Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 3, 2020

“In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace”

Today’s devotion comes from Romans 11:1-6.

“I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?  May it never be!  For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.  Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?  “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”  But what is the divine response to him?  “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”  In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”  Romans 11:1-6.

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“Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;  FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY.”  And just as Isaiah foretold,

“UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT US A POSTERITY,
WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH.”  Romans 9:27-29.

“In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.”  Verse 5.

“God’s gracious choice”, not the works nor the will of man, is the basis for whom will be saved for both groups of the Jews and Gentiles.

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  …  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-16 and 18.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 1.  As all men have sinned in Adam, lie under the curse, and are deserving of eternal death, God would have done no injustice by leaving them all to perish, and delivering them over to condemnation on account of sin, according to the words of the apostle, Romans 3:19, “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”  And verse 23:  “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  And Romans 6:23:  “for the wages of sin is death.”

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace;  as it is written:  “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love;  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,” Ephesians 1:4,5,6.  And elsewhere: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called;  and whom he called, them he also justified;  and whom he justified, them he also glorified,”  Romans 8:30.

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.

Article 10.  The good pleasure of God is the sole cause of this gracious election;  which doth not consist herein, that out of all possible qualities and actions of men God has chosen some as a condition of salvation;  but that he was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to himself, as it is written, “For the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil,” etc., it was said (namely to Rebecca):  “the elder shall serve the younger; as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,”  Romans 9:11,12,13.  “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,”  Acts 13:48.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.


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