God’s purposes in election


Today’s reading: 1 Chron 28:1–29:2, 2 Tim 4:9–22, Ps 90:1–17

Today’s theme: God’s purposes in election

In today’s reading we begin to explore two foundational truths. First and foremost we look at the self existent nature of God (Aesity). It is this self existing, all powerful God who sovereignly elects, this is the other big lesson today. God elects to save us with particular purposes in mind, these include glorifying Him, to use our minds for Him, work for Him and receive eternal rewards from Him, all underpinned by His own sovereign guarantee.

1 Chronicles 28:1–29:2

God’s purpose in sovereign election

Yet the LORD God of Israel chose me from all my father’s house to be king over Israel forever. For he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father’s house, and among my father’s sons he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 1 Chronicles 28:4 (ESV)

David recognises a key truth revealed in God’s word, namely God’s purpose in sovereign election. God elected Israel as a people and David as king, not because of any good they had done, but to bring God pleasure and for God’s glory.

Paul reminds us in Ephesians 1:4–6 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 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.”

In a day when man’s own power and choice is exalted, the teaching of God’s sovereign election seems alien, but it is clearly taught in God’s word and is the way that our God has chosen to work out His purposes and to save us His people, as our King.

Chosen to glorify God

Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:8 (ESV)

Alongside God’s election, we are called to make our calling and election sure by obeying God’s commands. David charges the people to seek out and observe God’s commands, to secure the land for themselves and as a heritage for their Children.

Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

We should not be complacent because God has chosen us, there are rewards in this life and in heaven to be gained, and we need to work towards those rewards. We were not chosen to simply live in ease and to seek our own glory, no, we were chosen to bring glory to God.

We should live with our inheritance in mind. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:20 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Chosen to think

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (ESV)

When we follow the Lord, we do not leave our brains at the door! God created our minds and wants us to serve Him with it. We should seek Him in His word as we study and read. Alongside a mind geared towards actively seeking God, we should have hearts which are wholly dedicated to the Lord, passionately and joyfully serving Him with all our heart, soul and mind, as the greatest commandment teaches us.

Jesus tell us in Matthew 22:37 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Chosen to work

Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.  1 Chronicles 28:20 (ESV)

As mentioned in verse 10, we should be bold and courageous as we seek to serve the Lord, He has chosen us for this purpose and is living in us and working through us.

We should feel encouraged to be finishers, not to give up but to get the job done because God is with us.

Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

2 Timothy 4:9–22

Ultimate security

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV)

This is very encouraging, but must be taken in context. Paul is not excluding any evil that might be done to him, rather the power of evil to bring about his final destruction.

This is why Paul mentions the heavenly kingdom because this verse is not about having a life free from difficulty and suffering, but is actually about the ultimate security and assurance that we have in Jesus.

Another contextual clue is all the evil that Paul mentioned enduring in the verses before. Paul is encouraged by God standing with him, that God will bring him through to the heavenly kingdom, despite the schemes of men and the devil.

Psalm 90:1–17

The Aseity of God

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2 (ESV)

This verse declares the Aseity (self existing) of God. Aseity is not a word we use in everyday conversation, but is the best word to describe the attribute of God which speaks of God’s eternal self existence. God’s revealed name Yahweh (I Am That I Am), holds this attribute as central to God’s being.

God is the only one who has Aseity.

The following quotes on God’s Aseity are good to mediate on:

“Aseity is that divine attribute in virtue of which God exists by Himself, in Himself, and through Himself. In English it is generally called “self-existence…Here the enormous difference between Divine Being and created being again becomes manifest. God is being, the creature has being….Both Holy Scripture and Tradition teach that aseity is an attribute proper to God, and to God alone”  – taken from God: His Knowability, Essence, and Attributes, A Dogmatic Treatise.

Man is made from dust

You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” Psalm 90:3 (ESV)

God created man from the dust of the ground, not from monkeys. This should humble us, we are not self existing like God. Evolution is absurd.

Use time wisely

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

God is self existent, man is not. In light of this we need to number our days. This means we need to use our time and energy wisely because our lives are short and finite, even 80 years is not a long period of time so we need to be like Moses (the writer of this Psalm) and ask God to teach us to use our lives well so that we receive a reward and inheritance.

God can establish our work

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17 (ESV)

Only God who is self existent, can allow our work to be established. We are just dust and finite, God can make our work out last us.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.

Additional resources

The Gospel Coalition on 2 Timothy 4

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