God's Grace of Election


Manage episode 337853293 series 3038820
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Audio Transcript:
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Heavenly father, we thank you that you, the great God of the universe, you chose to love particular people. Before the foundation of the world, you pre-destined, you elected people to salvation. And today, we gather to give you praise for that. Give us a deeper understanding of what it means that we're saved by grace, that it is not of works, that ultimately the reason why we're saved is because you saved us. Ultimately, that decision is yours. And yet your word tells us to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, so we do that today, Lord.
We repent of our sin of idolatry, of self-reliance, of selfishness, of thinking that we are sovereign, which we are not. We give all glory to you, not to us, Lord. To you, to your name be all the praise. Bless our time in the holy scriptures. Take this text, Lord, and apply it to our souls as balm.What does it mean that God chose to love me? What does it mean that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ? Expand our understanding of your grace and of your love and of your mercy. We pray all this in Christ's holy name, amen.
We're going to continue our sermon series through the incredible book of Romans. And we find ourselves in Romans chapter nine. Today we're in Romans 9:6-13. The title of the sermon is God's Grace of Election. And the election that we are talking about has nothing to do with you voting. In this election, you don't get a vote. There's only one voter. That's God. God chooses. God predestines. God calls. God decides. God judges. God gives mercy. And mercy by definition is not something that we deserve. God gives mercy to whomever he wants. God saves whomever he wants to save. He adopts whoever he wants to adopt into his family.
God is sovereign in relation to the election of certain individuals unto salvation and others unto damnation. This is Paul's answer to the question, "Paul, why aren't more Jewish people saved? The Messiah was Jewish. He came to the Jewish people?" And as John 1 says, "He came to his own and his own received him not." "Paul, why aren't more people saved?"
And Paul's response, and we started this in the beginning of chapter nine last week, his response says, "I love the lost. I love those who are not yet Christians. I would give up my salvation," he says, "for my kinsman. If I could go to hell so that they could be saved for all of eternity," Paul says, "I would do it, but that's impossible." And the short answer to the question, "Why aren't more people saved," Paul says, "God chooses some, and he rejects others." Praise be to the name of our Lord.
That's where we find ourselves, Romans 9:6-13. Would you look at the text with me? "But it is not as though the word of God has failed, for not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel. And not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring. But through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: 'About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.'.
"And not only so, but also when Rebekah 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 him who calls, she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.' As it is written, 'Jacob, I loved, but Esau, I hated.'" This is the reading of God's holy, inerrant, infallible, authoritative word, and may he write these eternal truths upon our hearts.
Three points we'll look at. First, children of God. Second, not because of works. And three, because of him who calls. First point, children of God. In Romans 8:28-30, Paul made the point that human salvation begins and ends with God. He says in verse 28 of Romans 8: "And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined, he also called. And those whom he called, he also justified. And those whom he justified, he also glorified."
So if God is sovereign over human salvation, why has Israel's role in redemptive history taken such a surprising turn? Why do many of them find themselves accursed? They're under the curse. They have rejected the Messiah. This is what Paul is wrestling with. How is it that Israel, the heir to all the blessings, as we mentioned in the text before, the blessings of the covenants and the prophets and the patriarchs, they had the scriptures, they had the whole tabernacle system ... They had everything, and yet they were blinded.
Paul's answer to these questions hinges upon an important distinction he makes between two groups within Israel. He says there's the true Israel and the national Israel. The true is the invisible Israel, and then there's the physical, the national Israel. And he says in verse six, "But it is not as though the word of God has failed, for not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel." What he's saying is God, his word, has not failed. His promises have not failed even though the broader group, the physical, national Israel is under God's curse. But the narrow group, the remnant, the spiritual true believers receive the promise exactly as God had given it. The true Israel, the elect, those who are ultimately saved, those who are in the family of God, that's the church.
Galatians 6:16, Paul says this: "As for all who walk by this rule," he's talking about those who are Christians, those who are in the church, "peace and mercy be upon them and upon the Israel of God." For Paul, the Israel of God, ultimately it's the people of God. It's those who are in heaven, those who will be saved. And what he's saying is not all Jews by birth belong to the Israel of God, just like if you are born in a Christian family, that does not mean that you are necessarily a Christian. That's what he's saying. Following Augustine, we distinguish between the visible church and the invisible church. That's the point of this distinction he's making.
Being a member of a church does not necessarily mean that you're a Christian. And of course, this is perfectly obvious in our day and age, and also in all of church history. The sad fact is that many consider themselves to be Christians because they belong to the visible church, but they weren't part of the invisible church. They didn't believe with their hearts. What he's saying is salvation isn't passed on biologically or ethnically. No. Salvation is given by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
We take membership seriously at Mosaic. You can't be a member of this church unless you are a regenerated believer. We ask for your testimony, and we ask that you are a member of a community group. Why do we do these things? It's because we want to make sure that your profession of faith is true. We want to confirm, but we can't read hearts. We can only listen to what a person says. Is it a true profession of faith? Well, we'll see. We're not sure. We'll look at the fruit. We'll look at the track record of your life. We can't read people's hearts. That's what Paul was saying; being physically part of Israel, being physically part of a church, being physically part of a Christian community does not necessarily make a person saved.
In verse seven, he continues: "Not all are children of Abraham because they are offspring." It's not the physical connection. "But through Isaac shall your offspring be named." Individual Jews are members of true Israel only if they believe the promise, the promise that God gave. It's not about circumcision. It's not about keeping the dietary laws or their feast days. It's not about any external righteousness. It's do you believe that the promise that was given from the Lord? Although both Isaac and Ishmael were Abraham's natural sons, the promise was only given to Isaac. God made a promise that, "Isaac is mine. Isaac is the son of the promise." He does not make the same promise for Ishmael.
A lot of people fall into this trap. The Pharisees of Jesus' day fell into the trap. They said, "Hey, Abraham is our father. What are you talking about? Of course, we are part of the family of God. We're Jewish people. What are you talking about?" Jesus said that that does not automatically guarantee entrance of the kingdom of God. Not every Jew is a child of the promise. And look into the Old Testament, Paul says that belonging to the seed of Abraham physically does not guarantee entry into the kingdom of God. Ishmael was Abraham's son. Ishmael was also circumcised. Ishmael was not given the promise from God. And Paul reminds his readers that in Isaac, the seed was called. That is, the children of the flesh are not children of God. That's not what makes you a child of God.
In verse eight, "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." It has nothing to do with flesh. It only has to do with the promise of God. God is the one who gives the promise. The children of the promise, and this is God's children, are those that God has chosen to make righteous. God has chosen to give them faith. God has chosen to give them the adoption according to his word.
Verse nine, "For this is what the promise said: 'About this time next year I will return and Sarah will have a son.'" Isaac is chosen, Ishmael is not. He continues, and he moves from Isaac and Ishmael to Jacob and Esau. In verse 10, "Not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works, but because of him who calls, she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.' As it is written, 'Jacob, I loved, but Esau, I hated.'"
That God chose one, Jacob, over another, Esau, though the two boys were twins ... they had the same parents, the same mom and dad, the same everything, they had the same birthday. Before they were even born, God chose one and rejected another. This refutes the idea that the promise is extended to people through a bloodline. It doesn't come through a bloodline. The reason why God chose Jacob over Esau was because of his purpose, not because of something either of them had done.
What about Jacob's behavior, according to the biblical account? He was a schemer, but he kind of believed in God, right? So wasn't it God just seeing that Jacob would be more righteous, more inclined to obey God, softer to the things of God? Isn't that why God chose Jacob, because he saw that Jacob would be a better person? Well, this is the most popular way of trying to escape the teaching of Romans 9. And the teaching of Romans 9 is very clear. Intellectually, it's very easy to understand, but there's something inside of us that pushes back on this.
And throughout church history, one of the ways that people have tried to escape this teaching is the doctrine of prescience, that God, before the foundation of the world, he looked into the corners of time and he saw what everyone would do, either good or bad, and that God's election is somehow rooted in his prescience, his prior awareness of what people would do if given the gospel.
Well, first of all, that idea isn't biblical. That's something that people add to the Bible because they're not happy with the clear teaching of the Bible. No, the apostle doesn't guide us to looking at Jacob's life or looking at Esau's life. No, he guides us to something else. He looks at two unborn children, Jacob and Esau. They were not only brothers, they were twins. They had the same environmental background, the same mother, the same father, same birthday. Paul reminds them that before they did a thing, God already chose to pour out his love on one of them and not on another.
Paul reminds the reader that God's decree that the elder should serve the younger, that decree was made before they were born. And it's manifestly obvious that if these two boys were the subjects of divine election, then their election had been settled before they were born. That's all Paul says. He just says that God chooses his children. God gets to decide whom he adopts. Praise be to God. He says it, it's true, and he gives praise for that. And then just to ... And I know the tension. I feel the tension. I've been wrestling with this text all week. There's a reason why the newsletter came out so late, because I didn't have my three points until like 8:37 PM last night.
You're hearing this for the first time. I've been wrestling with this all week. And my wife's like, she asked me, she's like, "Why is the sermon ... why are you so slow?"
I'm just like, "I got to stop because it's so heavy." And it's either you get angry at God or you worship him. It's one or the other. It's kind of like preaching any other text of the Bible, you either take it, you love it, praise be to God, or you get angry. I'm just the messenger. Don't get mad at me. Not because of works; it's only going to get worse. That's what he says. Not even just before the foundation of the world.
Let me just explain to you what scripture means when he says we're not saved by works. You're not saved because of the good things you do. You're saved because of the good things Jesus did. Before any works, before you even existed, God had already made a decision. It's not because of works. This is 11: "Though they were not yet born, they had done nothing either good or bad in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works, but because of him who calls, she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.'"
The Jewish custom held that the elder received the inheritance. He received the blessing. This wasn't the case with Jacob and Esau. God turned it upside down and declared that the elder will serve the younger. And he quotes Malachi 1:2-3 to explain why did Jacob get the blessing and Esau didn't? It's just because God chose one or the other. Esau didn't receive these things because scripture said he didn't receive these things because God chose not to give him the blessing of the covenant. The reason lies in God's mysterious purpose and election, not because of something good or bad that God foresees. It's unconditional. God chooses people to salvation. It's unconditional. This is grace. It's God's free grace that he freely gives. God decides whom to love.
God doesn't owe his love to anybody. "Jacob I loved." That's it. "Not because of works." And the issue that Paul is raising, the election that he's describing in chapter nine, is explicitly the election to salvation. And I grew up in a church, first of all, that would never touch texts like this. The reason why is because they didn't want to create disunity in the church. So no one had any idea about Romans 9. I wonder if this is a church that you grew up in, Roman's 9, just no one ever touched it? Well, the reason why no one ever touches it is because the teaching is really clear, and people don't like it, but the context is salvation. It's not election to service. It's salvation. He was talking about it in Romans 8, that God predestines, that God calls, that he justifies particular people, that he chooses people to take to heaven.
He begins chapter nine talking about the same personal salvation. He's talking about his countrymen and kinsman cut off from Christ. He's talking about personal salvation, and the very fate that the elect can't experience, because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Later on, he's going to talk about those who receive God's mercy and those who are hardened in their unbelief, those who are prepared for glory, and those who are prepared for destruction, vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.
Paul's talking about God's saving grace on the one hand and God's judgment on the other. He's talking about particular people that will face one destiny and others that will face a completely other, either heaven or hell. And ultimately, it's God's grace that decides. God's grace is discriminating. There are some who are in and some who are out, and God is the one that makes the decision. Ishmael was Abraham's son. He was part of Abraham's family. He was circumcised, as we read in Genesis 17, but he was not a son of the promise. Among Abraham's own children, one was appointed to eternal life and the other was not.
Now, why is election even given to us in holy scripture? And it has to be given to us for a very good reason because all the scripture is God-breathed and profitable. Election is always given to us as a very practical matter in holy scripture, because it answers the hardest question that there is to answer when it comes to salvation. The question that it answers is, why does one person get saved and another doesn't? Why do you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and some people have their hearts melted, they see Christ dying on the cross for their sins, they believe in Christ as the only way, the salvation, they repent of their sin and they trust in Jesus Christ. Why? What makes the difference? What takes an inveterate, despicable, hardened sinner like each one of us, who was in bondage to sin and rebellion, what in the world could make somebody a Christian?
And the question election answers is not why Esau refused to follow God. Every thoughtful Christian already knows the answer to that question. Esau was a sinner. He was blind, deaf, dumb and paralyzed in his sin. The question is, why did Jacob believe? Jacob, was he less of a sinner than his brother Esau? No, he was a schemer. He was just sneakier than his brother. He was a sinner as much as his brother was. The difference between Jacob and Esau and their destinies lies in God, not in these two men.
The biblical history makes a point of this, and points to the fact that it's God, it's election. Election is the explanation of why a person gets saved. It's the salvation of a sinner that God predestines. And the source of salvation from guilt and power of sin isn't found in the sinner. It's found in the mercy of God. And God doesn't owe his mercy to anybody. The fact that he gives his mercy to anyone is a miracle that should be shocking.
What does Paul mean when he speaks of God loving Jacob and hating Esau? Well, God's love here isn't a matter of emotion. That's what we think when he think love and hate. We think emotion. No, God here is talking about the covenant, that he pours out his love, his covenant blessings on one, "I'm making covenant with you," and does not do with the other. So by hating means he doesn't give him the blessing, he rejects giving this person the blessing. Thus, we should read the language of love and hate in terms of the covenant of blessings and curses, not in terms of emotion and passion.
So, that's the question. And I think a lot of people struggle with election and the teaching of election because we don't have a clear understanding of human nature apart from God. We read election through the lens of egalitarian democracy: "Well, what do you mean? I don't get a vote? What do you mean that God doesn't offer the same amount of grace to ... What does it mean that God discriminates?" Well, Paul is speaking of election not in the lens of egalitarian democracy. He looks at it from the terms of our sin, our depravity, that we are dead in our sins and trespasses.
The fact is that neither Jacob or Esau deserved anything but judgment from God. It's an act of sheer mercy that God chooses one at all. It was an act of mercy that God loves Jacob, who from the biblical record, was a schemer and deceiver. He was a sinner, and God chose to pour out his love on him. Why? And this is the answer, and this is point three, because of him who calls. Verse 11, "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 him who calls." That's the answer. God acts according to his sovereign purpose. He doesn't act arbitrarily. That's what a lot of people say: "Well, if you choose one and not the other, it's kind of arbitrary." Nothing's arbitrary. With God, nothing is arbitrary. While the details of God's purpose often remain a mystery, this doesn't negate the obvious, that God is sovereign and acts in accordance with his immutable nature and decree. That's the answer; in order that God's electing purpose might continue because of him who calls.
II Timothy 1:9 is a parallel passage, "Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began." When? "Before the ages began." That's when he decides. God governs all things and he does not base his governance, ultimately, on any decision that we make. He works all things according to the counsel of his will. We're not finally decisive in making ourselves Christians. Why am I a Christian? Because I chose to believe in Jesus Christ, because I chose to repent, because I chose to go to church, because I chose to read holy scripture. No, the only reason I am a Christian, the only reason I am a child of God, is because God, before the foundation of the world, decided to make me a Christian. It's unconditional.
Faith is the condition of justification. To be justified, meaning you're not guilty, all of your sin is forgiven ... the precondition for justification is faith. Okay? Where do we get that faith? Do we create faith in ourselves? No. Faith is a gift given by God to people whom he elects. Election is unconditional. Justification is is conditional, but election is unconditional. And before we can be justified, we must believe on Jesus Christ. But before we believe on Jesus Christ, we must be given the gift of faith. God does not choose us because we will believe. He chooses us so that we will believe.
And this is all given to us, dear Christian ... This is a message for the Christians. Christian, do you thank God for your election? If you are a believer, if you trust in Jesus Christ, if you are a saint, if you are in the family of God, every single day, you should wake up with a huge smile on your face. And you say, "You know what? I'm elect. God chose me before the foundation." My wife was like, "Why are you so happy tonight?" She's like, "You're working late."
I was like, "I'm chosen. Before the foundation of the world, God shows me to salvation. Praise be to God." So we are to worship him. This should propel our worship to the Lord. Our worship should be filled with this heart that's pulsating with thanksgiving to God. There's a text and scripture where disciples come back and they're like, "Jesus, you gave us power over the demons. That's awesome." They're just walking around casting out demons and doing constant miracles, and they're pumped. And Jesus says, "Hey, hey, hey. Do not rejoice that demons obey your voice. Rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven." Well, when were they written in heaven? Before the foundation of the world.
Now, in terms of ministry, in terms of what we do with ministry at Mosaic, we do exactly what Jesus did. Did Jesus know who was elect? Yeah. Did he know, like Judas, "You're going to betray" Yeah. Jesus could have just preached the gospel to only elect, just walk around and be like, "All right, I'm going to give you the gospel, give you the gospel, give you the gospel, and not waste my time with any of you people." He didn't do any of that. He preached the gospel to everybody. So we do the same thing. We preach the gospel to everybody. We call everybody to repentance.
And by the way, I just believe that if you hear me preaching the gospel, I just believe that you're elect. If you're in this room, I just believe you're elect. I'm letting you borrow my faith. I believe you're elect. Now, what do I want you to do with that? I want you to repent of your sin and trust in Jesus Christ. And then you're like, "Well, am I doing the election?" Kind of, but no. You're kind of casting a vote for the Lord. But then we tell you, after you become a Christian, you couldn't have even casted a vote if it wasn't Jesus calling you before the foundation of the world. So give all the glory to God for your salvation.
So if you're not a Christian and you're like, "You know what? I don't like any of this election talk. What does it mean that God chooses some and doesn't choose others," I just want to say, there's nothing better than being a child of God. You should become a child of God. How do you become a child of God? You repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. And then once you do, we tell you, it wasn't you. It was before the foundation of the world that God chose you to salvation. So give God all glory for repentance.
Hebrews 12:15-17, commenting on Esau, "See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defile; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau who sold his birthright for a single meal, for you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears." The takeaway from this text is today, today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of your repentance. Do not delay, do not reject this message because God might not be prompting you ever again in the same way that he's prompting you today. He's drawing you to himself.
I want to close it with John 3:16-21, and then after, I'm going to close with Ephesians 1. But John 3:16, this is the famous one. A lot of people go to this text, they're like, "What do you mean that God chooses some people to salvation and does not choose others? Doesn't God love the whole world?" Yes he does. But I want to give you John 3:16 in context. The context is Jesus is having conversation with Nicodemus, who is a religious ... he's a scholar. He knows the text. And he comes to Jesus and he says, "How can one enter the kingdom of God?"
And Jesus says, "No one enters the kingdom of God unless they are born again."
And Nicodemus says, "What do you mean 'born again'? How can I enter my mother's womb a second time?" He's like, "This is crazy. What are you talking about?"
And Jesus says to the question, "How can I be born again," you know what Jesus says? "The spirit blows where he wishes." How can one be born again? The holy spirit is the one that converts, that regenerates, that gives the gift of faith. It's the holy spirit. He ultimately decides, but we are supposed to exercise our faith. And once we do exercise the faith, we give God the glory for giving us the gift of faith.
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life, for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only son of God. And this is the judgment. The light has come into the world. And people love the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his work should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."
In conclusion, as I was typing out the word conclusion last night, my leather seat, the one I work at ... It's not real leather. It's fake leather. I got it on Craigslist. It started lowering. I don't know why, but you know me. When I start preaching, weird things happen with technology, even with my chair. I just start lowering. And I'm typing, I'm typing, I'm typing. By the end, I felt like Melana, my five-year-old, as she's typing her favorite cartoon in YouTube, where her arms are up here. That's what I felt. And I was like, "You know what? That's got to be God. Preaching on the sovereignty of God. I think it's God." God was showing me he must increase, I must decrease. And nothing humbles like understanding the fullness of God's grace: "Wow. That's what you mean, that God saves me? This is what you mean, talking about grace, that God chose me?"
I remember understanding this for the first time when I was 22. I heard a sermon on election. I was always antagonistic about it because I'm like, "No, those are angry Calvinists." It has nothing to do with anger. This is one of the sweetest messages ever, that God chose to love me. Election, in the final analysis ... And this is why I think it's so important to teach election in a place like Boston, because what election does, it takes a massive anvil to your inflated ego. It takes your pride and absolutely obliterates it, because in the final analysis, this truth is a dagger to our pride. It leaves us utterly dependent upon God, utterly undeserving of our salvation.
The reason Paul's teaching about election is difficult to understand, it's not intellectual. It's hard for us to grasp how sovereign God is. He's sovereign. We're not. He's God, we're not. This offends us greatly. And you know what? Good, good. I'm glad it offends. I wanted it to offend me. God, smack me across my pride with the baseball bat of election on a daily basis. Praise be to God. We need it. God is the only one with free will. Our will is enslaved to sin. And God chooses to save a wretched sinner like me. He's not under obligation to save me. He's not under obligation to give me mercy.
And of course the response is, "Well, is this fair? Is God just in doing this?" And Paul's answer is, and this is later on in text, Paul's answer ... The Bible's so savage. Paul's answer is, "Shut up." That's his answer. Just keep going. In Romans 9 he says, "Shut your proud mouth. You are a nobody. Who are you to speak back to God? God should obliterate you on the spot for even asking the question." And they're like, "That doesn't feel good." And you're like, "Good. Finally."
Now, here's some good news. The good news is if you trust in Jesus Christ today, all of your sins are forgiven. You're given mercy and grace, and you're ushered into the kingdom of God. You are saved by grace through faith. God gives you mercy. Just ask for it. Upon understanding election properly, we find that not only should we be teaching it, but it's one of the sweetest parts of the gospel, that if it were not for God deciding to save me, me, sinner, helpless, stubborn, well, I wouldn't be saved. But in his infinite grace, he saves me. And nothing that I will ever do, past, present or future, can ever separate me from the love of God.
We do not choose him, not ultimately. He chose us. Every Christian knows this. Every Christian, no matter how much you fight this doctrine, deep down inside, if asked the question, "Why are you a Christian," the response is, "God saved me. God saved me." And this is why we proclaim the gospel in a place like Boston, Massachusetts. I moved here with my family in 2009 with a dream to start a church. The only reason why we moved to pagan Boston ... pagan. We are statistically less Christian than Saudi Arabia; Boston, Massachusetts. Why do I come here? Because scripture teaches election. I'm like, "You know what? If you preach the gospel, God's going to draw his elect." And we've just been doing that, and God's been drawing his elect, and it's tremendous. And we pray for more people get saved and for God to draw more of his elect to the church.
Paul isn't asking us to confess anything that our hearts aren't fully aware of, that salvation from beginning to end and plan and execution is all of the Lord. Praise be to God. God's purpose to bring about the praise of the glory of his grace. All election, all predestination, all calling, all redemption is according to his purpose for the praise of the glory of his grace. God is the most glorious being that there is. Everything that God does, he does to maximize his glory.
One of the reasons I love the doctrine of election is no human being would ever invent it. It's too painful to our pride. You know who would invent it? God, because God does everything he does to maximize his glory. And for all of eternity, we're going to be in heaven giving God praise for the fact that he let us be there, that God chose us to go to heaven.
John Piper says, "God elects, predestines, calls, redeems, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies to this end and for this purpose, to be seen and savored and sung as infinitely glorious in his free and sovereign grace." I'll close with Ephesians 1:3-14, and I want you to see the emphasis that everything God does in the salvation process is for the praise of his glory. We'll read the text, and then let's praise God with everything we got.
Ephesians 1:3-14: "Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us and the beloved. In him, we have redemption through his blood and forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
"In him, we've obtained in the inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." Let us pray.
Lord God, we give you glory. We give you honor. Power and dominion are already yours. God, we thank you for this great news of salvation. We thank you that you, God, that you save. We thank you, God, that you have chosen to save us. And I pray if there's anyone who's not yet a Christian, save them today, miraculously. Make them yours. Draw them to yourself. And make us a people, as we glorify you, that preach the gospel unabashedly to anyone and everybody. And as people are drawn to you, as people are regenerated, we give you all the glory. You are the one that saves. Lord, we thank you for your mercy and we thank you for your inscrutable and unsearchable grace. And we pray, holy spirit, stir our hearts now to give you the praise that only you deserve. And we pray all this in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit. Amen.

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