Election: A Pastoral Doctrine

Continuing this morning in Concise Theology, I offer the following:

The doctrine of election, like every truth about God, involves mystery and sometimes stirs controversy. But in Scripture it is a pastoral doctrine, brought in to help Christians see how great is the grace that saves them, and to move them to humility, confidence, joy, praise, faithfulness, and holiness in response. It is the family secret of the children of God. We do not know who else he has chosen among those who do not yet believe, nor why it was his good pleasure to choose us in particular. What we do know is, first, that had we not been chose for life we would not be believers now (for only the elect are brought to faith), and second, that as elect believers we may rely on God to finish in us the good work that he started…

Concise Theology, pp.149-50

In a day and age that proclaims the surpassing glory of human self-determination we do well to remind ourselves of what we find in John’s gospel. Jesus draws to himself all those whom the Father gives him. What rest and peace, what humbling truth!

And I just love the line, “…it is the family secret of the children of God.” What an inheritance!

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