Election: No. 2

Romans 9:11
We have seen that on the day of atonement one goat typified the death of Christ, meeting ail the righteousness of God, and glorifying Him in showing mercy to the whole world; and the other goat, Jesus, the Substitute of His people's sins. The glory of God has surely the first place, and then the sinner's need is full ν and forever met. The scriptures speak of Jesus as the propitiation for the whole world, and also the bearer of the sins of many; the righteousness of God set forth in that propitiation in Rom. 3:21-2621But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:21‑26); the substitution of Jesus for His people's sins in Rom. 4:24, 2524But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:24‑25); and the effect of knowing and believing this in Rom. 5:1-31Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (Romans 5:1‑3). We have also seen that the mere human tradition that Jesus died for the sins of all men gives no comfort, for all men are not saved. Then the solemn inquiry is this—How am I to know that Jesus died for my sins?
The answer is in these words, " But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (righteousness), if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." (Rom. 4:24, 2524But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:24‑25).)
Righteousness is declared to be imputed unto us if we believe God, or, believing God, who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. We observe, even here, it is God revealed to our souls to faith, God who raised up Jesus. We can never know that our sins are forgiven by looking at Jesus on the cross now: He is not now on the cross. If He be on the cross now, there is no forgiveness. Satan knows this, and therefore multiplies pictures and images of Jesus on the cross. He has died once on the cross, or there could be no salvation. But if He is not risen from the dead, your faith is vain, and ye are yet in your sins. With a Christ on the cross there could be no salvation. Now, who gave His Son? God. Who provided the Lamb, the atoning propitiation? God. Who so loved the world? God. Who has accepted the one sacrifice? God• Who raised the Holy, Righteous One from the dead? God. Who proclaims forgiveness of sins through that glorified Christ? God. Who declares all that believe are justified? God. Who is the Justifier, that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead? God. If you believe God, then it is most certain that you are one whose sins Jesus bore on the cross once, but who can die and suffer for them no more. God has declared them put away as to any charge on you again, or on Him who bore them in His own body on the tree. If you believe God, then, you say, looking up at that Man in the glory, " Who was delivered fob our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Jesus, the Substitute; Jesus risen, the Representative. As a believer you can now see your sins were transferred to Jesus when He was delivered for our offenses, and as the goat bare them away, no more to be brought back, so Jesus was raised from the dead, and our sins can no more be laid to our charge: thus accounted righteous on the principle of faith, we have peace with God. The believer knows this is true of him individually, because it is true of all who believe God, and therefore must be true of him.
Some of our readers may say, This is hardly what we expected, it seems to us like setting aside Election. Indeed it is not. If, instead of reasoning, we simply bow to scripture, we shall find these two things run on together—man's responsibility and God's sovereignty.
On God's part infinite wrath against sin, and infinite love to the sinner, have been revealed in the death of Jesus. " In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.....The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." (1 John 4:914. Read also John 3:14-1614And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:14‑16).) Is not God's love toward the world fully declared by the Lord Jesus? He must be lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." These are the words of Him who cannot lie—who is the truth. This, then, was God's distinct purpose in the propitiation of the Lord Jesus. The bitten Israelite had not to inquire, How am I to know that Moses lifted up the serpent personally for me? No; for it came to pass that whosoever looked, lived. Is it not even so of Jesus, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life?
Now, would it not be most monstrous to say that man is not responsible to believe God? What, not to believe such revealed love, and forgiveness of sins preached through Jesus?
But can the grace of God toward all men, and Election, both be true? Certainly, and equally true, because both are revealed in the word of God. The supper was a great supper, and many were bidden; all refused, and made their excuse—not one accepted; but all were not compelled to come in. Here is the whole question in this well-known parable. (Luke 14:1616Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: (Luke 14:16).)
The fact is, man is so desperately wicked, that left to his own free choice, he will not believe God; he will not come to the great supper of God's salvation; he will not receive Christ as his Savior. God did not make him so. Man's condition is the result of his own sin. He believed Satan, and disbelieved God. However light man may make of sin, his own condition of hatred to God is the proof of the terribleness of sin. It would enlarge our subject beyond our limits, or we might see how, when the world had become utterly corrupt before God, when left to itself, that but one family was saved in the ark. We might then see how man's free choice built its tower of Babel, and, though they were dispersed, they soon sank into idolatry and wickedness. Then, how God took out one man, and said, I will bless this man Abram. Neither would it be possible to deny that God made him the father of the elect nation of Israel. Strange to say, no one seems to deny this, or that there are elect angels. What men do so hate is the election of the predestined children of God.
We will come, then, to the teaching of the New Testament on this subject. As we said, man left to his own free, natural choice, will not have Christ. He must be born again. This was found to be so, even of Israel, in the most favorable circumstances. God sent His Son to His own elect nation, to those whose prophets had foretold Him; and what do we read? " He came unto his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:11-1311He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11‑13).) Man has thus been tested. God was in Christ, inviting man, reconciling, not imputing trespasses unto them, but they received Him not. Nay, from the manger to the cross, man's hatred and rejection grew worse and worse. And the new birth by the Spirit explains how any believed on Him, and were saved. By man's free, natural choice, not one received Him, though, on God's part, all was infinite love and grace.
Jesus, in the midst of rejection, had perfect rest of heart in the Father's will. What words are these?—"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." (John 6:3737All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37).) Again, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.....Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." " My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him" " I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." What calm repose in the midst of such billows of human hatred and rejection. He knew the righteous Father, and He knew that not one of those the Father had given Him would be lost.
Are not both things, then, equally true—that all that the Father gives to Him shall come to Him, and also, he that cometh to Jesus shall in nowise be cast out? The gospel is thus freely election.
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preached to all—"That through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things" &c.; then we read, " and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:38, 39, 4838Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38‑39)
48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)
.) Why should we take one of these truths, and not the other? or, why should we seek to alter either? Some would say, do not preach the gospel to all, only to the elect. Paul preached it to all alike, and declared that all who believe are justified. Others would alter the latter, and say, As many as believe are then ordained to eternal life. But it is not so; " As many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Surely we have no right to alter God's word to suit human opinions. And yet there is nothing to hinder a truly anxious soul, for forgiveness is preached to all, and all who believe are justified; and further, they have clearly been ordained to eternal life, for none else will believe—none else will come to Him that they might have life.
God now commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:3030And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30).) Men will not either believe what God says, or repent. If God had therefore left the matter in uncertainty, so to speak, to man's free choice only, and man so desperately wicked that he will not have the salvation of God, then evidently none would have been saved. If we turn, however, to some verses expressly concerning God's elect, we shall find that this is not, and cannot be. the case.
Let us carefully note that it is not a question of persons merely, but that God had a most wonderful purpose. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." Is not this wondrous, that out of a world which has killed the Holy One, and rejected the very mercy of God, and when He might justly have left all to perish everlastingly, that God has taken out of them those whom He foreknew, and predestinated them to such glory as to be conformed to the image of His Son? Surely this must astonish angels. Thus, after man's rejection, we have salvation absolutely of God. The source entirely of God. " Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Horn. viii. 29, 30.) To accomplish this purpose of infinite grace He spared not His own Son. " Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." This amazing truth bows the heart in profound worship. What a golden chain—predestinated, called, justified, glorified! All of God -accomplished by the death and resurrection of His own Son. " Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again," &c. What a joy to know that God is thus for us, and that He cannot change!
Nothing can separate us from His eternal love in Christ Jesus. But does not this imply that God has predestinated some to be lost? Certainly not. There is no such thought in scripture. The reason why some perish is their own deliberate rejection of the truth. Scripture is quite plain and clear on both these points.
First, as to them that perish, it is, a because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thess. 2:1010And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10), and read carefully the context.) Could words be plainer than these? Ii the reader shall perish everlastingly, then remember, it is because you received not the love of the truth. Yes, God is love, and you would not believe Him. You may ask, But if I am saved, is the reason as distinctly stated? Indeed it is; these are the words, " Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thess. 2:1313But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (2 Thessalonians 2:13).) Thus all supposed merit is taken from man. If left to his own free choice he deliberately rejects and despises the gospel of God; and the reason why any are saved, is the sovereign choice of God. Such is the distinct teaching of the word of God, whether we believe it or not.
We are very sorry that such dreadful things have been said as those the writer of the letter refers to. There is no such thought in scripture as that God had created some that He might be glorified in their destruction. As to such cases as, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated," and the hardening 0f Pharaoh's heart, we will look at these in our next, if the Lord will. No doubt very erroneous things are said about such scriptures. In the mean time we fail to see how the truth of God's abounding, sovereign, electing grace can, for a moment, discourage an anxious, thirsty soul, for to such the gospel of God's free, present, and eternal forgiveness is preached. And God declares all that believe are justified from all things. The whole world still rejects Jesus, as they did at the Jews' feast in John 7; but did He not, on the last day, that great day of the feast, stand up in the midst of the rejecters, and cry? Yes, Jesus " cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." Yes, in the midst of the rejection of this day also, if there be only one man that thirsteth, there is the evidence; yes, if this is the reader's case, there is the evidence of the Spirit's work in your soul. It is the work of the Holy Ghost to create this thirst for Jesus. Come, then, to His bosom; oh, yes, Come to me, He says, and drink. And this is not all: a He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:33His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. (John 7:3).8)