Unconditional Election (Part 3)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, April 28, 2019.
IV. Election is according to God's will, not man's (Rom 9:16). 1. The very concept of election demands that God doesn't want to save the entire human race. 2. God always does what He wants to (Dan 4:35; Job 23:13; Psa 115:3; Psa 135:6; Ecc 8:3; Isa 46:10). A. The God of the Bible is not the Arminian god which is as impotent as an idol "god that cannot save" (Isa 45:20). i. Most people think that God's hand is not long enough to extend to a sinner to save him without the sinner reaching up to meet him part way. ii. The LORD's hand is not shortened that it cannot save (Isa 59:1). B. If God wanted to save the entire human race, He would do it, and they would be saved. Period. C. The fact that they are not all saved proves that God doesn't want to save them. V. Election is unavoidable. 1. No matter whether one believes in Arminian, freewill salvation or sovereign grace, the concept of God's election is unavoidable. 2. "The first problem with the reformaphobic explanation is that it falls short of its goal of eliminating all unconditional aspects of election. Even if men believe on Christ because of a conditional, free-will decision to do so, and even if they were elected by God on this account, it was still God’s choice that led to their existence, and this choice was made while knowing whether they would be believers or unbelievers. God’s choice to create a man who thereafter becomes a believer was in fact a choice to create a believer, and His choice to create a man who thereafter becomes an unbeliever was in fact a choice to create an unbeliever. This follows from the reasoning presented in the prior chapter. So the reformaphobic explanation, notwithstanding all its efforts to the contrary, still has God determining the populations of heaven and hell as surely as He does under the most hardened forms of Calvinism." (David Pyles, Reformaphobia, p. 18) VI. God does the electing, not man. 1. There are some that try to spin election into man electing God by wresting 1Th 1:4. 2. The phrase "your election of God" can be understood in either the objective genitive or the subjective genitive. A. If used in the objective genitive, God is elected. B. If used in the subjective genitive, God elects. 3. In order to know which genitive is being used, we must compare this verse with other scripture to see who elects whom. A. Scripture teaches that it is God who chooses His elect, not they who elect Him (Mar 13:20). B. The elect belong to God (Mat 24:31; Luk 18:7; Rom 8:33; Tit 1:1) because He chose them (Mar 13:20). C. The election of God happened before men were even born, making it obvious Who elects whom (Rom 9:11). D. In fact, God chose His people before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). E. Scripture is clear that it is God who elects His children; therefore the phrase "your election of God" (1Th 1:4) is written in the subjective genitive, meaning God elected the beloved brethren in Thessalonica. VII. Who the elect are NOT 1. People that want to deny the doctrine of election come up with alternative explanations of who the elect are. Two popular ideas are: A. The elect are those whom God knew would choose Him. B. The elect are the natural Jews. 2. The elect are not those whom God knew would choose Him. A. There are none in their natural state that would have chosen God given the chance (Psa 14:2-3 c/w Rom 3:9-12). i. There is none that seeketh after God (Rom 3:11). a. The wicked will not seek after God (Psa 10:4). b. The wicked in the context of Psa 10:4 are all natural men (Psa 10:7 c/w Rom 3:14). ii. Seeking precedes finding (Mat 7:7). iii. Apart from God's electing grace, none would have sought God, and therefore none would have found Him. iv. Since none would have found God, none would have, nor could have, chosen Him to save them. B. The natural man minds the things of the flesh, not the things of the Spirit (Rom 8:5). i. Mind v. - 1. a. trans. To put (one) in mind of something; to remind. b. To bring (an object) to one's mind. 2. a. To remember, have in one's memory; to think of (a past or absent object). ii. God is not in the thoughts of the natural man (Psa 10:4). iii. Therefore, the natural man is not going to choose God whom he doesn't think about. C. Any thoughts the natural man has towards God are thoughts of enmity (Rom 8:7). i. Enmity - 1. The disposition or the feelings characteristic of an enemy; ill-will, hatred. ii. At the time the elect were saved, they were not choosing God, they were enemies of Him (Rom 5:10). iii. A man who hates God and is His enemy is not going to choose Him to be His savior. D. The only reason that any man chooses to love God is because God chose to love him first (1Jo 4:10; 1Jo 4:19). E. God doesn't love some men (Psa 5:5; Rom 9:13), therefore they will not love Him. 3. The elect are not the nation of Israel as a whole. A. The election and Israel are NOT the same thing (Rom 11:7). B. Israel were God's elect (Isa 45:4; Isa 65:22). C. They were God's elect because God chose them to be His people out of all the nations of earth (Deut 7:6; Deut 14:2; Psa 135:4). D. Nationally they were all His elect, but spiritually only a remnant of them ever were (Rom 9:6-8; Rom 9:27-29; Rom 11:1-7; Isa 65:9). VIII. The fairness of election 1. Many respond to the doctrine of election by charging God with unfairness (Rom 9:14). 2. If God were fair, He would send everyone to hell because that's what our sin deserves (Rom 3:23 c/w Rom 6:23 c/w Rev 20:13-15). 3. God is the potter and we are the clay, and He has the right to do with us as He pleases (Rom 9:21). 4. Don't question God's judgment (Rom 9:20). 5. For a man who understands the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin, the question should not be "Why didn't God choose everyone?", but rather, "Why did God choose anyone?" IX. How do you know if you're one of the elect? 1. A man can make his election sure in his own mind by believing the gospel and adding Christian virtues to his faith (2Pe 1:5-11). 2. We can be assured that we are the elect by living godly lives (Col 3:12). 3. Faith, repentance, good works, obedience, and godly living are the evidence and effects of election, not the cause of it.