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Mt Calvary Evangelical Lutheran ChurchLike

userimgWe continue on in the Solid Declaration still working through Article XI on "Election" (God's choice to redeem us in Christ). On of the things to note in this article, and in Scripture, is that "the Elect" is never presented as a club of those who are "in." Rather, people are elected by grace in Christ. And with that said, read this: To this false delusion and [dangerous] thought [i.e. an understanding of God's election that leads to either impenitence or despair because it is seen as deterministic - ed.] we should oppose the following clear argument, which is sure and cannot fail, namely: Since all Scripture, given by inspiration of God, is to serve, not for [cherishing] security and impenitence, but for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16; also, since everything in God's Word has been prescribed to us, not that we should thereby be driven to despair, but that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope, Rom. 15:4, therefore it is without any doubt in no way the sound sense or right use of the doctrine concerning the eternal foreknowledge of God that either impenitence or despair should be occasioned or strengthened thereby. Accordingly, the Scriptures teach this doctrine in no other way than to direct us thereby to the [revealed] Word, Eph. 1:13; 1 Cor. 1:7; exhort to repentance, 2 Tim. 3:16; urge to godliness, Eph. 1:14; John 15:3; strengthen faith and assure us of our salvation, Eph. 1:13; John 10:27f ; 2 Thess. 2:13f. Therefore, if we wish to think or speak correctly and profitably concerning eternal election, or the predestination and ordination of the children of God to eternal life, we should accustom ourselves not to speculate concerning the bare, secret, concealed, inscrutable foreknowledge of God, but how the counsel, purpose, and ordination of God in Christ Jesus, who is the true Book of Life, is revealed to us through the Word, namely, that the entire doctrine concerning the purpose, counsel, will, and ordination of God pertaining to our redemption, call, justification, and salvation should be taken together; as Paul treats and has explained this article Rom. 8:29f ; Eph. 1:4f , as also Christ in the parable, Matt. 22:1ff , namely, that God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]: 1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. (Solid Declaration, XI.12-15) So, the take-away in all that is this: God's Word is not given to us to encourage impenitence or breed despair. It is given to bolster faith and build us up in grace. Which means that if you are reading it in a way that is causing you to despair of God's mercy in Christ, you are reading it wrong. Go to your pastor, or someone you trust who knows the Bible, and let that person steer you back to a better understanding. Secondly, Jesus redeemed and reconciled everyone, the whole lot of us - Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, etc. Black, white, red, brown, and so don't matter. Rich, poor, comfortable don't matter. Male, female, confused doesn't matter. Young, old don't matter. Jesus died for every last one of us. Now, not everyone receives the benefit of that death because many reject this gift. But God has not left anyone of the equation. You too - Jesus died for you, is raised for you, and seeks you. So, there. Deal with it...... ;-)