By Jarrod Belcher
“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4. We are deep in an election year in our great country. For the past two weeks the two major parties have been holding their nominating conventions in an effort to bring forward the candidate they hope will be elected to serve as the 45th president. In November Americans will head to the polls to choose who they want to be their president because that’s what election means. It means to choose. And we are thankful we have a country that chooses its leaders.
There is also the theological idea of election that is presented in Scripture. This is the teaching from Scripture that God chooses his people. The fact that God elects his people becomes necessary because of the total depravity teaching that we talked about last week. If man is indeed imprisoned in sin, in rebellion to God, dead in his trespasses, spiritually blind, and willfully refusing God, then he would never be saved. Therefore God must act on man’s behalf in order to save him. We see this in the Old Testament when God chose Israel as his people. Abraham did not first choose God. God came to Abraham. And it wasn’t anything good that he foresaw in him or the descendants that would later make up the nation. He did it out of his own sovereign will. And Jesus taught this very thing in the New Testament when he said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” Who has the Father given to Jesus? The elect. Who are the elect? All those that believe in Christ for salvation.
The Biblical teaching of election helps us to understand that we must fall on the mercy of God to be saved. There is no inner light within us and there is nothing good about us that causes God to owe us salvation. It is a complete act of his kindness and mercy and grace. As the old hymn declares: My Lord, I did not choose You, for that could never be; My heart would still refuse You, had You not chosen me.