I;m thinking about a couple of questions about the verses that would point away from Calvinism. I guess Revelations 2: “I stand at the door and knock” John 3 “whosoever believes will not perish” and other similar verses can be taken as implying that there is a certain amount of our will involved. THat salvation may be our choice.
But we also have to consider our limitations. We literally do not know what is the best thing to do regularly — and even those who are wise can be confounded (as happened to Absalom when he sought advice during his rebellion against his father King David). And our will is weak.
So instead of considering the reasons in some form of legalistic manner lot us look at the process.
15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Paul asks — the people of faith — to have an understanding of their place and station and the honour that is bestowed on them by being chosen for salvation. THis requires knowledge, but that knowledge dits in Christ. Our theology has to be Christology. And if we do not see him on the throne able to help and instead see him as a fantasy of our ideal (insert your favourite ideology) man — as the “real Jesus” movements have, we miss the point.
Christ is powerful and sovereign and he will judge lawfully and with mercy. He has dominion. We have a big brotehr with poeer: not some propagandists image, such as Orwell portrayed in 1984.
This should lead to a little more humility. We are Christs, he is smarter and stronger than us, and we will have to trust him in this life. If we understand this — that we ought to be living and doing the work of Christ as his hands and feet, in this time, then as we get rid out our ideas of rebelling against Christ we need to get rid of the rhetoric of power that so pervades our community, in the church and outside it.
Before Christ we are all weak.
Before Christ we are all poor
Before CHrist we are all unworthy.
And compared with the wisdom of Christ, we are all foolish.
For Christ is worthy of worship. Ae are not: and in our rebellion away from the Christ-given teachings of the church we are at risk of setting ourselves as some kind of idol — which the pagans of old will rise up and damn us for.