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1st April: Election -- for what?

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God. 1 Peter 1:2 (AV)

Election is one of the oldest grounds of dispute and the subject of much profitless debate. However, there is nothing contentious in this phrase. Peter's two letters face the world as it is. The second letter especially spells out its confusion, perversion, rebellion and ultimate judgment. God's judgment of man is correct as well as inevitable. God is moral and not arbitrary. 'The wrath of God is not vindictive, like the wrath of man; it is purely vindicative. It is simply the vindication of the right, before the eyes of all intelligent and more creatures'. (Douty)

Peter reminds us, however, that God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9). A way of escape is provided which is firmly based on the two advents of Christ -- the first which led to the crucifixion, and the second which will entail a 'new heaven and a new earth', as well as final judgment. Peter's other great theme is a corollary -- in view of all this -- wherefore -- forasmuch -- seeing -- likewise -- because God has done so much for us, we should be a people with a difference.

Strangely enough this is the election which concerns Peter. It is not one to be a topic of sterile debate and contention between Christians, but the thing which makes Christians different. It is purposive. God is calling people to serve and function in obedience to him; to live in a new way; to walk humbly because of what we are while also walking tall because we are so privileged. It is exactly the same in Romans, chapters 8-11, where Paul enlarges on the tent of God's love in Christ, but follows inevitably and without a break into Chapter 12 -- 'therefore give yourselves unreservedly to God'.

General elections take place so that free countries can be governed. God has elected believers to live in the light of his love in work that he has planned for them. regardless of difficulties that may come our way today, nothing can change our standing and purpose in life. People with a destiny live differently.

Called to be different -- how different are you?

Look at Matthew Arnold's uncertainty:

We but dream we have our wish'd for powers.
Ends we seek we never shall attain.
Ah, some power exists there, which is ours?
Some end is there, we indeed may gain?

then look at Murray McCheyne's confident resolve:

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Saviour's side,
By the Spirit sanctified.
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show
By my love, how much I owe.

Further reading: 2 Pet 1:2-11. Rom 8:28-30.


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