unbelieving Jews that they do not believe Him because they are not of His sheep. In verse 28, He says that His sheep have eternal life. These are the believers. Those who are not of this group do not believe Him. They have not been drawn by the Father; therefore, they cannot come to Christ and they cannot believe in Yeshua. The believers, on the other hand, have been drawn by the Father, were given the ability to believe, and have eternal life.

John 1:12-13
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God...who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Those who believe and receive Yeshua and are given the right to become children of God are those who are born of God. They were not born of blood (not all the Jews were saved just because they were Jews), nor of the will of the flesh (the depraved will, enslaved in sin), nor of the will of man (no one else can save you), but they were born of God. The enslaved human will had no part to play in the new birth.

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