Election And Adoption Elder O. B. Mink

Election And Adoption
Elder O. B. Mink
Pastor – Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
Texarkana, Texas
„According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: {5} Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” ( Ephesians 1:4-5 )
Verse 4 : „… He (God) hath chosen us (the Ephesians, Paul, and the faithful in Christ Jesus, verse 1) in Him (Christ Jesus) before the foundation of the world …” (Before Adam had a being, and before the world had a beginning).
Many one word questions which perplex the mind of some who try and oppose the doctrine of divine election are answered in Ephesians 1:4 . Questions such as; Who? Where? How? Why? etc. are all put to rest for the student desiring to honor God’s word.
Who did the electing? „… He (God) hath chosen us …
When? „… Before the foundation of the world …” (dateless eternity)
Where? „… In Him (Christ) …”
How? By His infinite love and mercy „Before Him in love.”
Why? „…That we should be holy …”
Verse 5 : „Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will .”
There is no firm or rigid distinction between predestination and election. The terms are so close that they can be used interchangeably without losing any measure of what is being conveyed. For example: To say a person is elected for heaven is the exact equal of saying the person is predestinated for heaven. Predestination and election relate to the same eternal decree, and for all practical purposes, are identical. The Scriptural terms, elect, predestinate, foreordain, determine before, are without variance references to the eternal counsel and power of God. Whatever God does in time is an outgrowth of His sovereign and eternal design. „According to the good pleasure of His will,” ( verse 5 ). Human destiny is determined by the will of God, thus Paul says, „… The purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth,” ( Romans 9:11 ). Election is not based on any thing foreseen in the creature, but of the will of the Creator exclusively, and for His pleasure.
Of all the doctrines hated by Arminians, the doctrine of eternal, unconditional election is the chief object of their undiluted hatred. When this doctrine is viewed through Holy Spirit anointed eyes, it is seen to be no harsh or hateful doctrine, but is seen to be a glorious truth which bespeaks the love, kindness, mercy, and grace of God; for without election there would be no salvation. God is the eternal Arbiter, and His purpose eternally fixed, and His will unalterable. The immutability of God’s will applies not only to His justice and wrath, but also to His love, mercy, and grace. Thus it is, God says to Jeremiah, „… I have loved thee with an everlasting love …” ( Jeremiah 31:3 ). God does not love the elect more after they are saved than He does before they are saved.
The Arminian charge wherein they say predestinarian baptists make salvation the result of a cold, impersonal, mechanical decree is a manifestation of their ignorance of God’s word, and baptist doctrine. Neither is the elective decree born of blind fatalism, but is the product of divine love and wisdom. The infinite counsel and grace of God are manifested by the elective decree, and God is magnified by the execution of His purpose, ‘in bringing many sons unto glory,’. When these great truths are compared to the Arminian doctrine of the freewill of man, it is with the least deliberation seen, that Arminianism is the means whereby God’s infinite counsel, power, and grace suffer diminution. Yea, the Arminian scheme makes grace to be no more grace and causes the man that willeth and runneth to be author of his salvation. Paul says, such doctrine is to make Christ’s death of none effect ( Galatians 5:4 ).
The saint needs to ever remember he was „Chosen in Him” (Christ). The covenant of election has for its ground the vicarious death of Christ. The Father’s choosing would never know fruition apart from the Son’s redemptive death, and the Holy Spirit would have no gifts to bestow, for it was Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that procured the covenant blessings. The elect are doubly assured, they were chosen in Christ, and in regeneration Christ indwells the believer, thus it is, Paul says, „… Christ in you the hope of glory,” ( Colossians 1:27 ) ( John 14:20 ).
God’s choice is eternal and immutable. His choice was made „Before the foundation of the world,” ( verse 4 ). It was made before time was conceived in the womb of eternity and prior to the first creative fiat of God. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ). Nothing can come to pass in time that can, in any measure, cause God to alter His determination to save and keep His people. „But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth even that He doeth,” ( Job 23:13 ).
The purpose of election is for God’s glory. God never acts except to glorify Himself. Many of the old confessions of faith contain these words, „Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.” We do not oppose the Arminian contention that election is unto holiness. It is the ultimate folly for a person to think he is one of God’s elect while he neglects the pursuit of an holy character. Then, too, it is folly to think a person is chosen to holiness without having been first chosen to salvation. „… God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation …” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ). God has chosen a number of Adam’s posterity to salvation and holiness and from the human side, this is the order of experience. God did not choose them because of any foreseen holiness in them, nor because He saw that they would be holy, but His choice included His determination to make them holy. „Chosen … that we should be holy,” ( verse 4 ). GOD HAS DESIGNED THAT HIS people should be holy and without blame , which are but the two sides of the same robe, our robe of righteousness. All who are elected to wear the bridal gown ( Revelation 19: 7-8 ) are appointed to holiness as the means. The elect’s salvation and sanctification is the result of the infinite counsel and everlasting love of God. „Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.” ( I John 4:10 ) (i.e. Revelation 13:8 ).
The design and end of election is holiness of life, and regeneration is the initial work of the Holy Spirit in conforming the elect unto the ultimate image of Christ. It is true, the elect are chosen to go to heaven, but it is equally true, they are to travel the highway of holiness while enroute. Many people want heaven beyond the grave, but they do not want holiness this side of the grave. Yet, these people are without excuse for the Bible plainly states, without holiness, „no man shall see the Lord,” ( Hebrews 12:14 ).
„Without blame” ( verse 4 ) speaks of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit wrought in the elect whereby they are „conformed to the image of His Son.” „Without blame” is a sacrificial term and carries us in our study back to Israel’s blemish less lamb ( Exodus 12:5 ), which, in type, spoke clearly of the Lamb of God Who was to take away the sin of His people ( Matthew 1:21 ). And Peter says, „Elect … ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” ( I Peter 1:2 18, 19 ).
The cause of election is God. The ground of election is Jesus Christ, and as the harvest of election is brought in from the field (world) we see that salvation is the first fruit, holiness of life in the elects’ earthly pilgrimage is the second fruit, and finally, standing before God blemish less, and a co-heir with Christ.
Thank God for election!
Verse 5: „Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Adoption embraces more than our relationship to God as children. In regeneration the elect person is made aware he is a child of God, ( I John 5:13 ). Our relationship as children of God is brought about by the new birth, but our son ship in God speaks of maturity. The word adoption literally means a „placing as sons.” Thus, in adoption the child receives a place as an adult son, his days as a minor are past. His swaddling clothes are no longer needed.
Adoption, like election, is eternal in its nature. Those given to Christ in the eternal covenant of election were predestinated to the adoption of children before the foundation of the world ( Ephesians. 1:4-5 ). We need to highlight the eternal aspect of adoption to show that our new birth, and sonship have their origin in the free grace of the Sovereign Adopter. Therefore, adoption in no way relates to human merit. There is a doctrine connotated „Adoptionism” which teaches that Jesus of Nazareth became son of God by adoption, (Webster’s Dictionary – Adoptionism). This is essentially what the so-called Jehovah witnesses teach regarding Jesus. They allow that he was a son of God, a creature of God. This is rank blasphemy, and ought not to be given a moments hearing, ( 2 John 7-11 ). The word „adoption” is nowhere in Scripture used to refer to Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul is the only one of all Scripture writers to use the term, it is peculiar to him. And in every place where it is used, it is used to refer to the privileges of the elect which are theirs through Divine adoption. The complete manifestation of our adoption and the full realization of its privileges are yet future, „… Waiting the adoption (when we are literally, or experientially set before God as sons), to wit; the redemption of our body,” ( Romans 8:23 ).
In this earth as it is, we will never be recognized as sons of God, simply because this present world does not own the existence or authority of the true God. But one day, after a while, when election brings forth its ultimate fruit, and we are clothed in the exact likeness of Christ, for this mortal must put on immortality, and when the earth is brought back from the curse, then will all men know, we are „sons of God.”
The blessings which flow from Divine adoption are too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say, they are eternal and according to the good pleasure of His will.
(Sovereign Grace Advocate – August, 1977)

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