2 Passages, 4 Points (on Election)


When Ephesians 1 enumerates the spiritual blessings with which we are blessed in Christ, it starts off with our election:
‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace’ (Eph. 1:4-6).
Here we learn that:
  1.  Election is something that God did before creation. 
  2.  In Election we are chosen ‘in Christ’. 
  3.  Election has a goal – we are to be holy, we are to be adopted as sons of God. 
  4.  The reason for election is the good pleasure of God’s will. 
This shows us that it is only the goal or result of election which will be seen in us. Both the timing of election and the reason for our election are outside of us. Being elected before creation means that we didn’t exist to do anything to get elected, and this is further clarified by the fact that the only reason stated for why we are elected is God’s will, not anything in us. That means that this is indeed an election of grace. It’s not a reward that we have earned, but rather, something which God does for us in Christ, even though we don’t deserve it.

The grace of election is also highlighted in 2 Tim. 1:9-10:

‘[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’.
Here we learn that God gave us His grace in Christ before time began. How did God give us grace in Christ before time began? Well, Eph. 1:4 has just told us: in election. Here in 2 Timothy 1:9 Paul is explaining just what that election is: election is God giving us His grace before time began. So this passage teaches us the following about election:
  1.  Election is God’s grace given to us before time began. 
  2.  Election is God’s grace given to us in Christ Jesus. 
  3.  Election leads to a holy calling. 
  4.  The reason for election is not our works, but God’s purpose and grace. 
In effect, these two passages teach us the same things about election, and both very clearly attribute election, not to something in us, but to God Himself. He elects us because of His grace, His purpose, His good pleasure, His will. In fact, not only does He elect us because of His grace, but His election of us is His grace given to us before time began!

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