The Marvel of Divine Election:
“We may ask, no doubt, why God does not extend his saving grace to all; and why, if he sends it to some only, he sends it to just those some to whom he sends it rather than to others. These are not wise questions to ask. We might ask why Christ raised Lazarus only of all that lay dead that day in Palestine, or in the world. No doubt reasons may suggest themselves why he raised Lazarus. But why Lazarus only? If we threw the reins on the neck of imagination, we might possibly discover reasons enough why he might well have raised others, too, with Lazarus, perhaps many others, perhaps all the dead throughout the whole world. Doubtless he had his reasons for doing on that great day precisely what he did. No doubt God has his reasons, too, for doing just what he does with his electing grace. Perhaps we may divine some of them. No doubt there are others which we do not divine. Better leave it to him, and content ourselves. facing, in the depths of our ignorance and our sin-bred lack of comprehension, these tremendous realities, with the O altitudo of Paul: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!’ Or may we not even rise to the great consenting ‘Yea!’ which Christ has taught us: ‘Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight!’ After all, men are sinners and grace is wonderful. The marvel of marvels is not that God, in his infinite love, has not elected all of this guilty race to be saved, but that he has elected any. What really needs accounting for — though to account for it passes the powers of our extremest flights of imagination — is how the holy God could get the consent of his nature to save a single sinner. If we know what sin is, and what holiness is, and what salvation from sin to holiness is, that is what we shall feel.”
- B.B. Warfield
taken from: Election by Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, Originally published as a pamphlet of twenty-two pages published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication in 1918.
the point of dispute between Calvinists and Arminians on election is broken down to this: why and on what grounds are some elected to salvation and life and others are not. Is it something found in man to make him worthy of God electing him. Is there something God sees in that man or how the man might respond that is the basis? If so Salvation is of goodness found in man. In other words it’s of works. But Paul in Ro. 9:16 tells us it is not anything coming from man but of God’s free choice. That we might be saved by Grace apart from works.
Why people reject the Gospel:
All people freely and voluntarily and willingly reject the gospel because it is their heart’s desire to do so. A person’s freedom consists in the ability to act according to his desires and inclinations without being compelled to do otherwise by something or someone external to himself. So long as one’s choice is the voluntary fruit of one’s desire, the will is free. This is what I mean when I say, ‘Yes, all people are free moral agents.’
~ Sam Storms, Chosen for Life: The Case for Divine Election
God grants repentance:
If a person is to repent, he or she must be enabled by God to do so. He must be ‘granted’ repentance as a gift. Whether or not a person repents, says Paul, is ultimately up to God. It rests with him and his sovereign good pleasure to give or to withhold that which leads to ‘a knowledge of the truth.’ That God does not bestow this gift universally is self-evident. Were repentance something that God gives to all, Paul would hardly have said that ‘perhaps’ God may grant repentance. Clearly he envisions the real possibility that God may not so grant. (ref. 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
[Speaking of the doctrine of election] “To this day, men cannot bear that doctrine. Free will suits them very well, but free grace does not. They would not let Christ choose his own wife; I say it with the utmost reverence.
Let the world, rather than God, be offended with me.
There is no unity apart from truth and doctrine, and it is departure from this that causes division and breaks unity.
Christian maturity is not indicated by the infrequency of temptation but by the infrequency of succumbing to temptation.
Never does a person see any beauty in Christ as a Savior, until they discover that they are a lost and ruined sinner.
If your preaching of the gospel of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you’re not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.