The Humbleness of Election

Posted on May 28, 2019

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By David Ettinger

The Glorious Doctrine
The biblical doctrine of election is perhaps the most glorious of all doctrines as far as the believer goes. “Election” is the biblical truth that before the world was created God chose those who would be His, i.e., those who would receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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Election is a tricky issue in that “the elect” are chosen of God, but also make the conscious decision to accept Jesus into their hearts. So, on the one hand, we have God’s choosing of those who will be saved, yet there is also free choice. In human terms, the two don’t mesh. We must accept the fact that salvation is a work of an infinite God on behalf of finite human beings who do not have the mental capacity to comprehend the workings of our infinite Creator.

The purpose of this article is to assert that salvation is first and foremost a work of God’s election, and the humility it must evoke in the heart of the believer.

The Reality of Election
It is hard to believe that some Christians question election, instead choosing to believe that the acceptance of Christ is solely human choice. Here are a number of verses (with emphasis added) which illuminate the unmistakable reality of election.

We begin with the “mother” of all election verses, Ephesians 1:4-5:

  • “For he [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
  • Verses 11 adds: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
  • “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27).
  • All those the Father gives me [Jesus] will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:37-39).
  • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44).
  • “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).
  • “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
  • “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
  • “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood” (1 Peter 1:1-2).
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Be Humble
And just in case you think you are pretty hot stuff because God elected you, here’s a gentle reminder from the lips of Jesus Himself that your election had nothing to do with you: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

Remember, you were not capable of choosing Jesus. The sinful, unregenerate nature hasn’t the ability to embrace without prompting a pure, holy, and righteous God. No, it was God who had to initiate the calling and give you the faith to call upon His name (Ephesians 2:8).

With this in mind, be humble regarding your salvation as one unworthy of it, and never let a day pass when you do not thank the Lord at least once for this monumental gift He has given you!