Unconditional Election (Part 2)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, April 21, 2019.
I. Election is unconditional. 1. God's election is an election of grace (Rom 11:5). A. Grace n. - II. Favour. 6. a. Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession. B. Grace by definition is unconditional. C. If election was conditioned upon a sinner's faith (which is a work - Mat 23:23; Joh 6:28-29), acceptance, or other works, then the sinner would have a right to it, and God would be obliged to choose him. D. This would not be an election of grace, but an election of works (Rom 11:6). E. God chose His elect before the world began, not according to their works, but according to his own purpose and grace (Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:9). F. Since God chose His elect long before they were born, election is unconditional. 2. God's election is based solely on His mercy, not a sinner's will or works (Rom 9:16). A. Mercy n. - 1. a. Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected. B. If God's election was conditioned upon a sinner's faith, acceptance, or other works, then it would not be according to His mercy because the sinner would have a claim to receive God's kindness. C. In this case, God's election would be based on duty not on mercy. 3. God's election was made without consideration of anything, whether good or bad, that a sinner has done (Rom 9:11-13). A. Jacob was elected and Esau was rejected before they were born, before they had done any good or evil. B. This is a proof-text for the doctrine of unconditional election. C. Opponents of election, in a desperate attempt to deny the doctrine, claim that the election of Jacob and the rejection of Esau is not referring to them individually, but rather to the nations of Israel and Edom. i. They try to use Gen 25:23 for proof of this. ii. A fundamental rule of Bible interpretation is to always interpret the Old Testament (Hos 12:10) in the light of the New Testament (2Pe 1:19; Heb 7:22; Eph 3:4-5; Col 1:26), and not vise versa. iii. There are some major problems with this interpretation. a. First of all, this interpretation contradicts the very premise and core of Paul's argument in Romans 9. (i) The salvation and spiritual state of the nation of Israel is under consideration in Romans 9 (Rom 9:1-5). (ii) Paul's core argument in Romans 9 is that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Rom 9:6). (iii) In other words, not all of the natural descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are God's chosen people (Rom 9:8). (iv) Paul gives personal and individual examples of this in Rom 9:7-13. (v) Paul then justifies God's election of individuals in Rom 9:14-24. (vi) To say that Paul was referring to the nations of Israel and Edom in Rom 9:11-13 totally ignores the context of the chapter. b. Secondly, God's election in Romans 9 is personal election, not national election. (i) He uses Isaac as a personal example of a child of God (Rom 9:7). (ii) He uses Jacob and Esau as personal examples of election (Rom 9:11-13). (iii) He uses Pharaoh as a personal example of a man whom God did not choose (Rom 9:17). (iv) Paul uses personal pronouns to describe election. 1. God will have mercy on whom (not the nation) He will have mercy (Rom 9:15; Rom 9:18). 2. Election is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth (Rom 9:16). (v) Paul replies to a man's personal objection to election: "why has thou made me thus?" (Rom 9:20) (vi) Reprobation is of individual vessels of wrath (Rom 9:22). (vii) Election is of individual vessels of mercy (Rom 9:23). (viii) Those vessels are called individuals of the Jews and of the Gentiles, not the nations of the Jews and Gentiles (Rom 9:24). c. Thirdly, for this interpretation (that Rom 9:11-13 is referring to the election of the nation of Israel) to be true, God would have to elect and love every member of the nation of Israel and hate and reject every member of the nation of Edom. (i) If this was not the case then the interpretation would be meaningless, having God loving some of those whom He is supposed to hate and hating some of those whom His is supposed to love. (ii) There is only a remnant of Israel that are God's elect (Rom 9:27; Rom 11:7), and the rest are reprobates (Rom 9:29; Rom 11:7). (iii) There is also a remnant of Edom that are God's elect (Amo 9:12 c/w Rev 5:9), and the rest are reprobates. (iv) The fact that God has a remnant of elect in both the nations of Israel and Edom destroys the interpretation that God's election of Jacob was referring to the nation of Israel. 4. God's election is according to His foreknowledge (1Pe 1:2). A. The foreknowledge that election is based on is God's foreknowledge of the identity of the elect (whom) (Rom 8:29-30), not His foreknowledge of their works. i. The Lord knows them that are His (2Ti 2:19). ii. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew (Rom 11:2). iii. Jesus knows His sheep (Joh 10:14; Joh 10:27). iv. The elect are foreknown; the rest are never known (Mat 7:21-23). B. If God elected people based on their foreseen faith or good works, He would have elected nobody (Psa 14:2-3 c/w Rom 3:9-12). C. The elect are elected unto obedience, not because of their obedience (1Pe 1:2). D. The elect are elected unto good works (Col 3:12; Eph 2:10), not because of their good works (2Ti 1:9). E. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit, not the bait of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). F. The elect were chosen by God that they should be holy (past tense of shall), not because of their holiness (Eph 1:4). G. Some of the elect are enemies of the gospel, so God obviously did not choose them based on their foreseen faith (Rom 11:28).