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Author: Ron Graham

History of IsraelTimes of Israel series

Election and Rejection
—And Bible examples

Time —1. Promises to Abraham
Books —Genesis
Figures —Abraham Isaac Jacob
Begins with —God's call to Abram
Ends with —Jacob's family settling in Egypt

This lesson looks at "God's purpose according to election" (Romans 9:11). When God elected one, he necessarily rejected the remainder of the group he chose among. This principle of ELECTION or DIVINE CALLING is a major thread running unbroken through the whole story of the Bible. It is important for Christians to understand how this principle relates to human choice and responsibility.

1 The Main Point

A first principle of election: God's choice is primary, and his will is sovereign. Nevertheless, when exercising his will and making his choice regarding a person, God takes account of that person's disposition.

In the examples of election and rejection that we are about to consider, God was not appointing people to their ultimate and eternal destinies.

Rather, God's choices had to do with birthright and ancestry. When God "hated" Esau, he was not consigning him to hell.

Nevertheless, these elections are no different in principle, and much the same rules apply to our election to eternal life:

What Paul calls "God's purpose according to election", goes hand in hand with the choices and attitudes of those whom God elects.

God's choice is primary because the purpose originates with him —after all he is your Creator, he designed the grand purpose, and his will is sovereign.

Your choice is secondary —because you could accomplish nothing all by yourself without God's providence.

Nevertheless, God does not elect or reject you without respect to your heart's leaning. Rather, God makes his election and rejection with due regard to the disposition of those he chooses among.

Do you love God, seek his truth, live justly, yield to his will? "The Lord looks on the heart" and that bears upon his reckoning.

This does not make you the CAUSE of your own election, but it does mean that you are responsible, you are accountable, and you also choose.

2 Examples of Election and Rejection

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