It seems that many people would rather quibble and argue about the doctrine of election than rejoice in the great truth. When we read the Bible and we see the doctrine of election emerging from the pages, it should be a reminder to us that this wonderful truth was never composed in order to form a debate or to prove a theological point in a seminary classroom. Instead, it was presented as a means of encouragement to the people of God. Be encouraged by the doctrine of election. Consider these four reasons why you should rejoice in the doctrine of election.
The Doctrine of Election Is Based on God’s Will
Have you ever considered how temperamental we are as humans? We change our minds often and we make adjustments to our goals, but that’s not true with God. From everlasting to everlasting—he remains unchanging and sure. When we hear people debating passionately about the doctrine of election, it’s typically centered upon the issue of who’s will is involved in the choice of salvation. Is it man who has free will and merely chooses God or is it it God who has free will and chooses man?
In Deuteronomy 7, we find Moses providing the people of God with a repeating of the Law just before they crossed the Jordan River. It’s in this book that Moses unveils the truths of election for Israel in order to crush their pride when they took possession of their land. In Deuteronomy 7:6-7, two different times it states that God is the one who chose Israel. The choice rested upon God’s sovereign will—not the will of the people of Israel.
As we move to the New Testament, we find that same language in Ephesians. Paul writes the following to the church in Ephesus:
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 (Eph. 1:3-4).
As Paul makes clear, the choice of God’s people occurred before the foundation of the world. The doctrine of election teaches that God “chose” or “elected” his people before time—centering everything upon his own will rather than the performance of the people or their perceived value. Just as Moses made clear to Israel, they were the fewest and weakest—yet God chose them.
The Doctrine of Election Reveals God’s Love
If you go back to the passage in Deuteronomy 7, you will find four times in one chapter Moses speaking of God setting his love on his people. Moses writes:
It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt (Deut. 7:7-8).
In that same type of language, Paul reveals God’s love for his people in Ephesians 1:4-5 as he writes, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” The doctrine of election involves God setting his love on his people. Literally speaking, he foreloved people as he foreknew them even before they were born. We find that language in Romans 8:29-30. Any study of the word “foreknown” will clearly demonstrate that it doesn’t mean that God looked through time to see what choices people would make. That idea has many problems, for one, it would mean that there was a time when God didn’t know everything and had to look through time to learn something. To foreknow is to forelove and it involves the will of God to set his love on his people.
The Doctrine of Election Demands a Response
In Deuteronomy, God is revealing his divine love and faithfulness to his people and reminding them of this grand truth before the cross the Jordan River. Yet, at the same time, he is placing before them blessing and curse as he demands the people to choose him. God’s choice of his people always precedes our choice for God—but God demands a response from his people. Since God has chosen Israel, God demanded that Israel would choose God and submit to him. Otherwise, they would experience judgment. When Joshua declares, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:!5)—he is making his choice based on the knowledge that came through Moses in Deuteronomy 7—God had chosen his people and as a result his people were called to choose him!
In the New Testament, we find similar language as John the apostle writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In Mark 8:34, Jesus is calling people to follow him. We find language of repentance in the preaching of Jesus and the apostles—which is an imperative. God demands a response from his people. The people of God will not remain neutral, they will hear the voice of the Shepherd and come.
John 10:27 – My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
The Doctrine of Election Secures our Future Salvation
If you study the doctrine of salvation, you will find that it has different layers and parts that must be considered. Furthermore, when you study the doctrine of salvation you will see that it’s a Trinitarian work—involving all three Persons of the Trinity. Every one of the people of God who were chosen before the foundation of the world were given to the Son as a love gift (John 6:35-40; John 17:2-24; John 10:28-29). It was the Son who came and suffered in their place as a satisfactory sacrifice for sin (1 Pet. 2:24; Is. 53:10). it’s the Spirit of God who secures the salvation of all of God’s elect and promises to bring them all the way home (Eph. 1:11-14; Romans 8).
Many theologians have referenced passage in Romans 8 as the “Golden Chain of Salvation” since it describes the work of salvation from eternity past to eternity future. Since God has chosen to set his love upon his people (foreknew) and then predestined them—not one of them will be lost along the way. Every last one will be glorified in the future. This is a glorious hope and a wonderful promise. The next time you are studying the doctrine of eternal security, remember, the only way that you can be assured of your salvation in the future is through the knowledge of your election in the past. God never loses one of his own!
Romans 8:29–30 – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.