GOD, ALONE, SOVEREIGNLY CHOOSES HIS ETERNAL FAMILY
(THE TRUTH THAT ARMINIANS AND SEMI-PELAGIANS FAIL TO COMPREHEND)
I. THE KEY PASSAGE
The entire Bible is about family; we read in Ephesians 1:3-5 “Blessed [be] the God and FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ [the SON of God], who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen/elected us [the BRIDE of Christ] 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…”
II. THE FATHER SETS THE LIMIT ON WHO CAN BE THE BRIDE
Genesis 24:2-4 “And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”
As with Abraham, God the Father limited who His son could marry; He limited whom Christ could take as His bride. The Father saw to it that the Lord Jesus Christ would marry not the spiritual “daughters of the Canaanites” (the reprobate, the non-elect), but rather, He would have to have a Bride from “[God’s] country, and [God’s] kindred” — and who are they? All that the Father “hath CHOSEN in [Christ, from] BEFORE the foundation of the world,” even all the ones his in Christ from eternity. Again, the Son can only marry those given to Him by the Father, even the ones chosen IN Him by the Father before this world was ever made.
III. THE HUSBAND DECIDES THE BRIDE AND NOT THE BRIDE THE HUSBAND (CHRIST, OUR SPIRITUAL HUSBAND, CHOSE THE BRIDE WHOM HIS FATHER GAVE HIM, AND WHO WAS IN HIM, FROM ETERNITY)
The Old Testament is clear that it is the man who takes the wife and not the wife who takes the husband (from a covenant and authority point of view). Christ chose whom He would marry; He did not leave Himself open to be married to whomever would claim Him. We read in Psalm 65:4 “Blessed [is the man whom] Thou CHOOSEST [ELECTS], and CAUSESTS to approach [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple.”
Psalm 33:12 “Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath CHOSEN/ELECTED for his own inheritance.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN/ELECTED you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth…”
Ephesians 5:25-32 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
IV. THE ADOPTING PARENTS CHOOSE THE CHILDREN; THEY DO NOT LEAVE THEMSELVES OPEN TO ADOPT ANY AND ALL WHO DESIRE TO BE ADOPTED.
Just as no sane earthly parent adopts any and every child that comes along, the Heavenly Father does not adopt all who “decide to let Him adopt them.” He adopts only those chosen in Christ from before the world was — “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.”
The only ones desiring to be adopted by the (electing and predestinating) God of free and sovereign grace are those quickened children of God who were chosen in Christ from before the world was. It is only after the Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner, giving that eternally-chosen child of God the spiritual life that was eternally hid in Christ, and that is Christ, that they desire to be adopted. Before God-wrought, spiritual life was imparted, they had no authentic desiring after the true and living God. Concerning God’s adopted children, we read in Galatians 4:1-7 “Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RECONCILIATION OF GOD’S ETERNAL AND ELECT FAMILY
The Gospel is the good news of God the Father eternally purposing to save His adopted family from the wrath due the fallen mass of humanity and to give them to His Son as an elect bride. The Gospel is the good news of the Son eternally purposing, according to His Father’s plan, to atone for, redeem, call, justify, and glorify all of His people — in Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Word Incarnate, purposed to come to this earth, kept the Father’s law perfectly, died in the stead of His bride, paying for her sins to the utmost, and putting them away forever. He rose the third day evidencing that salvation, and the spiritual life that accompanies it, was accomplished and eternally guaranteed. Finally, the Gospel is the good news of the Holy Spirit, the Lord of Life, making applicable and effectual, the finished work of Christ for every single one of God’s elect and their appointed times. The Holy Spirit quickens them, converts them, granting them knowledge, understanding, repentance, faith, and love. In light of their respective roles, we see that the entire Gospel is about the Triune Godhead reconciling His people, to Himself, by Christ, for Christ, and unto the eternal glory of all three Persons of the Godhead — to Whom be the glory and honour forever and ever, amen.