by Frank B. Beck
(Read Ephesians, the First Chapter)
“It has been well said that in the doctrine of election a theologian takes his final examination” (Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III, p. 503).
Man is totally depraved, and therefore deprived of any good toward God. That we have seen in the previous chapter. If any man is to be saved, then God Himself must choose to save that man. That very thing God has done, as we shall show in this chapter. How He has done it we shall show in the next three chapters.
“If the doctrine of Total Inability (Depravity) or Original Sin be admitted, the doctrine of Unconditional Election follows by the most inescapable logic. If, as the Scriptures and experience tell us, all men are by nature in a state of guilt and depravity from which they are wholly unable to deliver themselves and have no claim whatever on God for deliverance, it follows that if any are saved God must choose out those who shall be the objects of His grace” (Loraine Boettner, p. 95, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination).
The Examination of Unconditional Election
What Unconditional Election Is!
The word elect comes from the Latin electus, from eligo (e, out, with lego, choose & to choose out). Literally it signifies to pick out, choose, to gather out (Desk Standard Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls; W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. II, p. 21).
Unconditional means: Not to be limited to any conditions, or prerequisites whatsoever.
We mean, therefore, by this doctrine, that God, in eternity, chose or picked out of mankind whom He would save (by means of Christ’s death and the work of the Holy Spirit), for no other reason that His own wise, just, and gracious purpose.
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