Living for God’s Glory…part 3

17 10 2008

One of the most glorious (and controversial) doctrines that the Christian faith teaches is the doctrine of divine election.  Calvinists hold to the view that God’s election to salvation is unconditional, a free action of God’s sovereign will.  However, this teaching doesn’t sit well with many.  Some see such a description of God’s work in our salvation as a violation of the human will, viewing the Calvinistic explanation as unfair and unjust.  I hope that the following quotes, again taken from Joel Beeke’s new book Living for God’s Glory, will encourage you to really look at and examine this rich and powerful doctrine, allowing them to drive you back to the Scriptures and see what God teaches regarding His sovereignty and our salvation.

“God loves one graciously, such a Jacob, and passes by another justly, such as reprobate Esau.  This is the essence of Calvin’s view of predestination, which includes both election and reprobation.  Calvin teaches that God’s election is always sovereign and gracious; none of the elect deserve to be elect and to enter heaven.  At the same time, God’s reprobation is always sovereign and just; none of the reprobate will be unjustly damned to hell.”  -Joel Beeke

“The believer who knows his own heart will ever bless God for election.”       -J. C. Ryle

“We may better praise God that he saves any than charge him with injustice because he saves so few.” -Augustus Strong

“God the Father elects His people on the basis of His eternal, overwhelming, sovereign affection for them. Why did He love them? Because He chose to do so. Sovereign, unchangeable love is the ultimate joy and reality of the universe.” -Joel Beeke

“Eternal love devised the plan; eternal wisdom drew the model; eternal grace comes down to build it.” -Henry Law

“Heaven will not be thinly populated. The living seed of Abraham will be as numerous as the sand on the seashores and the stars in the heavens (Gen. 15:5). Election declares the expansive generosity of God, not His stinginess.” -Joel Beeke

If we have been chosen in Christ, we shall not find assurance of our election in ourselves; and not even in God the Father, if we conceive of him as severed from his Son. Christ, then, is the mirror wherein we must, and without self-deception may, contemplate our own election.” -John Calvin

“In the Bible, election and evangelism meet with joined hands, not clenched fists (Acts 13:44-49).” -John Blanchard

“Nobody ever came to Christ because he knew he was one of the elect; he came because he needed Christ.” -Ernest Kevan

“The great sign of our election is [a] soul dependence on Christ.” -Joel Beeke

“Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about man’s search for God. For me, they might as well talk about the mouse’s search for a cat… God closed in on me.” -C. S. Lewis

For those interested in studying a Biblical defense of the doctrine of unconditional election, check out this helpful page of resources at Monergism.com.  For even more resources, check out this link.

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One response

17 10 2008
Frank Emrich

Even at my advanced age I can still remember the first time that I realized that our gracious and merciful God chose me! (It was the first time I studied Ephesians chapter 1, many years ago) It was a truth that flooded over me and left me breathless. This truth has sustained me times of darkness and doubt, has encouraged me to keep going in the fight of faith. I have always identified with Pauls testimony in 1 Tim. 1:12-17. We must always see this wonderful doctrine as a cause for humility rather than a badge of arrogance. I am always moved by the words of the song we sing, “Who am I that my King should die for me?” Thanks for reminding us of the precious truth of election.

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