V. God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
Taken from the Baptist Faith & Message of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:12-13 [KJV]
Scripture is very clear that God chooses his special people and that he has a standard of living that his chosen are to uphold. Israel was chosen by God to be His people, an avenue by which God’s grace would be revealed to all of his creation. The Messiah was born among God’s chosen people and made a way for all people, to become God’s chosen, his elect. The penalty for sin was atoned for through Christ’s blood thus making all who believe and repent, part of God’s family, his chosen, his elect [Genesis 12:1-3, Romans 9:1-20]
It is by God’s grace that all mankind are welcomed as his special people. He chooses, by his mercy, to offer grace, resulting in forgiveness. It is by grace that God welcomes the repentant soul. We repent. he forgives. Likewise, he punishes when others rebel. God’s grace is fair. God’s grace is abundant. When a Christian is bought with the blood of Christ, he or she responds to this gift of grace with gratitude, humility and obedience. The apostle Paul sums up the Christian’s response to God’s grace well, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” [Romans 6:1]. The recipient of grace is one who turns from sin and embraces the forgiver.
The church consists of those who experience God’s grace. All who come to Christ are called by the Holy Spirit to do so. No one comes on his or her own power. We are convicted, drawn, called to repent and made new persons in Christ. It is the called of God who respond by calling on the name of Jesus. The result is then the church, or those called together to be the church. The biblical word translated church literally means “the assembly.” Only those gathered in the name of Jesus are those first called to repent and submit to his lordship. This common trait is what makes us the church, God’s elect, his chosen.
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,…” [1 Corinthians 1:2-4]
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [1 Peter 1:1-5]
Please join with me in prayer for clear, biblical understanding and teaching on what is the church. Please join us on Sunday mornings as we grow stronger in our commitment to each other through the grace of God granted through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In HIS Grip
Pastor Bryant Owens