“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”
Of His own will
The phrase “of His own will” is emphatic in Greek. The word “will” carries the idea of “counsel.” God conferred with Himself about what He would do if mankind fell into sin. He counseled Himself, resulting in a decision to regenerate those who believe in His Son. He would give them second birth.
Regeneration is an act of God, not of humans. Born-again people come into the Kingdom by God’s will; this is not a capricious action. From eternity, God determined that this would happen. People cannot come to God strictly by their own will. They need the sovereign intervention of God to become Christians. God initiates regeneration.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12).
Human beings do not have the capacity to come to God independently. We need God to give us that capacity in the first place.
“But the natural man [non-Christian] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Creation has cosmos rather than chaos because God ordered the universe by His will.
There would be no salvation had not God willed to save some of His creatures. It is God’s will that all come to repentance, but not all do (2 Peter 3:9). That implies we have a choice in the matter.
If God did not rule the universe according to His will, creation would be both capricious and chaotic. In God’s sovereign approach to the universe, He logically thought out the implications of creation. From eternity, He willed salvation in Christ to come to pass. He willed both the right of human beings to exercise their free will and the solution to the negative consequences of free will. He planned this from eternity past. There is no need to concern ourselves with who is among the elect. That onus is on God.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).
Grant: It is wonderful to have access to an explanation for a verse such as James 1:18 and books like “Chosen by God” R C Sproule. Most of my friends believe they are Christians because of their choice and good works. Thank you Bernie
Thank you Bernard.