GODS PERFECT PLAN
Westminster Confession of Faith 3.6
As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the mans thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
God never does anything half-way. When God decides to do something, He perfectly accomplishes what He sets out to do. He has never made a plan He intended to accomplish and then left that plan incomplete or unaccomplished. The reason Gods plans do not fail is that God not only decrees the end or goal He wants to accomplish, He also decrees the means necessary to achieve that end or reach that goal.
This means that when God decrees to save someone, He actually accomplishes that goal because He also decrees all the steps that will be necessary to bring that person to saving faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and keep that person in the faith until the very end.
Gods choice in election stands because God takes into account all the factors that will be needed to actually save His chosen people from their sins. Not one person will ever be lost for whom Christ has died! As Jesus said, All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (John 6:37).
Gods plan of salvation is perfect in its completeness. God the Father not only elected a people to salvation, but He also sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem them from their sins (1 Thess. 5:9). Then He sends His Holy Spirit at just the right time in His eternal plan to call each and every one of His elect to faith in Christ (Rom. 8:30). Not one of Gods elect, no matter how far away, shall fail to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in Gods time.
As the Holy Spirit works on the hearts of those who are chosen by God, He imparts the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8-9) so that they are enabled by God to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
This results in the legal declaration by God called justification (Gal. 2:16). That word simply means that God imputes, or credits to the account of Gods people, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and imputes the sins of the elect to Christ. Then God looks at the sinner who is standing in the righteousness of Christ and declares him not guilty of sin because of what Christ has done for him. And He further declares him to be holy because of the righteous work of Christ in obeying all the law of God on that sinners behalf.
In addition to this, God the Father then adopts that person into His family as an heir in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5). All that Christ has is declared to be the Christians because of his relationship to Jesus Christ.
But God does not stop there. He then begins to work in His chosen ones to sanctify them by causing each one to desire to turn from sin and practice holiness (2 Thess. 2:13). That does not mean that Christians are perfect, for we all still sin and come short of the glory of God, but it does mean that Christians are enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us to turn away from sin and begin to live lives that are pleasing to God. Still, the standing of the Christian does not rest on his own righteousness, but solely on the work of Christ done in his place for him.
Finally, God keeps each and every Christian abiding in faith by His power and by the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:5).
So you see, God has left nothing to chance. He did not chose some to be saved and then not appoint all the means necessary to bring them to final salvation. He did not stop short of full salvation and say: Now its up to you from here on. Gods plan included everything necessary to bring each and every one of the people for whom Jesus Christ died to full, complete and final salvation.
Thats a great comfort, isnt it? It should bring you confidence in Gods grace toward you if you are a believer. The Apostle Paul stated it this way: being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6). God will not stop working in His people to save and sanctify them until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (And of course, He will not stop loving His people then, but at that time all opportunities for salvation will be over; the final judgment of God will have come.)
Has God begun a good work of salvation in you? Then take heart, He will accomplish what He has set out to do. But if you are one who answers No to that question, be afraid. It will not go well for you in the final judgment. Turn from your sin right now, and trust what Jesus Christ has done to save His people from their sin.
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|This page was last updated 19 June 2008.|