For some a blessed doctrine, to others a stumbling block of offense. The doctrine of election, one of the five points of calvinism, seems to be a big fish that many hold their noses over; the idea that God chooses whom he wants to save, and rejects others. Here’s what John Calvin himself said:
‘All are not created on equal terms, but some are predestined to eternal life, others to eternal damnation, and accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or death.” – The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book Three, Chapter 21.
With such a strong and pervasive statement as this, the first question should be, “is this biblical?”. Does scripture speak like this?….My answer, along with many, including John Calvin, is yes:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
If grace is truly grace, and a gift is truly a gift, there’s no way someone could claim responsibility for this faith. The purpose is seen, so that NO ONE MAY BOAST. Only thanksgiving.
“And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad -in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls – she was told, “The older will serve the younger”. AS it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, ” I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.” Romans 9:10-16 (ESV)
God brings into covenantal relationship, like Moses, with whom He chooses. For us who are Christians though, who are the elect, let us sing the hymn with the anonymous hymn writer titled, ‘Irresistible Grace’:
“I sought you, Lord but now I see You were the one who was seeking me; I found You, Lord, and then I knew That I was found by You.”