HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Purpose of Election

Interpretation Question: What is the purpose of the election?

Now, what is the purpose of the election? Ephesians 1:4 says, “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:” God elected us so we could be holy and blameless; he elected us for sanctification.

“Positively it is ‘to be holy’ — that is, set apart from the world, separate, different. And negatively it is to be ‘blameless’ — literally, without spot or blemish, a sacrifice to be presented to God.” God elected us to be separate from the world. We must be different. He also elected us to be pure and righteous before him. Believers were elected for the purpose of sanctification—to become more like Christ (Romans 8:29).

If we think we are saved, but we are not different–our language and desires haven’t changed, we don’t desire the Word of God or want to worship God and know him better, and we still live in sin and enjoy it–then maybe we are not really elected.

In 2 Peter 1:5-10, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

we are commanded to make our election sure by growing in godliness.

  • Are you sure about your election?
  • Are you growing in godliness?

If we are elect, our lives will be continually changing. Yes, it may be a slow process, but it is a process every believer is engaged in. God has promised to complete the work he began in us (Philippians 1:6).

Those professing faith in Matthew 7:21-23 called Christ “Lord,” but their lives were not holy. Here is what Christ says about such people:

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

What was their problem? They were living sinful lives—their “faith” had not led to change, so there was no election. Election leads us into holiness and blamelessness.

Has your profession of faith changed your life? If not, you might not be elected.

Salvation is not just positional (2 Corinthians 5:21), For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It is actual—it actually changes us (James 2:17). Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

This is the Application Question: What are some ways the doctrine of election should affect us?

1. The doctrine of election should create humility.

Salvation is by grace, and there is no place for boasting in our wisdom and knowledge; even our faith is a gift of God.

2. The doctrine of election should lead us to worship.

Our only boasting should be in God. As mentioned, understanding theology—doctrine—should increase our worship. Why did God set his loving affection on us? The answer lies in his sovereignty—simply because he chose to do so. It had nothing to do with us. It was amazing grace. This should lead us to worship.

3. The doctrine of election should motivate us to evangelize.

Some think this doctrine hinders evangelism. However, they are wrong. Rightly understood, the election should motivate us to preach the gospel. Fear of rejection often hinders believers from sharing their faith, but it shouldn’t. God has chosen the elect, and they will come to Christ (John 6:37). I can preach with confidence because I know that before the time God chose some to be saved, and they will eventually respond. Listen to what Acts 13:48 says: “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.”

Consider Paul’s words to Timothy: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10). Paul was indeed motivated to reach the elect.

4. The doctrine of election is evidence that Scripture is divine.

If Scripture were man-made, these types of contradictions might not be present. However, if it is truly divine, then we would expect there to be many things we cannot fully comprehend. How can God be three separate persons and yet one? How can Christ be fully God and fully man? How can God be sovereign and yet man has human responsibility? These doctrines simply attest to the divine origin of Scripture. Finite man cannot and should not expect to fully comprehend an infinite God.

The Application Questions: Why is election such a controversial doctrine? What view do you take on the subject and why?



Author: Godfrey Gregg

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