“So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.” – Romans 9:16
Conflict is as common in the church as the obligatory “greeting time.” Yet, rarely does such conflict come from a genuine difference in theology (most of these have already brought lasting schisms that have existed for centuries). Even though we may struggle to find common ground, I think it is to our shame that we bicker about it. Certainly, there must be at least two facts upon which we all agree.
The first is the authority of Scripture. It is the final basis and foundation for a stable, orthodox theology. The second is the absolute sovereignty of God. A God without such authority cannot meet His own definition. He must be the final basis and foundation for an eternal salvation.
From these two facts, one can only conclude that if a sovereign God (as understood through the Holy Scriptures) had not made salvation available, our will (no matter how free you might think it is) would not matter. For if we have believed, it is simply because God has made it possible for us to do so.
Now, lets’ praise His name together … forever.
Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against an over preoccupation with the thought. It is a sure road to sterile passivity. God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, “Oh Lord, Thou knowest.” Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God’s omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints. – A. W. Tozer