THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION – A TRUTH TO BE KNOWN
We have come across not a few who contend that the ‘doctrine of Election’ though it may be true is not for us to know. Election and predestination are ‘God’s business’ and we need not break our heads over it.”
Is that what the BIBLE teaches?
Here’s what the Scripture says –
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deut 29:29]
Read that again – “but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!”
And WHAT has God revealed apart from the who He is and what He expects of man . . . why, He has revealed to us that He is a DISCRIMINATING GOD who has mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will! [Romans 9:18]
THE BIBLE EXPLICITLY TEACHES ELECTION in both the old and the new testaments and those who fail to see it are either men who are spiritually BLIND who must be born again or just plain REBELLIOUS men who willfully reject the teaching of God’s word because it is NOT AGREEABLE to their feelings and plausible to their understanding. Every Christian MUST believe in some kind of election, for the great God hath chosen to ‘REVEAL IT’ in His Word! And while the Scriptures leave unexplained many things about the doctrine of Election, they make very plain the FACT that there HAS BEEN AN ELECTION!
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, and the rest were blinded!” [Rom 11:7]
The most eminent apostle of them all who wrote more than half the New Testament, towards the end of his ministry confessed to the Ephesian Church – “I KEPT BACK NOTHING THAT WAS PROFITABLE UNTO YOU, but have showed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house.” [Acts 20:20]
And WHAT was one of those ‘profitable’ doctrines which he did not keep back from the Ephesians? Why ELECTION and PREDESTINATION!
“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: Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will etc” [Ephesians 1:4,5]
And Paul was not the only one who taught Election and Predestination, but so did ALL OF THE APOSTLES! It is either expressly stated, strikingly illustrated, or clearly implied!
The Apostle Peter starts off his very first letter thus – “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus . . . ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER, through sanctification of the Spirit . . .” [1Pet 1:1-3]
And John that apostle of love was so full of the doctrine of election that he even addresses a sister in Christ as “the Elect lady” [2John 1:1] You can’t get more ‘Reformed’ than that!
GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF HIS ELECTION AND SOVEREIGN GRACE or He had not filled the pages of His Book speaking about it!
“but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!” [Deut 29:29]
And the reason why God has revealed the doctrine of Election in His Book is because as all other Biblical doctrines the Doctrine of Election and we might add the Doctrine of Man’s Total Depravity are profitable to us!
“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Timothy 3:16,17]
The doctrine of Election which we hold and contend for gives God ALL the glory and puts man where He belongs – i.e. in the dust! And the Holy Spirit has seen fit to reveal it in His Word and holy men of God through the ages have contended for it and in some cases have even laid down their lives for it!
Such a precious truth as this must not be neglected or set aside! It must be preached from the rooftops!
“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that PREACH YE UPON THE HOUSETOPS!” [Matt 10:27]
BUT TRUTH IS NEVER POPULAR and this is especially so with the truth of Election! It is not taught to gain favour with men. The preacher whose goal is to ‘win friends and influence people’ must needs AVOID this doctrine or explain it away to the satisfaction of the religious goats who warm his pews! . . . and sadly many have done just that!
In fact, to mention it before some, is like shaking the proverbial red flag before an enraged bull. It arouses the fiercest passions of their nature, and brings forth a torrent of abuse and calumny. But, because men have fought against it, or because they hate it, or perhaps misunderstand it, is no reasonable or logical cause why we should turn the doctrine adrift, or cast it behind our backs. The real question, the all-important question, is not “How do men receive it? But, IS IT TRUE?”.
“It is the duty of every theologian to subordinate his theories to the Bible, and teach not what SEEMS TO HIM TO BE TRUE OR REASONABLE, but simply WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES. The question as to whether Election and Reprobation are true, is not to be decided by ascertaining which is more agreeable to our feelings or the more plausible to our understanding, but which is consistent with the doctrines of the Bible and the facts of experience.” (Dr. Charles Hodge).
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this Law.” [Deut 29:29]