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“Election”

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#1
Word-Sword

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The proper standpoint from which to get a saving view of the death of the Lord Jesus is not election, but the consciousness of our ruin.  This is an unspeakable mercy, inasmuch as I know I am a lost sinner; but I do not know that I am one of the elect, until I have received, through the Holy Spirit’s testimony (Rom 8:16) and teaching (1 Cor 2:13), the glad tidings of salvation through the Blood of the Lamb.

 

Salvation is preached to me, not as one of the elect, but as one utterly lost, guilty and undone; and when I have received this salvation, there is conclusive evidence of my election.  “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God; for our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance” (1 Thes 1:4, 5).

 

Election is not my warrant for accepting salvation; but the reception of salvation is the proof of election.  For how is any lost sinner to know that he is one of the elect?  Where is he to find it?  It must be a matter of divine revelation, else it cannot be a matter of faith*.  But where is it revealed?  Nowhere in the Word of God*.  My only title to salvation is, that I am a poor, guilty, hell-deserving sinner.

 

Hearken to the risen Savior’s commission to His first heralds: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).  Is there so much as a single point in these words on which to base a question about one’s election?  Assuredly not!  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15).  If I am a sinner, then I am entitled to apply to my own soul the benefits of His precious sacrifice.  “He loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

 

But then, some may feel disposed to ask, “Do you want to set aside the doctrine of election?  God forbid!  We only want to set it in its right place.  Paul never preached election.  He taught election, but preached the Lord Jesus Christ*.  This makes all the difference.  The grand business of the evangelist is to set forth, in his preaching, the perfect love of God, the efficacy of the Blood of Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Spirit.  The evangelist’s spirit should be entirely untrammeled, and his Gospel unclouded.  He should preach a present salvation, free to all, by the very Word of God.

 

And then as to anxious souls who harass themselves with questions about election—God addresses them in the exact state in which He sees them and in which they can see themselves.  He addresses them as sinners.  There is nothing but salvation for a sinner, the moment he takes his true place as a sinner.  “God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

 

To raise questions about election is sheer unbelief in the heart of a sinner.  God has revealed Himself in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 2:9), so that we may know Him and love and trust Him.  Moreover, He has made full provision in the atonement of the Cross for all our need and all our guilt.

 

Hence, instead of perplexing myself with the question, “Am I one of the elect?” it is my happy privilege to rest in the perfect love of God, the all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the faithful record of the Holy Spirit by the Word of God.  “Elect according to the knowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you, and peace be multiplied” (1 Pet 1:2).

 

- C H Mackintosh

 

Poster’s Notes:

* “matter of faith”: there can be no faith in election without its reveled knowledge and understanding first.

 

* “Word of God”: Scripture nowhere teaches that an unregenerate can know whether or not he is of “the elect,” which assurance comes to revelation in an individual through the Word and regeneration.

 

* “taught election . . . preached the Lord Jesus Christ”: preaching the Gospel of salvation is to the unsaved.  Teaching growth in the Gospel of salvation is to the saved.

 

 

Daily Anthology – Miles J Stanford: http://www.abideabov...m/hungry-heart/


Edited by Word-Sword, 01 September 2014 - 09:13 PM.


#2
Willa

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Thoughts that come to mind are that we are to make sure our calling and election according to 1 Peter 1:10-11. We are to bear fruit. Hebrews also states that he who endures to the end will be saved. But we do have the inward witness of the Holy Spirit crying Daddy, to reassure us of our salvation. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee and earnest money-- our down payment. And His fruit in us is the evidence.. Without love we are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Thinking of my husband, the first fruit he noticed was peace. Brotherly love followed closely, and it was a total change for him. These have been growing in him for 40 years and he as been walking in the good works created for him before the foundation of the world. He has made sure his calling and election.
We are not saved by works but believers are elect (chosen) according to the forknowledge of God in sanctification of the Spirit FOR OBEDIENCE or good works. These will occur as we walk in the Spirit and they are the fruit of love.

#3
Word-Sword

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Thoughts that come to mind are that we are to make sure our calling and election according to 1 Peter 1:10-11. We are to bear fruit. Hebrews also states that he who endures to the end will be saved. 

Hi Willamina - 2 Pet 1:10, "make your  . . . election sure" is in the sense of showing to others your salvation by your works of love.  No one can make their salvation sure but Christ, who only can justify, right!



#4
Willa

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I agree. The second and third paragraphs of the OP concerned evidence of salvation. In power, in the Holy Spirit, and much assurance. Proof of election? Divine revelation ---but found NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE.

I maintain that fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of election. Changes in attitude toward other Christians and toward sin occur immediately. But some people confuse emotion with God's inward witness. They receive God's Word with gladness but you never see them again.

2 Peter specificly mentions adding to virtue (the fruit of your repentance) knowledge (of scripture, doctrine, and intimate relationship with Christ), self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. In the following sentences Peter refers to these qualities as "these things" as in v. 10. So it is by growing in and applying them that our election is confirmed.
It is God Who gives the growth. He gives us the hunger to know Him and to read His Word. He supplies the gift of faith in Him, and in His promises, to rely on and trust in Him for each day's needs and strength for trials.
We are not to remain little children or babes in Christ. In growing, we as well as others can see a change in ourselves over time.

Many people receive the word of God with gladness but it never takes root and grows. The enemy steals it or they have no root so it dies. A growing Christian is one who does the things recommended by Peter. His priorities change so the cares and riches do not choke out God's word. He produces fruit.
Lastly, the whole book of 1 John was written so that we may know if we are Christians, as well as how to recognize imposters.
As stated, these were thoughts that came up as I read the message.

#5
Word-Sword

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So it is by growing in and applying them that our election is confirmed.

Many people receive the word of God with gladness but it never takes root and grows. The enemy steals it or they have no root so it dies. 

Your comment parallels what James revealed concerning that true faith produces works (2:18), and the Lord's disclosure that "every good tree brings forth good fruit" (Mat 7:17); and of course the primary evidence to the individual believer, that "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom 8:16).

 

Concerning the parable of the sower, I believe the last category of people mentioned were the only ones who received the Word in faith, the rest did not mix it with faith (Mark 4), or they would have remained in the Word (1 John 2:19).






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