THE CAUSE OF ELECTION
GOD FOREKNOWS WHAT WILL BE BECAUSE HE HAS DECREED WHAT SHALL BE.
It is therefore a reversing of the order of Scripture, a putting of the cart before the horse, to affirm that God elects because He foreknows people. The truth is, He “foreknows” because He has elected. This removes the ground or cause of election from outside the creature, and places it in God’s own sovereign will. God purposed in Himself to elect a certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, BUT SOLELY OUT OF HIS OWN MERE PLEASURE.
As to WHY He chose the ones He did, we do not know, and can only say, “Even so, Father, for so IT SEEMED GOOD IN THY SIGHT.” The plain truth of Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Thess. 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son,” etc. God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were “conformed,” but, on the contrary, those whom He “foreknew” (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated to be conformed. Their conformity to Christ IS NOT THE CAUSE, but THE EFFECT of God’s foreknowledge and predestination.
God did not elect any sinner because He foresaw that he would believe, for the simple but sufficient reason that no sinner ever does believe until God gives him faith; just as no man sees until God gives him sight. Sight is God’s gift, seeing is the consequence of my using His gift. So faith is God’s gift (Eph. 1:8,9), believing is the CONSEQUENCE of my using His gift. If it were true that God had elected certain ones to be saved because in due time they would believe, then that would make believing a meritorious act, and in that event the saved sinner would have ground for “boasting,” which Scripture emphatically denies: Ephesians 2:9.
Surely God’s Word is plain enough in teaching that BELIEVING IS NOT A MERITORIOUS ACT. It affirms that Christians are a people “who have believed through grace” (Acts 18:27). If then, they have believed “through grace,” there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MERITORIOUS ABOUT “BELIEVING,” and if nothing meritorious, it could not be the ground or cause which moved God to choose them.
No; God’s choice proceeds not from anything IN us, or anything FROM us, but SOLELY FROM HIS OWN SOVEREIGN PLEASURE. Once more, in Romans 11:5, we read of “a remnant according to the election of grace.” There it is, plain enough; election itself is of grace, and GRACE IS UNMERITED FAVOUR something for which we had no claim upon God whatsoever. Amen!