Chosen by Grace
We must emphasize that election is absolutely sovereign.
By this we mean that God is the Lord of salvation, and that the ground and motive of His choosing some unto salvation must not be sought in man, but in God alone.
Election is of grace, not of works.
It is necessary to mark this with special emphasis over against those who seek the ground of their election in the elect themselves. Granted, they say, that Scripture teaches…
…personal predestination, so that God from all eternity ordained who should be saved, this cannot possibly imply that in his election God had no regard for the character and works of the elect. He chose the best. The ultimate ground of election and reprobation cannot be the mere sovereign pleasure of the Most High. That would be arbitrary. It would present God as a willful tyrant. Hence, predestination rests on God’s foreknowledge. It is based on foreseen good works. God foresaw and foreknew from all eternity who would be willing to believe and to accept Christ and who would reject Him, and election means that He ordained the former unto eternal life and glory. Election, then, is not sovereign. It is contingent upon the will of man. It is not of grace, but of works. For the Bible teaches that whosoever will may take of the water of life freely.
But this is not according to the Word of God.
To be sure, we have no objection to the gospel that whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely. And we may add that all who come will surely be received: for their very will to come is already the fruit of grace and the outflow of eternal election.
For faith or the will to believe is not the ground of God’s election; but, on the contrary, man’s will to come to Christ is the fruit of God’s predestinating grace.
For “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16).
And of the Gentiles in Antioch it is not said that as many of them as believed, or were willing to believe, were ordained to life; but, on the contrary, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
We are not chosen because we were better than others, for like them we are children of wrath by nature.
There is absolutely nothing to boast.
Election is sovereign.
It rests in God alone.
It is of grace.
God is the Lord!
By Herman Hoeksema