I’ve been pondering my position on salvation lately after some discourse with a friend over the Internet. I cannot move myself away from the position I have taken. Why should I? I can find no good reason. This was once upon a time a position I fought tooth and nail against and simply could not bring myself to believe. I believe it now. My friend is now in the same position I was in a little over a year ago. The debate is: did I choose God, or was I chosen by God?
The Bible provides enough ammunition for both sides of the debate. Or so it would appear. I have come to find that I didn’t really understand the Bible until I realized that I was chosen by God. Scripture makes more sense as a whole with this new understanding. For instance, how does the man who believes that he chose to follow God explain the following verses from Titus 3:
“Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other. However, when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us through the washing in which the Holy Spirit gives us new birth and renewal. God poured a generous amount of the Spirit on us through Jesus Christ our Savior. As a result, God in his kindness has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life.”
(God’s Word translation)
“Not because of anything we had done…” What does that mean? Does that only refer to Mosaic Law? Or does it refer to our choosing God? Don’t you do something when you take a decision?
This is the fundamental problem with Arminianism. If we choose to accept God through Jesus, then how do we explain all the verses that talk about God choosing His special people? Choosing His disciples? The Bible speaks of God’s choice again and again. Yes there are passages about people here and there choosing to follow God. But how did they come to make that choice? Let’s face it, sin is fun! Lust, debauchery, drunkeness…what’s not to enjoy? Sin is pleasurable to the physical body. What could possibly make us want to turn away from that pleasure, deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus?
God regenerating the heart of man and giving him the option of choosing God. That’s the only answer I can come up with. Can someone show me where this is wrong?