The Election That Counts
By Dave Breese
We are, of course, in the midst of an election year. The activity of the next few weeks will decide who will be the president of the United States for the next four years. Vying for the ascendancy will be the Republicans, the Democrats and yes, the 3rd party candidates. At the consummation of this campaign, either George W. Bush or Al Gore will be elected as president of the United States. Or perhaps one of the 3rd party candidates will be victorioussomething which is highly unlikely. Conversations everywhere will be occupied with the question, Who will win the presidential election of 2000?
The outcome will be important because our next president will be the leader of the one remaining empire in the world and possess enormous human influence. In a very special way, the election of 2000 will go down in history.
However, there is a far more important election that must be considered by us all. This is the election that really matters. It is described in the Bible when God says that Christians are Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2). Here we have presented to us an election that is connected with the will of God and reaches from time into eternity. This election is of infinitely greater importance than the choosing of mere human leaders. Human elections merely put into temporary positions of power the princes of this world, that come to nought (I Cor. 2:6). Yes, human elections are a very small thing compared to being a member of the elect before God. The election that really counts is divine election.
This subject, despite its importance, is unknown to many Christians and misunderstood by many more. This being the case, we should think again about this most important subject. To understand election as presented in the Scripture, we should note a number of considerations . . .
1. Divine election is according to the foreknowledge of God. This means that election is a special standing before God that comes to the individual on the basis of divine foreknowledge. God foreknows; He sees in advance that we will accept Christ as personal Savior and become His children. He therefore elects us on the basis of our faith already having been exercised in Christ.
2. Election is unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Notice that we are here told that we are the object of the changeless intention, the unbreakable plan of God, that, having been saved, we will be brought to the place of perfect conformity to the will of God. The Apostle Paul says this same thing, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:5,6). Here again we learn that election, predestination is unto conformity to Christ.
In salvation, we exercise faith in the finished work of Christ, we choose Him in response to the invitation that whosoever will. In election, we, now saved, are sealed by God unto becoming holy and without blame before him in love (Eph. 1:4). Predestination is, therefore, not unto salvation but unto Christian maturity. It is the saved who are elected. It is the lost who are invited. Election, therefore, has a conditionthat condition is faith unto salvation. God, foreknowing our salvation, chooses us to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29).
3. Election brings the promise of security. The believer in the Lord Jesus can know without a doubt that he has everlasting life. This gift of life is based on his faith in Christ. The gift is confirmed by election, which is the promise that God will work inexorably and inevitably to bring the believer to conformity with Christ. Because of thisthis promise of eternal destiny which cannot be brokenthe believer can walk in total confidence. He is confident that Christ walks with himindeed, lives in himtoday. In addition, he has total confidence that at the end of lifes journey, he will arrive safely on the other shore. The Christian doctrine of election gives great meaning to the promise of Christ extended to all believers, I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand (Jn. 10:28-29).
How sad that there are Christians who do not know this great truth of divine election. As a result, they miss the assurance of salvation and daily wonder. They ask, Am I truly saved today? or Have I been good enough to retain salvation? These are the questions of spiritual novices who are untutored in the Word of God. What a contrast this is to the Christian who knows the Scriptures and, as a consequence, walks fearlessly in this world and confidently toward heaven.
In todays merely human elections, the victors will be forgotten in a few short years. By contrast, we who are the elect of God will never be forgotten by our Heavenly Father, not for time and not for eternity. To be the elect of God is, therefore, an infinitely greater privilege and more valuable status than anything human politics has to offer.
Being the elect of God, we can say with confidence, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:28,29).
Because this is true, we thrill to the announcement, Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:30-32).
Indeed, it is a great, great thing to be a Christian.
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