No One Dictates To God Almighty

No one dictates to God almighty. He does what he will. He is gracious to whom he will be gracious. The sooner we learn this, the better! God always displays his sovereignty in every aspect of grace. He chose to save fallen men, but not fallen angels. He chose some, and passed by others. He redeemed some, but not all. He sends the gospel to some, and hides it from others. He calls some who hear the gospel, and leaves others in darkness, death, and condemnation (Matthew 11:20-30).

Don Fortner, Pastor                                                                                                                            Grace Baptist Church                                                                                                                     Danville, Kentucky

About Greg Coleman

I am a Particular Baptist who affirms the absolute sovereignty of the triune Godhead in all things. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in the God-man Jesus Christ. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Disposer and Judge of all that ever was, is now or ever shall be. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men. He was made to be sin for his people and saved them from their sins by his substitutionary, sacrificial death on the cross thereby satisfying the justice and wrath of God against them. The sufficiency of his death to the satisfaction of God’s justice is proven by his physical resurrection from the dead and enthronement in glory at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
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2 Responses to No One Dictates To God Almighty

  1. Tom Bridges says:

    Pastor Fortner equates anyone disagreeing with the Calvinist doctrine as one attempting to ‘dictate’ to God. Discussion on the matter is easily dismissed in this way.

    But a Calvinist can err as anyone else and are subject to errors being supported by the will as with all men. Men often arrive at what they want to believe, not through the reasoning of the mind. This kind of belief is hard to address because it is always the other guy who is subject to this malady. All we can do is decide to follow scripture into areas we don’t want to go.

    So I still have to contend that scripture leads us to the conclusion that the doctrine of Unconditional Election is unsupported and refuted in this manner; that God did fulfill the Second Greatest Commandment by offering mercy to all who needed mercy through the offering of eternal life in His Son (also refuting the doctrine of Limited Atonement).

    Since scripture states that Jesus came to do God’s will exactly as God intended, including the fulfillment of moral law, the question is, what did God intend regarding the fulfillment of the Second Greatest Commandment?

    First, how did He intend Jesus to fulfill it?

    I believe both Arminianists and Calvinists agree with Jesus that the second greatest commandment is fulfilled by loving your neighbor as yourself. Put another way, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And as Jesus explained in the parable of the Good Samaritan, it is fulfilled when you offer mercy to the one who needs mercy when it is within your power to do so. And as the apostles put it, love is fulfillment of the law and so on.

    This however leaves a problem for Calvinists. If they agree with the above definition of how the commandment is fulfilled they must explain why it appears that God did not fulfill this commandment as defined above (due to His unconditional election of only some men when it was within His power to save all). So the Calvinist must either jettison the above definition or take another tack. Which leads us to the next question.

    Second, who did God intend to fulfill it, Jesus as God, or Jesus as man, or both?

    Some Calvinists say, not Jesus as God. (Because God had already acted contrary to the commandment as defined above).
    Their reasoning is to say this law does not apply to God because of His position.
    It is an attempt to maintain and reconcile the above definition with their doctrine by claiming that the commandment to ‘love your neighbor’ does not apply to God because God has no neighbor or equal. God’s intent was that Jesus the man (and men) alone fulfill the commandment toward His/their neighbors, not God toward men. So Jesus the man alone, not Jesus as God (because God has no neighbors), fulfilled this moral law exactly as God intended, man toward men. (Love your neighbor being a part of ‘common grace’?).

    The problem with this claim is that it also violates the above definition of the fulfillment of the commandment in that it adds to the definition of who our neighbor is. To the two criterion of; those who are (1) in need of our mercy and (2) are within our power to receive that mercy, is added a third, those that are like us. Thus with the third criterion in place the commandment no longer applies to God. Interesting, this is the same criterion the lawyer wanted to add.

    Another view the Calvinist may take is to say this moral law does not apply to God because of His sovereignty.
    This claim is that God is above moral law and dictates in matters of morality, that is, He chooses what defines morality due to His sovereignty. But this view separates the sovereignty of God from all His other attributes as if sovereignty allows Him to act contrary to those other attributes. The error of this view is obvious.

    Sometimes the Calvinist will state it as a matter of justice instead of mercy in that God is under no obligation to show mercy to those who only deserve justice.

    First, they fail to see that the offering of mercy as defined above is stated as a moral law! In fact, it along with the First Greatest Commandment support ‘all the law and prophets’. It is thus put in terms of fulfilling righteousness, so that the Calvinist may just as well say ‘God is under no obligation to fulfill the same righteousness He obligates men to fulfill’. If the offering of mercy by men as defined by Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan is considered as righteousness to God, then is it not also righteousness for God to offer mercy in the same manner or context? Either it is righteousness to fulfill the moral law of the second greatest commandment or it is not. There can be no in between. There is not ‘one righteousness for man and another for God’.

    Second, righteousness is part of God’s character according to scripture. God commands us to be like Him (holy and righteous), and not to have or depend on a righteousness which is different than that which He is (thus the need for the righteousness of Christ). So the righteousness He commands of men in the offering mercy in the context of the second greatest commandment is the same which is part of His character. He cannot deny Himself.

    So, if this command was fulfilled by God as He defined it to us, then how do we square that with the scripture which states that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy?

    First, the referred to scripture merely states that God makes decisions according to His wisdom and judgment not man’s presuppositions. Calvinists however read into this scripture that in making a decision of whether to offer mercy God does not take into account any condition of man. This scripture does not say that. It merely states that God is not bound by the imperfect wisdom or judgment of man, not that God does not use any condition of men to make such a decision as to whether to offer mercy.

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