By "sovereign grace" I mean that GOD is in perfect control over all things including things that pertain to salvation. This implies that if a man is saved, it is solely because GOD sovereignly predetermined that he would receive a special grace, the saving grace. And by "Wesleyan Quadrilateral" I refer to the belief of Wesley as recorded in the United Methodist Book of Discipline that "the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason." In this post, therefore, I aim to derive my theological affirmation on sovereign grace using the Quadrilateral.

Sovereign Grace and Scripture

I have refrained to give an exhaustive list of Scripture references dealing on sovereign grace (which may already be found somewhere else) but instead decided to use verses that I have been using for some time now.

... for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." (Rom 9:11-12)

For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Rom. 9:15-16)

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (Rom. 9:18)

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (John 15:16)

... just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will. (Eph. 1:4,5)

Sovereign Grace and Tradition

The Book of Discipline states that "Wesley drew on Christian tradition, in particular the Patristic writings, the ecumenical creeds, the teachings of the Reformers..." It will be best, then, for me to also draw from these.
"Therefore, to be drawn to Christ by the Father, and to hear and learn of the Father in order to come to Christ, is nothing else than to receive from the Father the gift by which to believe in Christ." - Augustine, On the Predestination of the Saints

"Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, He hath constantly decreed by His counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation as vessels made to honour... " Article XVII, Of Predestination and Election, Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England
(I have chosen the Thirty-Nine Articles though it is not an "ecumenical creed" for the reason that the Book of Discipline teaches "Wesley put forth no summary of biblical revelation for the British Methodists because the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England were already available.")
"How can they merit that which is already theirs and is prepared for them before they are born? ... It is settled then that merit is not proved from reward, at any rate in the Scriptures; and also that free choice is not proved from merit." Martin Luther commenting on Matt. 25:34
Sovereign Grace and Experience

I believe that all of us always acknowledge God's sovereignty over salvation. Our personal experiences on evangelism and prayer for lost souls will testify to this. No one will ever pray, "Lord, grant them repentance and the knowledge of the truth that they may escape from the snare of the devil" (2 Tim. 2:25-26) unless he confesses that it is GOD who sovereignly saves. John Piper writes,
"The warrant for prayer is that God may break in and change things - including the human heart. He can turn the will around. 'Hallowed be thy name' means: cause people to hallow your name. 'May your word run and be glorified' means: cause hearts to be opened to the gospel."
Even John Wesley had included hymns in his "A Collection of Hymns" which also speak of this experience. One is titled "LORD, I Despair Myself to Heal"
LORD, I despair myself to heal:
I see my sin, but cannot feel;
I cannot, till thy Spirit blow,
And bid the obedient waters flow.

Sovereign Grace and Reason

Have you ever wondered how many were born on the same day that you were born? If the statistics are right, there are more than 350,000 who were born on September 3, 1982 (me included). Do you also know how many belong to the unevangelized, unreached people? If the statistics are again right, there are still 40.7% of the world population which belongs to the unreached groups.

Why do I ask these? Because these numbers imply that when I was born, I was placed in a gospel-open family with believing siblings owning multiple Bibles singing Christian songs in a community with a number of churches and pastors very much available to teach me about GOD, Christ, and my need of salvation. WHILE around 143,000 who were born on the very same day were placed in a community where they will spend 75 years or so of their lives without hearing about Christ.

All I can do is to thank and glorify GOD in His sovereignty for placing me where His sovereign grace operates.

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GOD is the Most Self-Centered Being

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 8:46 AM 0 comments

Yes, I know that it is somewhat harsh. By the title, I mean that GOD is the greatest GOD-worshipper and the most GOD-centered Being that we will ever know. And that His GOD-centeredness is His ultimate and highest expression of His unconditional selfless love for us. 

GOD's Glory is the Center of the Creation

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Rom. 11:36)

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Col. 1:16)

I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made. (Isa. 43:6,7)

GOD's Glory is the Center of the Incarnation

"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." (Lk. 2:12-14)

GOD's Glory is the Center of the Cross

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed. (Rom. 3:23-25)

So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night. Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." (Jn. 13:30,31)

"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (Jn 17:4,5)

GOD's Glory is the Center of the Second Coming

When He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thes. 1:10)

GOD is passionate for His own glory. GOD is greatly GOD-centered. If He is not, then He is idolatrous. May it never be!

Besides, when Someone who is full of beauty, full of power, full of perfections, full of grace, full of goodness, and full of righteousness refrains from displaying His glory to me - it means that He doesn't like me nor love me. Therefore, GOD revealing Himself in His glory, His being God-centered, is the ultimate expression of His selfless love for us. GOD is the only Being who is not sinning by being Self-centered, but rather He is exhibiting the highest good in being so.

"True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God. And this is the spring of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleasures." - Jonathan Edwards
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