From last week’s post: Rather than suggest any smugness, this doctrine ought to humble each of us to the dust. …The number of references in Scripture to God’s sovereign, electing love are overwhelming.
2. It was before the creation of the world, that God chose a definite and limited number of individuals unto salvation. He wrote these names in a book. His choice was not based upon any merit in man or any faith of man that God could foresee before creation. Election is unconditional. Man’s faith did not determine God’s election, but God’s election determined man’s faith.
3. God, not man, made this sovereign choice.
- Mark 13:20 “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”
- I Thess. 1:4 “… knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”
- II Thess. 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
4. God’s election was an eternal, sovereign decree, made before time began.
- Eph. 1:4a “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world….”
- II Tim. 1:9 “… who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began….”
- Rev. 13:8 “And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- Rev. 17:8b (referring to those NOT chosen) “And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world….”
- Rev. 21:27 “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
- See II Thess. 2:13 above.
5. The basis of God’s election was purely of sovereign grace. God could foresee before creation who would believe, but that is not the basis for God’s choosing anyone unto salvation. If something is of grace, then it cannot be by works.
- Jn. 1:12-13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
- Rom. 9:11 “(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls).”
- Rom. 9:16 “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”
- Rom. 11:5-6 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”
6. Good works are never the cause of God’s election, but they are the fruits of His electing love. True faith in Jesus Christ and the works of thankfulness are the proof of man’s election by God.
- Matt. 7:17-18 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
- Jn. 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
- Eph. 1:11-12 “…in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
- Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
- II Pet. 1:8-10 “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”
- Phil. 2:12-13 “… Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Blog post content is taken from Rev. Paul Treick’s book, Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still: A Study of the Five Points of Calvinism, available for purchase. It is posted with the gracious permission of the author.
If you’d like to read the blog series from the beginning, start here.