I’m studying in Romans 8 right now. I have read Romans numerous times but every time I feel like I knew nothing of it when I go back through it. I am currently at verse 33 which says “who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.”
Elect. That word can create quite a division. As a reformed person it means more to me than I can express. Whether you agree fully on what it means, for yourself, you can at least admit that it’s an unbelievable thing. The word Elect means literally to select or make a choice, to choose out, chosen. The idea is that it’s the ones who have been chosen for one’s self, selected out of a larger number. Let’s stop there before we go any further. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around that statement initially. I was chosen by God. Why would God choose me? That’s something I’ve asked myself so many times over the years. I can hardly fathom that the God of the universe who is perfect and holy and completely righteous would choose me, knowing my failings and my rebellion and disobedience even after I would accept His invitation by His grace.
Webster’s defines elect as “to pick out; to select from among two or more, that which is preferred.” In theology, it is to designate or choose or select as an object of divine mercy or favor. When I read that I thought, “well I understand then.” One of the reasons He chose me was because He was able to display His divine mercy in His choosing of me. I was a mess before He saved me and in so many sins that I’m ashamed to admit,even now . Even though I have been made a new creation, a new person-I hate the thoughts of the sins I committed against my Father. All sins deserve death, one sin deserves death, but mine piled up and absolutely deserved divine wrath. I know many sins were because of the hurts and wounds I incurred throughout my life. I was searching for something to fill me, to be loved and wanted and accepted. Some sins were simply out of the wicked pride that looms steadily in my heart. Others were out of ignorance and yet some were out of straight rebellion to God’s holiness. And all of that, that person is the person He chose. I could never repay God for what He has done for me. None of us can.
Chosen has the accessory idea of kindness, favor and love, the equivalent to being cherished and beloved. It’s those chosen of God for salvation or as members of the kingdom of heaven, and who therefore enjoy His favor, and lead a holy life in communion with Him. They are called saints; Christians. What love does He have that He would cherish me-us? Someone wrote that Election is God’s eternal choice of persons unto everlasting life-not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ.” We have been chosen in Him/ in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
Spurgeon said regarding election that “there seems to be an inveterate prejudice in the human mind against this doctrine of election and although most other doctrines will be received by professing Christians, some with caution, others with pleasure, yet this one seems to be most frequently disregarded and discarded.” Why, why would we ever disregard one of the most precious doctrines in the whole bible? In the rudiments, election means simply the act of choice whereby God in love picks and individual or group out of a larger company for a purpose or destiny of His own appointment.
Now saying all of that, here is the beauty of that verse perfectly said by Spurgeon. “Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against His people. He sees no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel. They are justified in Christ forever. When the guilt of sin was taken away, the punishment of sins as removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand-nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father, but God the judge has nothing to say to the Christian except, “I have absolved thee; thou art aquitted.” For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare, but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that your sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, “nailing it to His cross.” Go now and mortify it, and the Lord help you to live to His praise. For sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear is gone.”
Wow, I don’t know if anyone else needs to hear this today, but I know I do. I needed to be reminded what election means for me today. It means I’m loved, chosen when He seen ahead at all the bad things i would do..and still He set His love on me and chose ME! It means my punishment of sin was removed. It means I’m justified and never stand condemned again. It means He is never going to look away from me again or close His ears to me as His enemy. It means that I can come to Him and He hears me and will answer me. It means that the sins i struggle with, though I will always fight them, no longer have power over me. They don’t condemn me and they aren’t my master anymore. And it means that even when I still stupidly choose sin and then come back to God in repentance with cries for help and mess up again and feel this cycle of struggle in sin- He helps me, He forgives me and He isn’t pouring anger out on me.
Believers, your sins are forgiven, you are His elect. I pray that you have some peace today in this. And in transparency, please pray for me in this area and in learning who I am in Christ. I realize I’ve struggled with that and want to know more and grow in that in Him. Thank ya’ll.
Until next time Deo Valente