Monday, June 19, 2006

1. The Biblical Doctrine of Election is Undeniable

Scripture teaches election to everlasting life for individuals as distinguished from the external election of nations such as Israel under the Old Testament. It is said that there is no book in the Bible where election is not expressly stated, clearly implied or at least illustrated. It is not
therefore a marginal topic in Scripture, indeed the words "elected" and "chosen" in one of their forms are used well over one hundred times. Various other expressions are used to describe election, such as: 'purpose', 'foreknowledge', 'predestination', 'obtaining salvation', 'being ordained to eternal life', and 'being written in the book of life'.

Besides being undeniably stated in Scripture, it is also indisputably a work of God alone. We read of 'your election of God' (1 Thess. 1:4). 'He hath chosen us' (Eph. 1:4); He hath appointed us 'to obtain salvation' (1 Th. 5:9). Those chosen are called “His own elect” (Luke 18:7). Moreover, the Greek word for predestinate prohoriz┼Ź, is only ever used with God as subject.

It is also undeniable that election is accomplished in eternity. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4); “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed” (Eph. 3:11); “. . . according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9).

Every Christian must therefore believe in a divine and eternal election or deny the very plainest expressions of Scripture. The puritan Christopher Love usefully defines election as “an act of God, whereby, from all eternity, He purposes within Himself, of His own pleasure and will, to bring a certain number of men unto salvation by Jesus Christ”. We have seen that it is an eternal act of God alone but there are further aspects of election to establish from this definition, viz. that election is solely of God's own pleasure and will, and that it is not generalised but concerns “a certain number of men”.