Saturday, May 3, 2008

Decision Theology

When a person comes to faith in Jesus he or she perhaps could be under the emotional impression that it was a choice made by him or her. Part of this is due to the fact that when faith is created we willingly respond to the message of Jesus for us. It is very important however, that we work with that person to make sure it is understood how it is faith has come about.

John 15: 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. ESV

While presenting Himself as a Vine and those of us as His branches Jesus plainly states it is Him who chooses us. The analogy by itself would point out the lack of choice on the Christians part. In vineyard keeping the branches are not asked nor presented with an option to be part of the vine. They just are.

To drive home the point Jesus flat out states that He did the choosing. It is understandable why this is such a hammer blow to some but it is. In our society free will reign supreme. We choose which city we live in or if we wish to live in a rural area we can work to get there. Our occupation is by choice. If we desire to change occupation and further training is needed we can avail ourselves of that. Two people of their own free will can get married to each other, And the list goes on and on.

When it comes to eternal life we must be very specific as to how it is we have it. To believe one has this by choice will bring about one of two conclusions. One will think he or she is more intelligent than those who reject the Gospel. Or if one is having a difficult time with life living under the cross he or she may wonder if the proper choice has been made. The former is a self righteous Pharisee the latter a terrified sinner. Either way the eyes are off Jesus and focused clearly upon self.

Jesus presents Himself as Saviour not as one who merely aids us in saving ourselves through choices we make. Of His will He came and tabernacled with us. Out of His love for us He lived a perfect life for us. For our sins he bore them and had Himself nailed to the tree. And without our permission He rose again for our justification. As a now cancelled radio show, Issues Etc, used to proclaim:

“It is not about you, it is about Jesus for you.”

In the Name of Jesus. Amen †


steve martin said...

Actually we have made a decision with regard to Jesus...we don't want Him.

That is our default decision, " no one seeks for God."(Romans 3 )

The scriptures tell us that "we are dead in our sins and trespasses."

Can a dead man make a decision about anything, let alone God?

David said...

St Steven

Indeed! What many of our evangelicals do not realize is how much their understanding of the human condition is like that found in Trent. With their lips they are far from the pope but near in heart.

God's peace. †

Augustinian Successor said...

I have always found Five Pint Lutheram refreshing, and I'll say it again, this is "SOOO" Lutheran!

God bless your blog ministry, Bro. David!

Augustinian Successor said...

You have got a problem with me? I left a nice note on your blog, but you didn't publish it. There ARE Lutherans outside of American too, you know.

Ivy said...

Amen, David. I see you read "Law and Gospel." I will be joining her at LTSG in the fall! By the way, I came across your blog via Steve Martin. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have a question:

So if He chose us, that means we go to heaven right?

What about Judas Iscariot then...
Was he chosen?
Didn't he then make that conscious decision to not follow him, and the result ended him up in hell?