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BULLETIN ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO
THE REALITY OF RECEPTION
What do you have that you did not receive ? (I Corinthians 4:7), the apostle asks. Let us ponder this.
Did you receive your preference, if you did NOT prefer darkness to light ?
It might seem not, but in the hypostatic foreknowledge case, it is so.
1) God penetrates past
all superficiality in the envisaged sinner before Him
and seeing what you WOULD prefer grants it existence and results,
so that the conferment is a gift, and the result is only there because He carries out this procedure; or else and better, in terms of biblical constraints, is what follows.
God penetrates before all time, and thus before sin and even creation (Romans
He discerns the result direct. He sees relative to the free heart in the format as before being created it either could or would sin. It is He who confers this result of His vision (John 15:16), so that without this direct, divine action you would receive nothing.
Without divine mediation, you receive only the ban when sin comes. It, this mediation, is divine action and work. It has to be envisaged by God, enabled to work in His hypostasis of you, that is, His lively envisagement of you before time, to be recorded and applied; and then donated to you. Its status with you in history is: received.
Why is 2) better biblically ? It is because 1) limits without warrant the discernment of God. The latter is not in fact a denied facility for investigation (but is rebuked as in Psalm 78:41). On the contrary, limiting Him is forbidden.
This 1) Case therefore assumes an encumbrance to the vision open before God, and this without warrant. All things are manifest before God and this is no exception! (Hebrews 4:13). Case Number 2) as above is therefore the one in conformity with biblical text. This conferment, this gift, therefore is by grace and received by faith, for without it you cannot even please God, let alone be saved (Ephesians 2).
Because of your sinful condition in actual history, you are in a position then to receive all from the regions where if you were the agent in your natural state, you would be too polluted to choose; and those wages are death. Nevertheless, because God is God and so equipped, the choice is revealed and the envisaged soul is in the positive case, is duly granted both its freedom and its salvation. Mere mechanics, system problems, pathological conditions do not determine the outcome for eternity for a member of the race made able to choose, and no matter what gets in the way of this intimate and ultimate power to choose, love, or hate the Lord, is no effective barrier to Him! This relevant degree of liberty, initially given as a type to man, is able to be divinely given a duly and fully functional result for it.
The Almighty is not limited to conditions and has direct access at all times to all reality. Nothing thwarts Him or aborts His desire.
HE Himself is its source; He operates it, secures it and all the horrid anti-God realms of sin and evil occur not because He lacks power or purity or discernment in any matter, or control - for He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Colossians 1:11). Instead, it is because love, which cannot exist without liberty in the heart, being in that case merely an outcome of construction, and so misread as love, loses then not only its lustre but its reality. It becomes then merely misnamed programmatics, a result of installation a meaningless figment of the fabrication of the one concerned!
Love however is not thus; it is not pursuing mere program. That is not the divine purpose. 'Love' with God is not an implicit name for tyranny and He knows the implements of sincerity and reality, stopping His own divine action where this is open to becoming violation by mere force. Force is not another name for faith, nor compulsion for love.
God does act to give due indication of the futility and folly of trying to get rid of God (Isaiah 45:7), and this at His divine discretion, as so dramatically exposed in Psalm 78. Trouble and disaster He may create and does, at His will, as a reminder of sin, an index to its nature and outcome; but this while helping man realise what he is doing, does not force.
It merely exposes.
Neither is there room for erratic limitation of God, nor for an input from the atheist or materialist model, where systems appear as if having come from nowhere, and to apply rigorously for all that. In the divine description in the Bible, man is BY DESIGN in God's image, in possession quite explicitly, of the power to say no in this arena. With whatever distortions from sin and its auras the sinner comes to be invested, God is not limited by these mists of pathology, nor for that matter, to seeing anything other than undistorted, the very heart of man, in His foreknowledge.
This He mediates from the store of His actions and predestination ensures the due application of these results of His foreknowledge, a most restful thing, because like all else, handled with assurance and provision, and with divine goodwill.
If any soul, meanwhile, should lament in fear, saying: How can I be sure of salvation ? It is beside the point, an invented problem. If you WANT salvation, then call on the name of the Lord and get it as provided in the word of God, relating to one as to all (cf. Colossians 1:19). It is for ALL God would have reconciliation. Moreover He says so.
There is neither frustration nor confusion. If you indeed do not want it, then why complain ? It is God who laments the negative (cf. Matthew 23:37), when the soul turns from Him (cf. Isaiah 48:15ff.). It is He, who in His purity and truth seeks all to come. It is He who is grieved, if you do not call, and rejoicing when you do (Luke 15) is satisfied (Isaiah 53:11).