Sermon #1819 Miscellaneous Sermons
A Bible Doctrine or a Satanic Delusion?
Text: John 15:16
Date: St Croix Radio — November 19, 2009
Does the Bible teach the doctrine of election? If the Bible teaches it, believers bow to it, believe it and rejoice in it. We do not have and do not want to have the option of believing what we want to believe. We believe God. If the Word of God teaches this doctrine, it matters not who opposes it, all believers bow to it. If God does not teach this doctrine in his Word, then we must reject it and denounce it, no matter who believes it, no matter who teaches it.
I ask only that you read the Word of God. Let God speak for himself. Let God be true and every man a liar. This is the question: — Does the Bible teach election? Because we are, of necessity, limited by the constraints of time, I will not attempt to show you how fully this doctrine is taught in the Old Testament, though it is written upon every page of it.
á Adam had two sons. God chose one and passed by the other.
á There were untold millions in the earth in NoahŐs day; but Noah alone found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
á Abraham had two sons. God chose one and passed by the other.
á God chose the nation of Israel to be his peculiar people and passed by all the other nations of the world.
á God gave his law to Israel alone, sent his prophets (with rare exception) to Israel alone and established his worship in Israel alone.
However, I refer you only to the New Testament at this time for this brief study. I read to you only a few of those many, many passages of Scripture where the very words elect, elected, election, chosen and ordained are used. I will not even mention those numerous texts where the doctrine of election is only implied, or even taught. In these texts it is plainly stated by Divine inspiration! These few passages will suffice to answer our question, ŇDoes the Bible teach the doctrine of election?Ó Let the Scriptures speak.
John 15:16 ŇYe have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.Ó
Acts 13:48 ŇAnd when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.Ó
Romans 8:33 ŇWho shall lay any thing to the charge of GodŐs elect? It is God that justifieth.Ó
Romans 11:5 ŇEven so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.Ó
Romans 11:7 ŇWhat then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded.Ó
Ephesians 1:4 ŇAccording as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.Ó
2 Thessalonians 2:13 ŇBut 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.Ó
Titus 1:1 ŇPaul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of GodŐs elect and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.Ó
Make a mental note of this fact: The Word of God makes no attempt to explain how God can be righteous and just in showing mercy to whom he will, while passing by whom he will. In fact, rather than answering such carping objections from unbelieving men, the Apostle Paul simply says, God does things this way because God has determined to do things this way (Rom. 9:11-23).
Without question, the Book of God teaches the glorious, gospel doctrine of election. No honest person can even question that fact. It is impossible to read the Scriptures, even casually, without realizing that the doctrine of election is written in boldface letters throughout the Sacred Volume. No one can reject the doctrine of election without rejecting the Word of God entirely. One may be confused as to what the Bible teaches about election; but no one can deny the fact of GodŐs sovereign, eternal, electing grace.
There is absolutely no question about the fact that the Bible teaches the blessed gospel doctrine of GodŐs sovereign, eternal election of some to salvation before the world began. Those who say, ŇThe Bible does not teach the doctrine of electionÓ are either totally ignorant of the Bible or utterly dishonest. Listen to the Word of God.
There is no question that the Bible teaches this God honoring, soul-cheering, gospel doctrine of election.
So, the next question to be answered is this — WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD TEACH ABOUT ELECTION? Here are eleven things expressly taught in the Word of God about election.
1. Election is ŇIN CHRIST.Ó No less than fourteen times in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians chapter one the Holy Spirit expressly tells us that every benefit and blessing of grace that comes to sinners from God is in Christ.
2. Election is UNTO SALVATION. Certainly, there is a sense in which it must be said that GodŐs elect were saved from eternity (Rom. 8:29); but we must never be deceived into thinking that election is salvation. Election is unto salvation. Election is not, as some teach, unto ŇChristian service.Ó Election is unto salvation.
3. Election is an act of pure, absolute, DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY. God has mercy on whom he will have mercy (Rom. 9:11-18). God was not moved by anything outside himself to choose the people he chose to save.
4. Election took place in ETERNITY. God did not choose his people in time, but before time began, in eternity. He chose us before the foundation of the world, from the beginning, when nothing existed except God himself in the tri-unity of the eternal Godhead.
5. The source and cause of election is GodŐs eternal LOVE for his people. He loved us freely, from everlasting, before ever the earth was made. Our love to him is not the cause of his love toward us, but the result (Jer. 31:3; 1 John 4:19).
6. GodŐs election was an act of free, UNCONDITIONAL grace. Grace is always free and unconditional. The moment a condition is put to it, it ceases to be grace. To say that God chose us because of something he foresaw in us, or foresaw we would chose to do, is to frustrate the grace of God, making it the reward of our work (Rom. 11:6).
7. Election is GodŐs PERSONAL choice of specific sinners to eternal life in Christ. Here is a sweet cordial of grace which shall never cease to amaze and rejoice the hearts of believing sinners — The Lord God chose me to eternal salvation in Christ, because he loved me with an everlasting, unconditional love!
8. Election is IRREVERSIBLE. ŇThe gifts and callings of God are without repentanceÓ (Rom. 11:29). Those who were chosen to salvation in eternity shall not be unchosen in time!
9. Election is EFFECTUAL. There is no possibility that one of GodŐs elect shall perish (2 Tim. 2:19).
10. Election is DISTINGUISHING. To talk of universal love in God toward reprobate men is to talk nonsense. Read Isaiah 43:1-4!
11. Election is BLESSED, for it is the cause of all blessedness (Ps. 65:4; Eph. 1:3-6).
Who are the elect? — Everyone who reads the Bible, even casually, knows that it teaches the doctrine of election. All GodŐs saints rejoice in that doctrine. Nothing sounds sweeter in the believerŐs ear than the voice of the Son of God saying, ŇYe have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.Ó
Yet, no mere man can open and read the LambŐs Book of life. No mortal can ever know who the elect are until they are regenerated and called by God the Holy Spirit. However, each of us can prove our own selves. We can make our calling and election sure.
In 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul, writing by Divine inspiration, tells us that he knew those men and women in the Church at Thessalonica were elect, chosen of God and precious by five distinct marks of grace upon them. If you are one of GodŐs elect, these five marks are upon you. If I am one of the elect, these marks are upon me.
Who are GodŐs elect? Look into the Word of God and you will see. There is no need for guess work about this matter. The Holy Spirit shows us five evidences of GodŐs election in 1 Thessalonians chapter one.
1. GodŐs elect are people who hear the gospel preached and receive the gospel as it is preached in the power of God the Holy Spirit (v.5). The elect are those who are called by the effectual, irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Spirit. They are called by the Spirit through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:15-17; 10:13-17; 1 Cor. 1:21-23; 15:1-3; Heb. 4:12; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
God does not save sinners by the sound of chirping birds, or by the babbling heresies of Arminian, free-will, works religion. God saves his chosen through the preaching of the gospel of his free and sovereign grace in Christ.
2. GodŐs elect are those who follow Christ (vv. 3, 6). Chosen sinners, when saved by the grace of God, are made disciples, followers of Christ, voluntary servants of King Jesus. Believers are not perfect and never pretend to be. They know something of the corruption of their own hearts. Yet, in the tenor of their lives, those who are born of God follow Christ.
3. GodŐs elect are a people who are committed to Christ and the gospel of his grace (v.8). As the saints at Thessalonica sounded out the gospel to perishing sinners in their generation, so GodŐs saints today make it their business to make the gospel known for the glory of God.
4. GodŐs elect experience repentance and conversion by the power of his grace. They turn from their idols to serve the living God (v.9). Believers forsake their idols and the idolatrous religious practices of their former manner of life. They will not be found worshipping a false god. You will not find a child of God kneeling before a pagan deity, kissing a crucifix, or professing faith in a helpless, frustrated god whose purpose, will and work are prevented by manŐs imaginary free-will!
5. GodŐs elect are waiting for Christ (v.10). Believers live upon the tiptoe of faith, looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing his Word, we live in hope and expectation of the resurrection. Every child of God rejoices in GodŐs electing love. We rejoice, like the hymn writer, to sayÉ
ŇTis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be.
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst,
This knowing — If I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first!Ó
Are you one of GodŐs elect? — When Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, he spoke confidently to GodŐs saints there about the indisputable fact of their election. He gave thanks to God for them, their faith in Christ, their love to one another and the other blessings of GodŐs grace upon them, because he knew that all these things were to be traced to their election unto salvation by God. I know that many have never even heard of GodŐs electing love and grace; and many are terribly confused about it. Here are three practical statements, which may help to clarify some things regarding this soul-cheering, God honoring, gospel doctrine. Listen carefully.
1. Election is not the first thing to be learned.
Precious, delightful, important as this doctrine is, it is not the first thing to be learned. We preach this doctrine without apology. I preach it everywhere I go. We teach it in our Sunday School classes, beginning with the toddlers. We are not, in the least, bashful about proclaiming GodŐs electing love. However, it is not our mission in this world to convince people that the doctrine of election is true. A person can go to hell believing election as well as he can go to hell denying it. Our mission is to get sinners to believe, trust and come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any sinner who bows to Christ as Lord will have no problem with the doctrine of election. Yet, the first question to be settled in your heart and mind is not, ŇAm I one of the elect?Ó It is impossible for you, me, or anyone else to determine that until the matter of first importance is settled. ŇDo I trust the Lord Jesus Christ?Ó ŇAm I a believer?Ó
That is the matter of first importance. If you trust the Son of God, your faith in him is the proof of your election. The first thing to be learned is faith in Christ. Where faith is found in the heart, election is believed and loved.
2. GodŐs sovereign election of some to salvation and eternal life in Christ is in no way inconsistent with the promises of God in the gospel.
All the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yea and amen. You may not be able to see how election can be true and the promises of the gospel to sinners are also true; but they are! Hear the promises God makes to sinners in the gospel. Come to Christ, whoever you are, believe on Christ, whatever you have done, trust the Son of God and these promises are yours! (Read Matt. 11:28-30; Mk. 16:15-16; John 3:36; 6:37; 7:37-38; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:8-13; Rev. 22:16-17).
3. GodŐs election, this gospel doctrine of sovereign electing grace, does not, to any degree or in any way, remove or destroy your responsibility to obey the gospel.
God commands all men, everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Our responsibility is not derived from the decree of God, but from the Word of God. We are not responsible for what God has purposed; but we are responsible for what he has commanded. We are all responsible to be perfectly holy, but we canŐt! We are responsible to make complete atonement for our sins, but we canŐt! We are responsible to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our only righteousness and our only redemption, but we cannot even do that!
We are therefore shut up to GodŐs free and sovereign grace in Christ! When all things are finished, it shall be said, as we read in Romans 11:7, ŇThe election hath obtained it.Ó And all those elect ones, all who obtain GodŐs salvation say, ŇThank God for his everlasting, electing love!Ó
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
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