The idea that God does what He wants, and that what He does is true and right because He does it, is foundational to the understanding of everything in Scripture, including the doctrine of election.
In the broad sense, election refers to the fact that God chooses (or elects) to do everything that He does in whatever way He best sees fit. When He acts, He does so only because He willfully and independently chooses to act. According to His own nature, predetermined plan, and good pleasure, He decides to do whatever He desires, without pressure or constraint from any outside influence.
The Bible makes this point repeatedly. In the very act of creation, God created precisely what He wanted to create in the way He wanted to create it (cf.Genesis 1:31). And ever since the creation, He has sovereignly prescribed or permitted everything in human history, in order that He might accomplish the redemptive plan which He had previously designed (cf.Isaiah 25:1;46:10;55:11;Romans 9:17;Ephesians 3:8–11).
In the Old Testament, He chose a nation for Himself. Out of all the nations in the world, He selected Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6;14:2;Psalm 105:43;135:4). He chose them, not because they were better or more desirable than any other people, but simply because He decided to choose them. In the words of Richard Wolf, “How odd of God to choose the Jews.” It may not have rhymed as well, but the same would have been true of any other people God might have selected. God chooses whomever He chooses, for reasons that are wholly His.
When Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose Me but I chose you” (John 15:16), He was underscoring this very truth. And the New Testament reiterates it in passage after passage.Acts 13:48describes salvation in these words, “As many as have been appointed to eternal life believed.”Ephesians 1:4–6notes that, God “chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” In his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul reminds his readers that he knew God’s choice of them (1 Thessalonians 1:4), and that he was thankful for them “because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). The Word of God is clear: believers are those whom God chose for salvation from before the beginning.
Even the foreknowledge to which Peter refers should not be confused with simple foresight as some would teach—contending that God, in eternity past, looked down the halls of history to see who would respond to His call and then elected the redeemed on the basis of their response. Such an explanation makes God’s decision subject to man’s decision, and gives man a level of sovereignty that belongs only to God. It makes God the One who is passively chosen, rather than the One who actively chooses. And it also misunderstands the way in which Peter uses the term “foreknowledge.” In1 Peter 1:20the apostle uses the verb form of that very word,prognosisin the Greek, to refer to Christ. In that case, the concept of “foreknowledge” certainly includes the idea of a deliberate choice. It is reasonable, then, to conclude that the same is true when Peter appliesprognosisto believers in other places (cf.1 Peter 1:2).
The ninth chapter of Romans also reiterates the elective purposes of God. There, in reference to His saving love for Jacob (and Jacob’s descendants) as opposed to Esau (and Esau’s lineage), God’s electing prerogative is clearly displayed. God chose Jacob over Esau, not on the basis of anything Jacob or Esau had done, but according to His own free and uninfluenced sovereign purpose. To those who might protest, “That is unfair!” Paul simply responds by asking, “Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” (v. 20).
Many more Scriptures could be added to this survey. Yet as straightforward as the Word of God is, people continually have difficulty accepting the doctrine of election. The reason, again, is that they allow their preconceived notions of how God should act (based on a human definition of fairness) to override the truth of His sovereignty as laid out in the Scriptures.
Frankly, the only reason to believe in election is because it is found explicitly in God’s Word. No man and no committee of men originated this doctrine. It is like the doctrine of eternal punishment, in that it conflicts with the dictates of the carnal mind. It is repugnant to the sentiments of the unregenerate heart. And like the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the miraculous birth of our Savior, the truth of election, because it has been revealed by God, must be embraced with simple and unquestioning faith. If you have a Bible and you believe it, you have no other option but to accept what it teaches.
Now I am not knocking that Jesus is our savior. In fact, that is true that He is. But of course we must share that He did not come to save the ENTIRE world, but only those who are the elect.
The modern [american] gospel focuses so much on Jesus as our savior but is drastically failing at professing Him as Lord. If so, at least not living it out. After reading "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John MacArthur, I have been opened to an improved understanding of the scriptures. Also, moving Jesus as Lord ≥ Jesus as Savior.
While both are important attributes of Christ, focusing on New Testament alone, we see a HUGE difference in how many times Jesus is called the Savior compared to how many times He is called Lord.
There are three words I would like us to focus on. (Lord, Master, Savior) According to the Strongs Concordance based on KJV...
LORD - 748/667 The word Lord (Kurios) in the NT is used 748 times. This is a word used to identify someone with supreme authority. Out of that 748 it refers to Jesus as Lord 667 times.
MASTER - 58/40 Master on the other hand, is a word that is used to identify someone as a teacher or instructor. This word is used 58 times in NT and out of that 58, 40 times it refers to Jesus Christ.
Now for the kicker, the grand finale, When I looked up the word for Savior, it was only used a mere 24 times in the NT when referring to Jesus.
Who is Jesus to you? Who do you declare Him as? When you're sharing the Gospel to someone, what are your focus words? He is the savior of the elect, that much is true. But is Jesus the man who leads your life? Is He Lord?
You may recall a few weeks ago we did an unscheduled podcast over the book of John 3. This was motivated by a local pastor who gave a sermon over the same chapter but used it in a far stretch beyond its original context. After watching the sermon presented, I attempted to reach out to this ministry with a sincere concern for the message that was given. To my surprise, this resulted in my social media being banned from a Facebook page in which I broke no established guidelines, nor posted any form of offensive remarks.
The following Sunday, this same pastor indirectly responded to the idea that those who pick apart doctrines in which he called "Doctrine Police" or could also be called "Heresy Hunters". This pastor goes on to say that this is exactly what the Pharisee did. We all know their reputation... But what he fails to realize is that the Bereans too were these "Doctrine Police" when it came to Pauls ministry (Acts 17:11), more so Jesus does the same in (Matthew 23:3) against these religious hypocrites.
This same pastor goes on to accuse anyone who is a "Doctrine Police" is lost. But this is a broad and bold claim in which he does not have the authority to make. I am personally aware of a number of ministers, John MacArthur, Justin Peters, Costi Hinn (nephew of Benny Hinn) and others who are more than willing to correct false doctrines. Each of these men are slaves of righteousness, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
If we don't identify false teachings, how can we possibly discern them from that which is true? Are all doctrines acceptable?
Article from Christian Research Institute:
I can tell you firsthand that it is no joy to be labeled a “heresy-hunter.” Yet, as Paul instructed Timothy, we are to zealously guard the purity of the message God has entrusted to us, and for good reason (1 Tim 1:18-19; 6:20; 2 Tim. 4:2-5).
From Within as Well as Without We read in such passages as Acts chapter 20, and 2 Peter chapter 2, that false teachers will arise, bringing with them destructive heresies, distorting the truth and destroying the faith of some. Moreover, it is clear that these teachers will come not only from outside the church, but also from within the body of Christ as well.
It is therefore imperative that we test all things by Scripture (1 Thes. 5:21). It was in this spirit that the Bereans examined the words of the Apostle Paul, for which they were reckoned as noble in character (Acts 17:11).
Correcting and Rebuking Indeed, not only can the Bible be used for preaching, teaching and encouragement, but, it is equally valuable for correcting and rebuking (2 Tim. 4:2). As a matter of fact, we as Christians are held accountable for proclaiming the whole will of God, warning others of false teachings. (Acts 20:26-28; cf. Ezek. 33:7-9; 34:1-10).
Church Discipline This is not merely a suggestion, it is, in fact, a divine mandate. Of course if heresies are coming from teachers within the church, we ought to try and approach them first with our concerns. Should that fail to resolve the problem, we are told in Matthew 18 to expose their errors to the church; and if need be, divulge their names. (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; 4:14-15; 3 John 9-10).
Scriptural Mandate We would, therefore, do well to heed Scripture’s explicit warnings to be on guard for false teachings (Rom. 16:17-18; cf. 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:13-14; Titus 1:9; 2:1), and to point them out to brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Tim. 4:6). At CRI, it is not our practice to make an issue out of peripheral matters on which honest Christians can differ. However, we are committed to exposing those who would compromise the essential doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Remember, controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. But controversy for the sake of the truth is a divine command.