Monday, November 03, 2008

In the INN - "Election Coverage"

Election! We just happen to be talking about this very subject in Sunday School. Or at least we try to talk about it. I think someone yesterday was trying to change gears or head into a different direction than what the passage was talking about. It was stated that Paul had his credibility in mind when he said "I am not lying" because the Jews know he betrayed them when Christ dragged him into faith on the road to Damascus. The Christians were a little nervous about him because he at one time was having them persecuted. However, if that was his motivation for writing this at this point in the book of Romans, I'm not buying it. He should have said "I am not lying" at the very beginning of this epistle, because he has already said quite a bit that his "credibility" would need to be discussed. But, that's OK. Next week Romans 9 will clearly head us into the weighty matters of election and there will be no need to wonder of Paul's credibility because no human would want to write what he had to write about the Sovereignty of God. It just isn't in ourselves to develop such a marvelous doctrine such as God's Sovereign Election.

Romans 9:1-18

God's Sovereign Choice
1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."[b] 8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."[c]

10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[d] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[e]

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

This doctrine is very humbling and it is very beautiful if you really think about it. The thought that God would save anyone is remarkable. We as followers of Christ can go on with confidence that God's word will bring people to faith and not any kind of program or persuasion. I would rather know for sure that it was the Word of God that changed the heart, rather than my ability to "woo" them into some kind of feeling or sensation that won't endure the storms of this life. We have a great privilege to be a part of sharing in the redemption of those who are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. We are saved by grace, through faith, because of Christ alone. All the glory goes to God alone. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria.

Coram Deo!!!

Join us for the 2008 series "Christless Christianity"
Election Coverage

Hello and welcome to another edition of the White Horse Inn. In this program we are intentionally - we are being right up front about it - we are using the old technique known as "bait and switch." Election is our subject and it's not the election that you are, like the rest of us preoccupied with at this time of the year, it is God's election. We are used to electing our monarchs, but when we talk about how God has saved us - salvation is of the Lord. It's a very different kind of picture.
Click here to read the rest of this week's commentary

Listen Now: "Election Coverage"

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Is God Unfair?
by J. I. Packer

Grace, How Strange the Sound
by Michael Horton

The Canons of the Synod of Dordt (Reformed)

The Book of Concord on Election (Lutheran)

Read Kim Riddlebarger's Blog

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