T.U.L.I.P. - Lesson 6

Unconditional Election (Part 3/3)

Is God's election based on his foreknowledge of your faith, or is faith the effect of your election? (see Romans 8:28-30) Faith is the effect because all the called, believe. Romans 9:1-23 is an argument for the justice of unconditional election. The heart of the righteousness of God is his unswerving allegiance to always uphold his glory.

John Piper
Lesson 6
Watching Now
Unconditional Election (Part 3/3)

Unconditional Election (part 3)

I. Romans 8:28-30

II. Acts 13:44-48

III. Romans 9:1-23

IV. Some texts that are problematic for unconditional election

Class Resources
  • Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. The Bible holds up Romans 8:28 with foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. We imagine things about God and act as if they are true. Verses like Ephesians 1:4 and Revelation 13:8 refer to God's plans that were in place before the foundation of the world.
  • Dr. Piper explains his assumptions about the authority of scripture, the importance of understanding and applying what it teaches and the role of the Holy Spirit in making it possible. The five points of Calvinism were first articulated in response to five objections that Arminians had to Calvin's theology in the 1600's.
  • Irresistable grace means we are brought to the place where grace gives us faith. Conditional talk from God to us should not be taken to mean he is dependent on us to meet the condition or that we should consider ourselves self-reliant in meeting the condition he has laid out. He intends to enable us to meet the condition so he can act. If grace were not irresistable, we would not incline to God because of our condition of total depravity. In summary, total depravity means that apart from any enabling grace from God, our hardness and rebellion against God is total. Everything we do in this rebellion is sin, our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment.
  • "Total" depravity doesn't mean you are as bad as you can be. The point of unconditional election is that there are no conditions we must meet to be among the elect. God chooses individuals he will bring to faith. The Arminian position is that God chooses a corporate entity, so that it is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, but that they are elect because they are in the church. We don't belong to God because we come to Jesus, we come to Jesus because we belong to God.
  • We are unable to believe in Christ but we are accountable for doing so. In election, God had a design in mind when he chose the foolish, the weak and the low to populate his church so that no human could boast in his presence and so we would praise and exalt God.
  • Is God's election based on his foreknowledge of your faith, or is faith the effect of your election? (see Romans 8:28-30) Faith is the effect because all the called, believe. Romans 9:1-23 is an argument for the justice of unconditional election. The heart of the righteousness of God is his unswerving allegiance to always uphold his glory.
  • God's aim was the revelation of the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. The apex of that glory is the glory of grace. The supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. The atonement is the work of God in Christ, by his obedience and death, by which he cancelled the debt of our sin, appeased his holy wrath against us, and won for us all the benefits of salvation.
  • Even though believers are accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and slavery to sin is broken, sinful desires progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. All who are justified will win this fight.
  • It's important to determine theological truths by basing your ideas on scriptural texts, not just logic. These scriptural truths can encourage us to live our lives in relationship to God, worship him, tell others about him and look forward to his kingdom being realized on earth.

God is sovereign and has planned everything about our salvation from before the foundation of the world. Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

Dr. John Piper
Unconditional Election (Part 3/3)
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] The following message is by Pastor John Piper. More information from Desiring God is available at www.DesiringGod.org. We're still on unconditional election. And now here's the key question between the two big systems. Is God's election based upon his foreknowledge of your freely chosen faith. That's the classic Armenian position. Yes, there's the election. It's in the Bible. Can't deny that. So you go to this passage here, Romans eight, and you see this. We know that God causes all things to work together for good, for those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose, for those who he for knew he predestined to be conformed, to become conformed to the image of his son so that he would be the first born among many brethren, those who he predestined, he also called and those whom he called. He also justified and those whom he justified. He also glorified the stop there. Pretty natural reading, isn't it? To say that predestination is based on foreknowledge and to assume that election is in here and not back here or in here? So there would be the classic text for where an Armenian would conclude that first there's foreknowledge and then there's election predestination. And then there's calling, and then there's justification and then there's glorification. Now the question is, is that what four new means here? Does four know in this text mean God is aware ahead of time of what we, by our ultimate self determination, will do in response to the Gospel, namely believe and foreseeing that for free ultimate self-determination choice. He then says, on the basis of that, I now in eternity, elect you to be mine. And so the election is fundamentally a response to my free choice.

[00:03:16] Is that what's happening now? Up till now, if you've been on track with me till now, you would simply say, It can't be because we've seen in irresistible grace and total depravity and so far in John, that God's enabling us to believe is based upon His election, not the other way around. However, this is all that let this tax to have its say and ask. But. But could this mean that? And if so, then we might have to adjust everything else we've seen so far now. Let me do two things. Let me give you a little biblical primmer on the kind of knowing that may be met here and probably is. And then look contextually at something here that won't let it work that way. So here's some text on the kind of knowing that implied Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore Cain saying, I have gotten a man. So this kind of use of the word no is not uncommon in the Bible. To know is to have a relationship with connect with had sex in this case. Here's the significant one In Genesis 18, the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I'm about to do? Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation and all nations of the Earth shall be blessed in him, for I have chosen. Now that's the ESV translation there, but it's the Hebrew Yoddha. I have known him that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. So there God is saying I have known Him that He may do this. So knowing there is virtually synonymous with the election, as this translation is suggesting. And then Amos three two says to Israel, You only God says to Israel, you only have I known of all the families on the earth.

[00:05:44] Therefore, I'll punish you for your iniquities. What does he mean when he says, I've only known Israel? I don't know Midian and I don't know the Canaanites. I don't know the Jewish sites and I don't know Moab and I don't know them. I just know you. What does he mean by that? And the answer is, I've only formed a relationship with you. I've only set my. The closest thing we have in English might be the word EQ. No ledge acknowledge. So if if, if we have a discussion here and I go, I acknowledge you. What? What I mean is I choose you to speak next to you. I just hand up and I acknowledge that's the closest I can think of to the use of the word no or the stim no in English to this kind of no, to acknowledge, to set one's awareness on in a choosing way. We just hard to do it in English, but there it is, several times in Hebrew. Here's one more. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season. This leaf does not wither and in everything he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the creation of the righteous, for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. No. What does that mean? It doesn't mean he's unaware of the way of the wicked. So awareness is not the issue here with this kind of use of the word no. It is relationship and acknowledgment, you see. And you put your knowledge, you put your consciousness, you put your choosing relational sights upon something.

[00:07:56] The Lord knows the way the righteous he attends to it. He acknowledges it. He owns it for his own. Now back to Romans. So we should at least consider the possibility when it says here those whom he for knew he predestined, that it means those whom he acknowledges, those whom he chose, and then the word predestined simply it's not equal to election. It never does mean election. Predestination means you are destined in the elect for a certain future, and in this case, conformity to Jesus. I mean, my interpretation of these verse 29 is that for no here is synonymous with the election. Those whom he chose, those whom he for, knew he predestined. Now, are there any clues in the text to that effect? And here is the clearest one to me. You have to let yourself know, feel the entire flow of the text so that you're reading along. You've got other things Paul has said in the book in your mind or in First Corinthians, especially about the call of God. They remind you First Corinthians 122 and 23 Jews demand signs. Greeks seek wisdom. But, uh, we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews, foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called the power of God in the wisdom of God, meaning the call effected the view of the cross as true, powerful, beautiful, and no longer a stumbling block and no longer foolishness. It's the call that did that. So the call creates sight. The call creates life. Lazarus come forth. That's the kind of call that is made by Paul when he speaks of the call to salvation. Now keep that in mind and we read on those who we for new he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son and those of me predestined he called.

[00:10:30] And these recalled. You justify Now, everything up till now in Romans has taught one thing about justification. It is by faith alone. Chapter five, verse one. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. And he he's saying every single person, no exception whose called is justified. So some big things are being assumed here. What faith? Every one of those called people believed really every single one of them. Everyone who is called is justified. There's no dropouts. There's no exceptions. The called or justified, which must mean the called, have their faith effected by the call, which means God is not for knowing self raw faith. That's what. That's what. Turn this text for me. It will work. It just won't work in the flow. Once you get down to realize all the called are justified and only believers are justified, therefore, all the calls are brought to faith. And it is not a contingency like a few of them believe, and a few of them don't because their got their ultimate self determination. No, they don't have ultimate self determination. When God calls effectually, they see and believe and are justified. And there are no dropouts and there are no exceptions. All the calls are justified because all the calls believe and therefore Paul cannot be operating with the Armenian notion that what God foresaw in the preaching, the Gospel was that the gospel would be sounded forth, and something other than a sovereign call would bring about faith and justification work. So my answer to this classic text brought up against unconditional election is it's not a successful counter argument. This word for no here, both in the wider meaning of the Bible and in the immediate demands of the context, doesn't mean I was aware ahead of time of human beings using ultimate self-determination to put their faith in Christ and thus deciding who will populate the people of God apart from God's choosing.

[00:13:32] It won't work. And when you come to a text like this one in x 13, you get a profound confirmation of it. Paul's preaching in synagogue, and when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying it was necessary that the Word of God be spoken first to you since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life. Behold returning to the Gentiles for So the Lord has commanded us saying, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Word of the Lord. And as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. This is election. The Armenian scheme that says God foresees this. Bringing this about contradicts this text. Clearly, it is this that brings this about as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Just the fact that Luke Luke chooses to say that should amaze us because he didn't have to say. He could have just said. And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying God, and many put their faith in the Lord. Just wonderful. We will praise God. The Gentiles are believing awesome, becoming part of the people of God And Luke, for reasons that I assume prompt the existence of this seminar. He says, out of out of his way, he says, the ones who believed. If you have any question about why they believed, the answer is they had been appointed to eternal life. The reason you do not believe is because you are not a machine. I have other sheep that are not of this fold.

[00:16:29] I must bring them all so they are appointed to eternal life. You go preach in synagogues. You go preach in marketplaces. My sheep hear my voice and they respond. I'm going to. Try to develop very briefly Paul's argument in Romans nine for God's justice in unconditional election. He starts in chapter nine, verse three. I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. What that means is my kinsman, That is my Jewish kinsman, our diamond. They are cut off from Christ and under the curse. And if it were possible, I would take their place. But lest you be too shocked that Jewish people, God's own people, could be lost. It is not as though the Word of God has failed. Why not? Because not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel. In other words. Not all Jews belong to true Israel. That is the elect. Then he argues for that on the basis of Abraham having Ishmael and Isaac and Isaac being chosen, not Ishmael, and then Isaac and Rebecca having Jacob and Esau and God choosing Jacob. But Esau gives these illustrations where among those who are physically seed do not become spiritual heirs. And he's showing the electing distinctions of God. So it comes down to verse 12 and 13 these twins in the womb, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election cycle might stand, not because it works, but because of him. He didn't say works Faith, he said. Works Him. Him. Who calls? There's the call. She was told the older will serve the younger to God, reverse the expected order in the womb and predicted whom he would choose.

[00:19:50] As it is written, Jacob. I loved him so I hated this quote from Malachi. One and two three. And this hatred here, as shocking as it sounds, if you look at it in context and you can hear my sermon on Malachi one by going back to the ZG website really is morally suitable because even though the choice was made of Jacob over Esau before they were born, the warrant for God's judgment is fully demonstrated in the wickedness of the people themselves as they develop. Now there's the problem. All right. Unconditional action of Jacob over Esau, unconditional action of Isaac over Ishmael, and unconditional action of all those who are in true Israel, what shall we say? Is there injustice on God's path? I spent nine months doing nothing in 1979, were trying to figure that sentence out and wrote the book The Justification of God. If you read 240 pages of explanation of that verse, that's what I did. So I'm going to give you the fruit in 5 minutes of what I think this means is there's an injustice. Paul is not oblivious to our problems, right? He's not oblivious to what his teaching sounds like. He knows our problems, you say, before they're born or don't anything good or evil. Jacob, I love you so I hate it. You're unjust. That's what he hears. People say it. And so he asks, Is there injustice on God's part? And he answers, No. And his reason is mind boggling. Here's his argument. No, for Moses said in X's 3319, I'll have mercy on him. I have mercy and compassion on him. I have compassion. Kind of an argument is that the three states the problem. Or does. It might take nine months to figure that out.

[00:22:25] If you if you credit if you you don't get snooty with the Bible. There are so many commentaries that get snooty at this point. They just mock the Bible on Romans nine. It's appalling how many Christian pastors and teachers there are who mock the Bible, who look at its plain assertions and scoff that anybody could believe? Well, I don't want to be in that number. Scary to be in that number. I want to be respectful and say, Paul, I don't get it. I need help. Help me understand this argument. Because you said, no, there's no injustice in your free choice of Jacob over Esau, because Moses said, I'll have mercy on him. I'll have mercy and I'll have compassion. On whom? I'll have compassion. Are you just saying shut up? That's the way I do it. He has a right to say that. He can say that to me, but it looks like he's written some. He's trying to help me. He's writing. He's trying to help me. He's not saying shut up. He's it's he goes on and on with trying to help me here. And so I want to get help. So what I did was I went back and I read it in context. Here it is. This is the place that he quotes as a defense that God is not unjust in choosing Jacob over Esau freely, apart from anything in them. This is Moses dealing with God about whether he'll go up with them into the Promised land, and God is upset with them because of their sin. And Moses is pleading that God won't leave them alone and will go with them. And so he says, If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.

[00:24:19] For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your site? I and your people? Is it not in your going with us so that we are distinct? I and your people from every other people on the face of the earth. Lord said to Moses, This very thing that you have spoken, I will do for you have found favor in my sight. And I know you by name. Moses said he is still not satisfied, cannot get more. He's got God's commitment to go with him now, but he wants more. Please show me your glory. And God said, Now this is his answer. I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim before you my name, the Lord, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious. And I will show mercy. On whom I will show mercy. But you cannot see my face for no man can see me alive. I think the answer is in there. Somewhere. In there. Somewhere. The answer why? Paul would quote this as an explanation that there is no injustice on God's part in choosing Jacob over Esau before they were born. And I'll try to sum up the argument like this. And it took 240 pages to defend. I believe that in asking to see God's glory, God, in fact, does in this response, provide a glimpse of His glory and something right at the heart of what His glory is. He is Yahweh. And you remember very similarly grammatically to this Your way arose from the statement. I am who I am. That is grammatically a very similar structure to I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious. So his then the Lord is my name. And here is what my name at its heart means, or at least includes.

[00:27:14] I am free. What does this mean? I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious. And I will show mercy. On whom I will show mercy. What's the point of saying that? The point of saying that is to distinguish God's choices from those who show mercy on the basis of what others do, who are gracious on the basis of what others do. God chooses to be gracious to whom He chooses to be gracious. God's willing is traced back to God. God wills because He wills. He chooses because He chooses it. I'm arguing it belongs to the very definition of the glory of God. That God be free like that in all of His action. That He be free. That He not be constrained by any powers or contingencies from outside himself. That when God choose a thing, He choose it freely, never constrained by others, never constrained by forces outside himself. It is glory to be free. It is godliness to be free. Which means. When he chose Jacob over Esau, he did it in absolute freedom. He was not coerced or constrained or limited or decisively effected by anything in them. Is he unjust to do that? No, because he is acting in complete freedom, as Moses said. And in that context, this is what it means to be infinitely glorious, which left one last step in the argument. What's the meaning of justice in God? What's the meaning of righteousness in God? And I'm rebuilding arguments from the inside out. I'm trying not to come on this. I'm trying to think the structure out from the inside. And my conclusion is, in Paul's mind, the heart of the righteousness of God is His unswerving allegiance to always uphold His glory. His unswerving allegiance always to display and vindicate and magnify and uphold his glory.

[00:30:02] So here is the argument. Without a hitch summed up somewhere. There it is. God's justice or righteousness is his unwavering commitment to uphold and display the worth of His glory. I developed lots of texts to try to show that. Second, his freedom from all external constraints is an essential aspect of his glory. Therefore, to act in freedom is essential to His glory, and thus to his righteousness. And therefore. No. In exercising that freedom for the upholding of that glory, in choosing Jacob over Esau, he is acting in complete justice. He was doing what justice demands of him. That is what the infinite worth of his glory requires. If he had not acted in freedom here. He would have been unjust. That is, he would not have justly acted in accordance with the worth of his glory. End of argument. That's heavy. And it may be that you just will say, okay, maybe. And I'll just accept that God is right and good and true in what He does. Let me draw this part to a close on election. In fact, finish the election. And that's all we'll do in this session by looking at a few texts that call unconditional election into question. There are texts that are raised immediately in opposition to everything we've been saying. This is the first one. Paul says. First of all, then I urge entreaties and prayers, petitions and Thanksgivings to be made on behalf of all men for kings and all who are in authority so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God who desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. So if you say that you're a Calvinist or that you believe in unconditional action, a Bible person, even if they're sympathetic with, you will wonder what you do with this.

[00:33:00] Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. If God chooses Jacob over Esau before they were born, how does this text work? Doesn't he desire Jacob to be saved? And you said he chose Jacob over Esau before they had done anything. That's a good question. You ought to ask that question. Howard Marshall has written a scholarly commentary on it, and here is very telling words. He's not a Calvinist, but he's a usually a pretty good excuse to avoid all misconceptions. It should be made clear at the outset that the fact that God wishes or wills that all people should be saved does not necessarily imply that all will respond to the gospel and be saved. So that's true. So our meanings in Calvinists agree on that. We must certainly distinguish between what God would like to see happen and what he actually does will to happen. That surprised me coming out of his mouth. That's right. You should say that. But it just surprised me because he's setting himself up for big trouble. And both of these things can be spoken of as God's will. Absolutely they can. And they are in the Bible. You see what he's saying? I didn't expect him to. I thought only covers talk this way that you have one level of willing he would like to see happen desires all men to be saved. And you have another level of willing. Both can be spoken of as God's will. So the question at issue is not whether all will be saved. This is still him talking, but whether God has made provision in Christ for the salvation of all. Provided that they believe and without limiting the potential scope of the death of Christ merely to those whom God knows will believe.

[00:35:25] I have no problem with that. No problem. I'm okay. I don't think limited atonement even contradicts what he just says or if you feel it very carefully. I just zero problem with everything he's written on that page. But nowhere in the entire essay does Marshall mention the. Fact mention the one text in the pastoral epistles that point most clearly to these two wills and what they are. They read this text right here. So let's read it. The Lord's born servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all. Able to teach patient when wronged with gentleness, correcting those who are in opposition. If perhaps God may grant them repentance, God may grit repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. Sounds familiar. It sounds real familiar. First Timothy two four. And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do as well. So since it sounds so familiar, one is prompted to go back and do this. Let's compare first Timothy two four and second Timothy 225 years. Timothy two forces that God desires all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Ace epic. No scene, only serious. Come. Second. Timothy 225. God may grant them. Repentance onto a knowledge of the truth. A big no sing on its face. That is remarkable. Marshall poses the question whether any text in the past roles would lead us to believe that, quote, faith and repentance are the gifts of God, who gives them only to the previously chosen group of the elect. He poses that question on page 66, and he concludes, There is not. Even though the text that comes closest to saying this very thing, he skips totally.

[00:38:19] I don't like that. Not from scholars. I don't. Scholars should know better. Look at this. He is posing the question, Is there any clue in the pastoral epistles that this wish of God here that all people would come to a knowledge of the truth is somehow only given by God to certain people? And the answer is absolutely yes. There is a text. It says that very thing, namely second Timothy 225 God may grant them repentance unto a knowledge of the truth. You can't even you can't even bend the words. They're the same. The pastoral epistles show us how we dare not interpret chapter two, verse four of the First Epistle. We dare not take these words God desires all people to be saved to imply He does not give repentance to. So we can't take it to mean that. So how shall we take it? What shall we say? Here's the upshot. Both Calvinists and Armenians agree that not all are saved because God desires all to be saved. So we're all on the same page there. We say he desires and I'm saying he desires all to be saved. Both agree that some other purpose of God intervenes to prevent this desire from being fulfilled. Some other purpose of God. That's what Marshall said intervenes to prevent this one from saving everybody. The says that God's purpose to grant ultimate self-determination intervenes. So if you to ask an Armenian and this is, I don't know, caricature here, just a bona fide intelligent, born again Armenian, why do you think everybody is not saved? If God wishes everybody to be saved, His answer is free will as his answer, meaning God has a purpose, that you have free will. And that's more important, all things considered, than that Everybody be saved because they would say, you make robots out of everybody if you save everybody.

[00:41:18] So God's purpose is not be. Robots have genuine self determination, and that purpose intervenes and prevents his wish that all be saved from coming true. Now, the question is, is that a good explanation? Is that a biblical explanation? It's an explanation. It's just not a biblical one. Because self-determination is not taught in the Bible. It's assumed it's brought to the Bible by philosophical presuppositions that most Armenians are born with, namely, all of us were born with the assumption that we have ultimate self-determination, and you can't have moral accountability without it. The Calvinist says that God's purpose, which intervenes and prevents this from happening is to save in complete freedom and for the glory of his name, those whom he has chosen. So God has a genuine desire. You may have a hard time dealing with that. I do. I'm going to say it at one level. God desires all people to be saved, just like Armenians say that. And then Armenians say, But he does. And save all people because he ranks freewill in the general scope of things to be more important than any save Everybody and Calvinists say that's not the biblical answer. The biblical answer is that God elects unconditionally whom He will save for his purposes, to glorify his freedom and his name. And therefore, that's why in his wisdom, he doesn't save everybody that he desires to say. These are the other two texts that are going to be brought up in response. He is patient toward you. That's an important word here. Not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. And I would simply. Say the same thing about that text that I did about the other. That's true. He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked, but he has purposes for why that desire is not realized.

[00:44:08] Here's the Ezekiel response. Do I have pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Lord, rather than He should turn from his ways and live? God's deepest pleasure is not in the death of the wicked. God doesn't delight in hell the way He delights in heaven, catching delight in damnation, or he delights in salvation. They're not parallel the equivalent emotions in the heart of God. And here is one of the clearest text, and I'll stop with this one. This one. Help me so much. It's clues like this that make you shape your brain around Bible rather than bring in to the Bible what it has to mean. Lamentations The Lord will not reject forever. Lamentations 331 four If he causes grief, he'll have compassion according to his abundant loving kindness, for he does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men because Hebrew is not afflict mother evil from his heart, from heart his He does not afflict from his heart and grieve. Sons of man. What does this mean? Literally it is. He does not reflect them from his heart. What an amazing phrase for God. But he does afflict them. But it's not coming from his heart. Which means there are levels of willing in God He can desire that all people be saved. He can decide that people not perish. He can take no pleasure in the death of the wicked. And he can will that for wise, wholly and just purposes. This aspect of his desiring, knowing willing will be subordinated to the larger picture of glorifying his name by the preservation of his freedom, which is an essential part of his glory and the definition of his justice. Let's pray. Father in heaven. I praise you that you are God and we are not.

[00:46:47] That you are absolutely free. And there are many imponderable things. How inscrutable are your ways and how ins on searchable are your judgments? Who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has ever given a gift to him that he should be repaid for from him and through him and to him, Are all things to him be glory forever and ever?