Why the Doctrine of Election is So Precious to Me

All that the Father gives me will come to me, . . .

(John 6:37, ESV)
 
This spring break, I was privileged to spend a few days with some of our high school students during their spring retreat. The retreat theme was the sovereignty of God. I was encouraged by the sincerity of our students’ questions and the depth of their understanding. We all have questions when it comes to the sovereignty of God and human responsibility, especially as it relates to salvation. For some, the doctrine of election (God’s free and sovereign decision to choose a people for salvation from the foundation of the world—Ephesians 1:3-6) is a frightening idea, and for others, it’s an abominable thought. Still, we find this truth taught throughout Scripture. So, rather than avoid it, let’s reflect on this precious doctrine because I am convinced that a clear understanding of the doctrine of election should produce hope and assurance, rather than fear and contempt. Allow me to share some of the reasons why the doctrine of election is so precious to me.
 
The doctrine of election is precious to me because it is biblical.In a display of the Father’s love for the Son, He gives a specific people to the Son (John 6:37). This truth is evident in the testimony of the book of Revelation when it declares that the only ones entering the eternal heaven are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27). John further testifies in Revelation 13:8, that these names were written in this book before the foundation of the world.  In other words, one fruit of the Father’s love for Jesus is our salvation. The Father made a free and sovereign decision to save a people as a gift for the Son and for His own glory from the foundation of the world (see also John 8:47; John 10:26-29; Romans 9:10-16).
 
The doctrine of election is precious to me because it secures my salvation.
Jesus declared that all that the Father gave Him would come to Him and that He would never cast out any who came to Him (John 6:37). Jesus delights in receiving and keeping those whom the Father gives Him because He came to do the Father’s will (John 6:38-40), and the Father’s will is for Jesus not to lose any of the ones that the Father has given Him but that He raise them all up on the last day (John 6:39).
 
The doctrine of election is precious to me because it encourages me to pursue holiness.
Paul reminded the Thessalonians that “God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, ESV). The Bible assures us that even though now we are only gradually being conformed to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), we will at glorification be wholly conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
 
The doctrine of election is precious to me because it is the basis for the assurance of my salvation.
Because God gives a people to the Son, and because the Son receives that people and keeps them, I am assured that I will never be cast out (John 6:37), nor perish, nor be snatched out of Jesus’ hand (John 10:28). Can you imagine such assurance?  The God who predestines for salvation (election) will ensure that all whom He calls to salvation will ultimately be glorified (Romans 8:30).
 
The doctrine of election is precious to me because it encourages me to share the gospel and gives me hope for fruit in evangelism and missions.
Not only does the Father give a people to the Son (John 6:37), and not only does the Son receive these people and keep them (John 6:37-39), but the Father also assures that those whom He gives to the Son will come to the Son. It is the Father’s will that everyone believing in the Son have eternal life (John 6:40), and the ones who believe can only come at the Father’s drawing (John 6:44, 65).  Therefore, if the Father gives a people to the Son, and He assures these people come to the Son, then we can be assured that evangelism and missions will bear fruit (Acts 13:48). That truth allows us to find encouragement in our Lord’s words to Paul, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” (Acts 18:9-10, ESV).
 
Finally, the doctrine of election is precious to me because it moves me to make much of God through Christ (true worship) and little of myself (humility).
May we understand election, and may it strip us of personal pride and move us to worship the Sovereign Lord in all His glory and grace.
 

Love,