Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Wonderful Pastoral Implications of Election

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge 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 Peter 1:1-2

Sinners are wonderfully affected pastorally by the grace and peace election brings in four ways.

1. Humility. A proud Calvinist is a false Calvinist. One can believe in election with the head and not with the heart. Knowing that God chose me to salvation fully aware of how sinful I would be cannot but make and keep me humble. Spurgeon once remarked “I believe the doctrine of election because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me, I would never have chosen Him. And I am sure He chose me before I was born or else he never would have chosen me afterward.” One need simply look back over his past and see the multitudinous sins he has committed then realize that God was fully aware that you would do all those wretched and vile things, yet He chose you anyway and you will be humbled into the dust. Understanding election keeps us from trying to reverse roles with God.

2. Encouragement. Election is an inexhaustible fountain of encouragement. To think that God chose me fully aware of the sinful life I would lead and the sinful heart behind that life, fully aware of my hypocrisy and unfaithfulness – and yet He loved me and set His seal upon me – how can I not be encouraged by this? How encouraging it is to know that God loves me simply because He loves me. I don’t have to produce something to make me loveable.

3. Confidence. Election gives us confidence. Election is solid and unshakeable. It gives us confidence in God and in the Gospel. It gives us zeal and hope of success because nothing hinges upon us, but everything hangs on God’s unchangeable character. Election gives the preacher confidence. No preacher can convert anyone. But because Almighty God has deemed fit to draw His elect through the preaching of His Word, the preacher can be confident that God will perform His good will through his ministry. What a source of confidence this is. Election is not a hindrance to evangelism, as the Arminians say; rather it is a spur to it. All the great evangelists of ages past were Calvinists. During the 16th and 17th Centuries there was not a single great Arminian evangelist. They were all Calvinists. Acts 13:48 proves why this is so.

4. Joy. Election produces joy unspeakable. What joy there is in knowing that you are elect child of God. Someone has said that the joy election brings to believers is their family secret. Election is our security and certainty that we are God’s forever. If that does not make you joyful, nothing will.

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