ELECTION

CHOSEN

“It pleased God in His eternal purpose, to choose…a company of lost sinners to be saved by and through Christ; therefore, He is said to predestinate them to be conformed to the image of His Son….’That we should be to the praise of his glory’ (Eph 1:12)” Thomas Boston (ref#236, p31-32).

“…you are a chosen race…a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9 ESV).

It is my due and privilege to return to Him a display of His excellencies that He has created within me.  Thomas Boston (ref#236, p33).

FATHER, thank You not only for choosing me but also giving me what I need to declare Your excellencies.

“…I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds’…I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more” (Heb 10:16-17 ESV).

Also, LORD, thank You not only for carrying out Your work but perfecting it and giving me the assurance of my salvation.  “…the feeblest signs of grace in the soul are indisputable evidences of the inward and effectual call of the Spirit….He who has begun the good work will carry it on and perfect it in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 18th).

FATHER, since I do not know who You save, and who You will not, You have commissioned me to “preach the Gospel” to everyone, for how can they believe if they have not heard (Rom 10:14).  Thank You for the privilege to declare Your excellencies.   I will declare the good news and You save who You will.

ELECTION

UNDESERVED MERCY

“…’I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom 9:15 ESV).

“With these words, the Lord clearly claims the right to give or withhold His mercy, according to His own sovereign will….the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as seems best in His sight.  By their sins, men have forfeited all their claims on God.  They deserve to perish for their sins, and if they all do so, they have no grounds for complaint” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 25th PM).

“Choosing to sin changed basic human nature and left us unable not to sin—or totally depraved” (ref#228, p146).  “…totally depraved men and women will remain out of fellowship with God for all eternity.  The only way for any of these men and women to have their fellowship with God restored is for God Himself to take the initiative.  And the Bible declares that He has graciously chosen to do so (John 14:16).  For His own glory, God has chosen some of those depraved men and women to live in fellowship with Him” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p147).

“the people whom I formed for myself…declare my praise” (Isa 43:21 ESV).

“When we understand our own utter ruin, that we are deserving of punishment, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer quibble at the truth that the Lord is not obligated to save us…There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none that promotes more gratitude, and consequently, none more sanctifying” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 25th PM).

“…we are…the conquered captives of His omnipotent love.  Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine Possessor are inalienable.  We rejoice that we can never be our own, and we desire, day by day, to do His will and to show forth His glory” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 15th AM).

ELECTION

ELECTION

Two theologies of Salvation: “One speaks of a God who saves; the other speaks of a God who enables man to save himself.  One view presents the three great acts of the Holy Trinity for the recovering of lost mankind—election by the Father, redemption by the Son, calling by the Spirit—as directed towards the same persons, and as securing their salvation infallibly.  The other view gives each act a different reference [the objects of redemption being all mankind, of calling, those who hear the gospel, and of election, those hearers who respond], and denies that any man’s salvation is secured by any of them.  The two theologies thus conceive the plan of salvation in quite different terms.  One makes salvation depend on the work of God, the other on the work of man; one regards faith as part of God’s gift of salvation, the other as man’s own contribution to salvation; one gives all the glory of saving believers to God, the other divides the praise between God, Who, so to speak, built the machinery of salvation, and man, who by believing operated it” J. I. Packer (Introduction to The Death of Death by John Owen, p4).

“We shall never feel persuaded as we ought that our salvation flows from the free mercy of God as its fountain, until we are made acquainted with his eternal election” John Calvin (ref#113, p607).

“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:30 ESV).

Romans 8:30 can be summarized:

“I believe, therefore I am justified;

I am justified, therefore I am sanctified;

I am sanctified, therefore I am called;

I am called, therefore I am elected;

I am elected, therefore I shall be saved” Thomas Adams (ref#225, March 29th)

“’…those who are justified will be glorified’ (Rom 8:30), so that all the conditions laid down for glorification will be met by the power of God’s grace….Election… guards against the error of thinking that we can earn our way into God’s favor through ‘works of the law.’” John Piper (ref#220, p151).

“…faith is not a condition of election.  Election is a condition for faith.  It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith”  Dan Cummings (sermon, God’s Sovereign Election).

“…whoever believes has eternal life” (John 6:47 ESV).  “‘…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Rom 10:13 ESV).

 

ELECTION

EFFECTUAL CALLING

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jer 1:5 ESV).

“Salvation transforms a person’s nature, giving him or her the ability and the desire to serve and obey God.  The unresponsive heart of stone is changed into a sensitive heart of flesh that responds readily to God’s voice (Ezekiel 36:25-27) and desires to glorify Him out of gratitude for the indescribable gift of salvation” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p147-148).

“The foundation is laid in the death of Christ; it commences in the effectual calling of the Spirit; and by all the precious assurances of grace, wisdom, and strength…it is carried forward to glorious completion” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 20th).

“All of those who are thus effectually called by God will eventually believe and be saved, even though they may resist for a time (John 6:37).  They cannot forfeit the salvation they have received (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:31-39)” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p147).

“…the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29 ESV).

“…the eternal purpose of God, revealed and provided for…is that all who are chosen, called, and justified will be ‘partakers of his holiness’ in order to prepare for complete sanctification.  Heaven is a holy place and its inhabitants are holy people…The very election of the believer to eternal life provides for and secures his holiness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 20th).

FATHER, You knew me and chose me before I was born.  The HOLY SPIRIT is making me holy.  He teaches me the right method of holiness where my inclinations, will and affections are interested in the spiritual only with no more self-interests.  Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p89).  Thus, I happily obey You, FATHER (1 Pet 1:2).  Hallelujah.

ELECTION

FOREKNOWLEDGE

“Scripture affirms that God, in His sovereignty, singled out certain ones to be recipients of His distinguishing favors (Acts 13:48), therefore, He determined to bestow upon them the gift of faith.  False theology makes God’s foreknowledge of our believing the cause of His election to salvation.  However, God’s election is the cause, and our believing in Christ the effect” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p25-26).

“Why He chose the ones He did, we do not know.  We can only say, ‘Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.’” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

FATHER, Your “foreknowledge” does not mean that Your actions are based on what You know I am going to do.  I’m sure You know what I have done and am doing now and what I will do but You do what You do independent of what I do, for You developed Your plans before You formed the earth.  And You choose me for salvation!!

“…God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Th 2:13)” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).  Because You foreknew me You predestined me to be conformed to the image of Your Son.   “…God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were conformed.  On the contrary, those whom He foreknew (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated ‘to be conformed.’  Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination” A.W. Pink (ref#235, p28).

“…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…” (Eph 1:4 ESV).

FATHER, You have predestined me to be holy and blameless, now I have to prove by my actions that I am holy and blameless.  Help me in that joyous endeavor as I work out what You have worked in me—that hidden holiness shining bright in my members.

ELECTION

GOD CALLS A PEOPLE

“’Your sins have made you disgustingly ugly.  But I love you anyway, not because you are attractive, but because it is my nature to love.’  And in the case of the elect, God adds, ‘I have set my affection on you from before the foundation of the universe, not because you are wiser or better or stronger than others but because in grace I chose to love you…’” D.A. Carson (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, p61).

“…he does not ‘fall in love’ with us; he sets his affection on us. D.A. Carson (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, p61).

“…it is only when…salvation…is ascribed to gratuitous election, we arrive at the knowledge that God saves whom he wills of his mere good pleasure…” John Calvin (ref#113, p607).

“…to extend the pleasure that God has in his own name, he calls out a people to enjoy and praise and proclaim that name” John Piper (ref#220, p125).  “…The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession…because the LORD loves you…” (Deut 7:6,8 ESV).

“God’s electing love is absolutely free.  It is the gracious overflow of his boundless happiness guided by his infinite wisdom.  Deut 10:14-15 describes the delight God had in choosing Israel from all the peoples of the earth” John Piper (ref#220, p128-129).

“Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.  Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose…you above all people…” (Deut 10:14-15 ESV).

“…the way God decided to make a name for his glorious grace in the Old Testament was to choose a people for himself from all the peoples of the earth and to make that people the showcase of his redeeming work….In other words, in order to extend the pleasure that God has in his own name he chooses a people to enjoy and praise and proclaim that name to all the peoples.  And so God has pleasure in election” John Piper (ref#220, p132).

ASSURANCES

MAKING MY CALLING AND ELECTION SURE

“While God’s choice…is firm and certain in God (2 Tim2:19), it may not always be obvious to the individual Christian.  Assurance of God’s call comes through the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives (1 John 3:10,14) as well as through the internal testimony of the Spirit in our hearts (Gal 4:6)” (ref#56, p1821, [2 Pet 1:10]).

FATHER, because I am so prone to forget spiritual facts—even forget that I have been cleansed from my sins (2 Pet 1:9), I know I need to be attentive to spiritual knowledge daily. Assurance comes when I routinely satisfy my conscience that I am still Your child.

The Apostle Peter suggests how I can acquire the divine nature that proves I’m GOD’s child:  “…supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love”(2 Pet 1:5-7 ESV).

“Set your minds, then, on endorsing by your conduct the fact that God has called and chosen you. If you go along these lines there is no reason why you should stumble.  Indeed if you live this sort of life a rich welcome awaits you as you enter the eternal kingdom of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ”  (2 Pet 1:10-11 PHILLIPS).