I ask this pertinent question because there are many genuinely sincere and serious Christians who profess to be saved by God’s grace, despite their testimony to the contrary.
Yes. You heard me correctly. I assert that too many genuinely sincere and serious Christians have not taken the time and effort to think through their understanding as to the origin of their faith.
By so doing, they inadvertently diminish the glory and honor rightfully due God.
I am certain the reader will agree this is not what we, as Christians, purposefully set as a goal.
Yet, sadly, this is what many are doing, possibly out of ignorance, or pride, or insufficient study.
As a result, the unbiblical doctrine which teaches ‘Foreseen Faith is the Cause of Election’ is all too common in the Body of Christ.
Please allow me to explain.
Their testimony typically follows this model: “God foreknew I would believe on His Son before I was born because He is omniscient. He knows all things. Therefore, according to His infallible foreknowledge, He elected me to salvation.”
Their proof text is from 1 Peter 1:2:
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
However, if Peter’s intent was to support the doctrine of election due to foreseen faith, then Peter finds himself at odds with Jesus and the other Apostles.
For when Peter declared his faith by confessing Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 12:16), Jesus replied, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Peter’s faith was a heavenly blessing sovereignly bestowed upon him by God the Father.
According to Christ, who cannot lie, Peter’s faith was not the result of Peter’s good use of wisdom nor was it due to any innate holiness he might have had.
Peter was taught by God:
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:45).
Peter’s faith in Christ was given by God without reference to anything Peter might have contributed, such as the good use of the power of his ‘free will’ to believe.
Peter’s God-given faith, though extremely shaky in times of trouble, was ultimately safe-guarded by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, who prays and intercedes for all His people that their God-given faith fails not. (Hebrews 12:2; Luke 22:32; 1 John 2:1; John 17:9).
Had God’s foreknowledge been contingent on anything worthy in Peter, such as foreseen faith, election unto salvation would then be his deserved just reward.
Justice is due to that which man has earned and deserves.
Justice would be served had Peter’s foreseen faith merited the commensurate wages of eternal life.
But salvation is all of grace. Merit has no place in man’s salvation.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works [merit]: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works [merit], then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work (Romans 11:6).
Please remember ‘grace’ is the unmerited, undeserved favor of God bestowed upon the unworthy and undeserving.
Furthermore, Election is all of grace:
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5).
Therefore, when considering Election, it is impossible God’s foreknowledge takes into consideration man’s foreseen meritorious faith.
God’s foreknowledge does, however, embrace God’s holy purpose to elect unto salvation certain, specific undeserving sinners who naturally hate Him, who will not come to Christ, if left to their inherent corrupt sin nature and enmity (Romans 8:7; John 6:37,44).
Therefore, let us, as beloved followers of Christ, give all the glory to God, for all His gracious spiritual blessings, not the least of which is, first and foremost, our saving faith (Ephesians 1:3).
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36).
And so I ask, Were you saved by God’s grace or by His justice?