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A Case for (My) Soteriology: God's Calling

Soteriology and God's Calling
A Case for (My) Soteriology: Part 4

I consider this a friendly debate between myself and someone I know from X. He seems to think that the idea that some are chosen specifically based on gifting is "semantics." Here, I would like to show that this calling, which only some and only few have, is integral to the Bible itself. This is about a debate in some sense of Soteriology and God's Calling.

I do not intend to do a comprehensive study on the Bible and this topic, but listing some examples, I think would do us well in this endeavor to determine if God calls everyone equally or not.

Where shall we start? I suppose the beginning of the Bible is as good a place as any. So we start with Adam, the first man. Now, there is much debate about the nature of the book of Genesis and the story of creation. There are various views that are up in the air for debate on this important topic. For a thorough examination in video format, I would encourage you to watch this video that apologist and theologian Dr. Gavin Ortlund did in a topical series on Adam and Eve. His treatment is very fair to the prevailing views. The title of the video is called, "Were Adam and Eve Historical People?" which answers the question in the affirmative and gives various points of view for such. Noteworthy, however, is that Adam and Eve must have existed. And I think they did literally exist. So the bigger question is whether there were other people around at the time that Adam and Eve existed. This is a debate that goes back a long long way. As Dr. Ortlund mentions, Augustine wrote a great deal on the topic of Genesis. The question arises: were Adam and Even the ONLY people around during that time period? And a common sense view would be, "No they were not." After all, how does Cane get a wife? Was the human race based on incest? Not exactly the most flattering view of the origins of humanity, to say at least. So it should be clear (at least it is to me) that God specifically chose Adam and Eve to be what humans call our first mother and father of humanity.

The next example comes from Abraham. Did God speak to people out loud as a regular occurrence back then? We can only speculate. But it is clear that God spoke to Abraham in a rather profound and direct way. There were tons of other people living at the time. Why Abraham? I happen to believe it was because of something of his character (see this for details).

And then there is Moses. He experienced many many miraculous things in his long lifespan. God showed favor on Moses, whom the Bible says was the meekest man alive since the time of creation to when Moses lived. We see this here:

Exodus 3:1-10

"Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Then the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. So Moses thought, “I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up?”

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

“Here I am,” he answered.

“Do not come closer,” he said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings, and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. So because the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them, therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”"

(Emphasis mine)

So the question is whether God could have chosen someone else? We don't have any idea who that could be. In fact, all evidence points to the fact that Moses was the perfect person for the job (with his brother Aaron as mediator). He was highly educated given he was educated by the high and powerful royal family of Egypt. Who else could have filled Moses' shoes? And so it is a question of what God knows and how God ordains things. If Moses could have said no, why didn't he? And if Moses could have said no, then why did God ask Moses to do what only he was qualified to do?

One more example from the Old Testament. King David. It says clearly in the Bible that,

1 Samuel 16:1-7

"The LORD said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected for myself a king from his sons.”

Samuel asked, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!”

The LORD answered, “Take a young cow with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate to you.”

Samuel did what the LORD directed and went to Bethlehem. When the elders of the town met him, they trembled and asked, “Do you come in peace?”

“In peace,” he replied. “I’ve come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, “Certainly the LORD’s anointed one is here before him.”

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the LORD sees, for humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”"

(Emphasis mine)

And further, it says,

1 Samuel 13:13-14

"Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. It was at this time that the LORD would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The LORD has found a man after his own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the LORD commanded.”

(Emphasis mine)


Acts 13:21-22

"Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. After removing him, he raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my will.’"

(Emphasis mine)

So God chose David because he was a man after his own heart.

Finally, I would like to point us toward the New Testament.

For what better example could I give than Apostle Paul? (For a detailed look at how God's kingdom works based on a hierarchy see this article I wrote.)

Acts 9:1-9, 17-19

"Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul said.

“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.

Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. And after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time."

And further, we see what Paul says about his own calling here,

Galatians 1:15-16

"But when God, who from my mother’s womb set me apart and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, so that I could preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone."

(Emphasis mine)

(For a look at who God calls specifically and who he doesn't see this article I wrote.)

To call into question that God chose Adam, or Abraham, or Moses, or David, or Paul is to question God's perfect will. There is nothing random with God. Yes, we can say yes or no, but God knows what we will choose before that and that is why He calls some people and not others.

But let us always remember the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he says,

Matthew 20:24-28

"When the ten disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”"

If you aspire to be great in the kingdom, you must be the greatest servant. It is an upside-down kingdom that we are a part of as Christians.

That's it for this one!

God Bless you! Until next time!

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My Dear Brother, I know that a "debate" with you would be good natured from a clean heart. As you know, I have the highest regard, love & admiration for you. So I will entertain your debate thinking "a little."

As you know, I do not "debate." - - But I do feel lead of the Holy Spirit to engage you a little further. In the day of His earthly visitation and physical presence, Jesus was regularly challenged by religious folk that had tons of knowledge about the Old Testament text. And Jesus regularly found Himself at odds with them. Not our circumstance but it relates. Jesus did not engage them along the lines of their thinking. He perfectly knew…

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Thanks. I don't see this in any way really combating what I said. It seems to be something else you are talking about and I would agree with everything you said, with one question. What do you mean by "Your struggle is in your mind." IDK what you mean by that.

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