God’s choice and election of his people is not the result of something we do, but the cause of everything he does for us in Christ. In Psalm 65:4, election is spoken of as being in the present tense, though it was done before the world began, because this great work of grace is known and experienced in time. No one knows his election until he has been effectually called by the Holy Spirit to life and faith in Christ.
Notice the progression of grace running through this verse of Scripture. "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest.” That is election. God chose to save some in eternity; and those whom he chose to save in eternity he graciously cuts out from the rest of mankind in time, like a rancher at round up time cuts his own cattle out of the many roaming the open range. They were his cattle before. He simply rounds them up at the appointed time.
“And causest to approach unto thee.” This refers to irresistible, saving grace, the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit. Election both precedes and is the source and cause of this call. Look at the next line.
“That he may dwell in thy courts.” Sinners chosen and called by grace are caused to dwell, not to visit, but to dwell in the courts of Divine worship. Those who are chosen and called by the grace of God to life and faith in Christ, are kept and preserved by that same grace unto eternal glory.
Moreover, election is the source and cause of the everlasting happiness and satisfaction of God’s saints in heaven. “We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." The house and temple of God in the Old Testament were typical of and representations of Christ and heaven, of God’s salvation and our everlasting nearness to and worship of him. This is true blessedness; and this blessedness, according to Holy Scripture, arises from and is effectually caused by God’s election of his people unto salvation in Christ before the world began.
No wonder David sang, “O the blessedness of the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee.” No wonder God’s election was so much on his mind and heart. It was the thought of God’s election that made him leap and dance before the ark of God (2 Sam. 6:21). It was the fact of his election by God unto salvation and eternal life in Christ that sustained his heart and rejoiced his soul as he lay upon his deathbed. Indeed, this is a doctrine full of joy and comfort to every child of God. As we conclude the year that is past and anticipate the beginning of another by God’s wise and good providence, we cannot do so in a more profitable, God honoring manner than this - Let us bless and praise him for his free, electing love in Christ, the fountain of all past blessedness and the guarantee of all future blessedness for his people. God does everything in accordance with his electing love toward us.
Seven Facts Revealed
In The Bible About Election
With regard to the things of God, in spiritual matters, believe nothing because it is written in a creed, commonly accepted, or logically necessary. Believe only what God has revealed in his Word, and all that is revealed in the Word. True faith always bows to the Word of God. We do not come to understand the Word of God by figuring it out in our minds. We understand God’s Word by bowing to it. Here are seven things plainly revealed in Holy Scripture about God’s wondrous work of election, by which our salvation was determined before the world began. As you bow to the teachings of the Word about election, you will understand it and rejoice in it.
1. God Chose Some To Salvation And Eternal Life In Christ Before The World Began. There are some who will tell you, “The Bible does not teach the doctrine of election.” Those who make such foolish statements have either never read the Scriptures, or totally forgotten what they read, or they are out and out liars. Election is taught every where in the Bible. The Scriptures speak of “elect angels,” an “elect nation,” an “elect lady,” and “elect churches.” God chose some angels, and passed by others. Of the first two men born in the world, Cain and Abel, he chose one and passed by the other. He chose Noah and his family, and left the rest of the world to perish. He chose Abram, but no one else in his father’s house. He chose Jacob, but not is brother Esau. God chose Israel, the smallest of all nations, to be the nation to whom he would reveal himself. All other nations were left in utter darkness. He chose Joseph, but not Pharaoh. No one can, with any measure of integrity, teach that the Word of God does not teach the doctrine of election. That is too obvious to even discuss.
However, the question of importance is this - Does the Bible teach the election of some to salvation to the exclusion of others? Does he Bible teach that God chose some, but not all, of the sons and daughters of Adam to be the heirs of grace and glory in Christ? Indeed it does (Matt. 20:16; 22:14; John 15:16; Rom. 9:11-18; 11:5-7). There is absolutely no question about the fact that the Bible clearly and distinctly teaches the doctrine of election. God chose to save some and passed by others. Really, the only question to be answered is - What does the Bible teach about election?
2. The Purpose Of God In All Things Is The Salvation of His Elect. We recognize, of course, that the Word of God teaches the doctrine of God’s glorious, sovereign predestination. Like election, it is a truth so plainly revealed in Holy Scripture that it simply cannot be denied by honest men. For that matter, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to deny it (Rom. 8:28-30). Predestination is the all inclusive purpose of God in which he sovereignly determined all things that come to pass in time for the salvation of his elect. In other words, everything that has been, is now, and hereafter shall be was purposed by God in eternity and is brought to pass by God in time for the salvation of that great multitude whose names were inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life in sovereign election before the world began (Eph. 1:4, 5, 6, 1,12).
3. The Purpose Of God Shall Be Accomplished. All that God has purposed, God will perform. The Bible never talks about God purposing what he does not perform, trying to do what he does not do, willing that which he never actually brings to pass, or of him in any way trying to prevent anything that does come to pass. God almighty does not try. He does! He does not wish. He accomplishes! He does not plan. He purposes. Men talk about God’s plan, because men can do nothing but plan. God does not talk like that. God talks about his purpose. His purpose of grace is much more than some imaginary plan of salvation. A plan may be interrupted, hindered, altered, or utterly rejected. That is not God’s purpose of grace.
4. God’s purpose is the eternal determination of his heart to save the people of his love whom he chose to salvation before the world began. That purpose cannot be frustrated, altered, or even hindered to any degree. Not even the rebellion of Lucifer or the fall of Adam hindered God’s purpose of grace. Oh, no! Those events were just part of that which was and is necessary to accomplish God’s sovereign purpose of grace according to election (Isa. 14:24, 26, 27;.46:9-13; Rom. 9:11).
Election is in Christ. Read Ephesians 1:3-14 again, and learn that everything God does for, gives to, and requires from sinners is in Christ. God does nothing for us, requires nothing from us, and gives nothing to us apart from Christ. Specifically, I want you to see four things in this passage of Scripture concerning our election in Christ
Election took place in eternity, before the worlds were made. God’s love for us did not begin yesterday. It is from everlasting to everlasting. He chose us in Christ before time began. He inscribed our names in the book of life from the foundation of the world.
Our eternal election in Christ is the source and cause of all the other benefits and blessings of grace. Apart from election, there are no blessings of grace here or glory hereafter; but for the elect all the blessings and blessedness of grace and glory are sure. Read verses three and four again. God’s blessings of grace and glory flow to sinners “according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Adoption, acceptance with God, redemption and forgiveness, regeneration, preservation, resurrection, and the heavenly glory of the inheritance awaiting us, all are ours, all are sure to all the elect, according to the election of grace! All the chosen shall obtain all these things according o the purpose of God.
Election is for the glory of God. Here is the reason why God chose to save sinners, why he chose some unto eternal life, and why he saves us in a manner that clearly demonstrates both his supreme sovereignty and his glorious grace. It is, as Paul here declares three times, “That we should be to the praise of his glory!” "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
5. God’s Election of Sinners in Christ Was unto Salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:2). Without question, the Bible teaches eternal salvation. There is a sense in which all who are saved in time were saved from eternity. The passages we read earlier (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4-6), declare that all God’s elect were in Christ, redeemed, accepted, justified, sanctified, and glorified from eternity in the mind, purpose, and decree of God. Yet we must never think of election as salvation. Election, by itself, is not salvation. Election, by itself, saves no one. Election is unto salvation. Be sure you get the language of the Scriptures. Put 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 together with 1 Peter 1:2, and you will see these seven things about God’s election.
(1.) Election is a cause for great thanksgiving and praise to God.
(2.) Election is according to the foreknowledge of God, according to his everlasting love and sovereign foreordination.
(3.) Election is a personal, distinguishing work of grace. “God hath from the beginning chosen you!” He did not choose everybody. He chose those who are actually saved. He did not choose those who perish under his wrath.
(4.) Election is unto salvation..
(5.) We were chosen to be saved in a manner consistent with and honoring to the holiness, justice, and truth of God. Peter tells us that we were chosen by God “unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” That is to say, No one, not even the elect, could ever be saved apart from the obedience and death of Christ by which redemption was accomplished. The sprinkling of his blood in 1 Peter 1:2 has a double significance. Both are necessary to the salvation of God’s elect. It refers to the sprinkling of the blood in heaven, by which Christ obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12), and to the sprinkling of the blood upon each believer’s heart and conscience by the Holy Spirit, by which redemption is effectually applied to us (Heb. 9:13-14).
(6.) We were chosen to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit. In other words, no one can ever be saved who is not born again (regenerate and sanctified) by God the Holy Spirit, election, predestination, and redemption notwithstanding. The Bible does not teach, and we do not teach (though the accusation is often hurled at us) that if people are elected to salvation they will be saved no matter what. Nothing could be further from the truth. We teach, as the Word of God plainly affirms, that God has chosen to save his elect by specific means which he will never by-pass or alter. As the elect must be redeemed, they must also be regenerated (John 3:5-7).
(7.) We were chosen to salvation through the belief of the truth. The means which God has ordained for the salvation of his elect is the hearing of the Word. Those who were chosen of God in eternity and redeemed by Christ at Calvary must be regenerated and called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. Let men raise whatever objections they will and cavil about it until the cows come home. The Word of God is as plain as the nose on your face. God saves chosen sinners through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:13-17; 1 Cor. 1:21; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
6. God’s Eternal Choice of His People to Salvation in Christ was An Unconditional Election of Grace (2 Tim. 1:9). God did not choose us and he does not save us because of our works. His choice of us was not based upon foreseen merit, or our foreseen choice of Christ, or our foreseen faith in him. Oh, no! Our only merit before God is Christ. Our choice of him is the result of his choosing us. Our faith in him is the fruit and result of his election. The purpose of God according to election stands not upon the footing of works, but upon the sure foundation of free and unconditional grace (Rom. 9:11).
7. God’s Electing Grace is Always Effectual. That simply means it gets the job done! All who were chosen in eternity shall be called and saved in time, by the irresistible power and grace of God through the gospel. Read 2 Timothy 1:9 and 10 carefully. All to whom grace, salvation, and eternal life were given in Christ from eternity by God’s election shall have that salvation manifest to and wrought in them by God’s sovereign grace.
Do you now find yourself trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your only, all-sufficient Lord and Savior? If you do, if you truly trust the Son of God, it is because “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation!” Your faith in Christ is the evidence of your election. Let every child of God give praise honor, and glory to him forever for his free, electing love and favor, sovereignly and graciously bestowed upon us from eternity in Christ. He who chose us redeemed us, called us, and gave us life and faith in Christ; will keep us unto eternal glory by his grace. Amen.
 Note: The word foreknowledge in 1 Peter 1:2 is the exact same word translated foreordain in verse twenty.
 I realize that there is a sense in which some are elected to specific service in the kingdom of God from eternity. Not all are prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and deacons. Those who are, if they hold their offices in faithfulness, were chosen to their work by God. However, the biblical doctrine of election is not election to service, but election unto salvation.
Don Fortner, Pastor
GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH Of DANVILLE
2734 Old Stanford Road