Two weeks ago I returned to my old University in England to visit some of my friends who are still in attendance and to speak at the Christian Union I attended whilst I was there. It was great to receive this invite, and a real privilege to be able to spend a lot of time in God’s word in preparing my talk. The title of the Talk/Preach given me was “Seeing Christ Clearly” and it was a 20 minute exposition of Mark Chapter 8. An issue that came out in the talk was the doctrine of election and the sovereignty of God. In Mark Chapter 8 Peter confesses Christ as being Lord, however in the parallel account in Matthew we see that Peter only sees this because God has opened his eyes to it. Jesus says “Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
University CU’s are made up of Christians from differing backgrounds. Some are from Reformed Evangelical churches, some are from Arminian Free Churches and some are from downright zany and strange churches. Thus, this means that many have been brought up with good teaching and others, sadly, with bad. Needless to say after I spoke some of the students were inquisitive in seeking to understand this doctrine. Some found it difficult to understand why God would let anyone be born if he was just going to send them to hell. An apt question to ask would you not agree? I thus decided it would be a good idea to gather some resources regarding this doctrine. Thankfully my task has been made much easier by the old faithful over at Monergism.com. This month they are doing a focus on then Doctrine of Election. The wealth of material on this website is astounding and every believer should have it on their favourites list. Most of the information below is from Monergism, simply because it is the best material on the issue. Please do take the time to read some these articles as they will, God-willing, give you a better understanding of Scripture and of our God who is Sovereign in all things- even Salvation.
Union with Christ begins with God’s pretemporal decision to save his people in and through Jesus Christ. This union, further, is based on the redemptive work for his people which Christ did in history. Finally, this union is actually established with God’s people after they have been born, continues throughout their lives, and has as its goal their eternal glorification in the life to come. We go on, then, to see union with Christ as having its roots in divine election, its basis in the redemptive work of Christ, and its actual establishment with God’s people in time.
– Anthony Hoekema
“God elected believers; but He chose them that they might be so, not because they were already so…Neither are we called because we believed, but that we may believe; and by that calling which is without repentance it is effected and carried through that we should believe.”
– Augustine Treatise On The Predestination of the Saints Chap. 38
” …the conversion of a sinner being not owing to a man’s self determination, but to God’s determination, and eternal election, which is absolute, and depending on the sovereign Will of God, and not on the free will of man; as is evident from what has been said : and it being very evident from the Scriptures, that the eternal election of saints to the faith and holiness, is also an election of them to eternal salvation; hence their appointment to salvation must also be absolute, and not depending on their contingent, self-determining Will.”
– JONATHAN EDWARDS
Unconditional Election by Brian Schwertley
What is Election? by Dr. Sam Storms
Election – God Chooses His Own by J.I. Packer
Are There Two Wills in God? by John Piper
Misunderstandings of the Doctrine of Election by Wayne Grudem
Election by Charles Spurgeon
Unconditional Election by Loraine Boettner
The Doctrine of Election by A.W. Pink
God’s Sovereignty in the Salvation of Men by Jonathan Edwards – The sovereignty of God is His absolute, independent right of disposing of all creatures according to His own pleasure.
Election by J.C. Ryle
The Doctrine of Election by John Calvin
Corporate and Individual Election in Romans 9: A Response to Brian Abasciano ((.pdf) by Thomas R. Schreiner
Election: Individual vs. Corporate by Monergism.com
John MacArthur Answers Key Questions About Election (mp3) by Voice of the Sheep
Unconditional Election by Dr. Arturo Azurdia III
What is the doctrine of Election? (MP3) by Dr. Tim Keller
“Scripture is the school of the Holy Spirit, in which, as nothing is omitted that is both necessary and useful to know, so nothing is taught but what is expedient to know. Therefore we must guard against depriving believers of anything disclosed about predestination in Scripture, lest we seem either wickedly to defraud them of the blessing of their God or to accuse and scoff at the Holy Spirit for having published what it is in any way profitable to suppress; Whoever, then, heaps odium upon the doctrine of predestination openly reproaches God, as if he had unadvisedly let slip something hurtful to the church”
John Calvin (III, XXI, 3-4, pp. 924, 926).