“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
According to Holy Scripture, the very first work of God’s grace in saving His people was that of election. No doctrine in the Bible is more delightful and comforting than the doctrine of election. This is not a doctrine taught in a few isolated passages of Scripture. It is taught prominently throughout the Word of God.
The doctrine of election, simply stated, is the teaching that God chose some of Adam’s race to be the objects of His grace and predestinated them unto eternal salvation in Christ before the world began.
Does the Bible teach this doctrine? Yes, of course, it does! It is impossible to read the Book of God and miss the doctrine of election (Psalm 65:4; Matthew 20:28; John 15:16; Romans 8:28-30; 9:11-13; 11:5; Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:2). What do these passages of Scripture teach about God’s electing grace? — At least these five things…
1. Election is in Christ. — We were chosen in Him, chosen to be like Him, and accepted in Him before the world began. All grace is in Christ. All that God does for sinners is in Christ.
2. Election is unconditional. — God did not choose us because He “foreknew” that we would do good! He chose us because He loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), even though He “foreknew” what sinners we would be!
3. Election is unto salvation. — Election is not salvation, but there could be no salvation without it. We could never be saved had God not chosen to save us.
4. Election took place before the worlds were made. — The Lamb’s Book of Life is not being written in time. Every name that shall be found in that book when the world has been destroyed was written there before God created the universe.
5. Election is the fountain head of all grace. — Read the first chapter of Ephesians carefully. Every blessing of grace from adoption to redemption, to forgiveness, to regeneration, to the resurrection of the body, to the inheritance of the saints in glory, flows freely to chosen sinners “according as” God has chosen them in Christ!
The doctrine of election declares, “Salvation is of the Lord!” It is not the will of man in time that is the determining factor in salvation, but the will of God in eternity. He declares, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy!”
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