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God’s Secret Work of Election

December 3, 2015

If God had waited for me to seek after him, he would still be waiting. No one seeks God (Romans 3:11). No one! Not even you. By nature we run from God. If we seek him, it is only because he has taken the initiative to seek us. I came to Christ because his grace first came to me.

Abraham was not seeking God. He was an idolater (Joshua 24:2). God swept into Abraham’s life uninvited and promised, not only to bless him, but to bless people from every nation on earth through him (Genesis 12:3).

God always makes the first move, and he planned your salvation long before you were born. God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:3-5).

Think about this: You were on God’s horizon before the creation of the world. Before creating the moon and stars, God had you in mind and, in his unfathomable love, he decided to redeem you in Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that God exercised his free will in deciding to save me. I hope you are, too.

Some people are nervous of this doctrine and wonder how anyone could know if they are elect. The answer comes in a simple question. Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust him as your Savior? Then you can be sure he has predestined you. Behind your believing in Christ lies God’s secret work of opening your heart and mind. Your faith and your repentance are the fruits of his beautiful work of grace in your soul. Use this mystery to deepen your gratitude and your worship today.

Some folks worry that believing in election might hinder prayer and evangelism. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Think of someone you know who is deeply resistant to the gospel. They are not seeking after God and have no interest in spiritual things. What hope can you have for their salvation?

If God waited for them to move towards him, you would have no hope at all. But if it is really true that God is free to swoop into a person’s life uninvited, then you can ask him to do this in the life of your unbelieving friend or loved one. Tell the Lord that he does not need to be invited into human lives. Ask him to send his Spirit and save. Then share the gospel with confidence. God saves through the gospel!

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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