Whereunto He Called You By Our Gospel
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
In these two verses, God the Holy Spirit tells us that the only reason any of us are found worshipping our great and glorious, almighty, sovereign God, rather than kneeling before a stump, the only reason we are not deceived with the rest of the world by the idolatrous, free-will, works religion of antichrist is the fact that we have been chosen by God the Father, redeemed by God the Son, and called by God the Holy Spirit. Let us ever ascribe the whole of this great work to God alone and praise God alone for it! "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."
Pay close attention to the Words of Holy Scripture. Too often we read the Word of God like we would read a newspaper, just scanning for the highlights. In the Book of God the highlights are in the details. Here the Apostle Paul, writing by divine inspiration, tells us five things which go right to the heart of the gospel. The things here described are words of assurance given to every sinner who trusts Christ alone for redemption, righteousness, grace, salvation, and eternal life. If you have been granted faith in the Son of God, here are five things of which you ought to be assured by the Word of God. As surely as you trust Christ, these five things are true of you.
“God hath from the beginning chosen you!” What blessed, good news that is! The holy Lord God chose you as the object of his special love and distinguishing grace in Christ before the worlds were made by his hand. Indeed, the reason why he made this world is that he chose you.
God chose “you to salvation”! The Lord did not choose you to have a chance at salvation. He did not choose you to receive an offer of salvation. He did not choose you to hear about salvation. He chose you to save you! Election is for salvation.
God chose “you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit”. The Lord God chose to save his elect in Christ, upon the grounds of justice satisfied, by the irresistible grace and power of the Holy Spirit, in regeneration. He has saved you, not only by imputing righteousness to you in justification, but also by imparting righteousness to you in regeneration. The Holy Spirit, in regeneration, sanctifies God’s elect by giving us a new, holy nature, a nature created in the image of Christ in true holiness.
God chose “you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”. Faith in Christ, who is the Truth, is as essential to salvation as election, redemption, and regeneration. And this faith in Christ, who is the Truth, is inseparably connected with believing the truth of God revealed about Christ in the gospel. We believed on the Son of God only “after that we heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of our salvation”.
God chose “you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, whereunto he called you by our gospel.” It is absolutely essential that we understand the teaching of Holy Scripture in this regard. Chosen, redeemed sinners are brought into the blessed experience of God’s grace in salvation only by the effectual call of the Holy Spirit, which comes only through the preaching of the gospel.