Election - by Elder C. M. Mills and Elder Wiley Sammons
Briar Fork Primitive Baptist Church
Updated 27 December 2007
The love that God has for his people was the moving cause of God setting apart a people and purposing to take care of them later. The election did not get men into trouble. The purpose was made before man fell and notwithstanding man did fall into sin and corruption. God's love for them made him reach down and bring them out of this state by fulfilling his promise of eternal life. This is called the work of Grace-it is performed by the third person in the Godhead known as the Holy Spirit. All things necessary to complete the eternal purpose and will of God are in Christ and will be accomplished by him. This is clearly set forth in Romans 8:21: "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." We go now to Romans 8:28: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:29: "For whom he did foreknow (that means to know them beforehand), he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:30: "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:31: "What shall we then say to these things?" (The things embraced in this lesson are the things aforementioned. Things don't mean everything that is going on in the world but what God determined to do for his people.) "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
Who can overthrow his purpose?-that is, his eternal purpose that he determined to do before time-because if it had been made in time, it would not be an eternal purpose. His eternal purpose was sure to be fulfilled in his Son, Jesus Christ.
The last thing to be done will be to raise up these bodies of the ones he foreknew, called, justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, and glorified. He is head over all things to the church. The head was raised when Christ was raised out of Joseph's new tomb in the glory of the Father. Therefore the rest of the body (his children) will be raised at the last day. God who quickeneth the dead and calleth those things that be not as though they were. God only could declare the thing not yet done as they were already done because he was sure he could complete what he said he would do. When men will not believe in the wisdom of God in his creation of natural things here in the earth, they will not believe in his wisdom of the doctrine of salvation of men by grace. Wisdom knew his people and love embraced them, and in his wisdom of his foreknowledge, arrangements were made to take care of them even though man later by his own transgression brought ruin and condemnation on man and his posterity. This did not hinder God from perfecting his purpose.
Every writer of the New Testament mentions the election of grace or "The children of God" in some form as well as the writers of the Old Testament. This shows that this doctrine is so vital that it cannot be neglected without neglecting the sacred scriptures. The scriptures teach that he has quickened us together with Christ even when we were dead in sin. God's plan is in Christ. Paul spoke concerning this in Timothy saying, "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Notice that this was before any had a being in the world and by applying and administering this grace God's design and purpose in saving his people was brought about. The ones who were marked out and given to Christ in his covenant are called "the elect of God" and were in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people of the earth. This is one of the basic and eternal principles taught in the Bible. No man can preach salvation by grace and not acknowledge the doctrine of election.
The lesson in the 9th chapter of Romans, beginning with verse 6: "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they who are the children of the flesh are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come and Sarah shall have a son; and not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children not yet born, neither having done any good nor evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."
In Genesis, beginning with chapter 25, verse 21: "And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebecca his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; And she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and the manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels: and one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her day to be delivered were fulfilled, behold there were twins in her womb."
According to Jewish law the oldest son was to be priest to the family. He would share two portions of the estate and be head over the tribe, but in this case it will not be so, because it will be the reverse of the natural way of doing things. Esau by natural birthright had that position and this is the birthright he sold for a mess of pottage. Although he grieved over it later, he could not undo it though he sought it in tears. It refers in the scriptures to, "Jacob have I loved." God loved Jacob before he was born but God didn't love Esau. Love shows a distinction between one that is preferred and one that is not preferred. This is sometimes called a type of the electing grace of God. This shows that God did love his people before they fell in their foreparents, Adam and Eve. Although they did fall under the law of sin and death, God's love comes to them through his Son who redeemed them and they get the benefits of his eternal love and this will take care of them because "God is love" and God is stronger than death.
Jacob is a type of the people that God loved and Esau is a type of the people that God did not love, so God passed by and made no provision for them. He did not get them into trouble and he didn't get them out. They are responsible for their own fall for that is what they inherited. Man is to blame for sin and if he has to suffer for it, it is nothing but right. The two manners of people show that there were two different types of people and the ones God passed by and didn't love are characterized by Esau. It doesn't necessarily mean all of his seed but that type of people he passed by and didn't make provision for, while Jacob is the type of the people that he did love and for whom he made provision. This shows his purpose in Election. The 11th, 12th, and 13th chapters of Romans show that election is based on the love of God.
The election is the first thing in order. God, knowing the people beforehand and loving them, as his will for them was to be with him and in order for them to be with him, knew what he would do. That is, he would make atonement for all that he elected and certainly he had that to do with. So he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to make the atonement, thus fulfilling the agreement between God, the Father, and his Son. The covenant was arranged between them. "My covenant shall stand fast with him", said the Father speaking of his Son. Because of his will for his people to be with him, it was necessary that atonement be made and satisfaction be made. The thing that separated him from his people, which was sin, had to be moved and that was moved by the death of his Son. "Therefore, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." This is that which keeps us from suffering, hereafter. Christ Jesus made the atonement by his blood blotting out and freeing them, cancelling out the debt in full, justifying us before God. "Therefore being justified by his blood, we shall be saved through him." The atonement brought about redemption. Certainly they will receive benefits of this. Who hath quickened us together with Christ? He didn't use the church, nor the ministry; he didn't use anything but Christ. Because Christ has redeemed us from under the law of sin and death, we cannot sin under that law anymore. We can sin under the law of Christ and do. That is why we feel condemnation while we live here in time. This law chastises, rebukes, and condemns us, and we suffer on account of it, but it does not pay for our sins-The Atonement covers all sins. When we come under his law in his family, he chastises us when we do wrong and blesses us when we do right. Thus, here we have the blessings in obedience and chastisement in disobedience.
We have the Holy Scriptures which are God's divine work and word and according to his purpose and will. So all that his Son, Jesus Christ, did in his office work was according to the election of God and purpose of God. God is sovereign as well as immutable, omnipotent, and perfect. Therefore, let each one of us look to him and him alone.
Elder C. M. Mills and Elder Wiley Sammons