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Election or Choice of God's People PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.D. Holder   

From "Ministers In My Day" by Elder J.M. Bullard. Published 1940

This great subject is often mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, and is a source of comfort when we rightly understand it.

It is unconditional, because it took place with God before time. If the Arminian idea is correct, that all the family of Adam are embraced in the system of salvation, then the election of them before time in Christ could not be true, since this choice was unto salvation, and some will not be saved. Since it is according to the foreknowledge of God and unto salvation, it follows that anything short of their being saved in time would not harmonize with foreknowledge (1 Pet. i. 2).

Paul, in Eph. i. 4, said, "According as He hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we (the chosen) should be holy and without blame before Him in love." This was spoken to the saints at Ephesus, and they were Gentiles, some of them at least, as is shown in Eph. ii. 11, "That ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh." This, together with many other Scriptures, forever settles the excuse of some to teach election was not to be considered as embracing Gentiles, as well as the Jews.

The doctrine of salvation by grace is the only way anyone can have any use for the doctrine of election. I suppose this is why so many do not teach either of them. Who are the elect? All the saved. When were they elected? Before time, as stated in the above Scripture. Very well. That was before the human family was corrupted by sin. The election was in Christ and according to foreknowledge. God did not make choice of them because they were sinners, for this was before they had a being, before sin had corrupted them. He made choice of them because He loved them. The only difference is that you could not love and embrace your bride until she had existence. But God could, because He does not have to wait until a thing transpires to know all about it. See Psalm cxxxix. 15, 16.

You elected your bride because you loved her. So did God. He said, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”—Jer. xxxi. 3. Yes, but reader, why did He not love everybody in that respect, and why did He pass some by? I will be fair with you. Tell me why He loved Jacob, and I will tell you why He hated Esau. Will you? (Rom. ix. 11-13.) Let us reason—seeing election took place before time and before the fall of man and the penalty for sin, which is a violation of God's just and holy law, sin reigns unto death, and our final separation from God is owing to sin. God is just in damning for sins, and all are sinners (Rom. v. 12). Our salvation is owing to the reign of grace through righteousness unto eternal life (by obedience of the sinner? Not so) by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. v. 21). Since grace and truth came by Jesus Christ and saves (Eph. ii. 8, 9) ; and condemnation comes by disobeying God's law, and is because of sin, then Christ can save as many as He will, or none at all, from sin, and His justice remain untarnished. His bride is His because everything it takes to present all the family of God to the Father) without spot, is in her Husband, Christ, and freely given her of Him, flowing out from His everlasting love for her. The very best of saints have not one thing to boast of, or glory in, save their blessed Redeemer. Those who will finally be separated from Cod will be those who die in the love and practice of sin and for sin.

Rom. ix. 11-13, concerning Jacob and Esau, can only be reasoned out one way, and that is by the plain expression in the Bible, just as it is written. I have thought if some of these Arminian "gas-pill" preachers were elected, they would not be consuming all their time howling against election, and trying to rub it out of the Book. The Saviour said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name. "—Isa. xlv. 4. Notice the seventeenth verse, "But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." When God said to Jacob, "Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel," from that good day, they are His people called by His name, Israel. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will ill heal their land. "-2 Chron. vii. 14.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. "-1 Peter ii. 9. The above Scripture is plain. It just takes unbelief of truth and a popular opinion to turn it away.

The doctrine of election is reasonable, compared to the practice of man. There is the selection, or choice, of everything we buy, the things we make, the places we go, the food we eat, the young lady we marry, the kind of seed we plant. Oh, that's all right—we can do that. But God is unjust if He does.

Let us reason some more from the Bible. Why was Paul saved or stricken down on his way to Damascus, while those who journeyed with him were not? Yet they were all in the same kind of work, persecuting the saints (Acts ix. 1-11). Why did God pass by the nations and favor His chosen for four thousand years, before the Gentile nations were brought in? "Nay but, 0 man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"—Rom. ix. 20. There were those back there who said, "Who bath resisted His will?" So it is today. But it is still true, "Then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”—Rom. ix. 16. There will never be a willing soul cast out, but the willing are children of God. There will never be a friend of God lost. But God's friends are children of God. There will never be anyone who chooses God, and seeks Him, or loves Him, and feels his need of a loving Saviour, that will be cast out of heaven. But all such are children of God. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”—Psalm xlvi. 10.

The doctrine that exalts God never sleeps and never-waits for poor puny man to carry Him to the lost. But the opposite is true. We need His strong arm beneath us and His Holy Spirit to lead us wherever we go. We need His presence when we try to pray, when we try to preach His glorious gospel, when we are compassed with the powers of darkness of this world, as we are today.

We need His everlasting love to flow into our poor hearts, and go to His grand truths and find His will concerning us, and then do just that. "He shall save His people from their sins.”—Matt. i. 21. They are His. He will save them. But so many times they fail to honor Him, to exalt His blessed name.   

I trust, reader, you will find something more secure than the arm of flesh to lean upon. This truth of God's electing love has been taught by the saints in every age. There have been times when the so-called churches, which now flatly repudiate it and those who teach it, had it written in their confessions of faith. The Old School Baptists of today are the only ones, as a body, so far as I know, who yet hold, uncompromisingly, to the doctrine of grace alone; and to these blessed truths your humble writer desires to cling, by the help of God, until I am called home. Everything of carnal minds is chaff and is driven away by the whirlwinds; but the truth of God, like the everlasting hills, abides forever. Love is strong as death. It cannot be quenched with many waters. This everlasting love of God embraces all the vessels of mercy. God, who gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world of sin and sorrow to die for there, sends the Holy Spirit into their hearts and quickens them into eternal life, and vital union with Him, and will carry them home to glory to ever be with Him, is a truth the lower regions hate, but can never, never, overthrow. Praise His blessed name for such blessing to poor sinners, saved by His grace!

 

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.