Soteriology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:416 (Oct 1947)
Article: Soteriology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Concluded from the July-September Number, 1947)

[Editor’s note: In view of the fact that Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer has written a whole volume on Soteriology to come from the press soon, the present series of articles will be concluded herewith though it must needs be terminated abruptly. Beginning with the next issue of the quarterly a whole new series will commence, D.V.]

Divine Election


In this pursuance of the theme, Divine Election, a limited treatment is proposed in view of the extended consideration already given under the caption Divine Decrees. Only the subdivision of the doctrine of decrees, namely, Divine Election, is directly germane to the more restricted field of Soteriology.

Though the doctrine of divine election presents difficulties which are insolvable by the finite mind, the fact of divine selection is not limited to God’s choice of some out of the many for eternal glory; it is observable anywhere in the universe. There is a variety in all God’s creation. There are classifications among the angels. One star is said to differ from another star in glory. Men are not born of the same race with the same advantages, nor with the same native abilities. These variations in the estates of men cannot be accounted for on the basis of the efficacy of the free will of man. Men do not choose their race, their life conditions, whether it be in civilization or in heathendom, nor do they choose their natural gifts. On the other hand, it is as clearly disclosed, to those who will receive the revelation, that God’s attitude toward the entire human family is one of infinite compassion and boundless sacrificial love. Though the two

revealed facts—divine election and the universality of divine love—cannot be reconciled within the sphere of human understanding, here, as elsewhere, God may be honored by believing and by resting in Him. Therefore, to God be all the glory! And to Him be given the first consideration! Those systems of religious thought which require that the doctrine of God shall conform to the notion of the supremacy of man, which also begin with man, defend man,, and glorify man, are fundamentally wrong and therefore are productive of God-dishonoring error. The order of truth is established forever by the first phrase of the Bible—”In the beginning God…” He it is Who planned, He executes, and He it is who will realize to an infinite degree all that He has purposed. He will never be defeated nor disappointed. The true system of religious thought begins with God, defends God, and glorifies God; and the creature is conform...

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