By Pastor Steve M. Wadleigh
This series of blog posts are meant to explain and defend the doctrine of election. I started by
defining this doctrine and then showing how the condition of fallen mankind demands the
teaching of sovereign election. I then showed that the teaching of God’s sovereign choosing of
men is found throughout the Bible. In the next post we looked at examples of God choosing
specific individuals throughout all of redemptive history according to His sovereign will to the
praise of His glorious grace. In my last post we also saw that Jesus Christ and his apostles
taught that God is the one who chooses who will come to Him for salvation. Now I will list some
of the practical implications of this divine doctrine in our lives today.
How does an understanding of this cardinal doctrine impact our lives? Let us briefly examine
several of the ways.
First, it takes the focus off of us, in regards to our salvation, and places all of the glory on God
who chooses and saves sinners. God is seen as one hundred percent responsible for the
salvation of men, not just a partner with those who, on their own chose Him. Paul writes:
we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works
all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ
should be to the praise of His glory.
Secondly, understanding this doctrine should fill us with praise and adoration for our God. We
are not capable of fully understanding His ways, but we can praise him for that which He has
revealed to us. At the end of Romans chapter eleven, after discussing God’s plan of salvation for
both Jews and Gentiles, Paul breaks into a beautiful doxology to God’s incredible wisdom in
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are
His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who
became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly to us, this doctrine gives us a great security in God’s love. The doctrine of election teaches us that God’s love for us is not based on who we are or what we do. It is solely based on His sovereign will and choice. Therefore, there is nothing that we can do to change God’s love for us:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lastly, in looking at our mandate to evangelize the lost through the Gospel, we can preach, teach and witness with the confidence of knowing that it is God who saves sinners – not us. Obvious as though this statement may seem, many are paralyzed with the fear that they may say or do something wrong which will result in a person rejecting the Gospel message and being eternally lost as a result. We can be encouraged to do our best knowing that ultimately it is God who draws His chosen ones to salvation, not us. As we have seen Jesus said:
“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”
These are just a few of the ways that a proper understanding of this doctrine will impact our thinking and therefore our lives.
I have attempted to explain the doctrine of election and to show that it is indeed central to God’s plan of redemption . We looked at the requirement for sovereign election due to the fallen nature of mankind and his total inability, if left on his own, to turn to God. We then saw how God has always sovereignly chosen individuals according to His will and for His divine purpose. We also looked at the teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles on this subject and found that they understood fully that it is God who chooses who will come to Him. Finally we looked at some of the practical implications of this doctrine in our lives today. I pray that God will continue to open our minds and reveal His great truths to us as we seek to know Him through His revealed Word. To the praise of His glorious grace!