How the gospel works–election

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him….’ (Ephesians 1:3-4)

Note, God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ponder that: God. Chose. Us.

Why do some people choose to trust Christ while others die in their sins? Is it because some people just make better decisions? Unfortunately, some teachers would say this. But according to the Bible, key concepts like predestination, election, choosing, foreordaining are there in Scripture to show how big God is. They also show who God is; he has a plan and is making it happen. These doctrines (predestination, election, choosing, foreordaining) assure our hearts of how sovereign God is and how much he loves his elect. If he hadn’t loved us first by choosing us (people), we’d never have chosen him. 

  • John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
  • John 17:9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
  • Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…”
  • Revelation 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
  • Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

If we get nervous when we hear predestination, election, choosing, foreordaining, we must ask our hearts why. Is it because we don’t like conflict and we know that Christians often fight over these concepts? OK, that’s legitimate. We shouldn’t like conflict. But God wants to teach us something wonderful and reassuring about himself through these doctrines. He is sovereign–and he is going to make sure his plans come to pass. Even sin and depravity won’t stand in his way. 

  • Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
  • Isaiah 45:7 I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.
  • Exodus 4:11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
  • Lamentations 3:37-38 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
  • Deuteronomy 32:39 “ ‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand….’ ”
  • Isaiah 46:9-10 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
  • Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
  • Psalm 33:10-11 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

So, in one real sense, election is not the gospel. But it’s connected to it. It’s tells us why we believe–and why others don’t. It emphasizes how great God is.

(GSiV: Sovereignty verses;

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