God made choices in the lives of individuals to fulfill His choice of a nation. These examples give us a picture of the unconditional aspects of our salvation. God freely chose to create man with the ability to sin. He made the plan of salvation. God has decided many things in our lives over which we have no control. On the other hand, we can fully receive all His marvelous grace without having deserved any of it.
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He loves us because He chose to and because He wants to. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. Likewise, Romans 9 shows that the Gentiles who were originally vessels of dishonor could now become vessels of honor by receiving the Gospel. The miraculous birth of Isaac was a result of the sovereign choice by God that was also linked to the personal faith of Abraham and Sarah Romans ; Hebrews While God has the freedom to act independently from us, many times He chooses to engage our response.
Both Abraham and Sarah chose to believe the promise of God, and were strengthened through their personal faith to participate in its fulfillment. Notice that this phrase was not spoken at the birth of Jacob and Esau as individuals. They made a confederacy of nations in an attempt to destroy Israel Psalm They told Babylon to raze the city of Jerusalem to the ground when it was conquered Psalm They tried to possess the land God promised to Israel Ezekiel They chased down and killed the Jews who escaped from the Babylonian troops when Israel was conquered Amos It is also true that God is angry with the wicked Psalm , and His wrath is upon the children of disobedience Colossians In this sense, He hated Esau.
Pharaoh is a personal illustration of the principles of conditional and unconditional election. Moses asked Pharaoh to let Israel go that they might serve the Lord. In that contest, Pharaoh challenged God and hardened his own heart at times. The case of Pharaoh illustrates how God can sovereignly harden a hard heart that refuses to recognize His sovereignty, and at the same time show mercy upon an unworthy Israel by delivering them from bondage.
God will have mercy on whom He chooses and will harden whom He chooses Romans In Egypt, He showed both His goodness and His severity at the same time. God based His judgment on their responses to His sovereignty.
The Love of God
Pharaoh is an example of both unconditional election when God hardened his heart, and conditional election when he challenged God and hardened his own heart. They sought it by the merit of their good works and their national election status Romans He takes no pleasure in the damnation of souls. The Gentile believers, like the Jewish patriarchs, became vessels of mercy by faith while most of the chosen Jewish nation became vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
To draw balanced conclusions, we need to see all aspects of the truth that God has revealed to us.
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What we do know is that if God promises something, He will carry it out. If He gives us a commandment, He will also give us the grace we need to perform it. God has graciously chosen to save us through Jesus Christ. His offer is free wherever sin abounds. Our salvation is upheld by His gracious choice to freely save us. What are the conditions to being one of His elect? We must respond to His Lordship in faith and humility.
I accept your plan of salvation. I want Jesus to save me; and I choose to yield to Your call and the choices that You have made for my life. Not all men are called in the same way. God does not use the extreme and even irresistible measures with some that He uses with others. Yet none are excluded. All are invited by the Spirit and the Bride. Whosoever will may come, because God has chosen to give the water of life freely!
See Revelation There are two over-arching principles relating to the election of God. First, He wants a godly people who will carry on a godly heritage; that is represented in His corporate election of Israel and the church. His corporate election guarantees there will always be a godly seed. Secondly, He wants individuals to personally embrace the Gospel of salvation by the free grace of God, and come under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The chosen godly heritage is to be the torchbearer of truth to those outside the family of God. He welcomes them individually into His corporate elected body—the church.
God also asks that we as believers give individual diligence to make our election sure by responding in faith and love to His gracious love and sovereign choices for our lives 2 Peter We should view the doctrine of election in a positive way.
It means that when we love Him, we know that He has already loved us. We are assured that our lives are not governed by chance or fate. He had laid such a design as all this misery and sinfulness that the elect ones had fallen into should be so far from undoing them, that it shall but serve to set out that love the more; and so the words that follow do evidently shew.
There is, I say, a kind of ambushment, if I may so express it, a waylaying of all that sin and misery the elect fell into. And how many such buts of mercy, lying in wait to deliver and save us out of great and strong evils, did we meet with in our lives? And this but here, of this great salvation, is the great seal and ratification, or Ante signamus, of all the rest.
And God cometh in also here, besides what I mentioned in the last discourse, to shew that all salvation is from him, he is the sole author and founder of it; as in Rom.