Romans 9.6-13 – Election and Salvation
Posted: 25 August 2010 in Romans

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

The God of the Bible is preeminently one who elects individuals and nations. As Paul records, that fact is attested to throughout sacred history. First, Abraham was called with the promise that he and his descendants would be the agents through which God’s blessing would eventually extend to the whole of mankind. Next Isaac was called in preference to Ishmael, and then Jacob in preference to Esau. After that a remnant were chosen to return from exile, and now it is those born of the Spirit who are the elect of God. At every point it is the will of God, rather than the will of man, which has been the determinative factor:

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 1.12-13)

I sometimes hear it said in internet forums that predestination is not biblical, and I am left wondering whether somebody who says that reads the same Bible as me. We were not created to be masters of our own destiny, but to serve God’s purposes. Whilst we might not like to be dependent upon God’s grace, that is the situation as it is revealed to us in the Bible. If we do not accept what God has to say for himself, then, it seems to me, we must tread one of the many roads to idolatry.

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