Wecome to Logia, the personal blog of Paul Hartwig. Reflections and resources to enhance understanding of what God has revealed of himself in Scripture.
One of the most astounding thoughts to enter the mind of God-belittling and law-transgressing human beings is the idea of unconditional election. The idea that God would select such a person for himself because of nothing in themselves but in his goodness alone has the power to radically transform any person and free them to serve God with greater joy and liberty. To believe that we know Christ through no worth or work or will of our own but solely through his sovereign design is a revealed mystery that waits to go to work and effect a glorious transformation. If you really ponder what it is to be unconditionally chosen by God you will prove the apostle Paul true when he said that ‘continual transformation happens through the renewal of your mind’ (Romans 12:2). Here is the truth God has revealed relating to the ultimate ‘reason why’ someone is his child. When speaking of why Jacob was chosen above Esau, God says:
for though the twins were not yet born and had not yet done anything good or bad, in order that the purpose of God according to election would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her ‘the older will serve the younger’ (Romans 9:11-12).
We would automatically think that the reason why Jacob ended up as the Jacob of Scripture and Esau as Esau was because of something each individual did, some good or bad thing in them that caused their lives to look like it did. But no, it was nothing in them that God took into account. This Scripture makes it clear that it was the pre-birth unconditional purpose of God that caused their lives to be as they were. The reason for the distinction was ‘because of Him who calls’. Paul repeated this idea a few verses later when he said: ‘so then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy’ (Rom 9:16).
I think that there are three types of reactions to this teaching. I mention them here and I would like you to think where you are classified. The three are:
So I want to make a way for this truth – unconditional election - to come into your soul with fresh power. I want the citadel of human spiritual pride to fall – which can still stand in the hearts of those most zealous for God – and for grace to reign through this truth. Ponder the word ‘unconditional’ until it changes your outlook on your life. It means that all your past and present and future successes and failures are overlooked and in spite of yourself God set his everlasting love upon you in Christ Jesus. It means also that your family and friends who you think could never come to Christ and who are so hardened against the truth can be brought to him in spite of themselves. It means that human ‘good’ and human ‘evil’ is not the criteria that God uses in his operations. Unconditional election turns the tables upside down on the head of these things, and God alone gets the glory. Oh, it is such a superior truth and needs to reign in our hearts. We should all agree with the Charles Spurgeon who said: ‘I’m so glad that God chose me before I was born because he certainly would not have afterwards’. What a precious thing not only to agree with this this but to feel it changing us deep down and renewing the way we think about our lives.
Glory to God in the Highest for his Amazing Grace!
P.S., I must answer the common question: how do I know if I am unconditionally chosen? The right answer has always been: look to Christ and place your hope in Him and His Cross. If you do, you are ‘chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world’ (Ephesians 1:4). Don’t ask ‘Am I elect or not’. Ask, ‘Will I come to Christ’. If you do, you will know the answer to such speculations.
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