In election God has not only chosen individuals but chosen the church and each elect individual to a place in that church and in the body of Christ (Ps. 132:13 - compare Heb.12:22, I Pet. 2:9). What a glorious truth this is!
This reminds us that election is not arbitrary and random but purposeful. The Biblical picture of the church as a building or house is very useful here. As a builder chooses his materials, so God has chosen each person to fit into a place in that spiritual building (Eph. 2:20-22, I Pet. 2:5) and in the body of Christ.
No more than would a builder does God attempt to build a house without first designing it. It is the will of God, not the will of men that determines who shall have a place in that house and what place they shall have. No more than the stones and timbers of a building can determine whether and what place they shall have in a building, do men's wills determine whether and what place they shall have in God's house.
Not only that, but He has also predetermined all the circumstances of a person's life. Thus each of us, according to election, is shaped and formed to fit the exact place God has prepared for us (Jer. 1:5).
God does not go out and gather the materials for His house as He happens to find them. Rather, having carefully planned His spiritual house, He also from eternity "orders in" the materials from which He will build that house.
Likewise, because that the house must be built firm and sure, to last for all ages, He has also chosen Christ as the foundation and cornerstone of that house (I Pet. 2:6). All the house is formed and fitted to Him.
He is glorified when all the elect has been gathered. Then that spiritual house will be the dwelling place of God Himself (Eph.2:22). All its glory and beauty will be of Him. He will be not only the designer and builder of the house, but the inhabitant.
But there is more. This election of the church both commands and guarantees the unity of the church (Jn. 10:16, Eph. 1:9-10). We are all chosen IN HIM, that is, in Christ, and that makes us one in Him (Eph. 1:4). That is the reason Paul does not tell us to have unity in Ephesians 4:3, but to keep it. The unity is implicit in our being chosen in Christ, and then also gathered in Him.
Not only that, election also guarantees the holiness of the church (Eph. 1:4). WE are chosen that we might be (not because we are) holy. That holiness is necessary because the church is to be the dwelling place of God. God by His Spirit will not dwell in the midst of filth and unholiness.
That great work of gathering and building the church is not finished. Her final glories belong to those things that are still unseen. What we see is not what will be. What shall be shall show forth the praises of Him who calls us out of darkness into marvelous light, and shall stand as an eternal monument to His power, wisdom, and grace.
- Volume: 6
- Issue: 4
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA