Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:2-3)
Have you ever wondered why the same Bible that teaches sovereign election also teaches human responsibility? No church may use the doctrine of election as an excuse for not preaching the Gospel of God’s grace. You see – God makes a real offer of salvation to all men. Any man can be saved by repenting from his sins and believing the Gospel. Yet, most men will go headlong into hell and they are responsible for it.
I believe it was D. L. Moody who once said: “The whosoever will are the elect of God and the whosoever will-nots are the non-elect”. It is like the two lines of a train track. You see very plainly that they run beside one another. Look on one as God’s sovereignty and the other as man’s responsibility. If you look down the rails, you will see what appears to be the eventual coming together of the tracks. Where we stand, we can only see two separate, parallel tracks. One day we will plainly see where God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility come together.
Election is in Christ. If you are one of the elect, it is because God sees you in Christ. You are in Christ because God has placed you in Christ. The natural man has the choice placed before him, but he does not choose Christ because his natural inclination is opposed to God. He will not accept God’s authority. God, however, chooses to save some according to His mercy. God sends the Holy Spirit to change the natural inclination of a man’s heart – not according to his works or “good deeds” – solely based on His mercy.
If you are elected of God, you will begin to live a holy and blameless life. You cannot say “Because I am elected I will live anyway I want to”. To believe this is self-deception and a certain sign of unbelief. The chosen of God, however, will desire to live a life of righteousness. They will not live perfectly holy lives, but they will desire to and strive for it. God will look upon His children and see the holiness of Jesus Christ through Whom we are justified.
What I cannot do for myself, He can. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Church, Church Leadership, Faith, Grace, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Preaching, Theology Tagged: | Christ, Epistle to the Ephesians, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ, Righteousness, Union with Christ