News media are filled with reports concerning Tuesday’s Presidential Election in the U.S. According to recent polls, the front runners — Obama and Romney – are in a very tight race. Because of the disparity of the platforms of these candidates that will direct the future of this country, many are calling this “a monumental election.” Yet, there is an even more important “election” that is revealed in God’s Word…
The Apostle Paul opened his letter to Christians in Ephesus with these words:
“3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” — Ephesians 1:3-6
Some use this passage to teach that before God created the world, He arbitrarily decreed that certain individuals would be lost and others would be saved apart from any choice that the individual might make. This doctrine suggests that God has already decided if YOU are going to be saved or lost, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Proponents of this idea advocate that the “election” is complete, and if you weren’t “picked,” then you have (or are) lost and are doomed to destruction.
Is that what the Bible teaches? Is the “election” over? The key phrase of the passage above is “in Him,” which means, “in Christ.” “In Christ” is where every spiritual blessing is found (v. 3). “In Him” are found those who have been adopted by God (v. 5). “In the Beloved” is where those whom God has saved were made acceptable to God (v. 6). Also observe the next verse: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
It is our sins that condemn us. But God loves us so much that He gave His Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24), so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. He devised this PLAN to redeem sinful man through Christ before He even created the world (1 Peter 1:18-20). It was not the case that God chose certain individuals to be either saved or lost; rather, the Lord foreordained that those who are “in Christ” would be saved.
How does one “get into” Christ? “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” – Galatians 3:26-27
We are placed “in Christ” when we respond to the call of the Gospel (“Good News” of Christ by placing our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31) confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27).
Wayne Jackson has written: “To say the same thing in another way, before the world’s foundation, God elected to save those who would be obedient to His Son.” *
Won’t YOU trust and obey Jesus so that Christ can give you the victory of being a part of God’s elect?
—David A. Sargent, church of Christ at Creekwood