Understanding and Appreciating
Election and Predestination
Study on Romans 8:29-30
Over the last months we have been we have been looking into this promise of eternal security.
We have looked into what Paul has said about eternal security of salvation in the practical and experimental. Then we turned to the doctrinal aspect of the promise. We have looked into how we can be sure of this truth in personal experience.
TODAY I WANT TO ADDRESS THE WAY IN WHICH WE SHOULD APPROACH OUR CONVICTION ABOUT THIS MATTER OF SALVATION.
We should by now be seeing why it must be true of necessity that God works all things together for good to them who love Him, and who are “the called.” And the answer is provided in the great statement at the end of verse 28 that says “according to His purpose.”
God’s purpose will be fulfilled to the “called”, because we are “called according to His purpose.” God’s purpose is going to be fulfilled. There are times I might not love the Lord as I should, forbid that I do. But all things must work together for me because I love God and I love God because I am “called” of God, and because I am included in God’s purpose of salvation.
THE DOCTRINE of FINAL PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS.
While this is true, we do have security in our hope of everlasting life with Christ in Heaven, its not of itself the `main reason for our salvation. We must also say that to say “all things work out for our good” is not the primary reason for our thinking. It is God’s purpose and our good, and any thing that comes to us, is nothing but a part of the carrying out of that great purpose of God.
The guarantee that all things work together for our good, lies in the fact that it is all a part of God’s great purpose with respect to us.
The assurance of our salvation rest in the fact that it’s a part of the purpose of God.
Now Paul in Romans 8:29-30 is working out the steps and stages involved in salvation, as we saw some last week.
Note again Romans 8:29-30…..
And these two verses are an exposition of the wonderful phrase at the end of verse 28 “according to His purpose.”
We have been looking at the great doctrine of
- God’s foreknowledge
- God’s predestination,
- God’s calling
- God’s justification
- God’s glorification.
They are all particular elements of God’s purpose and show its outworking.
THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION IS NOT FOR THE UNBELIEVER
Let me say this about those doctrine. They are for believers and not unbelievers. The way of salvation is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Never allow an unbeliever to argue with you about any of these doctrines of election. Tell him that that is not his business. He will be glad to use it so that he can hide behind it, and dodge his real problem. Tell him that this does not belong to him. He has first of all be born and to become an infant, next he has to grow. Then, and not until then, he may be in a fit condition to apply his mind to such great and wonderful truths.
Look the doctrine of election is for the children of God and for their comfort, its not for others.
The Bible itself is for Christians and the children of God. Look the unbeliever is not going to understand the Bible, you know. They cannot understand the Bible unless they are born again, the way God want’s them to understand Him.
May I say unbelievers are spiritually ignorance when it comes to the truths of the Word of God. The truths are for the children of God, something that really should be spoken of only in the family circle.
To try to convince an unbeliever of these doctrine is really rather foolish. Don’t do it.
Then too, we should not come to these great truths with a spirit of militant partisanship.
Democrat and Republican totally partisanship today: 98% agree with what the Democrats’ are doing and only 8% of the Republicans are in agreement.
To say “I am a great Calvinist” or to say “I am a great Arminian” and take up the club against the other side is foolish.
You could come to these doctrine with a sense of unutterable astonishment at what we are told here.
Really you should be filled with a sense of wonder.
Then you might be a little humble and will say, “How amazing it is that I should be given a glimpse into this truth?
The man, or preacher, or , Christian who is likely to understand the message of Paul is a person who has such an attitude as this.
Can I say this It is almost incredible that I should have a part in God’s great and wonderful purpose. Its just time to take off my shoes. To have a part of God’s purpose is astonished and fills me with a sense of wonder and should I say bring me to utter humbleness by it all. It should and does fill my heart with praise. Not with the excitement of intellectual argumentation; but is filled with praise to God for his wonderful wonderful grace to us poor sinners and children of God.
Here is what the right approach to this doctrine set before us: You are going to find in them the greatest urge and desire to holiness and sanctification.. If your belief of these doctrine have not driven you to holiness you are in a dangerous condition.
Lloyd Jones continues:
The man whose interest is purely philosophical and whose life is not turned towards godliness, is a believer in philosophic determinism, not the truth of God.” He continues “That is counterfeit, and entirely spurious.” He says also “If you are filled with a spirit of militant partisanship, again you are probably arguing philosophically.”
I have learned that this being the truth of God, always humbles, without a doubt, because it is the highest, it is the most humbling of all truths.
The higher the truth the more it should humble us; the more glorious the truth, the more ought we to be amazed and astonished at it.
CAN I ASK WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THESE TRUTHS AND THIS DOCTRINE?
Is it a slogan that you wave on a banner?
So just what is your attitude about your banner?
Are you waiting patiently for a discussion of election and predestination? If so, beware? We are at the foot of a very holy mountain, and if you imagine that you can run up this mountain you are deceiving yourself.
Can I say that this doctrine is not for argument or a banner, its pastoral; it is comfort for the children of God, for believers faced with trials and tribulations, who do not know what to pray for as they ought.
Now as we have and are looking at these verse one step at a time, we must not forget they are part of a whole theme and must never be isolate alone. We need to see this doctrine in their setting.
The terms “all things,” “predestinate,” “called,” “justified,” and glorified” but always be seen as a whole.
As you take the whole doctrine in its setting, take every particular statement in its complete surroundings.
They are but individual links in a chain and they can only be understood in their relationship to other links and to the whole chain.
So what is the key to the understanding of this truth?
The way to move toward it is to ask the question, Why did Paul add verse 29 and 30 after saying, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”? That is a complete statement in and of itself; why did Paul add this exposition, this explanation which we have in verses 29 and 30?
As I have already said, vs. 28 is not merely intended to give us comfort in trouble, but to give us the ultimate comfort of knowing that our final salvation is sure, and that everything that happens to us is but a part of that salvation.
As each step of our salvation is ‘predetermined’ and already sure – that is what Paul is saying – we can be sure that ‘God is overruling everything for our good.
HERE IS THE POINT:
If we are in God’s plan and purpose, then nothing can be against us, as we see Paul saying in the last verses of this chapter.