Thursday, September 1, 2016

Irresistible Grace in Job: God Alone Is Sovereign

A common criticism that Arminians make of Calvinists is that we supposedly build our theology on one or two texts. However, that is a simple strawman argument, demonstrating that most Arminians get their information about Calvinism from other Arminians, not from the writings of Calvinists. We Calvinists are accused of reading Romans 9 to the exclusion of the rest of Scripture, which, Arminians would have us believe, say nothing about reformed theology. As is often the case of things which are repeated but never challenged, this is a case where it just isn't so.

Who is seated on the throne?
On this doctrine, I want to consider two verses from the book of Job, a book which should make most evangelicals uncomfortable, especially those of the prosperity stripe.

In Job 41:11 (compare Psalms 24:1 and 50:10), God is speaking: "Who has first given to Me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine." This is the basis of reformed theology, the understanding that God is God and we are not, and all things belong to Him, including us. I consider this the fundamental error of Arminianism, the effort to preserve man's "free will," as if it is our trump card against God's sovereignty over us. Scripture certainly makes no such exception.

How do we know that is His intent? We know by Job's answer in Job 42:2: "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." Notice that Job interprets God's words in their broadest sense, to mean that God is not bounded by anything in the created world, even man's preferences. God's will is free, and cannot be thwarted. He does not bow before any supposed sovereignty among men. Rather, He is unreservedly sovereign over men.

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