ďSo then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.Ē†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† -- Romans 9:16
The great contest between the religion of the world and the religion of Jesus Christ is just this - Who is entitled to the praise and glory of the sinner's salvation? Your answer to that question will be determined by your answer to this one: -- Is salvation by manís free-will, or by Godís free-grace? To answer these questions, I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the past, though I thank God for what he has taught me through the writings of those faithful men who served him in past generations. And I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the present, though I truly thank God for his faithful witnesses who minister to my soul. To find the answer to these questions, I turn to the Book of God alone, the Bible, our solitary rule of faith and practice. "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
Who is entitled to have the praise and glory of salvation? What does the Bible say? "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake." "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power."
Is salvation by the free-will of man, or by the free-grace of God? What does the Bible say? "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." Salvation is "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
What does that vile, ugly, reprehensible term, "free-will" represent? Free-willism is the religion of man. It represents anything decided, determined, or done by man to attain salvation. Free-willism is the religion of Satan. Lucifer was the first free-willer (Isa.14:13-14). Free-willism was the religion of those men who crucified the Lord of glory (Mk. 15:9-15). Free-willism is the religion of Babylon and the religion of antichrist.
What is represented by that glorious, God-honoring, Christ exalting term, "free-grace"? Free-grace represents everything decided, determined and done by almighty God to bestow salvation upon his elect. Free-grace is the sovereign, voluntary, eternal, immutable, unconditional, uncaused, uncontrolled, gratuitous bounty of God's goodness, by which salvation, in all its branches, is accomplished. It is this grace that reigns unto the eternal life of chosen sinners through Christ (Rom. 5:21).
Let us ever sing with the psalmist of old, "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake." If salvation is of the Lord,(as it most assuredly is, then God alone is to receive all praise, honor and glory for it; and all who know him gladly give it to him and him alone!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Amen.