Election 3



I like to watch March Madness.  You see a lot of teams you've never seen before in a very short time.  And a lot of times you get the idea a lot of teams play teams they've not seen much of before.

The game is going good for one side.  They are moving the ball toward the front-court well, setting up shots, sinking threes as well as working the lane.  Their offense is hitting on all cylinders.  Then, BOOM!  The other coach calls for a full-court press.  Forget about running the offense.  Forget about the guard with the hot hand.  They can't even get the ball past the half-court line.  Two impromptu time-outs and five turn-overs later the game has been decided.


God makes his election sure by employing a full-court press.  It is relentless.  And awesome.

God's Choice Shows Every Day

Let's start out with an easy one, one we don't even think about.

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3.12  

Why do we clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience?

We are God's people.

Why are we God's people?

God chose us.

What part does election play in our Christian living?

It is the motivator, the reason we live as Christians.

It takes the whole team to make a full-court press work.

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:  Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

1 Peter 1.1, 2

What part does each person of the Trinity play in our lives, according to Peter?

God the Father __chose____ us.

God the Holy Spirit __sanctifies___ us.

God the Son pays for our ___forgiveness___ through his blood, so we __obey___ him.

The Holy Spirit and Jesus leap into action because God __chose__ us.

The coach can't just tell his team to win the game”NOW!  He has to have a plan how to make it happen.  The full-court press is often the plan to change the course of the game.  What is God's goal in election?

That we live with him in heaven forever.

What is his plan to make that election a reality?

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2.13

He plans to save us through the work of the Holy Spirit and believing the truth.

But what does the Holy Spirit work through?  How do I get faith?

17 Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.

Romans 10.17

63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

John 6.63

I hear the Gospel, the words of Jesus, and believe.

5 He saved us through washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3.5-7

The Holy Spirit works through Baptism

You might recall your Catechism instruction.  What are the means of grace?  The means of grace are the means by which God gives us his grace, the Gospel in Word and Sacrament.  So God carries out his choice of you through his means of grace.

So, for the elect, they believe¦

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Acts 13.48

¦__because__ they were chosen.

Often the story of a person's conversion hinges upon many, seemingly random events.  An illness, a new friend, a forced relocation, bored, mistakenly wandering into a church!  Some Christians call it serendipity.  Other religions talk of kismet or fate.  Many call it dumb luck

What part did chance play in our becoming Christians and why?

None whatsoever, because God chose us from eternity to live with him in heaven.  To accomplish this he brought us into contact with the means of grace so we would believe.  It only looks like chance to us.  It was his plan.

Our plans can change or go awry.  But what about God's plan to accomplish his choosing of you?

19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Numbers 23.19

11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 33.11

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

John 10.28, 29

No one can oppose God's plan.  He will have his way.  His elect will get to heaven.  And they will get to heaven through the way he has ordained for them.  They will believe the Gospel and live a Christian life to the end.

So, if no one can thwart God's plans for me and his plan includes my believing in the Gospel and living my life according to it, can I thwart God by ungodly living, thinking I can do whatever I want and still be saved because I am one of the chosen?

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2.13

No.  You will live a Christian life and you will want to, because that is what you were called to.  You have been called and as a result of that the Holy Spirit is working a holy life in you.

But I could live an ungodly life and still get to heaven if I am one of the chosen, right?

10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall.

2 Peter 1.10

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed”not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence”continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Philippians 2.12, 13

No.  If you insist on living a godless life you will go to hell.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6.7, 8

So, my living a Christian life is a sign that I have been __chosen__ by God.

Does that mean if I am not living a Christian life, I am not one of the chosen?

26 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die.  27 But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life.

Ezekiel 18.26, 27

No, it means I should repent and live the Christian life.

What does God want?

40 [My Father's] will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.

John 6.40

3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified.  7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

Ephesians 4.3, 7

He wants me to believe and live a holy life.

So, instead of making me think I can live __any__ __way__ I please and still get to __heaven__, election teaches me that God __chose__ me, so  I __want__ to live a godly life that I do not walk away from __Jesus__ and end up in __hell__.

Now we're understanding election.  It has nothing to do with all those other unbelieving people out there.   It has everything to do with you!

Every aspect of our Christian life is connected to our election.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8.28-30

What part of the Christian life do these phrases of Paul refer to?

Called                 when the Gospel came into my life and the Holy Spirit gave me faith

Justified             when God declared me not guilty of sin by faith

Glorified            when I reach heaven and my sinful human nature is gone so I am perfectly holy

Election is a teaching of the Bible for our encouragement.

Explain the encouragement each of these passages give us in light of election.

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

John 10.28-29

We will not fail to get to heaven because God the Father will work his will in our lives and Jesus will not let anyone tear us away from him.

32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12.32

We are little, but it is God's power that protects us and will give us the kingdom of heaven.  It is his pleasure to do it so it does not depend on any worldly variables.

5 So too at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.  6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.  7 What then?  What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain but the elect did.

Romans 11.5-7

All the elect will obtain salvation, for it is a choosing to believe in salvation by grace.

31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24.31

28 The servants asked him, ˜Do you want us to go and pull them up?'  29 ˜No,' he answered, ˜because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  30 Let both grow together until the harvest.  At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'

Matthew 13.29-30

Every one of Jesus' believers, the elect, will be gathered on the Last Day.  God is doing everything here in time that not a one of the plants of faith may be rooted up.


Remember this quiz?  Let's see how well you do now that the class is over!

T    ⇒F    The Bible teaches that, from eternity, God chose those who would be saved and those who would be damned.

T    ⇒F    The Bible teaches that everyone who is called is chosen.


T    ⇒F    The Bible teaches that God chose those he knew would believe.


T    ⇒F    The Bible teaches that God chose those who would not resist him as much.


T    ⇒F    The Bible teaches that those God has chosen will get to heaven, no matter how terrible they live.

T    ⇒F    If I am one of those God has elected I can rest easy.  There is no way I can fall away from him, no matter how far I stray.

T    ⇒F    Election simply means God chose a plan of salvation, that people who believe in Jesus will be saved.  He did not choose individuals.

T    ⇒F    The Bible does not teach election.