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Te Doctrne of

Election

A southasiaharvest.com Teaching Series


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The Doctrine of Unconditional Election


An Extended Study Guide from the Reformed Perspective
Many are called but few are chosen.

I. Introduction: What is election?1


What do the CALVINISTS say? Definition From the Westminster Confession of Faith on Unconditional Election: 3.5 Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace. 3.6 As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ; are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. What do the ARMINIANS say? The Classic Arminian Position: Election Based on Foreknowledge "[God purposes] to save particular persons and to damn others, which decree rests upon the foreknowledge of God, by which he has known from eternity which persons should believe according to such an administration of the means serving to repentance and faith through his preceding grace and which should persevere through subsequent grace, and also who should not believe and persevere." (Quoted in Carl Bangs, Arminius: A Study in the Dutch Reformation, 1971, p. 352). The Contemporary Arminian Emphasis: Election Corporate, Not Individual The point is that the election of the church is a corporate rather than an individual thing. It is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, it is rather that they are elect because they are in the church which is the body of the elect One. (R. T. Forster and V. P. Marston, Gods Strategy in Human History , 1973, p. 136). ...election is a corporate category and not oriented to the choice of individuals for salvation.... [Election has reference to] a class of people rather than specific individuals. (Clark Pinnock,
1

The following section taken from John Piper, TULIP

The Grace of God and the Will of Man: A Case for Arminianism, 1990, p. 20) Summary: The question is this: On what basis does God elect to save certain people? Conditional election teaches that God elects on the basis of His foreknowledge; He foresees who will have faith and elects them unto salvation. Unconditional election insists that Gods elective decree rests solely on His sovereign decision to save whom He will; there is no foreseen condition that people meet, thereby inducing God to elect them.
-R.C. Sproul

II. What do the Scriptures say? Election in the Scriptures


Election in the Old Testament:
As you read through these examples, ask yourself if the Old Testament teaches conditional or unconditional election. Is God's choosing out of His own purpose and grace? Does God freely, truly choose these OT figures? Or is God's choosing only in the sense that He foreknows that they would first choose Him? Further, in these OT examples of election, is God choosing only in the corporate sense? Or does God in fact choose particular individuals? God chose. . . Angels:

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Noah:

Gen.6:8, But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Gen.12:1, Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you Gen.18:19, For I have chosen [Abraham], so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. . . Neh.9:7, You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name Abraham.

Abraham:

Isaac (but not Ishmael):

Gen.26:24-25, The Lord appeared to him the same night and said, 'I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, for the sake of My servant Abraham.' So he built an alter there and called upon the name of the Lord. . . Rom.9:6-7, For they are not all Israel who are descended from Isaac; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: 'through Isaac your descendants will be named.

Jacob (but not Esau):

Gen.28:13, And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, 'I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Romans 9:11-12, for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger.' Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'

Israel to be His people:

Exo 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. Deu 7:6-8 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deu 10:14-15 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Deut.14:2, For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Ps.105:6, O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! Ps.135:4, For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession. Isaiah 41:8-9, But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Isa 43:20-21 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. Amos 3:2, You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Joshua 24:2-13: I took...I gave...I sent...I plagued...I brought...I brought...I destroyed...I delivered you...I gave them into your hand...

Moses:

Ex.3:2-4,10 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. . .When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, 'Moses, Moses!. . .Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.' Ps.105:26, He sent Moses His servant, and Aaron, whom He had chosen. Ps.106:23, Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them.

. . .But hardened Pharaoh:

Ex.10:1, Then he Lord said to Moses, 'Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them. . . 2Chron.6:34, When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 1 Kings 11:13, However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen. 1 Kings 11:36, But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in

Jerusalem as place of worship:

Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.

The Levites to have charge over the tabernacle:

Num.1:50, But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings and over all that belongs to it. They shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it; they shall also camp around the tabernacle. 1Chron.15:2, Then David said, No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the Lord chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.'

Aaron and his sons as His priests:

Deut.21:5, Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the Lord; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them. Ps.105:26, He sent Moses His servant, and Aaron, whom He had chosen.

All the Judges:

Jud.2:16, Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Jud.6:14, The Lord looked at him and said, 'Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?' Jud.13:5, For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

Samuel:

1Sam.3:2-4, It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place. . .and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, 'Here I am.' 1Sam.3:21, the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Saul as king:

1Sam.10:1, Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, 'Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?' 1Sam.10:24, Samuel said to all the people, 'Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.'

The tribe of Judah: . . . And not Ephraim: David as king:

Ps.78:68, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.

Ps.78:67, He also rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. 1Sam.16:1,12, Now the Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons'. . .So he sent and brought [David] in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, 'Arise, anoint him; for this is he.' 1Chron.28:4, Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house o my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father's house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. Ps.78:70, He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds

Solomon:

1Chron.28:6, He said to me, 'Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him.

Elisha:

1 Kings 19:15-16, The Lord said to him, 'Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.

Isaiah:

Is.6:9, He said, 'Go, and tell this people: Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.' Jer.1:4-5, Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.' Ezek.2:3, Then He said to me, 'Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.' Hag.2:23, 'On that day,' declares the Lord of hosts, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,' declares the Lord, 'and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the Lord. Mk.3:13-14, And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons. Jn.15:16, You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Jeremiah:

Ezekiel:

Zerubbabel:

The disciples/apostles:

. . . though they perceived it differently:

John 1:43-45, The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wroteJesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .Conclusions?

Election in the New Testament:


Election in the Gospel of John2
Jn. 6:37-39, All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

A question: Does this passage teach that we belong to God because we come to Jesus, or that we come to Jesus because we belong to God?
Jn.6:44,65- "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last dayFor this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

A question: According to this passage, did God choose us because He knows we will come, or do we come because He draws us to Himself?
Jn.10:16, I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

A question: Is evangelism, according to Jesus, MAKING sheep or GATHERING sheep?


2

Questions taken from John Piper, TULIP

Jn.10:24-27, The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

A question: Are we Jesus' sheep because we believe, or do we believe because we are Jesus' sheep?
Jn.12:39-40- "For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, "He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.'"

A question: According to this passage, why do these Jews not believe? Because they are not willing to, or because they are not able to?
Joh 15:16, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 17:1-2, When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. John 17:6-10, I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

A question: Who is Jesus praying for? Who is Jesus NOT praying for?
John 17:24-26, Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.

The Golden Chain in Romans 8


Rom 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

According to this passage, is election based on foreknown faith, or is faith based on election?
Election in Romans 9. . .
Rom 9:10-24 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (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;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he

hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Conditional versus unconditional election: *Who is the one that believed in this passage? (Jacob) *Who are the ones who did not believe? ( Esau; Pharaoh) *What is the reason given for Jacob's believing (v10)? According to the passage, was Jacob chosen because God knew he would believe, or because of God's purpose according to God's choice? (God's purpose according to His choice) *What is the reason given that Esau does not believe (v13)? Pharaoh (vv15,18)? (God will have mercy on whom He desires and He will harden whom He desires) *Thus, does this passage teach that foreknown faith is the basis of God's election, or that God's election is the basis of faith? (election is the basis of our faith) Individual versus corporate election: In teaching us about election, does this passage deal with groups or with individuals? An objection to election: that's not fair
*An assumed objection is raised in verses 14 and 19. Paraphrased, it goes something like this: If God sovereignly rules over a lost person's rejection of God, then isn't it unfair of God to condemn the individual for that response?? *The assumed objection itself argues for unconditional election: The assumed objection in verse 14 that Paul begins to deal with is: But that's not fair. Now let's think carefully. Is this ever an objection to the free-will system of doctrine? Does anyone ever object, that's not fair, when they are told that their destiny is in their own hands, that the choice resides with them, that whether they are saved or not is based on them? No. This (assumed) objection only arises in the context of the doctrine of unconditional election. When you tell people, Believe if you want, it's up to you, nobody says, that's not fair! It's only when you tell people, God saves whoever He wants, the choice is His; He saves some and doesn't save others; He has mercy on some but not on others, that you start hearing objections like, But that's not fair. Thus, the objection itself demonstrates that unconditional election is the biblical teaching. *Note what the objection is NOT: That's not Scriptural. People likewise object today that the doctrine of election isn't fair. But if we are Christians, shouldn't our primary concern be what does the Bible actually teach, whether we like it or not? *How Paul deals with the objection: 1. God's election doesn't reflect injusticeit demonstrates His mercy (v15). Would it be unjust for a judge to punish a serial rapist-murderer with life in prison or the death penalty? What would you say to him if he told you, that's not fair! We are all criminals before God. If we got what we deserved, we would all go straight to hell. That's what God owes us. That God chose to save any is amazing. Remember also the truth of total depravity. Men do not reject God against their will. They freely, willfully, and happily reject God. They are happily in love with their sin. No one in the history of the world will ever be able to say to God on the last day: I wanted you but you didn't let me come; I sought you but you hid Yourself; I called for you but you didn't answer me.

2. God has the right to do whatever He wants with us (vv19-21). Who are we to talk back to the Almighty? The Judge of all the earth does justly and has every right to do what He wants. Other Passages in the NT on election
Psa 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. Act 13:48, And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

According to Acts 13, did these Gentiles believe because they were appointed to eternal life, or were they appointed to eternal life because they believed? In other words, did they believe because God chose them, or did God choose them because they believed? In this passage, is election based on foreknown faith, or does faith happen because of election?
Romans 11:1-8, Do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE. But what is the divine response to him? I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL. In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.

According to this passage, is election the effect or the cause of obtaining salvation? That is, did the response of these Jews to God dictate their election, or did election dictate how these Jews responded to God? Did they remain in unbelief because they didn't turn their hearts to God, or did they remain in unbelief because God had never turned their hearts to Him?
Galatians 1:15-16, But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His race, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood. . .

How does Paul describe his conversion in this passage? When did he believe?
Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Eph 1:11-12 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 2Th 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

God not only elects some to salvation, but others to condemnation

Exo 4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Rom 9:17-18 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Rom 9:21-22 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

But we need to understand this rightly:


Many misunderstand Reformed theology to say that God forces some to go to hell against their will. Though God does indeed pass over some people, He never acts apart from their desires. -R.C. Sproul "The non-elect may come if they will; the elect will come." -Hodge This is how election is connected with total depravity: If it were up to us to choose, if we were left alone to choose God or not choose Him, nobody would ever choose Him!

Summary so far:
1. Faith is given, not foreseen: We have seen that faith and repentance are the consequents, not the grounds of election (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:4;2:10; 2Thess.2:13; 1Pet.1:2). All the elect shall believe (Jn.10:16;27-29; 6:37,39; 17:2,9,24) and only the elect believe, because they are such (Jn.10:26; Acts 13:48;2:47).
"Man, antecedently to election, could not have been foreseen as repentant and believing, because human nature can bring forth no such fruits." -Hodge

2. Election is individual, not corporate: We have seen how the Scriptures clearly teach that God's election of persons to salvation is not corporate, but individual; He does not merely elect the church as a whole, generally speaking, but elects particular individuals unto Himself. God chose to have mercy on Jacob (Rom.9) and Paul (Gal.1), but chose to not extend that mercy to Esau. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but opened Lydia's heart to receive His Word (see also 1 Cor.1:26-30).

III. Dealing with Objections, Part 1


But even if it's Biblical, won't the doctrine of election lead to bad things? If men are told about election, won't it lead some to despair and others to carelessness?
The same objection could be made for scores of Biblical doctrines. Two examples:

Justification: If men believe they have been fully forgiven and justified in Christ, won't it lead to a life of licentiousness? Perseverance: If believers know that there is nothing they can do to cause God to cast them away, won't it lead them into carelessness and frivolity?

If this doctrine is in the Scriptures, we MUST teach it: But the question is, does the Bible teach these doctrines? If the Bible doesn't teach them, we dare not preach them. But if they are found in the Scriptures, then we MUST teach them. Besides, we know that though the same arguments can be made against justification and perseverance, when a true believer begins to grasp these things, it actually does the opposite: they grow in Christ exponentially. As Iain Murray says,
the doctrine of election and reprobation is a doctrine which may be safely taught and propounded unto people, albeit men say it should not be meddled with, because (say they) it makes some men despair, and others become careless what they do. I answer, let God make an answer for His own doctrine, who has commanded us to teach it. . .The apostle says boldly, the elect obtained it and the rest were blinded. Would Christ have propounded this doctrine if it had been dangerous? -Iain Murray

What about the passages that say that the Lord desires all to be saved?
Ezekiel 18:23, Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?" 2 Peter 3:8-10, But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 1 Timothy 2:1-4, First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth

Question: If God desires that all be saved, why then did God not elect all men to Himself? Answer: Nope. Both Calvinists and Arminians in answering this question agree that though God desires that all be saved, He has a higher desire that SURPASSES His desire for all to be saved (does that make sense?). Arminians say that this higher desire of God is that human beings have free will. Calvinists agree God has a higher desire, but contend it is something other than free will Illustrations of God's two wills: *The cross: It is not the will of God that anyone commit murder, much less that hardened sinners crucify the very Son of God in cold blood. But Scripture tells us that Christ was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). So, God in some sense wills what He does not will in another sense. *God hardening Pharaoh's heart: God sends Moses to Pharaoh, commanding him to let the people go, which is God's desire. Yet, we are expressly told that God Himself hardens the heart of Pharaoh so he won't let the people go. *The war against the Lamb, Revelation 17:16-17: Clearly these kings waging war against the Lamb was against the will of God, yet we are told they do this because God had put it into their hearts. Therefore God willed (in one sense) to influence the hearts of the ten kings so that they would do what is against his will (in another sense) (John Piper). *Lamentations 3:31-33: For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion, According to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly, Or grieve the sons of men.

The Lord causes grief, but here He does not do so willingly. In a sense, He doesn't want to cause grief or send affliction, but He does. Why? Because there is a higher will at work. . . Thus, God chooses to decree some things that He, in some senses, does not desire, because of another higher desire.

Arminians say that this higher desire is for man to have free will: God desires all to be savedyes-but He has an even higher desire than thatnamely, that all men have free will; and so as to not impose on their free will, God let's men choose to believe or not believe. . . . .

IV. WHY did God choose the elect?


What is the Lord's MOTIVE in election?
Calvinists say that the higher desire God has is for His own glory: God desires all to be savedyes-but He has an even higher desire than thatnamely, His own glory:
Romans 9:22-23, What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.

By the way, in this passage the immediate context is the story of God hardening Pharaoh's heart (Paul quotes this just verses previous). And we read in Exodus that God had in fact hardened Pharaoh's heart for the same reason:
Exodus 11:9, Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.' (see also 9:16).

. . .and Isaiah 48 clears up for us the mystery of Lamentations 3 (referenced above)why is it that the Lord sends grief and affliction to His people, though in one sense He doesn't want to? What is the higher desire?
Isaiah 48:10-11, Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.

In fact, the Scriptures teach that everything the Lord does, He does for His glory:
Isaiah 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I will act, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. For my names sake! For the sake of my praise! For my own sake! For my own sake! How should my name be profaned! My glory I will not give to another!

God created us for his glory:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7) You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified (Isaiah 49:3). Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works . . . but rebelled by the Sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his names sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:7-8)

God called Israel for his glory:

God rescued Israel from Egypt for his glory:

God raised Pharaoh up to show his power and glorify his name:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (Romans 9:17)

God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show his glory:

And I will harden Pharaohs heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord . . . And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exodus 14:4, 18; cf. v. 17)

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of his name:

I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. (Ezekiel 20:9, l4, 44)

God gave Israel victory in Canaan (and made an everlasting covenant with David) for the glory of his name:

Who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? ( 2 Samuel 7:23-24) For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David. (2 Kings 19:34; cf. 20:6) Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of My holy name. . .And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name. . .And the nations will know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 36:22-23; cf. v32)

God saved Jerusalem from attack for the glory of his name:

God restored Israel from exile for the glory of his name:

God will not cast away his people for the glory of his name:

Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord . . . For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great names sake. (l Samuel 12:20, 22) I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25) For your own names sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

God forgives our sins for his own sake:

God the Father leads and guides us in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake (Ps.23:3) For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me. (Ps.31:3)

God helps and delivers us for His name's sake

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake. (Ps.79:9)

So, WHY does God choose to save some? The same reason He does everything that He does. . .
For His glory (as we saw above):
Eph.1:6, 12, 14, In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace , which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined

according to the purpose of the one who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory . In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believe, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory .

And also. . .

According to His good pleasure:


Eph.1:6, 12, 14, In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will , to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of the one who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believe, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

In love:
Eph.1:6, In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. . . Eph 2:4-7, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Himin the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Deu 7:6-8 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

V. Dealing with Objections, Part 2


What about John 3:16?
Scripture is filled with texts such as John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Question: It seems like election nullifies verses like John 3:16. How can they both be true? It seems they work against each other. How do you explain these kinds of texts? How do you reconcile the doctrine of election and the free offer of the gospel? Answer: You let those texts stand. Scripture teaches the doctrine of election. Scripture also teaches that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved:

Election and the free offer of the gospel


John 6:37, All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will

certainly not cast out. 1. Election: All that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me 2. Free offer of the gospel: and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out John 6:39-40, This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. 1. Election: verse 39 2. Free offer of the gospel: verse 40 John 12:39-43, For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 'He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.' These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. 1. Sovereign election: they COULD NOT believe, for. . .He hardened their heart 2. Free rejection: for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God 1 Peter 2:8, for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 1. Sovereign election: to this doom they were also appointed 2. Free rejection: for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word Romans 9: Election: (as we have seen) Romans 10: Free offer of the gospel: Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved

How do you reconcile the doctrine of election with the free offer of the gospel?
God commands all men everywhere to repent (17:30; 26:20, etc). Yet men are both unable to repent without the supernatural help of God, as well as unwilling to repent; for they are willing slaves of their sin (Jn.8), they love their sin, and they can no more change their hearts and make their own hearts turn away from the sin they love than a cow can grass, or a lion can meat, or a leopard can her spots. Just as repentance is spoken of as a command of God, so too it is spoken of as a gift that God alone can give (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2Tim.2:25; Deut.29:4, etc). Thus, we have the following truths: 1. Every man is commanded to repent and believe, this is clear from the Scriptures (Acts 17:30, etc). 2. Just as clear from the Scriptures is the truth that no man can, of his own will or decision or power--repent, believe, or circumcise his own heart (Deut.29:4 etc). 3. This repentance and belief is thus a gift that God gives, and must give--for unless God gives this there will never be repentance and belief (Jn.12:39-40, etc). 4. This gift of repentance and faith, Scripture teaches, is given ONLY to the elect (Rom.9, etc). 5. At the same time, Scripture boldly declares that this precious gift will be given by the Spirit to ALL who call upon Christ--none will ever be turned away who call upon Him for forgiveness and Life (Is.55:5-6; Jn.6:37, Rom.10:13, etc).

Thus, if we ask, Why are some men not saved?, Scripture gives us two answers:
1) Men are not saved because they are not elect. But also, 2) Men are condemned because they don't repent and believe the Gospel. They refuse to

give heed to the gospel call: "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."

Scripture teaches both: 1) God elects some and not others. 2) If a man makes use of God's appointed means of salvation (seeking the Lord, calling upon the Name of the Lord), just as surely he will attain to the appointed end (salvation).

How do I know if I'm elect?


Simply put: you cannot know. But what you can know is that if you make use of the means of salvation, you will not fail to attain to the end. We cannot lift up the curtains of time and look into the deep counsel and purposes of God which He wrought before creation. But if we feel ourselves to be hopeless sinners, we can call upon Jesus to save us. Never in the history of the world will it be recorded that Jesus denied a sinner who came to Him for forgiveness, for the testimony of Scripture stands: the one who comes to Me, I will certainly not cast out (Jn.6:37). Ichabod Spencer on election and free agency
"Here is one truth: God predestinates. The Bible says so; and aside from the Bible, I know it by my own reason, just as well as I know that God is wise enough to have some plan for his actionsHere is another truth: Man is freeHe knows that he acts of his own free choice just as well as he knows his own existence. He has not himself a doubt on the subjectIf a man tells you he is not free, that he does not act of his own free will, give him a blistering cap and a strait-jacket, and send him to the mad-house. The man is a maniac. He is unfit to be at large. Here, then are two truths: God decrees; Man is a free agent. . . [But] God has not more certainly foreordained the end than he has foreordained the means. He decrees no end without decreeing the means to reach it. Though St. Paul, as instructed by God, had promised those in the ship, that no man's life should be lost, yet he afterwards said, when the sailors were about to flee out of the ship, 'Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.' The promise and the predestination could not save them if the predestinated means failedPredestination reaches both means and ends together; never the one without the other. If your salvation is foreordained, your repentance, your faith, and holiness, and willing obedience to God are foreordained also. So is your willing and prayerful use of all the means of eternal life[This doctrine] unites means and ends, --repentance, faith, prayer, humility, love, goodness, holiness, as means; and heaven, as the end. 'If I am to be saved I shall be, do what I may! [If election is true it doesn't matter what I do]' that is not our doctrine. You never heard it preached so. No man ever preached it so. No man ever believed that. Election does not dispense with the means of salvation, and you cannot dispense with them. You will repent willinglyyou will pray, you will flee to Christ, you will strive to enter in at the narrow gate, if you are going to be saved. I cannot see for you the end; I cannot lift the curtain that hides eternity, and show you your place in the world of spirits; but I can see your duty here, the means of salvation, which ought to engage all your efforts. And, by the promise of the God of truth, I can know that if you employ the means, as He bids you, you cannot fail of the end, eternal life. 'He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting,' because God hath foreordained it shall be so." -Taken from A Pastor's Sketches

Robert Murray McCheyne on election and free agency:


'If I knew I were one of the elect, I would come; but I fear I am not.' To you I answer, Nobody ever came to Christ because they knew themselves to be of the elect. It is quite true that God has of His mere good pleasure elected some to everlasting life, but they never knew it till they came to Christ. Christ nowhere invites the elect to come to Him. The question for you is not, Am I one of the elect? But, Am I of the human race? -Robert Murray McCheyne

Election and Preaching


We don't know who is elect and who is not. Our task then is not to offer the gospel to the elect (as if we knew who they were)but to preach a free offer of the gospel to any and all who will come. It is

in preaching the free offer of the gospel that the elect WILL hear His voice and come.
While Scriptures do teach the general invitations of the Gospel AND the particular and special work of Christ, they do not choose to reveal clearly how both truths are consistent with each other. . .A minister should preach a full, unfettered Gospel because God has commanded it to be preached to every creature. . .The Gospel offer contains nothing that is not absolutely truthful. All who comply with its directions shall certainly be saved. -Iain Murray It is the COMMAND of God TO OFFER CHRIST,-- ' Go ye and preach to all nations.' It is the command of God TO RECEIVE HIM,-- 'This is the work of God, that ye should believe on him whom he hath sent.' It is the INVITATION of God to come to Him; and it is the PROMISE of God, that whosoever cometh shall in no wise be cast out. 'The Spirit saith, come; and the Bride saith, come; and whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.' -John Bonar, Banner of Truth volume, p442.

We are thus to preach: 3


(1) A Free Offer: "Christ invites all without distinction, even the worst of sinners, to this spiritual feast: Isaiah 55:1, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth ...O; Revelation 22:17, 'And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.' These are gospel-invitations, clogged with no conditions, comprehending all who are willing to receive Christ, whatever their case is or has been" (Thomas Boston's Works, edited by McMillan, vol.X,p.95,1854 edit.). (2) A Particular Offer. "The general call and offer of the Gospel reaches every individual person (who hears it), and God speaks to every sinner as particularly as though he named them by his name and surname. Remission of sins is preached to you, we beseech you to be reconciled, the promise is unto you; and for my part I do not know what sort of a Gospel men make, who do not admit this" (E. Erskine in Gospel Truth) p. 355). (3) A Real and Sincere Offer. God is not offering something which He is unwilling to bestow. "God offers Christ cordially and affectionately in the gospel; his very heart goes out after sinners in the call and offer thereof. It is not possible to conceive anything more affectionate than the words in which he addresses sinners, Isaiah 55:1-3; Ezekiel 33:11; Hoseah 11:8. God's whole heart and soul is in the offer and promise of the Gospel" (E. Erskine, Gospel Truth, p. 65). (4) A Commanding Offer. "Sinners must come in. 'Compel them to come in' (Luke 14:23). Sirs, you not only may come, but you must come, even the worst of you. You are not only desired to come in, but you must not stay outside. Consider, 'This is his commandment, that ye believe'(1 John 3:23). You are absolutely commanded to come in. Therefore I charge you in his Name to come in, and not disobey his absolute command. . .We dare admit no excuses in this matter, bring them from whence you will, whether from God's greatness, your own vileness, or the world's impediments. Whatever your case may be, you are commanded by God to come; and his commands are not to be disputed, but obeyed (Boston's Works VI,pp.288-9). (5) An Urgent and Solemn Offer. "It is in this world only that the call takes place (Matt.28:1819). As for those who are gone into the other world, the call can reach them no more; they are prisoners without hope. . .This Gospel is the Lord's farewell sermon to the world. It is God's last grace to the world (Heb.1). No other dispensation of grace shall the world ever see again. Now, Sirs, the last ship for Immanuel's land is making ready to go; therefore it is now or never! (Heb.10:2-27). . .The more frequent, and the more solemn offers that are made to sinners, the greater is their contempt which they pour upon the Son of God. And every sermon will add to their account; so that I have no doubt but that many of us, if they hold on as they are doing in slighting Christ and his ordinances, the day will come, in which they will wish from their hearts they had never lived where sermons were to be heard. And reflections
3

This section taken from Iain Murray's, The Free Offer of the Gospel

on these will cut them to the heart for ever more! Of all vengeance that which follows a despised Gospel is the most dreadful. 'But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee. . .O children of the house of hell, close with the offer of adoption into God's family! I beseech you to accept it, nay, I charge you to come out from among them this day (Boston's Works V, p.358;II,p.453; III,p.99; I,p.651).

Conclusion:
1. Faith is given, not foreseen: We have seen that faith and repentance are the consequents, not the grounds of election (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:4;2:10; 2Thess.2:13; 1Pet.1:2). All the elect shall believe (Jn.10:16;27-29; 6:37,39; 17:2,9,24) and only the elect believe, because they are such (Jn.10:26; Acts 13:48;2:47).
"Man, antecedently to election, could not have been foreseen as repentant and believing, because human nature can bring forth no such fruits." -Hodge

2. Election is individual, not corporate: We have seen how the Scriptures clearly teach that God's election of persons to salvation is not corporate, but individual; He does not merely elect the church as a whole, generally speaking, but elects particular individuals unto Himself. God chose to have mercy on Jacob (Rom.9) and Paul (Gal.1), but chose to not extend that mercy to Esau. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but opened Lydia's heart to receive His Word (see also 1 Cor.1:26-30). 3. God does desire for all to be saved, but He has an even HIGHER desire than thisnamely, His glory. 4. Though it is true that salvation is given only to the elect, it is also true that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Men are not saved only because they are not elect, but they are also not saved because they refuse to give up their sin. No man ever came to Christ for forgiveness and salvation and was turned away: the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out (Jn.6:37). Let us then preach a free offer of the gospel and know that the elect will hear His voice and come.

VI. Applications of the doctrine of election


*Election and comfort. The doctrine of election is meant to bring great comfort and awe to believers. If I believe that I chose God, it will have an effect on how I think about God; that would be different than how I would think of Him if I believed Scripture teaches that He in fact actually chose me. There is a difference, is there not, between a stray cat choosing to adopt a family, and on the other hand a family choosing to adopt a child. Which argues a greater love? We were not orphans that showed up one day on God's doorstep. Scripture tells us that as believers, we have been hand-chosen by God, in love, and according to His good pleasure. Indeed, the biblical doctrine of election is meant to foster within us awe as we think upon the unspeakably precious love of God for us in Christ. *Election and security. The doctrine of election is meant to bring security to the believer. How we think about who chose who has great ramifications on how we think about our present relationship with Christ. If I'M the one who chose HIM; if I'm the one who entered into relationship with Him, then wouldn't it follow that I can also end that relationship? If I did something to enter into relationship with Him, couldn't I also do something (bad and sinful) that would end that relationship? If I believe that I chose God, what happens when I struggle as a Christian and through my actions I reject God? If God accepted me because I first chose Him, then what will God do on the days that I functionally reject Him? The biblical doctrine of election is thus given to us in order that we might have security in our relationship with Christ. *Election and tears. The doctrine of election, properly understood and embraced, will never, ever produce a cold heart that cares nothing for souls. It didn't for Paul. Paul actually begins his discussion of election with tears in his eyes for his brothers according to the flesh. In Romans 9:1-4, far from giving a

distanced, removed lecture on the nature of election, Paul is so deeply burdened for the salvation of his nation that if possible, he would have given up his own place in paradise for them (v3). The biblical doctrine of election, when properly grasped, will humble us and break our hearts for our lost loved ones around us.

*Election and missionary zeal. One of the biggest objections to the doctrine of election is that it will make us lazy. If God has already elected individuals to salvation, then there's no need to go share the gospel, right? Once again, this is not the effect the doctrine of election had on the apostle Paul. At the beginning of chapter 9, as he begins his teaching on election, his eyes are wet and his heart is broken. And after finishing his discourse on election, he goes on in chapter 10 to stress the absolute need for the preaching of the gospel. If the gospel is not preached, men will not be saved, he declares in chapter 10. Election does not nullify the need for the preaching of the gospel. They are not opposed to one another. And no one, I don't think, will venture to argue that Paul, a believer in and teacher of the doctrine of election, was a lazy missionary. The biblical doctrine of election, when properly grasped, fuels a burning passion to preach the glory of Christ among the nations. *Election and confidence in missionary preaching. Election is not only not opposed to the need for the preaching of the gospel. Election propels gospel preaching. Yes, the doctrine of election is one of the best catalysts there is in the Bible for unrestrained, unhindered, unreserved, tireless evangelistic preaching of the gospel! How? Because you go with the confidence that Christ's sheep WILL hear His voice. They are out there. All you have to do is faithfully proclaim the gospel. When they hear His voice they will come. No uncertainties about it. No doubt about it. No if's about it. I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also and they will heed my voice (Jn.10:16). Those who believe in election can hear the Lord whispering in their ears as He did into Paul's, Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you. . .for I have many people in this city (Acts 18:9-10). The biblical doctrine of election is there to give great confidence and encouragement to missionary preachers.
Illustration: John Alexander, a former president of Inter-Varsity said in a message at Urbana 67, At the beginning of my missionary career I said that if predestination were true I could not be a missionary. Now after 20 years of struggling with the hardness of the human heart, I say I could never be a missionary unless I believed in the doctrine of predestination. It gives hope that Christ most certainly has a people among the nations. I have other sheep. 4

*Election and purity in missionary preaching. If you believe that Christ has elected His sheep before the foundation of the world, and that they will hear His voice, and that when they hear His voice they will come to Him, then you don't have to try to dress up the gospel. So many preachers are afraid to tell unbelievers about suffering in the Christian life. They will only talk about the peace of God, the joy and happiness that will come if you believe, the fulfillment that God gives in Jesus. All true. But what about all the times Jesus told His would-be disciples that if they wanted to follow Him, they must take up their crosses? What about all the times Jesus told them that the call to follow Him was the call to die? When you believe in election, you don't have to worry about trying to make the gospel more palatable. You don't have to worry about making it attractive. You don't have to worry about how to take sheep food and make it look like something goats would really like. You preach Christ, knowing that, as the Bible teaches, when the gospel is preached faithfully, the goats will be offended and angry, but His sheep will hear His voice and come. When they hear about suffering together with Christ, the goats will leave, but His sheep will be drawn. Thus, the biblical doctrine of election preserves the purity of the preaching of the gospel.

Story used from John Piper, TULIP

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