God’s purpose of grace

God’s purpose of election is bound to be mysterious to men, for we cannot aspire to an understanding of the secret thoughts and decisions of the mind of God.  However, the doctrine of election is never introduced in Scripture either to arouse or to baffle our carnal curiosity, but always for a practical purpose.  On the one hand, it engenders deep humility and gratitude, for it excludes all boasting.  On the other, it brings both peace and assurance, for nothing can quieten our fears for our own stability like the knowledge that our safety depends ultimately not on ourselves but on God’s own purpose of grace.

From: Authentic Christianity 1995 John Stott and Timothy Dudley-Smith.

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The mystery of election

“Many mysteries surround the doctrine of election, and theologians are unwise to systematize it in such a way that no puzzles, enigmas or loose ends are left. At the same time, in addition to the arguments developed in the exposition of Romans 8:28-30, we need to remember two truths.

First, election is not just a Pauline or apostolic doctrine; it was also taught by Jesus himself. “I know those I have chosen,’ he said. (Jn. 13:18).

Secondly, election is an indispensable foundation of Christian worship, in time and eternity. It is the essence of worship to say: ‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory’ (Ps. 115:1). If we were responsible for our own salvation, either in whole or even in part, we would be justified in singing our own praises and blowing our own trumpet in heaven. But such a thing is inconceivable. God’s redeemed people will spend eternity worshipping him, humbling themselves before him in grateful adoration, ascribing their salvation to him and to the Lamb, and acknowledging that he alone is worthy to receive all praise, honour and glory. Why? Because our salvation is due entirely to his grace, will, initiative, wisdom and power.”

Quoted from Authentic Christianity 1995 John Stott and Timothy Dudley-Smith.
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