Sunday, February 26, 2006

Some thoughts on Election

By "election", I'm referring to the doctrine that God sovereignly and gracious chooses those who will be saved. That is, it's not people who ultimately choose God, but God who elects His people.

I recently talked with a dear brother about this wonderful doctrine, though it is reviled by so many in our day. Some call it "Calvinism". Whatever the term and connotations fortunately or unfortunately attached to it, we find it littered in Scripture (Romans 9; 1 Corinthians 1; Ephesians 1, etc.) Anyway, I find it one of the most refreshing and joy-inspiring doctrines in Scripture, even if it is hard to sometimes grasp intellectually or emotionally at times.

I wanted to simply offer a few thoughts that sometimes prevent good thinking and openness of this doctrine of grace (after all, that's what it is).

We typically make a very unfortunate dichotomy between God's love and his justice. We only look at one and ignore completely the other, even despising it sometimes. For example often yell about the love of God and whisper about the justice of God. We are in love with ourselves and are pretty clueless about the depth of our sin. As a result, we just expect that God would save everyone and are suprised to hear that God would condemn people. When you read the Bible, however, we see a very different perspective. They are so very aware of their sin and the wrath that ought to be justly poured out on them. They are surprised by the grace of God, not the wrath of God.

This makes all the difference, especially when understanding election; after all, since we're all sinners, we would expect a just God to condemn all. It should be surprising and a shocking act of grace if God saved ONE person; yet we "demand" he save all.

while there are infinitely more things that could be said on this topic and the questions we have about it, I'll stop at this point, urging us to consider the depths of our sin and the WHOLE nature of God. We need to read all the Bible in balance, such as verses like Romans 3:25-26, which explains that Christ came not simply (or even primarily) to save humans, but to display His justice! After all, how could he save people in love without some just demonstration of His wrath against sin. God cam to vindicate Himself, that He is a just God. He sent Christ for His OWN glory.
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