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Election: Grace and Glory

August 31, 2006

In Isaiah 48:11 God says, “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

We’re going to encounter some difficult doctrines in the book of Romans.  Total Depravity, Election, Predestination.  But the glory of these difficult doctrines will begin to appear to you when you understand that God does everything for the sake of his name.  The gospel is not ultimately the gospel of salvation, it is the gospel of God, it’s all about his glory among the nations.

Here’s some examples of how Paul puts it in Romans

3:4 let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “That Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, And mightest prevail when Thou art judged.”

Paul will seek to convince us in the first three chapters of the depravity and wrath deserving demerit of all mankind so that, in the words of 3:19, “every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”  No one under any circumstances may accuse God of injustice, for in the words of Shakespeare, “if justice be done, none of us would see salvation.”

So in chapter 9 Paul will teach us about God’s election with these words

Romans 9:10-15  when Rebecca 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 his call-  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.”

Now that’s a quotation from Exodus 33, which tells the story of Moses going up on the mountain to intercede for the salvation of idolatrous Israelites and to receive the new tablets of the law.  And while he’s up there enjoying God’s presence he makes a bold request.  Exodus 33:18-19  Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”  And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Now get this.  Moses asked for glory, and God showed him election.  I hope that you will like Moses ask to see the glory of God.  And when you do, you’d better get ready to hear about election.  For election is at the heart of what it means to be God.  It’s the Godhood of God.  He chooses.  He decides.  His will is determinative of who lives and who dies.  Man’s will, to be sure, is regenerated and responds to God’s grace, but it does not depend upon the will of man, but on God who has mercy. 

Salvation is by grace alone, so that all the glory goes to God alone.  What we see in Romans 1:5 we will see over and over again.  It begins in grace and ends in glory.  Grace and glory are the Alpha and the Omega of God’s plan of salvation.  It begins in the grace of God and ends in the glory of God.  For, as Paul says in Romans 11:35 who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2006 2:14 pm

    It’s sometimes hard to keep all these big concepts in my head at once, but they do need to be tackled.

  2. August 31, 2006 3:48 pm

    &#945&#956&#951&#957, Mike!

  3. August 31, 2006 3:49 pm

    blast, the HTML 4.0 greek characters didn’t come through. :( they worked on blogger!

    Amen to the post though!

  4. Bethlen Gabor permalink
    August 31, 2006 7:25 pm

    What a delightful passage that Isaiah quote is. And it does indeed highlight well both the true desire of the grateful, redeemed heart and the distinct difference between the theology of what is now called the Reformed faith, and that of the Arminian–though few of them would think so. I’m reminded again of the Edwards quote cited before the opening of the justification topic.

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