The Gift of God - Do we choose to either accept or reject it?
The Gift of God - Do we choose to either accept or reject it?
“For the wages of sin is death; but THE GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
One of the shallow, poorly thought out and unbiblical responses I often hear from those professing Christians who’s natural man “will of the flesh” theology is “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel and that’s how I got saved” is for them to tell us that God only OFFERS us this gift of eternal life, but it is up to us to either accept it or to reject it.
They often use the analogy that is someone gives you a gift, then you can either accept it or reject it. But they are misusing the English language and stretching its meaning in order to try to fit in their "free will Fantasy".
If someone GIVES you a gift, you HAVE IT. You may then chose to return the gift to that person, but you DID have it in your possession and it was yours.
It would be more accurate to say that someone OFFERED you a gift, and then you decided to either accept it or reject it. Or they offered to give you a gift. But not that they GAVE you a gift.
If God GIVES you something, then you HAVE IT in your possession.
This common “Christian Mantra” of "God OFFERS you the gift of salvation but it is UP TO YOU to chose to ACCEPT it." is preached from most of America’s pulpits every Sunday and repeated over and over again by those who have been fed this nonsense.
But is it true and Biblical?
Simple answer - No, it is not true at all.
God’s Book, the King James Bible, NEVER refers to salvation or eternal life as being an “OFFER”.
God doesn’t “offer” salvation. He saves. He doesn’t “offer” eternal life. He GIVES it.
Notice how the words “give” and “gave” and “given” are used in God’s Book.
First use of the words “give” and “gave”
“And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven TO GIVE light upon the earth: and it was so.” Genesis 1:15
“And Adam GAVE names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field” Genesis 2:20
Of the some 466 times the word “gave”, and the 480 times the word “given” and the 1392 or so times the word “give” are used in the Bible, there is not one instance of where what was GIVEN was either “accepted” or “rejected”. In every case, what was “given” was simply GIVEN and the other person had it!
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands:
Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing HE GIVETH TO ALL LIFE, AND BREATH, and all things” Acts 17:24-25.
When God GAVE you life, did he first ask you for your permission? Or did he “offer” you physical life and then you got to make your own decision as to whether or not you would “accept it or reject it”? I think not.
"Why speaketh thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because IT IS GIVEN unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them IT IS NOT GIVEN." Matthew 13:11
God gave the 10 commandments and he gave the law of Moses. He gave them bread from heaven. He gave greats signs and wonders from heaven and he gave the goodly wings to the peacock.
God gives the rain from heaven and he gives his angels a charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. God gives the light of day, and to the non-elect God “HATH GIVEN them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear” (Romans 11:8) and God will GIVE to every man according as his work shall be (Revelation 22:12), whether man “accepts” it or not.
And “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven GIVEN among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
The Lord Jesus Christ said in his prayer to the Father - “I have finished the work WHICH THOU GAVEST ME TO DO”
and “I have manifested thy name unto the men which THOU GAVEST ME out of the world: thine they were, and THOU GAVEST THEM ME: and they have kept thy word.” John 17:4-6
And what exactly was this work the Father GAVE the Son to do? We are told this before he was even born - “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
The “good shepherd GIVETH his life for the sheep” John 10:11
And “ALL that the Father GIVETH ME SHALL COME to me (no exceptions) and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
Jesus went on to say: “But there are some of you that believe not” - “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come to me, except IT WERE GIVEN UNTO HIM of my Father.” John 6:64-65
And the Lord Jesus Christ says regarding those who do not believe him and regarding his sheep that DO believe -
“But ye believe not, BECAUSE ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
MY SHEEP HEAR my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I GIVE unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father WHICH GAVE THEM ME, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
I and my Father are one.” John 10:26-30
“As thou hast GIVEN him power over all flesh, that he should GIVE eternal life to as many as THOU HAST GIVEN him.” John 17:2
Those who keep repeating this totally anti-biblical mantra about how “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel” and “we can choose to either accept or reject the gift offered” are in a very real way trying to give themselves credit for doing something that they did not do.
It was GOD who did it in them and for them - IF they are among those whom the Father has given to the Son.
If you are among God’s elect and chosen people from before the foundation of the world, then God first GAVE you to the Son, and then he GAVE you physical life, and then “worked in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) and drew you to Christ and GAVE you both repentance and faith to believe in him.
“A new heart will I GIVE you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I WILL GIVE you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
For "faith" and "repentance" see Romans 12:3; Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Peter 1:21; Acts 5:31; Acts 11:18 and 2 Timothy 2:25
Let us who believe the Book “GIVE unto the LORD the glory due unto his name” (Psalms 29:2) and stop trying to steal it for ourselves by taking credit for something we did not do with our own ability, but God did in us and for us.
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7
“But OF HIM ARE YE IN CHRIST JESUS, who OF GOD is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
If your next objection is "Well, what about the word "receive"? Doesn't that mean that we can choose to receive it or reject it?
See - "As many as received Him" John 1:12
What does it mean to "receive Christ" as your Saviour?
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 8:8
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible,
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"Nothing more riles the natural man and brings to the surface his innate and inveterate enmity against God than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of Divine grace. That God should have formed His purpose from everlasting, without in anywise consulting the creature, is too abasing for the unbroken heart. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man is too self-emptying for self-righteous. And that grace singles out whom it pleases to be its favored objects arouses hot protests from haughty rebels. The clay rise up against the Potter and asks, ‘Why hast Thou made me thus?’ A lawless insurrectionist dares to call into question the justice of Divine sovereignty.”
Arthur Pink, "The Attributes of God"