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

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).

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

HIS PREDESTINED CHOSEN ONES

“Blessed be…God…even as he chose us…before the foundation of the world…he predestined us …according to the purpose of his will,” (Eph 1:3-5 ESV).

“It was ‘in love’ that God…predestined His chosen ones…according to what?  According to some excellency He discovered in them?  No.  What then?  According to what He foresaw they would become?  No; mark carefully the inspired answer: ‘According to the good pleasure of his will’” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

“Nothing shall happen to us which God has not foreseen; no unexpected event shall destroy His plans; no emergency shall transpire for which He has not provided; no peril shall occur against which He has not guarded; there shall come no remarkable need which shall take Him by surprise; He sees the end from the beginning, and the things that are not as though they were.  To God’s eye there is no past and no future; He fills His own eternal NOW; He stands in a position from which He can look down upon the whole, and see the past, the present, and the future at a single glance!  All, all, all of the future is foreseen by Him, and fixed by Him” Charles Spurgeon (“A Safe Prospective”)!

“God is all-sufficient in Himself, having had no need to create any of His creatures.  The creature can neither add glory nor felicity to Him.  However, it has pleased the Lord to create creatures in order to communicate His goodness to them and consequently render them happy” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#232, p5-6).

“Isaiah reveals the sovereign ways of God with the nations, for he is no local, tribal deity but the Judge and Savior ruling over all the world.  His purpose is moving human history forward for the benefit of his people” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1265, [Isa 13:1-27:13]).

FATHER, I did not choose to be created, yet as You created You provided a way for my happiness.  Happiness is better than having no life at all.  I praise You for the work You do for Your children’s happiness.  You, all Love had to have someone to love.

“…The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” (Exod 34:6 ESV).  “…I made the…house of Israel and the…house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory…”  (Jer 13:11 ESV).  “For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant…The zeal of the LORD will do this” (2 Kings 19:31 ESV).

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

THE UNCHANGEABLE PLAN OF GOD

“…I the LORD do not change…” (Mal 3:6 ESV).  “…he is unchangeable…What he desires, that he does” (Job 23:13 ESV).

“…from eternity God has had an unchangeable plan…God never has an afterthought…He is omniscient and omnipresent; He knows everything from the beginning to the end…Nothing is accidental, haphazard, uncertain, or…happening by chance….Everything that God has done and has brought to pass is according to His own eternal plan, and it is fixed, certain, unchangeable, and absolute” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#233, p11).

“When we say that God is sovereign, we affirm His right to govern the universe, which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases….He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any….He is sovereign in all His attributes, He is sovereign in the exercise of His power.  His power is exercised as He wills, when He wills, where He wills” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p19-20).

“…I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.  I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it’” (Ezek 17:24 ESV).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV).

God is sovereign in the exercise of His grace….grace is favor shown to the underserving, yea, to the hell-deserving.  Grace is the antithesis of justice.  Justice demands the impartial enforcement of law….Justice…shows no pity and know no mercy.  But after justice has been fully satisfied, grace flows forth.  Divine grace is not exercised at the expense of justice, but ‘grace reigns through righteousness’ (Rom 5:21); and if grace ‘reigns,’ then grace is sovereign” A.W. Pink (ref#234, p23).

FATHER, as a changeable creature—deciding one thing one minute and changing it the next, I don’t take lightly Your rock-solid unchangeableness.  You give me peace that my life is under control.  All praise to You.

2ND COVENANT

ANSWERS TO OUR DILEMMA

“…When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him…sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in” (Rom 7:4-6 MSG).  “…The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me…The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel” (Rom 7:8-12 MSG).  “…using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me….” (Rom 7:13 MSG).

 “…What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise….” (Rom 7:14-16 MSG).  “…I realize that I don’t have what it takes…I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway….” (Rom 7:17-20 MSG).  “…I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight….” (Rom 7:21-23 MSG).  “…I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question” (Rom 7:24 MSG)?

 “With the arrival of Jesus…that fateful dilemma is resolved….A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ…freeing…from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death” (Rom 8:1-2 MSG).

“The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us” (Rom 8:3-4 MSG).

2ND COVENANT

LIVING IN AN OLD COVENANT WAY

“How many Christians today are striving to show their gratitude to Jesus, the one who brought the New Covenant to earth, by living in an Old Covenant way” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p159).

“…a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6 ESV).

“The Jews rested in the letter…They did not look at the spirit…The new covenant set all these spiritual things at once before their eyes, and showed them the end, object, and design of the law…” Adam Clarke (ref#294).

“Every institution has its letter as well as its spirit, as every word must refer to something of which it is the sign or significator. The Gospel has both its letter and its spirit; and multitudes of professing Christians, by resting in the Letter, receive not the life which it is calculated to impart. Water, in baptism, is the letter that points out the purification of the soul; they who rest in this letter are without this purification; and dying in that state they die eternally. Bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, are the letter; the atoning efficacy of the death of Jesus, and the grace communicated by this to the soul of a believer, are the spirit. Multitudes rest in this letter, simply receiving these symbols, without reference to the atonement, or to their guilt; and thus lose the benefit of the atonement and the salvation of their souls” Adam Clarke (ref#294).

“I was ‘trying to be good’…I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work.  So I quit being a ‘law man’ so that I could be God’s man.  Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.  I identified myself completely with him.  Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.  My ego is no longer central.  It is no longer important that I appear righteous…I am no longer driven to impress God.  Christ lives in me.  The life you see me living is not ‘mine,’ but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me….” (Gal 2:17-21 MSG).

“And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it.  How could they miss it?  Because instead of trusting God, they took over.  They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing.  They were so absorbed in their ‘God projects’ that they didn’t notice God right in front of them” (Rom 9:20-33 MSG).

FATHER, I must continually ask myself if I’m obeying commands or obeying JESUS.  By simply obeying commands I choose what command and when and where to obey it.  When I obey JESUS He chooses the ‘what, when, where, and how.’  FATHER, supply enough faith that I let JESUS make all my decisions.