In this series, we have been considering the Doctrines of grace. As we study this grand subject, we must know that each doctrine is inseparably linked. The other day, we considered the doctrine of total depravity. Today, we will be considering the doctrine of unconditional election. Unconditional election only makes sense when we see it in light of the doctrine of total depravity. Remember, everyone born in this world is born “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1-3). Left to ourselves, we do not have the ability or inclination to seek God. On our own, we cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). We cannot know the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14). We cannot come to Christ (John 6:44). How, then, can a sinner ever be saved? How can we experience the joys of sins forgiven and reconciliation to God if man is dead in sin? My friend, the salvation of God’s people is traced back to the unconditional electing love of God. It is traced back to this merciful and gracious act of God in eternity past. What then is the doctrine of unconditional election?

In his little booklet on the doctrines of grace, pastor Bill Payne asks this vital question:

What do we mean by the doctrine of election? We mean that out of the ruined mass of fallen humanity, almighty God has chosen a people, a great innumerable company, which he intends to bring to salvation in and through Jesus Christ… sinners are not chosen by God on account of some merit, goodness, or ability that is to be found in themselves. Rather, the only reason for electing grace is God’s own pleasure and will. His grace is free, unconditional, and sovereign.”

 Now, let us look at the Bible and see what God’s Word has to say concerning our salvation. The doctrine of God’s unconditional election is most clearly seen in Ephesians 1:3-6. The apostle Paul writes:

3 “blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.”

When we come to John’s Gospel, we see that if a sinner is to seek God, God must take the initiative to make us both willing and able to do what is contrary to our fallen nature. In 1 John 4:19, the apostle writes: “we love because he first loved us.” In His high priestly prayer, our Lord Jesus said in John 17:1-2: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your son that the son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” The Father, in eternity past, set His heart upon a people to redeem through His Son Jesus.

Now, why do we love the Lord Jesus all of a sudden? The apostle John traces it back to the sovereign, unconditional, electing grace of God in the past, where He set His love upon sinners in Jesus Christ. This love is an amazing love towards His people! His love for you cannot be earned. He set his love upon you before you were born. This electing love was before you could do anything to earn such love! The fact that you are a Christian is all of his eternal love, mercy, and grace. His love for you, believer, has no beginning and no end. It is an eternal and unchanging love. Charles Haddon Spurgeon so wonderfully put it this way: “damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.” May we praise God for his unconditional, electing grace!

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