By Nick Bibile
Today we will continue on election, we will go through some passages to see how God elects people unconditionally. Then what about faith? We will talk about that too. Then how do you know that you are elected? We will answer that question too from scripture. We will be spending a lot of time today so we can get a clear picture on unconditional election.
God Chose Israel and not any other nation.
But the Egyptians were more famed for their wisdom, the Assyrians, Chaldeans and Persians were very powerful. The Greeks and the Romans were more famed as they had mighty governments with great skill and power. Yet, God rejected them.
De 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
God chose Israel out of all the people not because of their faith; on the other hand, they were sinners like anyone else.
De 9:6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
Then why did God choose Israel? It is because of his love, intimate love; we studied this before that the love of God for his chosen people was before the foundation of the world.
De 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
God called Abram, the younger, not Nahor, the older brother, both were living in idolatry, both had the same parents, but God called the younger is given the inheritance of Canaan. Then we see the oldest Ishmael was rejected and Isaac was chosen. Then we saw in our previous study, it was Jacob the deceiver who was chosen and not Esau the older. God called one small nation by giving them the means of grace and left the others. God made a covenant with his chosen people, he gave them grace.
God called the gentiles
Then we see how God showed his sovereignty to the gentiles with the coming of Christ. The Jews were rejected; the gospel call went to the heathens. God rejected the nations who were the children of Abraham according to the flesh. God called those gentiles who were idolatrous. There is no reason why the gentiles obtained mercy; it is all because of his sovereignty.
Ro 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
The gentiles were called the beloved. They were the children of desolate but now they are beloved.
Isa 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
God gives salvation to some and rejects the others.
Children born into good Christian parents.
We see God exercising his sovereignty upon individuals, upon particular persons. Salvation is not given to everyone alike. No one deserves salvation, yet we see some people are born to good Christian parents. Their home is a place where they worship God. Then we see others are born to parents who have no desire of God, they live like the heathen. God places people in different places. He gives His Spirit to some and awakens them of their sins according to his mere pleasure.
Uneducated and the wicked.
We see God exercising his authority sovereignty over salvation when he chose to elect the low the mean and the uneducated and not the educated, the princes and the nobles. Instead of showing his salvation to the rich man, who was clothed in fine linen, God elected the poor man Lazarus, who was a beggar full of sores and ugly to look at, he ate the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Some times God passes by wise men, the great scholars, and the scientists.
1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Mt 11:25-27 - At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight. All things have been delivered to me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
Sometimes God will use weak means and not the excellent means.
We see God choosing people who are born to very wicked parents and withholding salvation from those who are born to good Christian parents. Jeroboam was a wicked king who led the Israel to sin by making shrines for heathen gods, but his son Abijah was a good man. We also see Hezekiah was a godly man but his father Ahaz was a wicked man. God chose Hezekiah even though he came out of a wicked family. We see Josiah was became the king when he was seven or eight years old, he destroyed all the heathen shrines of his wicked father Amon, Josiah confessed the sins and read the book of the law. David was a man after God’s heart, but his son Absolom was very handsome was an evil wicked man. God gives grace and mercy to whom he please as God said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Ro 9:15) The scribes and the Pharisees had much knowledge of the scriptures, but God rejected them, instead miserable, poor sinners were chosen. There were many saw the miracles of Christ, many heard him preach but many were left out. Samarians and the Jews did not get along, and the Jews never passed through Samaria, but in John 4:4 says, “ And he must needs go through Samaria.” It was a must decision that the Lord made to go to Samaria, why? He went to save a woman who had five husbands and living with another man. God chose this woman who was living in adultery and sexual immorality to the kingdom of heaven. The apostles labored much for the Jews and they were saved not, but the Gentiles who were worshipping idols were embraced and were converted.
Let us see Pilate and Paul. After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus (Luke 23:4) His wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him to have nothing to do with the "just person." the crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Pilate answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry immediately followed. "Let him be crucified." Pilate, apparently vexed, and not knowing what to do, said, "Why, what evil hath he done?" but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out, "Away with him! Crucify him, crucify him! "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." On the other hand, we see Paul was called Saul before running after Christians and persecuting them. He obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to proceed thither on his persecuting career. “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Ac 8:3) He was one of them who stoned Stephen to death and he was the leader of that group. When they stoned Stephen, the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of Paul. Paul was breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He was a persecutor and a murderer, hunting down the Christians. Now we see Pilate and Paul both unbelievers, who was better? Certainly Pilate, yet God had mercy upon Paul and chose Paul and not Pilate.
God elected those who were extremely wicked and left the morally religious persons.
The Pharisees were extremely strict among the Jews when it came to religion. They were the moral and the religious persons of the day.
Lu 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
They were not like the other people, they were not unjust, extortioners, they were not adulterers, they fasted twice a week, gave tithing of all they possessed. The Pharisee who prayed in the temple was not ashamed to tell God of his morality. They had it all. Apostle who was a Pharisee before said, “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness, which is in the law, blameless.” (Php 3:6) But they were mostly rejected, instead the publicans, the harlots, thieves, murderous and adulterous who were extremely wicked entered the kingdom of God as God decided to choose them instead of the Pharisees. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Mat 21:31) The rich young man who came kneeling to Jesus saying, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may have eternal life.” (Mark 10:17) This man was a good moral person; he had kept the commandments since he was a kid. He was brought up in a good family. Even Jesus looking at him loved him, but we see in the story he was left out, while the thief that was crucified with Christ, was obviously a wicked man who had lived his whole life in wickedness he was chosen just before he died on the cross. God shows his sovereignty of his grace showing mercy to some who have spent most of their time to Satan. God is pleased to give salvation to whom he pleases.
Now those of you who say people are saved because of their faith, then the Pharisees should be saved and not the publicans and the harlots, as their faith was zero.
If we say salvation is of our faith, then no one will be saved. We were enemies of God, heart totally corrupt, blind, seeking our will and there is nothing good in us. We were dead in sin. Salvation is by grace and salvation is through faith.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So then, grace, that is to say, the gift of God, and faith, stand with one another, to which two it is contrary to be saved by ourselves, or by our works. Grace is what we do not deserve the opposite of works, and if we say we are saved by our faith, then where is the grace? Saving grace and saving faith goes hand in hand as both comes from the mercy of God. If salvation is of God then there is no room for us to boast and say, my faith had something to do with salvation.
Even our labor what we earn from our own strength is a gift of God. Without God we cannot do anything, we cannot take the next breath without the mercy of God.
Ec 3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
How is it that when we were Gentiles totally in darkness worshipping other gods and walking according to our own flesh, you heard the word of God and your friends heard the word too, but were regenerated and not your friends? Is it because you are better than your friends? No. Jesus told Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” Regeneration is of the Spirit of God. When God pours out his Spirit on people, they become alive.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ac 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
David Brainerd said, "I could not find out what faith was, or what it was to believe, and come to Christ. I read the calls of Christ to the weary and heavy laden, but could find no way that He directed them to come in." This is a difficulty, which almost every inquiring sinner feels. It is probable that Satan often uses it as a fiery dart to keep poor sinners away from Christ. The only way really to know what faith is is to experience it. In one part of the word it is described as "knowing”, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). A true realizing knowledge of God, and of Christ as the sent of God is saving faith. Have I this knowledge, O my soul? I was born like a wild ass's colt. God was not in all my thoughts. I did not like to retain God in my knowledge. But it pleased God to reveal His Son in me. Flesh and blood could not reveal Him unto me, but my Father who is in heaven. He has opened to me the way of salvation, so that I see its wisdom, excellency, and freeness; I cannot but believe, this I humbly trust is that faith which is the gift of God.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
A most sure and grounded argument against pride, because we have nothing in us praiseworthy, but it comes from the free gift of God, and is outside of us, for we do not have ability or power, so much as to will well (much less to do well), except only by the free mercy of God.
My brothers and sisters, election is unto salvation. We all have sinned and we all deserve nothing but hell, but God had mercy on us.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
If God saved us from going to hell, then election is the greatest blessing. If it is the greatest blessing, why is it that many do not like to hear of election? The reason is they do not want to be humbled. Election is God honoring and man humbling. When some are elect and the others who are good not elect the first thing they say is God is unfair. That is why Paul said, “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” (Ro 9:14)
Paul goes on to say, who are you that nothing but dust can question God in his sovereignty?
Ro 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.
Still people get very angry when they hear they have no part in election, it is not because of their faith all of God. When Jesus spoke on election people got really angry with him, they were filled with wrath and wanted to kill him.
Lk 4:24-29 - Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." Then all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
This is not what we say but Jesus spoke on election what he said was, in the days of Elijah there were many widows in Israel and God did not allow rain for three and half years and there was a great famine in the land. But Elijah was not sent to the widows in Israel but to a widow in Zaraphath. Then again he said, there were lot of lepers in the time of Elisha in Israel, but God did not send Elisha to those lepers but to a leper in Syria whose name was Naaman. God chose the widow in Zarapeth and not the other widows in Israel and chose Namaan and not the other lepers in Israel. Then all who heard of the election was filled with wrath.
In election, God is in charge not man. Why is it that there are many who are exposed to the gospel and see the miracles of God never repent of their sins? Why is it that Pharaoh saw great miracles of God but never repented? John 12:37-40 gives the answer.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Can the Potter do anything what he desire to the clay? As God is, the potter and we are the clay.
Ro 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
This is a very difficult scripture to understand. Americas greatest theologian Jonathan Edwards said on this subject, “God's different dealing with men. He hath mercy on some, and hardeneth others. When God is here spoken of as hardening some of the children of men, it is not to be understood that God by any positive efficiency hardens any man's heart. There is no positive act in God, as though he put forth any power to harden the heart. To suppose any such thing would be to make God the immediate author of sin. God is said to harden men in two ways: by withholding the powerful influences of his Spirit, without which their hearts will remain hardened, and grow harder and harder; in this sense he hardens them, as he leaves them to hardness. And again, by ordering those things in his providence which, through the abuse of their corruption, become the occasion of their hardening.” Men are extremely wicked but God restrains them so they will not go to the max, however if God takes his restraining hand away then their hearts will become extremely evil and in their natural condition their hearts will be hardened.
At the end, there are only two kinds of groups, the elect and the non-elect.
Mt 25:33,34 - And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." [Note the analogy of sheep and goats. A goat can never become a sheep, or a sheep a goat.]
We are elected before the foundation of the world and our names are written in heaven.
Lu 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Php 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Re 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Election shows the love of Christ to His Church.
John 15.16. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain."
Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843), the pastor of St Peter's, Dundee said on this scripture the following.
“This is a very humbling, and at the same time, a very blessed word to the true disciple. It was very humbling to the disciples to be told that they had not chosen Christ. Your wants were so many; your hearts were so hard, that ye have not chosen me. And yet, it was exceedingly comforting to the disciples to be told that he had chosen them: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." This showed them that his love was first with them. That he had a love for them when they were dead. And then he showed them that it was love that would make them holy: "Ye have; not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."
What if I am not elect?
Charles Spurgeon gave the following explanation.
"What if I am not elect!" "Oh, sir," they say, "I know I put my trust in Jesus; I know I believe in His name and trust in His blood; but what if I am not elect?" Poor dear creature! You do not know much about the gospel, or you would not talk that way, for HE THAT BELIEVES IS ELECT. Those who are elect, are elect unto holiness and unto faith, and if you have faith you are one of God's elect; you may know it and ought to know it, for it is an absolute certainty. If you, as a sinner, look to Jesus Christ this morning, and say, "Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to your cross I cling,"
The elect will bear fruit.
“ I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” (John 15:16)
Acts 18.9, 10, "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city." Paul was at this time at Corinth, the most lascivious and wicked city in the ancient world; they were given over to banqueting and grievous idolatry, and yet Christ said to Paul, "I have much people in this city." They had not chosen Christ, but he had chosen them; they had not repented; yet, Christ fixed his eye on them. This plainly shows you that Christ chooses his own before they seek him. Jesus told us to preach the gospel, and the true elect will labor diligently for the Lord.
The elect will not live a sinful life but in reverence and love towards God.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.