Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Reformed Theology #5: The Doctrine of Election

Misunderstanding of the Biblical doctrine of election has troubled  and brought needless division among Christians.   Is it possible that we who call ourselves Bible-believing Christians could ever  be united on this doctrine?  That is my prayer as I write on this topic. 

A blessed doctrine

 The Greek word, eklektos appears 23 times in the New Testament and can be translated  both  elect or chosen.  I Peter 1:2  shines light on this doctrine.  

Note three things it teaches. 

 1. Election is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and it took place from before the foundation of the earth.  See Eph. 1:4

2. Election is accomplished for the believer  through faith in the sacrifice of Christ’s shed blood for our sins.

3. Election is assured through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit leading to a life of obedience to God’s Word.  If you have questions concerning the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, study my series of three articles on   SALVATION  on this web site.  

God’s eternal plan

 Briefly, election is the doctrine of God’s eternal purpose and plan before this world was created, to personally know us, love us, save us and conform us to the very image of His Son, Jesus Christ, by His grace and through faith in His provision for sin.  Read and meditate on these passages as the Scriptural basis for this definition of election.  Ephesians 1:3-14  2:1-10  

God’s special people

 In  I Peter 2:9 we learn that Christians are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession; and that we have been chosen to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.  That’s not only encouraging to me, but it is also challenging.  As a Christian it is my responsibility  to shine for Christ in this world of sin and darkness.  

A troubling doctrine

 Though election is clearly taught in God’s Word, it is also a troubling doctrine because of the unbalanced teaching by some on this subject. The doctrine itself is not troubling.  In fact, it is a very comforting doctrine and a source of assurance for the believer.  

God’s wonderful chain of events

 In Romans 8:28-31 is listed  a chain of events God is working out for the believer which began before the foundation of the world. In that chain of events is Divine Election. Romans 8:33 asks,  “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.”   

A comforting truth

 It is comforting to know that I am one of the  elect of God.   Because I have put my trust in Christ and love Him  and He has cleansed me from my sins and justified me and therefore no sin can ever be laid to my account now or in the future. They’ve all been laid on Jesus and He has taken the full penalty for my sins.  Because I am resting in Christ’s provision for my sins,  I am assured I am one of the elect of God.  

A alanderous assumption

 The troubling aspect of this doctrine of election is caused through the teaching of some that God chooses or elects some people to remain lost and go to Hell.  Such preachers, using their reasoning, deduct that if God chooses some to be saved and go to Heaven’ it’s only logical that He must choose others to remain lost and go to Hell.  That is a false assumption  and slanders the character of God and is contrary to Scripture.  

Does God really will anyone to go to hell?

 It’s true that all of us are born into Adam’s race and are cursed and deserving of hell apart from our faith in Christ as our Saviour. Romans 5:12-19  But the Bible teaches that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9  He also teaches the well known truth in John 3:16  That God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

Rejoice in the Truth of Election.

 So if you have been born again through faith in Christ, rejoice in the truth that God foreknew you, He loved you long before you were born,  He chose, elected and predestined  you to salvation. In John 6:44  Jesus teaches that His Father draws you to Christ. He does that by the convicting and wooing of the Holy Spirit.  Apart from His drawing,  we would have no desire to be saved.  

Don’t meddle with God’s business.

 But someone says,  “Wait a minute.  Look at Romans 9:13 and 18  Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated. Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.”  Doesn’t that sound like God is capricious and that He chooses to save some and damn others?” 

Romans 9 is not primarily talking about salvation. Instead it is teaching the sovereignty of God in regards to choosing the line through whom Christ will come.

 In verse 21 we are pictured as clay and God is the Potter.  He does with His clay what He chooses. If God saw fit to choose Jacob over his older twin brother, Esau, to be the chosen tribe through whom Jesus would come; that is  God’s business.  No one has a right to question Almighty God’s sovereignty.  

God uses evil tyrants for His glory.

 In II Peter 3:9 and Romans 9:17-22 we read about the long-suffering of God.  These passages are teaching that even though God endured evil men like Pharaoh to live and enslave Israel for a time, yet God who is long-suffering endured these vessels fitted for destruction and used them for His glory by using Moses to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage and drowning Pharaoh and his army  in the Red Sea.  

Thank God for His drawing power.

 We are all sinners and undeserving of the least of God’s mercies.  Except for the fact that God has intervened and drawn us to Himself, all of us would be under His judgment. Romans 9:29  

The Stumbling Stone

Would you take time right now to read Romans 9:30-33?   What is this passage saying to us? 

Romans 9:30   We Gentiles who knew nothing about God and were not able to keep His commandments;  through faith in Christ have attained the righteousness of God and been made fit for Heaven. 

Romans 9:31  Israel, who had God’s Law, but also  failed to keep it; have not attained God’s righteousness which only comes through faith in Christ. 

Are You Stumbling on Jesus?

 Romans 9:32  Why has
Israel, as a nation,  failed to attain God’s righteousness?  Because they stumbled at the Stumbling Stone.

Who is pictured as a Stumbling Stone?  None other than Jesus the Messiah. He was prophesied in Psalm 118:22 and in Isaiah 8:14-15 as a Stumbling Stone.. 

Those who refuse Christ, fail to attain God’s righteousness.  Without that righteousness none can go to Heaven.  

Stumble no longer!

 Romans 9:33   The Jew or Gentile who puts his trust in that Stumbling Stone, is saved and will not be ashamed.  

Then in Romans 10  Paul pours out his heart for his kinsmen, the Jews, who seek to establish their own righteousness and reject the gift of righteousness that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank God for many Jews and Gentiles who have put their trust in Christ in this Church Age and are now one in Christ. 

 Read about it in Galatians 3:24-29 and rejoice in your Messiah and Saviour from sin.  

You Can’t Blame God If You Go To Hell.

There may be some of you reading this who still refuse to humble yourself and admit you are a sinner in need of a Saviour.  You make excuses by blaming God for not electing you to salvation. Your problem is not election.  Your problem is your sin. and your pride.  You don’t want to admit that you are a helpless sinner in need of a Saviour.  You think you can save yourself through your own efforts.  You stumble; not on the doctrine of election, but on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is your Stumbling Stone.  I pray that you will face this fact right now and cast yourself on Jesus and on His blood sacrifice for your sins. 

Election is not a doctrine to argue about.

 Election is a truth upon which you can rest as a believer.  Quit trying to fully grasp the doctrines that are so high that they are beyond our reach and ability to grasp.   

Worship God whose ways are far above ours.

 If you are trusting Christ, read Romans 11:33-36  and worship God whose ways are far beyond our ability to fully grasp and fully understand.  May God bless you and fill you with joy in the knowledge of Jesus Christ your Saviour.  

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July 24, 2006 - Posted by | Reformed Theology

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