“On God our salvation must depend.” Peter M. Vermigli

ref-comm-scripture-romans-2016In the recently published Romans 9-16 commentary (New Testament VIII) in the series “Reformation Commentary on Scripture” (IVP Academic, 2016), the Italian Reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli is quoted (from his own commentary on Romans) in connection with Romans 11:1-4.

In a section headed with “God Causes, Enables and Completes Our Salvation,” this is what Vermigli states (slightly edited):

This should not be understood as simple knowledge, for even those who are damned are not hidden from God. Instead this knowledge has a connection with approval. And they are said to have been foreknown who have been received by God and whom he has separated from the rest as his people whom he will save. For this reason Augustine in his book On the Gift of Perseverance alters this verb ‘he has foreknown’ to ‘he has predestined.’

Those who want election to be dependent on foreseen works say that those whom God foreknew would believe and live godly lives are picked out. But these ideas have been refuted at length above, so instead let us hold the opposite understanding. We believe therefore that we accept God’s truth and live godly lives because we have been chosen, and not that we have been chosen because we will believe.

On God our salvation must depend; it does not even have its beginning from us. Christ said (as it is written in John): ‘Those you have given to me I have not lost.’ That is, if they do not hear me, if they perish, they are not those whom you have given me.

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