Tuesday, January 28, 2020

4 Views on Election

Election is the doctrine that God chose His people in Christ before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6). Serious students of Scripture cannot deny that this doctrine is taught in the Bible. The debate arises over how and why God chose His people. The debate over election has continued for centuries. Consider four major views on the debate over election.

Conditional election is the view that God chose certain people to salvation, because He foreknew they would believe in Christ (Romans 8:29-30). The condition for salvation, according to the Bible, is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Therefore, if salvation is conditional, then election must be conditional. God's wrath is on those who do not believe in Christ (John 3:36). It is personal election of those who will become believers in Christ.

Corporate election teaches that the primary election is of Christ. He is the chosen one of God to redeem His people (1 Peter 2:6). Only secondarily are people chosen as the elect in Christ. Therefore, they are members of the royal nation known as the body of Christ, called out of all nations (1 Peter 2:9). It has been illustrated this way: An individual boards a ship destined for a certain port. The person's destination is assured in the ship as far as the route which is marked beforehand. So it is for those who are in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5). Therefore, a person's election is sure, only because that person is in Christ.

Unconditional election teaches that God did not choose any person to salvation in Christ based upon foresight of what he would do (Romans 9:11). God chose persons to salvation based upon the praise of His glory, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:4-6). God chose His elect according to His eternal purpose (Romans 8:28-30). Therefore, God chose to save certain people to the glory of His grace, not based on any merit in them. Others are left in their choice of rebellion to be justly condemned to the glory of God's justice, based upon their personal sins (Romans 9:22).

Covenant election includes the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man (Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Peter 1:10-11). Election is God's choice in eternity. Man is responsible to enter the covenant in time, through faith and perseverance. (Acts 16:31; 2 Peter 1:5-6). God's election works through covenant. Therefore, God ordained the means of election through covenant faith and faithfulness.

Faith and faithfulness is the way election is confirmed in our lives (2 Peter 1:10-11). Election does not negate the requirements of faith and obedience, but rather requires them. God chooses us and sends His Spirit to enable us to believe and obey (1 Peter 1:2).