Sovereignty Means Thanksgiving
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”
(2nd Thessalonians 2:13)
There are three things here which deserve special attention.
First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation.” Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries (arguments) and equivocations of all who would make election refer nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God hath chosen us (John 15:16).
Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the scriptures so represent it. The same God who predestined the end, also appointed the means; the same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that his purpose should, be realized through the work of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2nd Timothy 2:25; Titus 1:1).
Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle expresses this, “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself (Ephesians 1:3-6).