The Doctrine Of Election In The New Testament.

Transcript March 16


Weekly Bible Study Tuesday, 16th March 2021 Topic: THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Text: Romans. 8:28–30 While the doctrine of election remains controversial among believers, there is no doubt that the doctrine is entrenched in the New Testament especially in the writings of Apostle Paul. The controversy surrounding the doctrine to a large extent is due to inadequate understanding of what the doctrine actually entails. Today, we shall examine briefly the manner in which the new Testament presents the doctrine of election. THE NEW TESTAMENT PRESENTS THE TEACHING OF ELECTION, 1. AS A COMFORT. The New Testament authors often present the doctrine of election as a comfort to believers. When Paul assures the Romans in our text for today that “in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28), he gives God’s work of predestination as a reason why we can be assured of this truth. He explains in the next verse, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son . . . And those whom he predestined he also called . . . justified . . . glorified” (Rom. 8:29–30). Paul’s point is to say that God has always acted for the good of those whom he called to himself. If Paul looks into the distant past before the creation of the world, he sees that God foreknew and predestined his people to be conformed to the image of Christ. If he looks at the recent past, he finds that God called and justified his people whom he had predestined. And if he then looks toward the future when Christ returns, he sees that God has determined to give perfect, glorified bodies to those who believe in Christ. From eternity-to-eternity God has acted with the good of his people in mind. But if God has always acted for our good and will in the future act for our good, Paul reasons, then will he not also in our present circumstances work every circumstance together for our good as well? In this way, predestination is seen as a comfort for believers in the everyday events of life. 2. AS A REASON TO PRAISE GOD. Paul says, “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace” (Eph. 1:5–6). Similarly, he says, “We who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12). Paul tells the Christians at Thessalonica, “We give thanks to God always for you all. . .. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you” (1 Thess. 1:2, 4). The reason Paul can give thanks to God for the Thessalonian Christians is that he knows God is ultimately responsible for their salvation and has in fact chosen them to be saved. This is made even clearer in 2 Thessalonians 2:13: “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved.” Paul was obligated to give thanks to God for the Christians at Thessalonica because he knew that their salvation was ultimately due to God’s choice of them. Therefore, it is appropriate for Paul to thank God for them rather than praising them for their own saving faith. Understood in this way, the doctrine of election does increase praise given to God for our salvation and seriously diminishes any pride that we might feel if we thought that our salvation was due to something good in us or something for which we should receive credit. 3. AS AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO EVANGELISM. Paul says, “I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10). He knows that God has chosen some people to be saved, and he sees this as an encouragement to preach the gospel, even if it means enduring great suffering. Election is Paul’s guarantee that there will be some success for his evangelism, for he knows that some of the people he speaks to will be the elect, and they will believe the gospel and be saved. It is as if someone invited us to come fishing and said, “I guarantee that you will catch some fish—they are hungry and waiting.”

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