God’s Glory In Election

If there is one thing that Scripture is clear about concerning the doctrine of Election, it is this;
Our Election by God is ultimately to His own Glory.

This is clear from every passage where the concept of Election is mentioned, referred to, or implied. It is for God’s glory alone.

In Romans 8 and 9, Election is a display of God’s glory in His love. It is a display of His glory in love because John says “we love Him because He first loved us.” God’s love is a previous love. He loved us first. He knew and He loved us. This is no cause for boasting though, because His love is also a merciful love. He knew us and still He loved us. This is an amazing fact, because as any Christian will tell you, there is nothing lovable about any of us. So while we were unlovable, God loved us. Before we had done anything good He loved us. And He proved that love by choosing us for Himself.

Election is also a display of God’s glory in His wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 makes this very clear. God did not choose many mighty, noble, strong, wise, beautiful, or good people, but rather, in His infinite wisdom, He chose powerless, poor, weak, ignorant, ugly, and bad people to confound the wisdom of this world. He chose the weak things to destroy the strong things. And all of this is so that no one can stand in His presence and boast of anything about themselves that caused God to choose them. Our goodness, riches, wisdom, and even our faith were not factors in His choice of the Elect. It was His own wisdom and divine prerogative that moved Him to look on us with favor. Ephesians 1:3-14 also make this clear. But look especially at verse 11.

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…” (Eph 1:11)

He did this according to His own purpose because He works all things after the counsel of His own will. Nothing in me, you, or anyone else changes that. His sovereign choice is based solely in Himself.

When we look at 1 Peter however we come away with a different way God is glorified in Electing sinners to salvation.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1Pe 2:9-12)

God is glorified in Election by His Elect. His Elect are to proclaim the excellencies of the one who through His sovereign mercy and grace had called them out of darkness into light. And the Elect are also to live lives that call attention to God’s glory. We are to proclaim His glory and live in such a way that when others see our lives as God’s chosen people the result is that they glorify Him. Not that they say, “What a good person Jeremy is!” Rather that they would say, “What a God Jeremy serves!”
These two acts of giving God glory cannot be separated. If we do not speak of our God, then they will not know that God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we talk much of God but do not live lives that glorify God, then we will be seen as though we were speaking lies about our God.
There is a quote, often attributed to Saint Francis, although it is not recorded in any of his works, that says, “Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words.” But may I submit that words and deeds walk hand in hand and one element is not to be elevated above the other. Preach with deeds and words and God will get glory.

Soli Deo Gloria

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “God’s Glory In Election

  1. Rose

    This person has never heard it put quite the way you did in the last few paragraphs….the harmony between speaking of our God/living lives to glorify Him. Well put!

  2. bluecollar

    Good handle on Election. Good exhortation to live holy and submitted lives.

    Please keep up the good work!

    From a fellow Calvinist and loose embracer of New Covenant Theology.

  3. Joe

    Yup! Yup! Deeds and words…deeds and words.

    We must be sure what we do speaks loudly enough that people will hear what we say.

  4. Bhedr

    Amen! A most excellent post. Did you say this> If we talk much of God but do not live lives that glorify God, then we will be seen as though we were speaking lies about our God.< Wow. I need more time to meditate on this before I am tested. Or maybe I better stop meditating on it as I am being tested. Thanks.

  5. Jeremy Weaver

    Is that you, Rose?

    Bluecollar,
    I visited your Pastor’s blog and your church’s website. Looks like you’re in a good church there. And that makes your comment that much more meaningful to me.

    Joe,
    Right on!

    Brian,
    I said that. This stuff I put up here comes out of issues that I wrestle with myself. Just so you guys realize tha I haven’t arrived, or that I think I have arrived. Keep that in mind if you read the next post. I really scorch myself on that one.

  6. Breuss Wane

    I’m also reminded of the words sometimes missed in Eph. 2:10 “prepared beforehand”. God *will* be glorified in election because the election invades time and space and effects or works (1:11) the workmanship (Eph. 2:10) to the praise of his glory (1:12).

    Our election before the world began has been working to bring what was elected to pass for His glory.

  7. Bobby Grow

    Jeremy,

    Given your view on election, and apparently the Calvinistic perspective–I’m surprised to see Pastor Chuck Smith, and Arminian included on your blogroll.

    Not that you can’t include whoever you want on your “roll”, it’s just curious to me!

  8. Jeremy Weaver

    Bobby,
    Thanks for commenting.
    It is true that I am a Calvinist. It is also true that I link to Chuck Smith who is an Arminian. But this is not my blogroll. These are online resources and commentaries that are available resources for those who would like to study their Bibles.
    I also link to John Wesley in that category.
    In my blogroll I link mostly to Calvinists, but there are a couple of blogs that are not Calvinistic.
    Jeff Wright’s blog, Anvil and Fire, Rose’s Reasonings, and to some degree, The Earnest Contender (claims to be a 4 pointer).
    I am also a Baptist and link to Presbyterians, E. V. Free, and Bible bloggers.
    The reason for this is simple. All of these sites have something of value that other sites do not have. All of these sites are committed to the Word of God, and I like the people behind them.
    I am working on a system for dividing them into categories, but Have not had the time.
    As for the online resources, one of the things that I am most convicted is missing from Churches today is Expository preaching. One way that I try to encourage Pastors and laypeople to study systematically through the Word of God is through providing links to commentaries and bookstores.
    It is my conviction taht through faithful and consistent study of the Bible that God’s people will be most edified and grow up into a perfect man.
    Anyhoo, thanks for reading and taking the time to browse through the links.
    I’ve been to your site a couple of times and it looks good. The Trinity is one of those doctrines I like to study, so I especially enjoyed reading through your latest post.
    In Christ,
    Jeremy

  9. pilgrim

    Let’s hear it for Presbyterians!

    Okay–seriously–it is for God’s glory, and when we lose sight of that we veer into all sorts of ideas-some worse than others.
    It’s amazing the arguments people make against God’s glory.

    Nice series you have going here.

  10. Rose

    Yes, it’s Rose, Jeremy. Good reading this week. Still want you to translate the Steve Green song. :~) If you categorize, don’t put Rose in the Arminian category.

  11. J. Wendell

    Doxoblogist said…
    “and to some degree, The Earnest Contender (claims to be a 4 pointer).”

    Brother Jeremy, please forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall ever claiming a position at all concerning T U L I P in the blogosphere.

    I will say this: there was a time when I could see the John R. Rice position …and another time when I could have agreed more with Lorraine Boettner or W.E. Best … have you ever heard of a TULIP TREE?! I used to know much more than I do now!

    The more I learn the less I know I know. Now, the more I know Jesus the more I want to know Him. (the hymn “more about Jesus” is now going through my head.)

    brother John 🙂

  12. Bhedr

    Tip-toe around the Tulip John.

  13. J. Wendell

    Bhedr/Jeremy,
    I don’t like to be pigeon-holed (that is a postal term).

  14. Jeremy Weaver

    John,
    What does it mean?

    Rose ‘outed’ you on her blog.

  15. Rose~

    This lady “outed” no one! It was only stated what was, at the time, true…but it was never clearly stated (just went back and looked at that post in archives) how long ago that was…it was about 10 years ago. People grow within 10 years, ideally…but his wife does not speak for J. Wendell.

    BTW, after the (deserved) scolding received from anonymous here about a week ago, this face has not been wanting to be seen on Doxoblogy – felt a little sheepish…now feeling a little better. :~)

  16. J. Wendell

    Jeremy~
    When a Letter Carrier gets to work, he/she has to sort the mail that must be “taken to the street.” This is referred to as “throwing mail” or “casing mail”.

    We throw (sort) the mail into a large case, thus the term “casing”. The case is divided by street name and address number, each address number is given a slot called a “pigeonhole.”

    Thus, a “pigeonhole” is a very small place for a letter to be. I am using it here as figurative for a stereotypically “small” definition of an unfathomable thought process in the mind of God … unfathomable at least for this finite creature 😉

    “Pigeonhole” is a term that is seldom used (in this dispensation), but it’s original Greek Hebrew, and Aramaic comes from the United States Postal Service (USPS). 🙂

    brother John

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