Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

John MacArthur on the Paradox of Salvation

The following THEOparadoxical thoughts are excerpted from John MacArthur's article, "Is Your Salvation Secure?"

"Contemporary Christianity has a shallow view of salvation. Many people don't understand the security of the believer. God, in eternity past, chose us to believe in the truth (2 Thess. 2:13 ). Now we have to show a response. I don't fully understand how those two come together. Some people think that the people who go to hell go there because God rejected them. But the Bible says that people go to hell because they reject the gospel (John 3:18 ). That may not make sense to us, but it shouldn't matter. God is smarter than us. Would you want a God who is our equal? I wouldn't!
The paradox regarding God's choice and man's responsibility isn't the only paradox in Scripture. For example, who wrote the book of Romans? Paul did, but so did God. Did they take turns writing verses? On the one hand, every word is pure and from the mind of God. Yet, every word also came from Paul's heart and his vocabulary. How could Romans have been fully written by both God and Paul? We know it was, but we can't explain it fully.
Is Jesus God or man? He was both. Christ was not a blend of God and man. He was 100 percent Himself. He was fully God and fully man. We can't figure that out.
How about this: Who lives your Christian life? Paul said, "I discipline my body and make it my slave" (1 Cor. 9:27 ). He also said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20 ). Which is the right answer? Both you and Christ live your life.
Most major doctrines in the Bible have an aspect that we cannot fully explain. When we try to bring God down to our level, there is still much we won't understand. We simply can't resolve everything in our minds. So the reason anyone goes to hell is because he rejected Christ and is completely responsible. But when a person comes to Christ, it's because he was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)."


  1. So good! All of these apparent paradoxes have to be temporarily accepted and marvelled at, until they are better apprehened in eternity. On a specific note, I've often thought that folks who, sadly, haven't realized the security of their salvation, haven't fully comprehended the nature of their salvation.

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