But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath CHOSEN thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6) (Emphasis mine)
God chose Israel. Yet it was NOT because Israel was good. God often accused them of being a stubborn, stiff-necked and rebellious people. God had simply CHOSEN to love them. Israel was chosen to receive greater spiritual and temporal blessings than other nations.
These blessings often led to the salvation of individual souls within Israel, such as Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Hannah, David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah and the Prophets. These men and women of God were saved from their sins through faith in God's promised Messiah.
This faith in God's Messiah can be seen in the statements of Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10) David (Psalms 2 and 22 and 110) and Isaiah (Isaiah 53). God deals with His elect (chosen) people in MERCY.
He withholds the punishment they deserve. He has provided a Substitute Sacrifice to bear the death penalty for their sins.
But this national election (selection) of Israel to great privileges did NOT lead to the salvation of ALL individuals within Israel. Dathan, Abiram, Korah, Achan, Jereboam and Ahab are just some examples of Hebrews who perished in their sins.
GOD OWES MAN NOTHING
Fallen man is born with a sin nature. He is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. He is unwilling and unable to repent and turn to God. Therefore, if man is to be saved from his sins, God must save him. But God is under NO obligation to save any one.
Man is a condemned criminal in the sight of God. When God does save some, it is a FREE GIFT of GRACE (unmerited favor). God, before the foundation of the world, has chosen to save some (but not all) men. This choosing of some to eternal life is called ELECTION.
The Bible shows God's election (selection) in creation, election in providence, election to certain gifts, talents and privileges and election to eternal life. God's election to eternal life includes a certain number of Jews and a certain number of Gentiles.
ELECTION TO ETERNAL LIFE
This election knows no social, racial, economic, gender or age barriers. It is not based on any supposed faith or good works foreseen by God. There was none to foresee in fallen men.
The Holy Scriptures expound this election in the figure of the Potter (God) and the Clay (sinful, fallen humanity). The elect come from the same sinful, corrupt lump of clay as the non-elect. There was nothing in them to make them attractive to God.
It is an unconditional election, which takes a hell-deserving sinner, gives him faith in God and then produces good works through him. The saint's faith and good works are the fruit (proof or evidence) that he is among God's elect. But they are NOT the CAUSE of his election.
“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
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? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:11-24)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss