Did God choose me or I chose Him to be saved?

Free Will vs. Predestination: Did God choose me, or did I choose Jesus to be saved—because I have free will?

In reformed theology, Calvinists insist that God’s will alone is the sole cause of being born again (regeneration). In short, God chose certain people to go to heaven (Doctrine of Election). For others, God gives us free will to choose Him and be saved by believing in Christ.


1. “God chose me”

Scripture is clear, man will always choose sin, and as children of the fall, our faith is sealed, “we are objects of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). Hence, we can never choose God unless He “wills” it and cause all circumstances in our life that will lead us to Him.

Romans 3:10-12
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together, they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.“

Romans 8:30
“… And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

Romans 9:18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills and hardens whomever he wills.


Monergism: “God’s Will” leads to “My Will”

Although we still have a “general free will,” Divine Monergism (Irresistible grace) holds that God works through the Holy Spirit to bring about an individual’s salvation through spiritual regeneration, regardless of the individual’s cooperation. [Reformed tradition]

John 6:44
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him at the last day.”

Acts 9:18
“And immediately, something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained sight… and was baptized.

Ephesians 1:11
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will….”


2. “I choose God”

Synergism: “My will” and “God’s will” follow

It holds that God works with us to be saved. Although it’s man’s “Free will to choose or reject Jesus,” God can choose to intervene and regenerate someone’s heart to come to Jesus and be saved. In short, salvation are by both “divine grace” and “human freedom to choose.” [Arminian Protestants]

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [Good news]

Romans 1:28-29
“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.” [Who goes to hell]

3. It seems both, but it’s God’s work alone

Monergism that causes synergism

Some people choose to believe in Jesus, while others don’t. It’s like accepting a gift that you do not fully understand its benefits. But once you have it, it gives you comfort.

In this case, the moment we believe is “accepting the gift.” With that decision, God grants us repentance (change of mind) that leads to our salvation.

The offer is for everyone

Many of us were saved when we heard the Gospel through friends or circumstances that led us to a church and that is because of God’s sovereignty. That is why God gave us the great commission. His will is for everyone to hear the good news.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God won’t let go of certain people who want to reject Him

Its’ God’s will to save those who He predestined. No matter what they do, God will lead them to repentance. Those who God knew will REJECT HIM, He gave them over to their depravity. The context is God’s sovereignty.

Ezekiel 36:26
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Jeremiah 32:40
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me so that they will never turn away from me.”

Romans 9:18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

The bottom line, God can override our “free will”

  • God can override our unbelief.
  • He can put fear and faith into the hearts of men, which doesn’t mean He always does.
  • Like Paul, God has preselected some people to be saved, even if they initially refused.
  • Faith comes by believing (John 3:16) and hearing God’s words (Romans 10:17). The reason we proclaim the Gospel.
  • Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, but you must first believe and receive Him.

What makes Calvinism strong or weak?
Which religion did Jesus establish?
How to share the Gospel?

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