Election And Predestination As Taught In The Bible
Election & Predestination As Taught In The Bible
Anyone willing to take the time to do a reasonable bible study on the subject of election and predestination will have no trouble finding a wealth of evidence for these doctrines, and with that, a much better understanding of God’s sovereignty in salvation. There are various reasons why many professing Christians don’t understand or believe in these doctrines. Many have only done a superficial – if any – study of the subject. Also, many have been conditioned by bad teachers to take related Bible verses out of context, so that it appears that man is the chooser of God with respect to salvation and not vice versa.
Let’s start with Ephesians chapter 1
The following verses in Ephesians, etc., show how we can know that God chooses us and that we do not choose Him in salvation:
Ephesians Chapter 1:3-11:
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
4 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:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (and not according to anyone accepting Christ)
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
11 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”
John Chapter 1:12-13:
“12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”
In John 1:12 above, who “received him”? Who “believed on his name”?
Those which were born of the will of God (John 1:13):
“13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Here are 4 very clear examples of God choosing the sinner:
1. John 15:16:
“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.”
2. 2Thessalonians 2:13:
“13 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”
3. Acts 13:48:
“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.”
4. Psalm 65:4:
“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.”
Regarding the idea of “accepting Christ”, let’s look at Romans 3:11
“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
Therefore, because there are none who, in their lost, unregenerated spiritual condition, seek after God, God has to seek after us and God has to make us willing:
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” – Psalm 110:3
Many church leaders today will tell you that they believe in the Bible doctrine of Total Depravity, yet they teach the gospel as if they don’t understand what Total Depravity actually is. This is Total Depravity: someone who CANNOT POSSIBLY come to Christ in their spiritually dead condition:
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” – Jeremiah 13:23
Spiritually dead sinners cannot choose Christ as their savior unless they choose a Christ whom they don’t really know or understand – and what does that accomplish? Lots of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted such a Christ and we know those people are still DEAD in their trespasses and sins…
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
How do we know that Jesus only died for the Elect?
People who think that Jesus died for everyone who ever lived or ever will live (and not just for “the Elect”) simply don’t understand what the Bible means regarding the propitiation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That word “propitiation” declares that Christ’s atonement FULLY SATISFIED the demands of divine justice for all the sins of all the people for whom Christ died. If Christ’s propitiatory death was for EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED OR EVER WILL LIVE then God cannot be “just” and still send a single person to Hell, since their sins would have already been paid for by Christ, PAID IN FULL, with God’s demands for justice being fully satisfied by that PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE of Christ at Calvary. And when the apostle John said this, what exactly did he mean:
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2
What did John mean by “the whole world” in 1John 2:2?
John was doing what he often did in his writings to the Church. He was explaining to the Church, primarily to the Jewish believers, that Jesus died for people/races/nations of the whole world, not just for Jews. He was not saying that Jesus was the propitiation for everyone who ever lived or ever will live, because as I already said above, the meaning of propitiation does NOT allow 1John 2:2 to be interpreted that way.
People can say that Jesus died for “whosoever will” until the cows come home but that brief – out of context – phrase won’t remove any of the verses in the Bible that indicate that God’s Elect are the ONLY ONES whosoever will ever come to Christ to have eternal life:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” – John 6:37
GOD IS IN TOTAL CONTROL, God is in charge of all things, including salvation and He has been planning all this from before the foundation of the world. The Church is the Father’s love gift to the Son. People coming to Christ is not some random chance event where God hopes that sinners make the right choice and pick Jesus instead of the devil. God the Father chose the Bride for His Son – from before the foundation of the world. In no way does the Bride choose the Bridegroom. Such an idea really is a huge insult to God and His prerogative to be God, to do what He pleases as the Potter who shapes the vessels of clay, some into vessels of mercy and some vessels of wrath as declared in Romans 9:18-24:
“18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 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? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 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: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
To claim that we choose the Bridegroom is to call God a liar. God had everything planned out from the beginning of time, including those He would adopt into His eternal Kingdom:
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the Beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” – Revelation 13:8
Who does the Bible say Jesus died for?
Jesus died for HIS SHEEP, not for the goats. – Matthew 25:32 3
Jesus died for HIS CHILDREN, not for children of the Devil. – 1 John 3:10
Jesus died for GOD’S ELECT, not for the reprobate. – 2 Corinthians 13:5
Jesus died for THE WHEAT, not for the tares (weeds). – Matthew 13:30
Jesus died for HIS BRIDE the Church, not for those without (outside) the Church – Mark 4:11
Jesus died ONLY FOR THOSE who – by God’s grace and the drawing of the Holy Spirit – come to BELIEVE in Him, not for those who never believe. – John 3:16
Let’s be honest, Who is the DOER in salvation?
Contrary to popular teaching, God is not waiting around for people to accept Him. The Bible clearly and repeatedly states that it is God who:
- calls people to Himself
- draws sinners
- convicts sinners of sin and of their sinfulness
- converts sinners
- adopts sinners into His family
- makes alive
- regenerates spiritually dead sinners
- seeks lost sheep
- revives from the dead
- makes people heirs
It is man who is at God’s mercy, spiritually dead, waiting in blind ignorance for God – if He wills – to be:
- made alive
- sought out by the Good Shepherd
- made heirs
Who adopts whom?
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” – Ephesians 1:5
I don’t know about you, but I did not plan my adoption into God’s everlasting kingdom (from before the foundation of the world).
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>