| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 54 - Page 16 of 210 Index | Zoom | |
Election, and God's Kingdom Purpose.
pp. 126 - 132
The doctrines of election and predestination have always given rise to difficulties
among Christians. The endless debates about election and free will have led to divisions
between the children of God, yet we have to face the fact that serious study of the Word
of God is impossible when election is ignored, for it occurs frequently in both the Old
and New Testaments and occupies a most important place in the purposes of God. A
serious mistake has been made in teaching that the Word of God restricts election to one
thing only, namely salvation. Those who assert this should use a concordance and note
the number of times the word election is connected directly with salvation alone, and they
will certainly be surprised at what they find.
We need to recognize that the Bible is not just a haphazard collection of books under
one cover. It is a divine unity revealing a tremendous plan that God is carrying out.
Once this is perceived, one has a solid basis for understanding the Word of God. With
this we must link God's almighty power and His sovereignty. It is so easy to make plans
and then be unable to carry them out for various reasons, inability being one of them.
With His plan, God has made certain promises and these are absolutely secure because
He is almighty and omniscient, knowing all the future as well as the past.
We need to be like Abraham who, as Paul tells us, was fully convinced that God was
able to do what He had promised (Rom. 4: 21) even though the outward circumstances
seemingly made the fulfillment impossible, for God had promised him a son, yet he
himself was physically incapable of having one.
God revealed Himself to Jacob at Bethel in a dream and finished by promising "I will
not leave you until I have done all that I have promised" (Gen. 28: 15, N.E.B.). Job
knew that God always kept His word, for he said "I know that you can do all things; no
plan of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42: 2, N.I.V.). Later on, the prophets gave witness
to the same thing. God says, "I am He ... Who confirms the word of My servant and
makes the plan of My envoys succeed" (Isa. 44: 26, Jerusalem Bible). Also in this
prophecy He is recorded as saying "Have you not heard long ago? I did it all. In days
gone by I planned it and now I have brought it to pass" (Isa. 37: 26, N.E.B.). And
further on we read that God said "I am God, and there is no one like Me. I reveal the end
from the beginning, from ancient times I reveal what is to be. I say, My purpose shall
take effect ... I have spoken and I will bring about it. I have a plan to carry out and
carry it out I will" (Isa. 46: 10, 11, N.E.B.). We may remember too the well known
words of Isa. 55: 8-11, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my
ways ... So is My word that goes out from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, but
will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (N.I.V.).
God told Jeremiah at the beginning of his ministry after he declared that he had seen
the vision of the almond tree, "The Lord said to me, you have seen correctly, for I am
watching to see that My Word is fulfilled" (Jer. 1: 12, N.I.V.). "For I know the plans I