The Doctrine of Election, part I


Dr. S. Lewis Johnson begins a short series of divine election. Detailed Scripture references in support of the doctrine are provided.

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[Prayer] ….Tonight to the theology of the Bible again that the Spirit may be our teacher and guide us into the truth. Give us open minds and open hearts to receive the word. And enable us Lord to understand and to put into practice in our daily lives the things that we come to know. We commit each one present to Thee and if Thy hands of blessing may be upon each one. With the glory of Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us may we ask it in his name. Amen.

[Message] Tonight we are beginning our series on seven studies on the subject of election. And if you have looked at our schedule you will notice that there are five lessons that are to be given on the title, The Doctrine of Election, and then two more, which really pertain to the subject also, For Whom Did Christ Die; two on that subject.

Now tonight we are beginning a two part series. And so my outline is only tonight’s part of the outline. You’ll notice I have a Roman I but there is no Roman II. We’re saving that until next week and Roman III because we want to deal with the biblical proof these tonight then the next two will be a consideration of the problems which man and men ordinarily raise to the doctrine of election. And we will spend two nights on the problems. And I hope we will be able to answer all of your problems in those two hours. We will conclude the series on election proper with a study of its practical values. And I hope to show not only its practical value now but give some evidence of it in history as well. And then we will have two studies on the subject, For Whom Did Christ Die.

Tonight since we are looking at the biblical evidence for election or at least we are beginning it — I want you to turn with me to the ninth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. And will you listen as I read a few verses beginning with the sixth verse, Romans chapter 9, verse 6. Next Monday night we are going to expound Romans 6:9 through 29 and Ephesians 1:4 through 14 but I want to read these passages and I hope you will read them during the week.

Now the apostle in the first eight chapters of the epistle to the Romans has given us his outline of the subject of salvation taking us through the doctrine of justification, sanctification, and then concluding a brief treatment of the subject of glorification in which he has set forth some very significant facts concerning our eternal union with Jesus Christ. And one might have thought as he finished the eighth chapter, the apostle’s gospel was quite a bit different from the teaching of the Old Testament because it does not seem to give any special consideration to the nation Israel. And since, of course, the Scriptures which the apostle knew as Scriptures and which the apostles had in their hands as the word of God contained so much about Israel and its future, it is only natural that he should — in this great epistle on salvation — have a section in which he relates his gospel to the Old Testament and its promises.

Unfortunately, as I’ve often said to you, we in the twentieth century do not realize that the apostle considered the Old Testament to be his Bible. There are people who look at the Old Testament and say, “Ah fulfill of no real use to us today.” That the apostles would have been strongly against, for that was their Bible. And all that they taught they related to the Old Testament teaching. In fact, the epistle to the Romans is really nothing more than an Old Testament theology written in the light of the coming of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of those promises in him. So Romans 9, 10, and 11 is an attempt by Paul to show that the teaching that he is now giving is not contrary to the Old Testament but is in fair accord with it. The Jews have a future there place in the program of God in the present time that is similar to that of a train, which is passed onto a siding — the purpose of God has passed them by not because they have no future but because they did not believe. He concludes in chapter 11 with a great prophecies and promise of the ultimate restoration of Israel. He says in chapter 11, verse 25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as — Isaiah chapter 59 — it is written.”

Now, then in chapter 9, he introduces this chapter with a few words that have to do with the blessings of Israel and now he turns to consider their history in order to explain what has happened to them. And we read in the sixth verse these words,

“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Now the apostle is not speaking about a Gentile as over against a Jew. He’s talking about two kinds of Jews, those who are believers and those who are not believers. Verse 8,) “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 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.” Very strange words, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

By the way, a lot of people have difficulty with that statement, “Esau have I hated.” After reading the story I have almost as much difficulty with the first part, “Jacob have I loved.” We’ll talk about that next week. Tonight we begin the subject of election. In approaching this subject, we need a large quantity of intellectual humility. It is a difficult subject with some problems, which we may never solve to our complete satisfaction. You remember the old story about the colored minister. I quoted it when we studied the decrees who introduced a famous visitor in his church by saying, “The man we are having speaking tonight is a man who knows the unknowable, who can solve the unsolvable and who can unscrew the inscrutable.” [Laughter]

And unfortunately we do not have that man speaking to us tonight so that we probably will have a few difficulties with the doctrine of election, which cannot be unscrewed. On the other hand, it is a biblical subject; and therefore, it is worthy of our investigation. It is possible for us to make the mistake of misunderstanding the doctrine of election. In my opinion, all or many of them make that mistake, but I say that in friendly love in case there are some or many in present. And that is that of course to misunderstand the doctrine of election. But it is even worse to simply forget it, to bypass it, to say nothing about it. Some people may overdo it, but overlook it to me is even worse because the Bible is really full of information about the doctrine of election.

There are some who appeal to Deuteronomy chapter 29, verse 29. The statement that reads, “The secret things belong unto the Lord, but those that are revealed unto us and to our children is justification for omitting the doctrine of election from investigation.” But this is not one of the secret things of the Lord. It is one of the revealed things and consequently we have a responsibility to understand what the Bible has to say about election.

Calvin has said we may not be silent, we hear what God speaks but we must not speculate beyond the boundaries of revelation. So we should if God has spoken we should speak. On the other hand, we should be careful that we do not go beyond what is spoken. I do not mean by that that we should never draw any inferences from the statement of Scripture but when we draw our inferences it should be obvious to us as well as to those who listen to us that they are inferences. And we should be very careful not to get into the area of speculation. I think we treat God’s words properly when we have learned these limits. Well that is an introduction.

Now let’s turn to our subject and in the outline this is Roman I: The biblical proof of election. Now I’m going to devote the third section of my outline to an exposition of these passages. So what I’m interested in doing now is just to establish the facts of the doctrine of election. That it is a New Testament doctrine. Capital A: The testimony of the Scriptures and Arabic I: The declarations of Scriptures.

The Bible does not seek to soften or modify its teaching for the doctrine of election is everywhere in the Bible. I think without a shadow of a doubt that we could begin reading texts right now that had to do with the doctrine of election. And we could just read texts for the next hour and not repeat anything. There are that many passages in the Bible that has to do with the subject of election, but I am going to read a few. And so will you know turn with me Ephesians chapter 1 and let’s read beginning with the fourth through the fourteenth verse of this great chapter. Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4 Paul just states that God “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” And now he says, “According as he hath chosen us in him.”

Now that term chosen is the rendering of the Greek word eklegomai. I put that on the board. It is the word that is sometimes translated election or to elect or to choose. These are the same word, eklegomai. And this form exelexato which means “he chose for himself,” for it is middle voice. “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.” Now you can see that election is something that took place before this earth came into existence before the foundation of the world. That means before taxes having predestinated us.

Now this is a different word, but this word also pertains to this doctrine having predestinated us. This is the word proarizo. It means to mark out beforehand. “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. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”

Now notice again the word purpose, which also relates to that great doctrine for it sets forth God’s plans, activities. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 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.”

Now that is a different word but as you can see its meaning is related too, counsel of his own will. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ — that is we Jews. In whom ye also — you Gentiles — trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Now you should have noticed as we have read through these verses that this electing purpose of God is related to the good pleasure of God. It is not related to our works. It is not related to our faith. It is related to his good pleasure. In other words, the source of God’s election and coordination of us, is his love not our faith. It is his love. It is not our works for it is not of him that willeth or of him that doeth or of running, which signifies that aspect of it.

Now let’s turn to another passage. Let’s turn to Romans chapter 8 and let’s read verse 28 through 30. Romans 8, verse 28 through verse 30, Paul says, “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.” There it is prophesies, purpose. What is his purpose? Well there it is for whom he did foreknow. Notice the word, foreknow. We’ll talk about that later. “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.”

So his purpose is a purpose that begins with foreknowledge, proceeds through foreordination or predestination calling justification to glorification. Let’s turn to 1 Peter chapter 1, verses 1 and 2 to read the statements of one of the other apostles. Peter writes in 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 1 and verse 2, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, — there it is chosen — Elect according to the foreknowledge — there it is again 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.”

Now notice in these expressions — in these passages — we have these familiar refrains of election, predestination, foreknowledge, purpose, etc. Let’s turn to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 13 and 14. This has been called by some a system of theology in many a tool. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 through 14 and it is an amazing statement by the apostle Paul often overlooked. Paul says 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and 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 — slightly different word here but the same thought — through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Notice the choice before the faith. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now we’re going to read the words of someone who is the strongest person in the New Testament on the doctrines of distinguishing grace. So let’s turn back to John chapter 6 and read some of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. John chapter 6; I tell you what; this is so important that we’re going to read beginning at the beginning of this great speech on the bread of life. Verse 22,

“The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.”

Did you notice that? All that the Father giveth me shall come to me. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” There is the conjunction of the great doctrine of election and security. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me.” That’s another word for election, chosen by him, given by the Father. “I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Now notice there is no contradiction whatsoever between the doctrine of election and the universal preaching of the gospel. “Everyone which seeth the Son and believeth on him may have everlasting life that all that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. The Jews then murmured at him because he said I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, is not this Jesus the son of Joseph whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he sayeth I came down from heaven? Jesus, therefore, answered and said unto them murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him and I will raise him up at the last day.”

I do not think there is a stronger statement in all the Bible than this statement uttered by Jesus Christ. No man can come to me expect the Father which has sent me draw him and I will raise him up at the last day. Look at verse 16, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

Now we’re going to have to stop our reading because we wouldn’t be able to get into our subject; therefore, if we continue to read these great passages but if you have a pencil just note down Acts chapter 2, verse 22 through verse 24, Acts chapter 4, verse 27 verse 28, Acts chapter 13, verse 48; noting particularly the word ordained in that place. Now we’ll just let that go for the moment as what Scripture says. We’re going to expound these passages next time at least the major ones.

Arabic II: The defense of the principle of election. Paul rests his case for the doctrine of election upon two bases. We shall see it more definitively next week but in Romans chapter 9, first of all, he goes back into the history of Israel and he shows through an exposition of some of the facts of the book of Genesis that the principle of election was at work in Israel’s own history. In other words, God chose Isaac. He did not choose Ishmael. He chose Jacob. He did not choose Esau. So in the history of Israel itself, one can see the principle of election.

Then the second thing that Paul rests his case upon in Romans 9 is the doctrine of divine sovereignty. And that is this that God is free to do what he wishes to do. And that in the final analysis he will justify himself, as Paul puts it, he acts according to his own will. He does his activity in accordance with the riches of grace. But he is sovereign and consequently, what he does must be right.

Now Jesus does the same. He rests the case for election upon the facts of history. In Luke chapter 4, in his sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth he did that. He, for example, referred to the fact that God did not send to all of the widows in Israel, Elijah the Prophet, but to one. He did not send to the lepers in Israel to heal them; he sent to Naaman. In other words, history itself reveals the fact that God acts in accordance with this purpose of election. And then, of course, our Lord also rests his case upon the sovereignty of God as the reading of Matthew chapter 11, verse 25 and 26 will clearly show.

Now election is not founded then upon works, whether foreseen or not, it is founded upon God’s sovereign distinguishing grace. Now let me read — just in support again — the text that I read before we started tonight, Romans chapter 9, verse 11, “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.” Capital B: The terms involved in the doctrine and Arabic I: The words for election. In the Old Testament we have the doctrine of election as well as in the New Testament. In the Old Testament the word for election or to elect is the Hebrew word vachar. Now that we can transliterate this way, V-A-C-H-A-R.

In the New Testament the chief word for election is the Greek word eklegomai, E-K-L-E-G-O-M-A-I. You might transliterate it. Now that word means to choose. It is the word that is used in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. Both of these words involve a selection. So the characteristic thing that we should remember about the word elect is the idea of selection.

Now if we had fifteen or twenty hours to devote to election, we could talk about all of the different things that are chosen by God, for election is not simply a doctrine that pertains to a person. It also pertains to nations. It even pertains to the angelic world. It pertains to the inanimate sphere to some extent. But we are looking at it from the standpoint of individuals and election is a selection unto salvation. That is the sense in which we’re going to lay stress upon it. 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 1 and 2 would establish that but other places do as well.

Arabic II: The words for foreordination. Foreordination and predestination are synonyms. We could — if we wish — say the word foreordination equals predestination, for generally speaking the word translated predestinated is a word that means foreordained. So we need not distinguish these words, they mean the same thing. Actually, in the English text of the New Testament the word foreordained, I believe, occurs in only one place in 1 Peter chapter 1 where it is referred to Our Lord but there it should have been rendered predestinated. So I believe that’s where it should have been rendered foreknown. It was a mistranslation of this word translated foreordained.

Now this word foreordination, proarizo means to mark out beforehand. In Greek paras was a boundary and so to put the boundary in the verbal form was to mark out. And the pra means “to before” so to mark beforehand, delineate beforehand is the idea behind foreordination. This word occurs in passages like Romans 8:29 and 30 where Paul says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate,” it is a word that has different uses theologically. Sometimes it’s used for all of God’s decrees. Remember last year — those of you who were in theology class — we studied the doctrine of the decrees. And by the decree we included all of the things that God has ever done. They are all included in his decree, past, present and future. Everything is included in the decree of God. It is his determination that all things shall come to pass in accordance with his will.

Now there are different aspects of the decree of God. We cannot get into that but sometimes predestination is used to refer to that. That is, it’s a general word that refers to all that God does, the doctrine of predestination. We can could study the decree. Sometimes it refers to his purpose regarding moral creatures, predestination. What the doctrine of predestination? Well, it’s the doctrine of what he does with respect to the angels and to men. In that sense, it’s a more limited term. But we’re going to use the term predestination or election. And I’m going to specialize on election. We’re going to use it in a more limited sense. That is in the sense in which it refers to us as fallen creatures who art chosen by God to salvation. So that is the sense in which we will use it. Now if this word stresses then selection. This word refers to the end or the goal of God’s choice. We are foreordained unto a certain goal which in our case is salvation and ultimately the glory of God. So this word stresses selection. This word stresses the goal for which we are chosen. Third, Arabic III: The words for knowledge and foreknowledge. Now this is something I want you to be sure to get. In the Old Testament, the word for know is the Hebrew word yada. Let’s transliterate it this way. Let’s just translate it for simplicity Y-A-D-A, yada. That is not quite exact in transliteration but if I put the exact up there you would all be confused. So yada, this word means to know. Now it is important for us — if we are to understand the doctrine of foreknowledge — that we understand what know means in the Bible. Know, does not mean in the Bible simply to be acquainted with. We say, for example, in English I know him. That means I have been introduced to him. I may know him very little actually but I have been introduced to him. I can say I know Bobby Jones, the great golfer, once forty years ago I was introduced to him. You didn’t know I was forty did you. I was just a little infant. [Laughter] I knew Tallulah Bankhead. I was introduced to Tallulah Bankhead but I didn’t really know her very well.

Now, in that sense, this word is not used in the Old Testament, though I imagine there are probably a few places it might be, but knowing the Old Testament means to know in a very intimate way. In fact, if you will remember, it’s the word for sexual knowledge. Adam knew Eve his wife.

Now that is important. To know in the Scripture is to enter into intimate relationship with. Consequently, to foreknow someone is not simply to be aware of what they would do. The Bible nowhere says that in connection with foreknowledge, though that is the popular understanding of what that word means. If you ask someone, what does foreknowledge mean? They will say, “Well I think what that means is that God knew what we would all do and he chose those who he knew would believe. He foreknew.” Now the Bible nowhere says that. You cannot bring forward any text that says that at all. And at the base of the error, besides misinterpretation of other passages, is the failure to understand what the word foreknow means. Foreknow is just another word for choose beforehand. This word stresses the intimacy of the choice. This stresses the selectivity of it. Now I want to ask you to turn to a passage in order to show this to you. Will you take your Bibles and turn to Amos chapter 3, verse 2 and we will declare a slight intermission while you find the book of Amos. I’ll tell you this — if you’re, if you find Joel you’re hot. If you’re having difficulty, just locate Obadiah and it’s the book just before Obadiah. You can use the index you know. Go ahead and find it Harry. Have you got it? All right if Harry’s got it everybody’s got it I know. [Laughter] Amos chapter 3, verse 2.

Now listen God says. Let’s read verse 1 first, “Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth.”

Now let me ask you a question. Did God know of the existence of the other families of the earth? Of course he did. One of his attributes is omniscience, remember? Omniscience, and yet he says, concerning Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth,” what did he mean by that, you only among the nations have I entered into intimate relations with? You only have I chosen of all the nations of the earth. It was Abraham whom I chose. And through whom I instituted my purpose with regards to Israel. You only have I known. He knew he was acquainted with all of families, but Israel he knew specially.

Now that sense is found in the New Testament in Galatians chapter 4 and verse 9 Paul says, “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,” now God knows everyone. How can the Galatians be spoken of as known by God? Well he means, he has entered into intimate relationship with the Galatians. 1 Corinthians chapter 8 and verse 3. 1 Corinthians 8:3, “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” Known by him. But our love for God does not determine his knowledge of us in the other sense. He knows everybody whether they love him or not. But he enters into intimate relationship with certain ones of whom it can be said, with this Hebraic understanding of the word, know, I have known them; I have chosen them. That’s what that word means. So it involves then selective knowledge which regards one with a favor or with favor. It has to do with intimate knowledge.

Now, to sum up then, foreknowledge emphasizes the character of the relationship that we have with God. It is a personal relationship involving choice. Predestination or foreordination emphasizes the aim of the relationship. We are foreordained to be like Christ. Election emphasizes the actual selecting processes whereby certain ones are distinguished from others in the plan of God.

Now I did have a fourth word. The words for purpose. That word in the noun form is the word prothesis, P-R-O-T-H-E-S-I-S. Prothesis, that’s the word that is used in Romans chapter 8, verse 28, “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.” Purpose, now this simply emphasizes the fact that all of God’s election program is planned by God. It is planned. It is not haphazard. It is planned. He actually knew you before he saw you. As a matter of fact, he has planned to choose you. You were chosen in him before the foundation of the world. You didn’t come into this world and God looked down in your crib and said, “My isn’t he cute, I’ll think I’ll choose him.” He didn’t wait around until you exercised faith in Jesus Christ and says, “You know I think I’ll choose him because he wants to believe in my Son.” He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. That’s what Paul says. That is all planned.

Now we want to conclude with a tentative definition then of election. I’ll say it two or three times. Can you put it down in your notes then we’re going to have to close the meeting because its time to stop. And next Monday night we’re going to turn to these great passages Ephesians 1, Romans 9 and one or two other passages and expound them in detail. Then we’re going to answer all of your objections, all of your problems.

Now, Capital C: The tentative definition. What is election? Election is the sovereign act of God in choosing for salvation in Christ Jesus those who he had predestinated according to his own purpose. Election is the sovereign act of God in choosing for salvation in Christ Jesus those whom he had predestinated according to his own purpose. Election is the sovereign act of God in choosing for salvation in Christ Jesus those whom he had predestinated according to his own purpose. Now we could substitute the word foreknow for predestinated. We would simply give another stress to the choice. And when we use the word predestinate we stress what? Someone? Not the selection. Predestination? The Goal, the goal, the selection, the intimate relationship of that choice knowledge and foreknowledge. Time is up. Let’s close with a word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father we thank Thee for the wonderful texts of Holy Scripture which set forth the way in which Thy hand has been upon us from the ages past. And we know Lord as we look at the word of Holy Scripture it is all-traceable to Thy love, for not one deserves to be elected. And so we want to express to Thee our praise and gratitude and Thy marvelous grace. And Lord if there should be someone present in this auditorium who does not know yet Jesus Christ as their personal savior give them no rest nor peace until they rest in him for Jesus sake. Amen.

Posted in: Soteriology