Three More Facts About Election†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† When I was just a young man, I read a tract by a much older preacher, whom I greatly respected, on the doctrine of election. The title of his tract was, The Most Hated Doctrine In The World. I thought, ďWhat a pity. He should have called it The Most Beloved or The Most Delightful Doctrine in the World. What can be more delightful to the believerís heart than Godís electing love?Ē I know now, and knew then, that men do hate Godís sovereign election of some to salvation, because they hate God; but believers love God and rejoice in his election. We have very good reasons for this attitude concerning Godís election.
1. Godís Election of Sinners in Christ Was unto Salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:2). Without question, the Bible teaches eternal salvation. There is a sense in which all who are saved in time were saved from eternity. The passages we read earlier (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4-6), declare that all Godís elect were in Christ, redeemed, accepted, justified, sanctified, and glorified from eternity in the mind, purpose, and decree of God; but we must never think of election as salvation. Election, by itself, is not salvation. Election, by itself, saves no one. Election is unto salvation. Be sure you get the language of the Scriptures. Put 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 together with 1 Peter 1:2, and you will see these seven things about Godís election.
(1.) Election is a cause for great thanksgiving and praise to God.
(2.) Election is according to the foreknowledge of God, according to his everlasting love and sovereign foreordination. Note: The word foreknowledge in 1 Peter 1:2 is the exact same word translated foreordain in verse twenty.
(3.) Election is a personal, distinguishing work of grace. ďGod hath from the beginning chosen you!Ē He did not choose everybody. He chose those who are actually saved. He did not choose those who perish under his wrath.
(4.) Election is unto salvation. I realize that there is a sense in which some are elected to specific service in the kingdom of God from eternity. Not all are prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and deacons. Those who are, if they hold their offices in faithfulness, were chosen to their work by God. However, the biblical doctrine of election is not election to service, but election unto salvation.
(5.) We were chosen to be saved in a manner consistent with and honoring to the holiness, justice, and truth of God. Peter tells us that we were chosen by God ďunto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.Ē That is to say, No one, not even the elect, could ever be saved apart from the obedience and death of Christ by which redemption was accomplished. The sprinkling of his blood in 1 Peter 1:2 has a double significance. Both are necessary to the salvation of Godís elect. It refers to the sprinkling of the blood in heaven, by which Christ obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12), and to the sprinkling of the blood upon each believerís heart and conscience by the Holy Spirit, by which redemption is effectually applied to us (Heb. 9:13-14).
(6.) We were chosen to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit. In other words, no one can ever be saved who is not born again (regenerate and sanctified) by God the Holy Spirit, election, predestination, and redemption notwithstanding. The Bible does not teach, and we do not teach (though the accusation is often hurled at us) that if people are elected to salvation they will be saved no matter what. Nothing could be further from the truth. We teach, as the Word of God plainly affirms, that God has chosen to save his elect by specific means which he will never by-pass or alter. As the elect must be redeemed, they must also be regenerated (John 3:5-7).
(7.) We were chosen to salvation through the belief of the truth. The means which God has ordained for the salvation of his elect is the hearing of the Word. Those who were chosen of God in eternity and redeemed by Christ at Calvary must be regenerated and called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. Let men raise whatever objections they will and cavil about it until the cows come home. The Word of God is as plain as the nose on your face. God saves chosen sinners through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:13-17; 1 Cor. 1:21; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
††††††††††† 2. Godís Eternal Choice of His People to Salvation in Christ was An Unconditional Election of Grace (2 Tim. 1:9). God did not choose us and he does not save us because of our works. His choice of us was not based upon foreseen merit, or our foreseen choice of Christ, or our foreseen faith in him. Oh, no! Our only merit before God is Christ. Our choice of him is the result of his choosing us. Our faith in him is the fruit and result of his election. The purpose of God according to election stands not upon the footing of works, but upon the sure foundation of free and unconditional grace (Rom. 9:11).
3. Godís Electing Grace is Always Effectual. That simply means it gets the job done! All who were chosen in eternity shall be called and saved in time, by the irresistible power and grace of God through the gospel. Read 2 Timothy 1:9 and 10 carefully. All to whom grace, salvation, and eternal life were given in Christ from eternity by Godís election shall have that salvation manifest to and wrought in them by Godís sovereign grace.
††††††††††† Do you now find yourself trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your only, all-sufficient Lord and Savior? If you do, if you truly trust the Son of God, it is because ďGod hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation!Ē Your faith in Christ is the evidence of your election. Let every child of God give praise honor, and glory to him forever for his free, electing love and favor, sovereignly and graciously bestowed upon us from eternity in Christ. He who chose us redeemed us, called us, and gave us life and faith in Christ; will keep us unto eternal glory by his grace.