Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Empowered by Election

At the weekend I made some remarks about the doctrine of election, in the context of teaching the book of Titus. Titus describes Christians as God's elect - those who were promised the hope of eternal life before time.

My remarks were:
  • Personal responsibility to believe is not excluded by election. In fact it gives hope in evangelism. People look like they wont believe, but God chooses not us. Do evangelism! Persevere with hard hearts. God changes lives. The gospel is powerful.
  • Faith is a gift from God to prevent our boasting in it. Do don't boast that you're a Christian. You can't take credit for it. Give God the credit.
  • We're chosen by grace not desire or effort. Know that God chose you for his glory rather than for your sake. Christian life is about God not about me.
  • Divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not two equal sides of an equation, or two sides of the same coin. The balance is in God's favour. God is not limited by our weaknesses or faithlessness or sin. Worship the sovereign Lord. Be amazed at his sovereign grace!
This document from sovereign grace ministries is helpful for further thought. As would be the writing of John Piper who has helped me see clearly about this doctrine. His book The Justification of God is particularly helpful if you can get past the Greek and Hebrew.... As we've begun to study Ephesians at our church I'm increasingly seeing the practical and life-giving implications of this glorious doctrine of election. We are poorer if we deny it.
"Far from undermining evangelism and church planting, a
proper understanding of the doctrine of election invigorates both
these activities and assures us of their ultimate success. How good
it is to know that the gospel of the crucified and risen Savior does
not return void."
- CJ Mahaney