Election: God’s Unchanging Love For His People -- By: Steven Fernandez
RAR 7:2 (Spring 1998) p. 89
Election: God’s Unchanging Love For His People
There is probably no teaching of Scripture that arouses more emotion among Christians than the doctrine of unconditional election. On the other hand, there is probably no doctrine more needed to be preached and taught. Why? There is no teaching so designed to humble man and exalt God’s grace.
The fact that election so abases man and exalts God’s love and mercy may account for the fact that in nearly every great movement of God, unconditional election and God’s free mercy were at the center of preaching. Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, God’s primary agents of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, taught and preached it freely. The leaders of the Great Awakening in the eighteenth century, such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards (among others), taught it. The leaders of the Puritan movement in the seventeenth century taught it as well. Of course, Charles Spurgeon, whose ministry shook England and the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century, made it a central feature of his preaching in London.
As can be seen, it not only doesn’t hinder evangelism, it has been at the center of the great movements of the Spirit of God in church history. God honors the preaching and teaching of unconditional election. It helps people become God-centered and God-dependent. It extols the Lord’s great love toward His people. It abases man’s pride. It gives a great assurance of being loved perfectly and eternally by the
RAR 7:2 (Spring 1998) p. 90
Lord. With this in mind, we want to look in detail at the importance of preaching and teaching election and its reality as taught in Scripture.
The Definition And Demand For Election
A good place to begin is to give a brief definition. Election can be defined as the biblical teaching that “God in eternity past, apart from anything foreseen in them, chose the specific individuals who were to be saved.” Election is based upon the reality of man’s total depravity in sin. Man is dead in his sin (Eph. 2:1). He is hostile to God, unwilling and unable to subject himself to God’s law (Rom. 8:7). He does not seek God (Rom. 3:11). Man is a free moral agent and does as he chooses, but his choices are always sin and self. His will, however, is not free. As a part of his fallen nature, it is enslaved to sin. He always chooses what his nature loves, and he loves darkness and doesn’t come to the light. Jesus said it this way, “And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the...
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