Examining Election as a Test of Faith
Some people claim there is no God (Ps 14:1; 53:1). Others propose there is another god or gods than the one true God revealed in the Holy Bible (Dt 6:4). Still others profess to be Christians, but the doctrines they believe are suspect. There will be a surprise for them on the day of judgment (Jn 5:28–29; 2 Cor 5:10), when they are found outside of Christ (Mt 7:21–23).
The imperative of the Apostle Paul is for each person to examine himself in order to recognize the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; 2 Cor 13:5). Is Jesus Christ abiding in you by His Spirit sent to baptize you (Mt 3:11; 1 Cor 12:13), regenerate you (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), seal you (2 Cor 1:33; Eph 1:13; 4:30), and fill you (acts 2:4; 4:31; 13:52)?
On the Day of the Lord (1 Thess 5:1), when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), our Lord will separate the sheep (His elect people) from the goats (the reprobate), as all nations will be gathered before His great white throne (Mt 25:32; Rev 20:11). Our sovereign Judge and King will save us (Is 33:22) to the praise of His glory and grace (Eph 1:6). He will also exercise perfect justice upon His enemies.
It behooves every person to judge for himself or herself whether one’s trust is truly in Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus? What has He done? What you believe is the test of faith, and because faith flows as a product of God’s grace, it should be the truth of God apprehended.
It is the Spirit of truth who guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13), as it is in Jesus (Eph 4:21), who identified Himself as truth (Jn 14:6). Only God is true (Rom 3:4), and the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit assures us that we believe all things of God, which are revealed in God’s true Word (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17).
One of the marvelous tests God gives His chosen, redeemed, regenerate people is the revelation of the doctrine of election/reprobation. This doctrine cuts and divides like none other. For this reason, it serves as a pristine tool for self-examination.
God knows all things from eternity past. It was His eternal good pleasure that was decreed. God made known to us that His will holds sovereignty in all things. He alone has determined all things that come to pass, for from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things (Rom 11:36).
In His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23), God has predestined all things, which includes the subcategory of election (Eph 1:4). Christ is God’s elect (Is 42:1) to save His chosen people from their sins (Mt 1:21). The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), because God has chosen His own from the beginning for salvation (2 Thess 2:13).
Faith in the truth is the manifestation of the Spirit’s work of sanctification (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13), in those chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Pet 1:1–2). Stated another way, if God chose you for salvation before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8) and set His loved upon you (Dt 10:15), in giving you the pledge of His love (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5), then faith will manifest as an internal work of God (Jn 6:29; Phil 1:29).
Believers in Jesus Christ believe the doctrine of election/reprobation, having heard the Good News of God’s sovereign grace toward His elect. Who does not believe in God’s sovereign free will and choice in the determination of who will be saved and who will be brought to justice for sins?
It is God who wills, who He will have mercy on and from whom He will withhold mercy (Rom 9:15, 18). Having received the mercy of God, the believer humbly submits to the authority of the Word of God and every doctrine within its pages. No person who has read the Bible can deny the prevalent place afforded to the teachings of election/reprobation.
The born again, taught by the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26), learns from the illumined text that God has willed for certain people to be adopted into His family (Eph 1:5; Rom 8:15, 23) and to be holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22), at the end of this present evil age, in this domain of darkness (Col 1:13).
It is simply God’s good pleasure and His holy will that determines each person’s destiny. This is foremost for the glory of God. Every person in Adam deserves eternal punishment in fiery hell…but God being rich in mercy, rich in grace, has chosen to save a remnant people out of all peoples, both Jew and Gentiles (Rom 9:24; Gal 3:28), to be His possession (Tit 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9), the people of His pasture (Ps 100:3), made willing on the day of His power (Ps 110:3), according to His gracious choice (Rom 11:5).
There are many who claim to be Christians. Some, with great reverence and humility, believe the doctrine of election/reprobation because they have been taught of God (Jn 6:45)and His Word abides in them (1 Jn 2:14). God has willed for them to be saved, and He has willed for them to believe (Acts 13:48), even defend this revelation found throughout the Bible, which they love.
Some with great angst, disdain the doctrine of election/reprobation because it injures their human pride. It also dispossesses them, as the free will determiner of God’s salvation that actually belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), who wills for some to receive Jesus (Jn 1:13; Rom 9:16), whose advent purpose was to execute the will of God (Jn 6:38), which was accomplished when He died on the cross (Mt 26:42; Lk 22:42), for all those given to Him by God the Father before the foundation of the world…And all God’s elect people say, “Amen” to God’s election, while all the reprobate, who may even call Him, “Lord,” simply do not.
Spokane Valley, Washington
March 17, 2021