Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
Name Tags: You Are... (Part 35)
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the Image of His Son, so that He would be the Firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He Who did not spare His Own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect?
Romans 8:29-33 (NASB)
This devotion on God's elect follows a bitter presidential election, where before and after the vote harsh words divided America and its saints.* Because winning a crucial election affects nations and individuals.
But no elections are more important than Christ's election as the King of kings and our election as His disciples with a glorious destiny ahead.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider three election aspects:
1) Your election isn't physical. Neither is your membership in church. In John 4, Christ describes His new church.** Buildings and pastors secure no votes. The whole process is invisible.***
2) To fathom how predestination and free will join toward salvation is for the depths of God's Mind alone. Just be thankful for your election and do the work He assigns to you.****
3) No bad charges against you will stick from earth's governors or phony saints. They may hurt for a stinging moment, like a bullet on a kevlar vest, but you'll emerge unscathed and vibrant.*****
To Be Continued...
* God is clear that His elect must not slander, but instead respect (and keep in prayer), the leaders of government. Whether they are considered just or evil, they are approved by God for His purposes. If we complain about them, we are complaining about Him and present a poor witness of Christ. Speaking of Christ, consider how He respected the rulers and laws of the cruel Roman empire.
** 'Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father... But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth' ' (John 4:21-24, NKJV).
*** 'The term elect was of old applied to all the members of the visible church, whereas, in the New Testament, it is applied only to the members of the 'invisible,' to truly spiritual Christians, possessed of the faith working by love' (Benson Commentary on Romans 8:33 re: the term, elect). Link: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/8-33.htm
**** Especially found in Romans 8:30, the topic of predestination is a debated salvation term--possibly casting a shadow on free will or unfairness in the Nature of God. Recommended commentaries or articles:
**** Short article: What is predestination? Is predestination biblical? https://www.gotquestions.org/predestination.html
**** Additional short article: How does God's sovereignty and mankind's free will work together in salvation? https://www.gotquestions.org/sovereign-free-will.html
***** Multiple scholarly commentaries on Romans 8:30: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/8-30.htm
***** 'Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure' (Philippians 2:12-13, NASB).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.