ETERNAL SALVATION God's Divine Election

 "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
                                                                                         Psalm 139:5,6 

    This brief study will take a look at one of the most awesome truths of our Salvation: God's Divine Election.This is one of the most difficult truths of God's Word to understand, in fact, I personally believe that we cannot fully understand it now; but when we have received God's fully completed work of Salvation, that is, when we are with Him in His Kingdom to come, then we will "know even as also we are known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

    One of the most wonderful things about this truth is that we cannot understand it.  Because if we could understand everything about God, then He would no longer be God to us.  In our fallen nature we naturally do not want to submit to what we cannot understand.  We actually, by nature, even without fully realizing it, want to be our own God.  This truth about God's divine elective purpose is an insight the Lord gives us from His divine perspective which is an eternal perspective.  We do not have His perspective on everything, nor can we sit in His seat.  He gives us this insight so that once we recognize that true believing exists within our heart, we can be certain that that believing got there by God's working not ours; and that He intended to put that faith in our heart even before the world began, and that since it is God's work (not our own) it can never be undone.

Now lets see what the Bible actually says about this:

Ephesians 1:3-6, 11
  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
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:
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.

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


2 Timothy 1:9,10
  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

    This is awesome language.  God says that those who become saved have been "chosen" or "elected" from before the foundation of the world, and that they were not chosen on the basis of their merits.  Just as 2 Timothy 1:9 said,

"...not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace"

    The word "grace" means, "undeserving favor".  It's a word used to describe when a gift is given to someone unworthy to receive a gift.  It's by God's graciousness that He saves anyone.
    In Romans chapter 9 the Lord really spells out this truth for us.  Starting in verse 10 the Lord speaks about a woman named Rebecca in the Old Testament who gave birth to twins.  God uses this event to illustrate for us His elective purpose:

Romans  9:10-24
   And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11(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;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 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.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
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,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Listen to this passage.  These are very humbling and profound truths the Lord makes known to us here.  As verse 16 says, Salvation is ultimately not dependent on man's will or effort, but on God's mercy.  The Lord says in verse 15,  "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."  It is His divine right as the Creator to choose whom he wants to save.  The rest continue in their own desires, rebel against God and ultimately perish.  It is important here to realize that God is not obligated to save anyone.  God would be perfectly justified if he did nothing and let everyone go their own way and end up perishing eternally for their sins. Every human being is worthy of eternal damnation because of our sins and in fact, we are so blind and corrupt in our sinful nature that none of us would even seek God if God Himself did not first put that desire to seek Him into our heart.

Romans 3:10-12
  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Jesus declares,

John 6:44
  No man can come unto me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The scripture says that none of us would understand our need for a Savior or truly believe in Jesus Christ, unless God the Father Himself first draws us to Jesus by putting that faith into our heart.

Matthew 16:13-17
  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.


Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:


Hebrews 12:2 
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

The Bible is very clear that Salvation is  the product of God's will and not our own will.

James 1:16-18
  Do not err, my beloved brethren.
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.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


John 1:11-13 
  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Philippians 2:13 
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Notice here that in John 1:11-13 the scripture says that those who believe "were" born.  It uses the past tense because their believing was the product of God giving them a new birth.  In John 3:3-5 the Lord shows us that each of us, if we are to become saved need to be "born again"-- that is, that we need to have a spiritual birth. Every human being physically born into the world is born spiritually dead (see Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God.  When the Lord saves us He makes us spiritually alive and the evidence of this new birth is the fact that we truly believe.  Unfortunately many churches today have this truth all backwards.  They teach that salvation is the product of believing.  In other words, they say that they are saved because they believe.  But the Bible teaches that we believe because we have been saved.
     Only those whom God has chosen from before the foundation of the world will truly believe.

Act 13:48
  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.


Rom 8:29-33
  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.
30 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.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 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?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

    No one knows who God's elect people are.  God reveals them when He places faith in their heart.  God uses His Word as the means for working faith in a person (Romans 10:17).  It is not for us to try and figure out who are God's elect and who are not.  None of us can see into the heart of another person.   We can see into our own heart, though, and if we recognize that we long and thirst to know the Lord and have a love for the truth (all evidences of true faith) then we can know that He chose us before the world began.  Wonderfully, the Lord promises that those He has saved can never lose thier salvation.

John 10:24-30
  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.


John 6:37
  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:39
  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


Philippians 1:6 
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:


Romans 11:29
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
(that is, His calling cannot be turned away from) 

    All those who become saved have been given to Jesus by God the Father.  It is God's will that every soul that comes to Jesus will be saved.  God's invitation to be saved is extended to every person from every nation and ethnic group.  The problem is, that if God did not already choose a people for Himself that he had planned to save, there would be no one who would respond to God's invitation -- because we are so sinful in our fallen nature.  Only those whom God has chosen from before the foundation of the world will come to Him.
    Having shared these truths I feel it's important to remind you that this is an insite into Salvation from God's perspective which we are in no position to judge.  None of us can sit in His seat and question anything the Lord does.  He is almighty God.  He is ever present.  He is all knowing and perfect in His character and being.  He is also Love (1 John 4:8).
    Above, in the Romans 9 passage it mentioned Jacob (one of God's elect) and Esau (not one of God's elect) and the Lord said,

"Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated."

This is an amazing statement!  The amazing thing, however, is not the fact that God hated Esau -- but that He loved Jacob.  The reason this is so amazing is because both Jacob and Esau DESERVED God's hatred.  It's hard for us to realize this because in our corrupt nature we have a very biased sense of judgment.  God however is perfectly just and sees everything and everyone for what and who they really are.

    God had to pay a heavy price in order to save anyone.  In order for justice to be satisfied, the debt that we owe must be paid in full.  Justice requires that our crimes, or sins reap the punishment of eternal damnation and complete separation from God (the source of all goodness).  This is our debt.  This is the judgment hanging over our head and this is what Jesus paid in our behalf to satisfy God's perfect justice.  Jesus suffered the equivalent of spending an eternity in Hell.  Only because He was God and because, as a man, He was completely sinless Himself, was He able to do this for us.  His suffering was immeasurable and far more than the physical apparent crucifixion.  He was completely cut off from God the Father and forsaken by Him.  His suffering was the equivalent of not just one soul, but of every soul whom He came to save, spending an eternity in Hell.  How could He do this?  Because He is God.  And because He is Love (1 John 4:16).
    And if this was not enough, the scripture reveals that as long as the world is corrupt and sinful, He Himself is suffering.  It's a grief for the Lord to allow wickedness to continue, but He does it for the sake of His elect, until the last one has become saved.  This is why He says in 2 Peter 3:9,

"The Lord is not slack (or slow) concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

God is not willing that any of His elect perish and so he endures "the vessels of wrath" (a reference to wicked men) as Romans 9:22 says.  God must be suffering continually as we grieve Him with our wicked works (see Genesis 6:5,6).  But He has appointed a day to come where He will judge and punish all unrightousness.  If not for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father who sent Him, every soul would perish in their iniquity.  Thanks be to God that He has provided a way of escape for all those who desire to be saved.  Those who do come to know Jesus through faith, are given the gift of His righteousness as a covering for their sins!  We cannot see things from God's eternal perspective and it would be sinful to try, but what we can see is our need for the Lord and our need to be saved.  And the Lord promises that all who come to Him will be saved.  On Judgment Day there will be no one who can say that they sought after the Lord and He could not be found.

    If you are not sure that true faith is in your heart then you can cry out to God that He would make it genuine and give you the assurance of your Salvation (see 2 Peter 1:10).  Only He can save you, but the very reason you are concerned about this may be an evidence that the Lord is drawing you to Himself.  The Lord says,

Revelations 3:20 
  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

His "voice" is His Word.  Does His Word the Bible speak to you?  Is God knocking at the door of your heart?  Is He drawing you?  If so, then open to Him -- taste and see that the Lord is gracious (1 Peter 2:2,3)  and realize that the only reason you desire Him, is because He has first desired you -- from before He even created the world.

Romans 8:31
  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 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?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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