Hard Truths: Election

When most of us think of the word election we think of a democratic process in which we decide who we want to vote for and select for office.

The Bible also speaks of election and it has historically been one of the hardest truths for Christians to wrestle with.

The truth is no Christian who seeks to be faithful and wrestle with the full text of the Bible can avoid the subject.  So what do you do with it?

I could of course expound all the biblical evidence for individual election and why I think it is clearly found in the text, but let me go a different direction.

Two points.

1. Election seems unjust.  It does indeed, if we are viewing things from a western democratic framework.  We think, “hey that’s not fair, I should get to have my voice heard and make my own choice.”  Ephesians 2 tells us that humans are dead and unable to make any choices for or against God.  The human nature apart from God electing them is not that some would make a decision for God and some would not, but that none of us apart from God’s grace can make any kind of decision.  Dead people are unable to choose or elect for anything, this is why God elects and gives life to those who are spiritually dead.  Dead people cannot vote and when they do, its called election fraud.  Therefore it is not unjust for God to elect, all of us are dead and God does not owe any of us life, it is all grace.

2. No matter what, salvation involves a (pardon the Bushism) a “decider.”  Either each of us make a decision for God or God makes a decision to save us.  The bottom line is that decisions are being made.  So while this question is outside of the biblical scope, and assumes my first point is incorrect, I would ask who is it you want making such weighty decisions?  Creator God who is kind, wise, and all-knowing; or sinful humans that often make foolish choices that are not wise or in their best interests?

Though the truth of election is a hard one, especially considering our cultural framework and perspective to which we approach it from.  It is a major mountain I believe believers must summit as they progress in their delighting and submission to the word.  Let me leave with a quote from Paul Jewett.

The question of individual election has led more people to read scripture for what they want to find ( rather than listen to scripture for what they are afraid to hear) than virtually any other theological issue.

Yet I believe that letting the Bible speak clearly on the matter of election regardless of how it first sits with us, has exponential value to our souls.

ryan

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