- Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, 1 without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto. 2
- Rom. 8:30; Eph. 1:4-6, 9, 11; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thess. 5:9
- Rom. 9:11-16; 11:5-6; Eph 2:5
The predestination to life took place before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9) and it was according to God’s eternal and immutable purpose. Yes, this predestination was out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creation as a condition or cause (Rom. 9:11), but this does not mean that God did not have a purpose in electing those people. It just means that this purpose or cause was not in them. One particular purpose is “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Eph. 1:6). This predestination was according to the secret counsel of His will, meaning, that God has not revealed to us who the elect are. Yet His word calls us to “be all the more diligent to confirm [our] calling and election” (2 Pet. 1:10) and we may know that we are elect through faith in Christ and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. His purpose and counsel is also said to be the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:5 KJV). It is not an evil or sinful purpose, but a good purpose.
What Is It?
The doctrine of election and predestination. It is useful, necessary, and most sweet. Ignorance of it impairs the glory of God, plucks up humility by the roots, begets and fosters pride. The doctrine establishes the certainty of salvation, peace of conscience, and the true origin of the church.
The doctrine of eternal election is a most sweet and glorious doctrine from the Word of God. It is a doctrine much disagreed upon by Christians, yet I believe that the cause of disagreement is not based upon what the Scripture says, but rather because the idea is hateful to the human depraved mind. The doctrine is basically that God is free to select those, whom He has pleased out His mere pleasure, to save from His just wrath. Wayne Grudem defines election as:
Election is an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.
I still find it weird that I first came to believe in the doctrine of election and then the doctrine of God’s absolute sovereignty. I was indeed inconsistent. Somehow, for a time it was easier for me to believe in the 5 points of Calvinism, I saw them as standing or falling together indeed, but I did not believe in the absolute control of God upon the world in general. I thought that God was sovereign over salvation, but not so sovereign over everything outside of election. That was indeed a great inconsistency and error, but somehow election was easier to believe as...