Today I continue the weekly series on 10 things we should know about specific Christian doctrines. Our focus today is divine election. Continue reading . . .
Today I continue the weekly series on 10 things we should know about specific Christian doctrines. Our focus today is divine election.
[This was originally written for Crossway and posted on their blog on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.]
1. Election is a pre-temporal decision by God, a choice he made before any of us ever existed. God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). God “saved us,” said Paul, “and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9).
2. Divine election is not merely corporate, but also of individuals. Whereas it is true that Christ is himself the Elect One, and whereas it is true that the Church is the chosen or elect people of God, individuals are themselves chosen by God to believe in Christ in order that they might become members of the church. In other words, God didn’t simply choose the church. He chose the specific individuals who would comprise the church.
On a related note, this glorious act of God’s grace in electing some is unto eternal salvation and not simply to temporal service. Paul gave thanks for the Thessalonians because “God chose” them “as the firstfruits to be saved” (2 Thess. 2:13). After the Gentiles heard the gospel preached, “as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).
3. Everyone who believes the Bible believes in election. The issue isn’t whether or not God chooses people to inherit eternal life. The issue is the basis on which that divine choice is made.