Monday, April 20, 2009

A new (to me) thought on election.

It always strikes me as sad that the doctrine of election or predestination has become an issue of contention --primarily, a philosophical point of debate.

The Scriptures do not use election this way. They use it to affirm the Godness of God –his sovereignty. It is not meant to exclude anyone from coming to Christ, or to lead to speculation about who the chosen might be. There are three primary uses, the third of which came to me with clarity this last week. None of these uses, I suppose, is any more or less important than the others. The first use is that it is a doctrine of comfort for the hurting soul, struggling with sin, conviction and assurance. The second use is that it is a doctrine of challenge –allowing us to live boldly and fearlessly for the kingdom of God, knowing that nothing can truly harm us –no-one can separate us from God’s sovereign love. The third use is the one that dawned on me anew this week –the doctrine of election is encouragement for the disenfranchised and downtrodden of the world. “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame those that are wise, and the weak things of world to shame those that are strong…that no-one may glory in his sight.” (1 Cor 1 paraphrase). The early believers, confronted with the glorious reality of Christ, may have puzzled over their low estate in the world. We may still do this. Confronted with the wickedness of the powers that be in the halls of government, high finance, Hollywood, and the like, the ordinary believer may feel powerless and shunted aside. But, in God’s economy, not so. The believer has been chosen by the sovereign of the universe to accomplish his will –a treasure entrusted in a clay jar—to keep us humble, and to make sure the world, in the end, knows that all glory goes to Christ.

1 comment:

  1. So taking the second use and the third use and putting them to "good use", we should evangelize boldly!! We should not let one second of an opportunity to tell someone of God's grace go by. Every encounter is ordained and God has graciously ordained us to be the vessel. So with full courage that we are "immortal until our work is done" and knowing we possess the fullest wisdom and we are the richest of civilians, we should intercede on the behalf of lost sinners that they may see the Truth we tell them about. Whether they be a man under a bridge or a powerful politician or a famous celebrity, God designs to use us the "foolish of the world" to tell them of the greatness of Himself. Do we doubt their listening or their interest? Then we doubt God and his greatness. The Holy Spirit goes into the soul of a lost one only momentarily before we speak, so, christian, what is it we fear? The doctrine of election only greatly encourages my evangelistic efforts knowing that when I am prompted by the Spirit, by divine encounters and advances will not fall on deaf ears.