Church Leadership

Election

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Election means to select or to chose, that God chose us by His purpose, period, by nothing else, either by our means or His foreknowledge. The principle theme is agreed upon, that God does choose us and makes us holy...The debate rages over how He chooses...

Election means that God chose us by His purpose, period, by nothing else, either by our means or His foreknowledge. If He did it would mean we earned it and Christ sacrifice and work was for nothing!

Principle passages: Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; 1 Peter 1:1-2

Elect or election in biblical theology means "to select" or "to choose," that God chose us by His purpose and nothing else. Because, if it was accordingly by His foreknowledge, that would mean it was by our future means, therefore the need and work of Christ would be thwarted (John 17:24; Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10). Divine election is a continuous theme in Paul's Epistles (Rom. 8:29-33; 9:6-26; 11:5, 7, 28; 16:13; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 1:1).

We cannot fathom this true implication, meaning, or reasoning. We have to trust that God is God and we are not; thus, we have no idea of His plan or purpose. All Christian groups who use the Bible teach election; the division is in its meaning and purpose, which God has not revealed to us, and about which we can only speculate. We only know what He has revealed and that He does elect; our call is to trust and obey (1 Cor. 1:8-9; Phil.1:6; 1 Thess. 1:3-6; 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1-12; 4:18; 2 Pet. 1:10). Our purpose is not to argue over this, but to accept His amazing grace.

The term "Reprobation" refers to His decision "to elect and to others He choose not to elect". Also God allows us to stay in our sins as a form of judgement (vs. 1:24-26; 9:14-24; 11:25) God in His reasoning, which is perfect and holy, does not select some, and/or allows them to stay in sin. This does not mean He chose them to go to hell. This is "Hyper Calvinism" or "Double Predestination" and this is not Biblical doctrine (Psalm 81:12; 1 Pet 2:8)! "Unconditional Election", The "U" in TULIP: Puts the emphasis on our depravity. People do not want to think of themselves as worthless, and unredeemable by their own merit, this is un-American, yet it is very Biblical. We are unable and unwilling to seek God on our own, thus we need divine intervention. This is the role of the Holy Spirit. This is God's choosing for God's purpose, in His incredible love, He seeks us!!! Election is no excuse to sit and do nothing in service and witness to others!

Elect also pilgrims, strangers referred to the Jewish Christians who were on a journey, scattered from their mission, work, and family, some even fleeing from persecution. gives us a clearer picture of their work amongst the Gentiles, too. The word "saints" is used in 2 Corinthians 1:1 as a general term, and here, referring to people who are in Christ. The word we use now is "Christians," which comes about later in church history (Acts 26:28; Rom. 15:25; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; 2:10; 4:16). Elect also means our privilege to be eternally called in Christ, and that our salvation is secured by God's grace alone, received by our faith alone (1 Pet. 2:9-10).

Foreknowledge refers to God as sovereign and "omniscient," meaning He is all-knowing, crossing time and space; thus, He knows the future. This is where "predestination" comes from, (Gen. 4:1; Psalm 90; Amos 3:2; Mal. 1:2; Matt 1:25; 1 Cor. 1:9;) that God's plan is sovereign and eternal. We have a personal plan and agenda to follow, a purpose that is God's. The argument in theology is not that He elects us; rather by what means God uses His foreknowledge or His purpose. The book of Romans says it is by His purpose. Human reason says it is by God seeing ahead.

The key words of chosen, elect, foreknew, and predestined have been topics of hot debate amongst many Christian groups over the centuries. The principle theme is agreed upon, that God does choose us and makes us holy-to which this passage attests and the rest of the Bible clearly proclaims. If He did not, we could never obtain salvation on our own (Gen. 45:8; 50:20; Job 14:5; Psalm 33:13-14; 115:3; 147:5; Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 16:1, 4, 9, 33; Is. 14:26-27; Dan. 4:33-34; John. 1:13; Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29-30; 9:9-18; 1 Pet. 1:1, 20).

The debate rages over how He chooses: by His Sovereign purpose (which the Reformers believed) or by His foreknowledge (as many Evangelicals today believe.) Such debates, although invigorating and insightful to know more and establish a position, sometime cause us to ignore the main thing-that God is God, He loves us, He chooses us, He makes us holy, and now, because of what He did for us, we are to spend our energies growing and serving Him. What we are not to do is make a nuisance of ourselves by spending all of our energies in supercilious debate, and ignoring what Jesus did, so it does not impact our lives. The key thing we forget is our obedience and faith development, which is far more important in God's eyes than getting the particulars of theology correct. Correct theology is very important because it teaches us who God is! But, our faith development is even more important, because it is our response to what God did!

The main point in these passages is a call to continue in prayer and faithfulness. In that way, we can continue to be better used by our Lord. We are to remain firm in our stand of faith even when life is falling apart around us, and when we do not see hope or the light at the end of the tunnel. The call is to be encouraged and to stand firm. When we persevere in our faith, we allow God to use us even more where we are. Then, we learn and we grow further in Him, which helps us grow and be used more. This is circular. The more we endure, the more we grow. Then, the more we are used, the more we go through and so forth. This is the spiral of our faith-building that draws us higher in Him. When we are growing, we are ministering, too. As our faith grows, we are more likely to hear God's call, see the needs of others, and find opportunities to serve. Our faith development is not to be selfish, although the primary benefit is for ourselves, but we also are to see how it affects others. When we grow, then we inspire, encourage, and minister to others faster and better!

Remember, the continual acts of trusting in God and obeying His precepts are our part and responsibility. This will help us enjoy our inherence and love in Christ and receive a blessing of God's special favor.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2

© 1992, 2001, 2004 R.J. Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org/

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