EXCEPT THE FATHER WHICH SENT ME DRAW HIM
By John C. Carpenter
 
The apostle John tells us, when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea [of Galilee], And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. The day following, when the people [Jews] which stood on the other side of the sea [of Galilee] saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither. Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:16-45). Within these verses, the apostle John makes it clear that an individual cannot be saved unless the heavenly Father draw them to faith in Christ, and that God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all involved from the beginning in this salvation.
 
WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE
 
In order to more fully understand salvation and God the Father's role in it, we should review some of the characteristics of salvation. First, the holy scriptures teach that salvation involves the miraculous, the supernatural, the spiritual, and is not possible through the simple efforts or power of man, but only through the supernatural power exercised by God the Father. Holy scriptures give us an interesting story: After Jesus told His disciples That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven, and then added It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (Mat 19:23-26).
 
The supernatural dynamics of salvation were questioned by Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler, and then answered by Jesus. Christ said to Nicodemus, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8). One point of this parable is that with the physical wind, we do not see it, but we do see the effects of the wind. According to Christ, it is the same with the operation of the Holy Spirit in salvation; we do not see the operation of the Spirit, but we can see the effect it has on the individual, hopefully resulting in faith and salvation.
 
Second, we should acknowledge that God envisioned and engineered salvation because of His great love for the world. God the Father so loved he world, that he gave [brought forth, granted, offered, revealed] his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Love is God's nature and character. The apostle John referred to the love of God when he wrote, we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 John 4:16). God the Father even loved us when we were sinners and were completely undeserving of his love and salvation. Paul wrote to the church in Rome, God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Rom 5:8-9). Because God the Father so loves those in the world, He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).
 
Third, we should also acknowledge that, as humans, we do not naturally have a love for God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, a love that could result in salvation. Our love for God develops only after God has first loved us. Our love for God is secondary to His love for us. As the apostle John taught, Truly, We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Paul explained to the church in Corinth that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). The things of God can only be understood through the ministry and operation of the Holy Spirit.
 
Fourth, scriptures pointedly teach we do not initiate our own faith; nor do we humans complete or perfect our faith. It is Jesus Christ who is the founder and completer of our faith. We should always be Looking unto Jesus the author [cause to commence, beginning] and finisher [to bring to completion, to make perfect and complete] of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 12:2); and we must remain confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform accomplish, execute, complete, finish, fulfill] it until the day of Jesus Christ (Php 1:6). As Christ teaches,Be ye therefore perfect [complete, fully developed in mental, moral, and spiritual character], even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Mat 5:48).
 
Fifth, we must also recognize that the salvation of one who comes to faith in Christ is not the result of the works or efforts of man, but is based entirely upon the workings and grace of God, For the grace [favor, gift, liberality] of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people (Titus 2:11). Paul also instructed Timothy, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Tim 1:8-9). The psalmist even acknowledges that it is God alone who can save when he prays, Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity (Psa 118:25).
 
Sixth, the apostle Paul taught that it is the power of God which brings salvation to the Jew and Gentile alike, and that authority and power to save is found only within the gospel of Christ. Paul personally said, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power [miraculous power, strength, might] of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16). As the voice from heaven exclaimed, surely Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, [belong] unto the Lord our God (Rev 19:1). Clarifying that it is the gospel alone which supplants death with immortality and death, the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:8-10).
 
Seventh, salvation through faith in Christ is nothing other than a gift from God. Salvation is neither deserved, nor earned. The great apostle Paul instructs us that God the Father hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift [free offering] of God (Eph 2:6-8). Elsewhere, Paul adds, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23).
 
Eighth, we must recognize that, in addition to the Father in heaven, Jesus Christ is also intimately involved in our salvation. The Lord, Himself, instructs us, Behold, I stand at the door [portal, entrance, gate], and knock [make a noise, or speak with voice]: if any man hear [understand] my voice [speaking, words], and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Rev 3:20-21). It is Christ who first knocks, and then we either respond to His love and offer of salvation, or we do not. While chastening some unbelieving Jewish Pharisees, the Lord pointedly explained, I am the door [to the sheepfold or kingdom]: by me if any man enter in [through the only entrance], he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9).
 
Ninth, we must also understand that the operation, speaking, flowing, and movement of the Holy Spirit is intricately and essentially involved in the salvation process. Christ told His own disciples It is the [operation of the Holy] spirit that quickeneth [brings new life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words [Greek rhema; i.e., the speaking and working of the Holy Spirit] that I speak unto you, they are [the workings of the Holy] spirit, and they are [bring] life. But there are some of you that believe not [in Me or the operation of the holy Spirit]. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father [via faith in Me and believing in the operation of the Holy Spirit] (John 6:63-65). The apostle Paul wrote the believers in Corinth, Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written [inscribed and described] not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter [what is written], but of the [operation of the Holy] spirit: for the letter killeth, but the [speaking, movement, operation of the Holy] spirit giveth [vitalizes, makes alive, results in] life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration [attendance, aid, service, functioning, operation, movement] of the spirit be rather glorious? (2 Cor 3:2-8).  Paul clearly instructed the Galatian believers, he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the [ministration of the Holy] Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal 6:8).
 
Tenth, the apostle John teaches us that salvation is available only one way, that is, through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no other way, no other option, by which man can receive salvation. John wrote,He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:10-12). Speaking to Jewish elders, and referring to Jesus Christ, the apostle Peter said, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Act 4:12). Paul wrote the church in Ephesus, in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [and God the Father]; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace [between God the Father and man]; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Eph 2:13-16). Elsewhere, Christ clearly said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). Salvation requires knowledge of and access to God the Father, and that access is available only through faith in Christ.
 
FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD
 
How and where does the process of salvation begin. It is God the Father who begins the salvation process within us. For example, the apostle Paul wrote believers in Rome, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:4-15). In verse 17, Paul explains the entirety of this process with this simplification: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). Within this process of salvation, Paul explains that the saved call upon the name of the Lord (Rom 10:13) because they believer (verse 14), they believe on Christ because they have heard of Christ (verse 14), they have heard of Christ because preachers have preached to them about Christ (verse 14), and preachers preach about Christ because they have been sent by God via the workings of the Holy Spirit (verse 15). In verse 15, the word word does not refer to the bible or scriptures; the word is translated here from the Greek word rhema, which refers to the utterance, speaking and movement of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, our common sense should tell us that it is not the bible [the word as many call it] which sends men to preach, but only the power and working of the Holy Spirit. The overall point, though, of these verses is that our salvation is initiated by God the Father, who, through the operation of the Spirit of God, sends preachers to preach, eventually resulting in the salvation of those who hear. The initial step in our salvation, that is, sending preachers to preach, is not performed by the saved or any other man, including preachers, but by God the Father alone.
 
I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I WILL HAVE MERCY
 
In another example of the sovereignty of God regarding salvation, we again find verses within the scriptures which indicate that those who experience eternal life and glory are predetermined to this salvation according to the mind, will, and working of God alone. God the Father, alone, is in charge of this process of salvation from the beginning. Man has no say in this process. The apostle Paul instructs us about a conversation God had with Moses about salvation:For he [God the Father] saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour [and righteousness and salvation], and another unto dishonour [and shame and damnation]? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared [to fit up in advance] unto glory (Rom 9:15-23). God says He will have mercy [resulting in salvation] on who He wills, and compassion on those for whom He has compassion. The heavenly Father plainly says in verse 16 that it is not the individual who desires or wills to be saved that shall experience the glory of the Father, but salvation is the direct result of the application of the love, mercy and salvation of God the Father to the life of an individual. In justifying His own will being done, the Father adds, hath not the potter power over the clay, to make one vessel unto honor [and salvation and glory] and another to dishonor [shame and eternal damnation]. In other words, is it not up to God the Father, creator of all things, to do as He wishes regarding man? The overall point of these verses is, again, that the scriptures plainly teach that the salvation of the individual is determined only and completely by the mind and will of God the Father, and no one else.
 
GOD SENT ME BEFORE YOU TO PRESERVE YOU A POSTERITY IN THE
EARTH, AND TO SAVE YOUR LIVES
 
God the Father's initiation of our salvation may be seen in an old testament story. Many are familiar with the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. At the beginning of the story, Joseph's brothers sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt (Gen 37:28). Joseph was later imprisoned (Gen 39:20), but while in prison was summoned to interpret a dream that Pharoah had had (Gen 41:14). After correctly interpreting Pharoah's dream, Joseph was then made governor and ruler over all of Egypt, second only to Pharoah (Gen 41:38-41; Gen 42:6). At God's appointed time, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt, and the scriptures instruct us that Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt (Gen 45:1-8). Eventually understanding the overall will and plans of God the Father, Joseph explained to his brothers that God had sent him into Egypt before his brothers in order to save their lives by a great deliverance. Likewise, Christ has already been sent into Egypt (the world) to preserve His chosen a posterity in the earth, and to save those lives that He wishes to save by a great deliverance. Within the context of this article, one point of the story is that God planned in advance the journey of Joseph into Egypt in order to save Joseph's brothers. This old testament story is yet another example of how God initiates in advance the salvation of His chosen in Egypt. Again, it is apparent that it is God the Father who acts first, and not man. Through the movement of His Holy Spirit, it is God the Father who loves mankind, and who initiates and carries out in advance the necessary plans that will result in the salvation of those he predestines to life and glory.
 
A SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW HIS SEED
 
A new testament example in which God the Father initiates salvation may be found in the parable of the sower.. The scriptures tell us: And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he [Jesus] spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:4-15). In this parable, one reasonable interpretation is that the sower is God the Father, the seed is the gospel word of Christ and the salvation that is available through faith in Him, and the four soils represent the hearts of men. The heart consisting of way-side soil hears the gospel message, but the devil steals the gospel message from this heart. The heart consisting of rocky soil hears and receives with joy the gospel message, but because this heart has no depth, it believes temporarily for a season and then falls away from Christ. The heart which contains soil full of thorns hears and initially accepts the gospel message, and goes forth, but, because these hearts lust after the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life, bring no fruit to perfection. The heart which contains good ground, which is an honest and good heart, hears the gospel message, keeps and treasures it, and in time, and with patience, brings forth beneficial fruit. Within this parable, it is very clear that the process of salvation is started by the sower, which is God the Father, who has sown Christ into the world and continues to sow the gospel message into the hearts of men. Again, the point, in context, is that it is God the Father who sows, or initiates, the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ.
 
MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN
 
God the Father's initial intention of drawing an individual to salvation is reflected in a simple term referred to as a call, or calling. The scriptures teach that men and women are invited or called by God and Christ to become children of the kingdom. Christ, Himself, revealed His ministry when He said, I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance [of their continued rejection of Me] (Mat 9:13). The Lord later added, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come (Mat 22:2-3).
 
Christ referred to those that are called into the Kingdom when He gave the parable of the wedding feast to the Jewish leaders, the chief priests and Pharisees. He said, Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid [command, invite, urge] to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen (Mat 22:9-14).
 
Christ called one of His first disciples named Levi: as he [Christ] passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow [be on the same path with, accompany] me. And he arose and followed him (Mark 2:14). Christ similarly called Peter and his brother Andrew: walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him (Mat 4:18-20). God the Father initially desires and invites individuals to be involved with Him in the issues of life and death. He calls, or invites, us to have a relationship with Him, and following this invitation, we either, in a simplified manner, respond and permanently follow Him, or we do not.
 
FROM HIM COMES MY SALVATION
 
David knew the true and only source of his salvation. The psalmist spoke, For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken (Psalms 62:1-2). In Capernaeum, some Jews, who did not understand that salvation is available only from God the Father through faith in Christ, approached Christ and asked Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him [Christ] whom he [God the Father] hath sent. (John 6:28-29).
 
The great apostle Paul clearly refers to God the Father's early desires and plans to save mankind, plans devised even before the creation of earth. The apostle wrote the church in Ephesus, According as he hath chosen us [for salvation] in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Eph 1:4). God's love and salvation were intimately connected, For God so loved the world, that he gave [bestowed, committed, granted, offered, ministered unto] his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
 
Paul also explained to the church in Ephesus, God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [reanimated, revitalized, brought new life in] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4-7).Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth [of the gospel of Christ] through the [operation, movement, and working of the Holy] Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [Greek logos; i.e., the revelation and speaking of Jesus Christ] of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:22-23).
 
God the Father was involved very early on with the salvation and calling of John the Baptist. Nothing with the baptizer was left to chance. The heavenly Father had a plan for John's life, and that plan could not be derailed. God was in control of the life of John before he was even born into the world. The scriptures tell us, the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15).
 
Referring to the nation of Israel, the psalmist prayed, Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance. We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known (Psa 106:1-8). God saved Israel then, and is saving new testament Israel now. The psalmist later added, And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy (Psa 106:10). Notice that it is only God the Father who saves and redeems.
 
Completely understanding that God the Father is the total source of salvation in those who believe, the apostle Paul wrote the Philippian believers For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Php 2:13), and ...that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Php 1:6). Isaiah reflects on the salvation which comes from the hand of God the Father. Referring to Israel, Isaiah wrote, I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old (Isa 63:7-9).
 
With great humility, Paul encouraged Titus about God's saving mercy when he wrote, For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed [poured forth, bestowed, spilled] on us abundantly [abounding, copiously, richly, wealthy] through Jesus Christ our Saviour (Titus 3:3-6). It is only God the Father who richly shed His love and mercy upon us unto regeneration and salvation. As John summarized, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  AMEN.
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"Truly my soul waiteth upon
God: from him cometh my
salvation.  He
only is my rock
and my salvation;
he is my defence;
I shall not be
greatly moved"
(Psalms 62:1-2)







 
Home
Our
Beliefs
TCH
Articles
 
Links
Study
Aids
 
Books
Subject-Verse Index