(Article for publication week of 12-1-2010 AD)
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you , and peace be multiplied” (I Peter 1:2).
The doctrine of election is not an obscure doctrine in the Bible, but is found throughout the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and is a foundational truth of the gospel. God’s chosen people were known and loved by Him from all eternity. In II Timothy 2: 19 we read, “the Lord knoweth them that are His.” Again , in John 10:27 our Lord said, “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The Lord’s knowledge of His people, that is His elect, is not just a knowledge of their existence. The Lord knows about all men, but He knows His people. When the Bible says that the Lord knows His people, it means that God knows His people in the way that a man knows His wife, or in the way a father knows his children. In other words, God loves His people specially, intimately, and savingly.
God loved His people and knew them before He made the world. This is the sense of our text. God’s election of a definite number of the Adamic race unto grace and glory was according to His everlasting love for them. From before the foundation of the world , God marked out a people to be His Own. He set His affections on them from all eternity. Thus we read in Jeremiah 31:3, “yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Well has the hymn writer expressed it, “‘twas with an everlasting love, that God His Own elect embraced, before He made the worlds above, or earth on her huge columns placed” (hymn #417 Old School Hymnal #11). This is a most comforting and delightful truth for the believer to lay hold on. There never was a time when God did not love the believer! The hymn writer continues, “ believer here thy comfort stands, from first to last salvation’s free. And everlasting love demands an everlasting song from thee”!
Since God’s love for His elect had no beginning it will never have any end. God’s people are eternally secure in the hands of Him Who chose us in His Son from before the foundation of the world. He has made all the arrangements necessary to bring us to grace and glory. Our text goes on to say that God’s elect are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and sprinkled with the cleansing blood of the Son. The Triune God is bound and determined to save the objects of Divine foreknowledge and electing love. This is a little measure of what our text means. May our little column this week be a blessing to God’s elect.