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“They shall be my people”
Be sure you understand these five facts. Apart from them you cannot understand the Word of God or the works of God.
1. There are some men and women in this world whom God has chosen to salvation from eternity, who must and shall be saved (John 15:16; Ephesians1:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
There is a multitude, scattered among the fallen sons of Adam, in every age, in every nation, who must be saved. The number of God’s elect is so great that no man can calculate it, though it always appears as only a remnant at any given time. But the number is unalterably fixed by God. And all the elect must be saved. Nothing can prevent their salvation. God’s very Being demands it!
2. The Lord Jesus Christ has made atonement for the sins of God’s elect and redeemed them from the curse of the law by his own precious blood (Galatians 3:13-14).
Contrary to popular opinion, Christ did not die for all men. He refused to even pray for all men (John 17:9, 20). All his work was and is for his elect alone. The death of Christ was for a particular people (Isaiah 53:8; John 10:11) as their Substitute. And his death is an effectual atonement for their sins (Hebrews 9:12; Ephesians 1:6) for the satisfaction of justice on their behalf.
3. All God’s elect, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, shall be called from death to life by the irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14; Psalms 65:4; 110:3).
Repentance toward God, faith in Christ, and eternal life are the results of the Spirit’s call. These are things effectually wrought in God’s elect (not offered to them) by his almighty grace.
4. The means by which God’s elect are born again, called, and given faith in Christ is the preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25).
The Word of God is crystal clear. — “It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.” The triune God has ordained the salvation of his elect by “the sanctification of the Spirit” (by the regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit) through the “belief of the truth.” Salvation is brought to chosen, redeemed sinners by the sovereign, irresistible work of God the Holy Ghost through the instrumentality of gospel preaching.
5. And there is a specific day appointed by God in which each of his elect will be called to life and faith in Christ by the gospel (Psalm 110:3; Ezekiel 16:6-8).
God will see to it that the sinner he has chosen will be in the place he has ordained, with his heart thoroughly prepared to receive the gospel, at the appointed “time of love.” And he will send his Word to that sinner by a preacher in the irresistible power and grace of the Holy Spirit.