Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dr. Russell Moore on the Doctrine of Election from "Adopted for Life"

[In the following passage from Chapter 2 of Adopted for Life, Dr. Russell Moore does the best job I've ever heard-- I'm listening to it on audiobook-- elucidating the importance of the doctrine of election to the doctrine of adoption.]

The Gentile Christians in the early churches must have wondered what they were doing following after this Jewish king from somebody else's religion. Had they wandered accidentally into somebody else's covenant? Were they clinging to some kind of exception clause to God's main purpose with Israel? Were they parasites on the promises of God? Some of the Jewish believers-- those with consciences sensitive enough to see how uncircumcised their hearts could be too-- must have wondered something similar. Don't you know what that feels like? To wonder if you're an accidental visitor awkwardly standing in the corner of a party to which you've not been invited? What if our whole lives are like that? What if we're in the kind of situation described by humorist Jack Handey when he writes, "The crows seem to be calling his name, thought Caw" ?

This fear is exactly why the New Testament ties our adoption to God's purpose in election. We were known beforehand, the Bible says, predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom 8:29). In love, the text says, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:4-5). Paul tells us that we have not only come to know God, but rather that we have come to be known by God (Gal 4:9).

Now, I realize that the mention of words like "election" and "predestination" are making some of you tense up right now. And I understand why. But it's really not a scary concept. All Christians believe in election and predestination; these are Bible words, after all. We sometimes disagree about how God's purpose fits with other things that the Bible reveals... We often have different opinions about the finer points of this mystery. And we can live together with some tension here. It's important to know that nothing about the biblical doctrine of election is meant to cast doubt on whether you're welcome in God's household... Instead, the doctrine of election tells us that all of us who have come to know Christ are here on purpose. God was looking for us, He rejoices in us, and He cries out, "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me; I said, 'Here am I, here am I' to a nation that was not called by My name" (Isa 65:1). That's all of us: you and me. There's freedom in that and a liberated sense of belonging.

[A related post is found HERE.]

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