Understanding Election as Comfort- A Testimony on Election and Adoption

June 25, 2009

There is probably no more maligned doctrine in the soteriological system known as Calvinism than that which the Bible refers to as election.  This surely was attested to every time someone attempted to speak against Calvinism at the SBC Annual Meeting earlier this week.

However, as I have said many times before, I find Election to be among the most glorious blessings we have received from God as believers.  Today, I wish to give you a few verses and then cast them in light of a personal story in order to make this blessing clear.  Here are three passages with the parts I wish to emphasize in bold:

Ephesians 1.3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 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.”

John 1.12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

James 1.18, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

Many of you are probably unaware that my daughter was born to me when I was just 15 years old.  There are many wonderful stories of God’s goodness surrounding this fact that I have tried to share in my testimony series, but today I want to focus on one in particular.

From the beginning I raised my daughter as a single parent, knowing that her biological mother was not fit to be the mother that she needed growing up.  Thus, I knew that along with finding a spouse who completed me as a person I would also need to find a woman who was prepared to be a mother as soon as she became a wife.

By the plan of God I found such a woman while in college and after a year and a half of dating we got married.  Then, once married, one of the first things she did was to file for formal adoption of our daughter, making her from top to bottom the legally recognized mother of our little girl.  Our daughter, already being five at that time, understood pretty well all that was going on, and fully embraced my wife as her mommy.

Today, the two of them still talk about the adoption, and the way in which they do brings much joy to our little girl’s heart.  They discuss how my wife knew that being in love with me was not enough, but to truly be able to choose me as a spouse she also needed to be willing to choose my daughter as a child.  This she did, and much in the way she married me, she adopted our daughter.  She saw her and loved her and chose her to be her daughter by adoption.

Our daughter never forgets this.  She cherishes the fact that her mommy chose her.  Similarly we as believers should cherish the fact that God chose us!  God saw us “before the foundation of the world” and through his great love, not dependent upon anything we acted on our own, he adopted us as sons and daughters, to receive full standing beside Christ in the line of his promised inheritance.  That is election and that is a doctrine that we can lift up for the love of God that it so clearly puts on display!