Thoughts on the Way Home

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clarifying Election

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Diagram on the doctrine of Election

*mainly from Romans chapters 8-11

(click on the diagram for full-size)

After a discussion with some brothers the other day I thought it would be helpful to make a diagram of the workings of God in election and what follows. There is often much misunderstanding. The diagram shows both the elect and non-elect at each logically sequential stage in the plan of God.

Hopefully the diagram and the following few key points will be helpful to you if you’re trying to keep this straight in your mind.

Key points:

- Election is a positive term in the NT. It refers to God’s foreknowing a person, that is making his choice about them and setting his love on them (Rom.8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2, 1:20; Deut. 7:6-8; 1 Thess. 1:4).

- The non-elect are not condemned at the point of election, they are simply passed over by God’s special love of election. Their condemnation is only marked out at the point of predestination with their sins being now in view (Rom. 9:15).

- “Double Predestination” is an unhelpful term. God is equally sovereign in both the destinies of the elect and the non-elect, but they are on different grounds. Predestination for the elect is on the ground and basis of grace and mercy. Predestination for the rest is on the ground and basis of sin and justice (Rom. 9:22-23).

- Election vs. Predestination: Election has to do with people. Predestination has to do with their destinies. As one has said, “Election marks out a man for a destiny. Predestination marks out a destiny for a man.”