“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” says the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:3.
What an encouraging statement to make to the Christians he was writing to in the city of Ephesus! God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Praise God! And then he goes on in verse 4 to explain what is included in that — “…even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” Yes, even election (the act of God choosing certain individuals to be saved) is a spiritual blessing! Many Christians, however, respond to the doctrine of election with anger and disbelief, arguing that the act of God choosing who will be saved is unfair. I admit that I don’t fully understand why God chooses some and not others (Note: election is not based on the account of any foreseen merit in a person, but only because of God’s sovereign pleasure), but I must be very careful not to let my feelings of what is fair or unfair direct my beliefs on how God operates. God’s Word must direct our beliefs on God’s ways, not our feelings or emotions. With that said, I don’t see how you can teach anything other than God’s choosing of man for salvation (and not man’s choosing of God), unless of course you twist (or even eliminate altogether) large sections of Scripture to fit your liking. God chose me, not the other way around — and that, according to Paul, is a spiritual blessing!
2.) Election is an act of God’s love.
“In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved,” says Paul in Ephesians 1:4-5.
God sovereignly determined before the creation of the world that He would adopt me into His family as a son through Jesus Christ — and He did this as an act of His mighty love towards me! Thank You God for loving me so much that You chose me to be in Your family and that I never have to worry about You changing Your mind about adopting me and kicking me back out on the street!
3.) Man receiving salvation was not left up to chance.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth,” says Paul in Ephesians 1:7-10.
Through the payment of Christ’s death on the cross, we have been redeemed (bought back from the bondage of sin into a right relationship with God) and forgiven. This was all an act of God’s grace, which He has poured out on us through Christ. And He has poured out His grace on us “in all wisdom,” “insight,” “according to His purpose,” and according to His “plan” which He set forth. This plan was to “unite all things in Him” through Christ’s death and resurrection — and He didn’t leave anything to chance.
If God is not completely in control, if He doesn’t have to power and ability to carry out His purpose and plan for man to be saved, if it is man and not God who chooses and God’s plan for salvation is left up to man’s “free will”…then I can only assume that there would be (at minimum) a small chance that no one would choose God and, consequently, Christ would’ve suffered for nothing. I can just imagine the Godhead in heaven discussing God’s plan for salvation and Christ’s death on the cross: “Oh shoot, no one believed in Jesus…looks like our plan for saving man failed. What’s plan B?”
There is no “plan B.” Christ’s death on the cross was always God’s plan to bring man back into relationship with Him and He didn’t leave anything to chance — He is in control of everything, even who will/will not be saved (cf. verse 11: “He works all things according to the council of His will.”).
4.) Election gives God glory.
“In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace.” – Ephesians 1:4-5
“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, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians 1:11-13
God is all about bringing glory to Himself (just read through the Scriptures, you’ll see). It is right for Him to do this, since He is far greater than anyone or anything else in existence (cf. Psalm 113). God is the greatest and to ascribe glory to the greatest being/thing is the only right thing to do. And so, we also should be all about bringing God glory. Since the act of God choosing us gives God glory (and since we should be all about giving God glory), we ought to give praise to God for choosing us.
5.) God chooses us and He will never let us go.
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” - Ephesians 1:11-13
Those whom God has truly chosen, who have truly believed in Christ for salvation, have been given the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwells within believers (cf. Romans 8:10-11) and serves as God’s seal, a guarantee that God will keep all of His promises to us and that He will not let us go. If I was the one to initially choose God, then I also have the ability to freely leave God too. But this is simply not how God operates. Only because God chose me and changed me do I have the freedom to choose Him. We love God because He loved us first (I John 4:19). Likewise, I only have the ability to choose God because He chose me first — and He will not let me go, nor will He let anyone take me from Him.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – Jesus (John 10:27-29)