Election: A Lovely Doctrine of God’s Grace and Mercy
Though many people emotionally hate and vigorously oppose the doctrine of election, it is a Biblical truth plainly set forth in Scripture. The doctrine of election is designed to encourage and comfort Christians. Their salvation, sanctification, and safety is certain.
Jesus spoke of the elect. Jesus said that false prophets would deceive the elect if they could. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matt. 24:24). One erroneous teaching designed to deceive Christians says that the election of God is exclusively corporate not personal. The argument is made that God might love a particular nation, but not the individuals in that nation. How poor such reasoning is. God plainly says to individuals in every nation, tongue, and tribe, “I love you.” No amount of theological sophistry can change the plain teaching of Scripture. “Jacob have I loved.”
Jesus spoke of how the elect shall one day be gathered from one end of heaven to the other. “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31).
Jesus taught that God will avenge His own elect who cry out to Him. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).
Because Jesus spoke of the elect, Paul spoke of the elect as well under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:33).
The elect of God are to manifest distinct qualities of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:12-17).
Paul was commissioned to promote and stimulate the faith of God’s chosen ones. “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Titus 1:1).
As Jesus and Paul spoke of the elect, so did Peter. Peter declared that the elect were according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:2).
If it were to be asked when God foreknew those who would believe and be saved, the answer is, “before the foundation of the world.” Before the foundation of the world God chose us, the elect, in Him, in Christ, which is how God foreknows who will believe. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:4). God does not come into knowledge. Rather, God knows because He hath chosen us. God knows because He works all things for His own good purpose, pleasure, and glory. “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:5-7).
Jesus is said to be the elect of God. “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6).
As Jesus, Paul, and Peter wrote about the elect, so did the apostle John. “The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth” (2 John 1).
In speaking about the elect, and God’s choosing of those who will be the heirs of salvation, Paul teaches that the basis of election is the purpose of God. Using Jacob and Esau as an example of God choosing one over another, Paul writes, “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:11).
Not all those who are of the elect have been chosen. “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Rom. 11:5).
Those who are born again can know they are of the elect. “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (1 Thess. 1:4). Specifically, the person who believes in Jesus and has been elected by God for salvation knows their selection was on the basis of God’s mercy and grace, and not some foreseen human merit or ability. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is all of grace.
Why God choses one and not another is not revealed in Scripture. What is revealed is that there is an elect people of God. So the doctrine of election is well established in Scripture. For those who accept that Biblical truth, the next logical inquiry would be to ask self, “Am I one of the elect?” “How can a person know if they are among the elect of God?”
First, recognize that you are a sinner. Second, recognize that you need a Savior. Third, recognize that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and the Saviour of souls. Fourth, recognize that Jesus died for sinners. Fifth, call upon the name of the Lord. Embrace the promise of Scripture. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).To believe means to place your trust in Jesus.
To believe means to rely on Christ. To believe means to assent to the truth that you are a great sinner and Jesus is a great Savior who died in the place of sinners to redeem them from the curse of the law and death. In this very hour, believe and be saved, and know that your election is of God.