God’s saving work in an individual involves many things, not just rescuing us from the coming judgment. There are many other things into which a believer enters as soon as he believes the gospel. Five things must be noticed about these positions to which we enter at salvation.
1. These are facts out of which experience may grow. E.g. Justification can not be experienced, it’s a fact.
2. These are not progressive positions. Perfect and complete from the moment we trust Christ. E.g. Sonship – always son.
3. These are not related to our merit. We don’t earn these positions. We have been ‘accepted in the beloved.”
4. All these positions are eternal. Our understanding of these positions may vary with our personal relationship with the Lord. But the facts remain the same.
5. Only through divine revelation we can know it. Since we can not experience it, we ought to believe what the word of God says.
Some Bible scholars consider around 36 privileges / positions into which we enter. We will consider only few very important ones.
Very hard to understand, but it’s a truth revealed in various scripture portions. Not just He knew us before the foundation of the world; God planned, fixed and decreed our election before hand. cf. Eph. 1:4, 5; Isa 46:9, 10; 1Peter 1:20. Just as God planned the death of Christ in eternity, our salvation too was predetermined. cf. Exo. 33:17; Jer 1:5; Amos 3:2; Matt. 7:23. Romans 8:30.
The Basis of Election:-
What prompted God to elect us to be His own? cf. 1Corin. 1:27—29. We have nothing to boast as to be worthy of such an election. God chose the foolish things, weak, base and despised things. cf. Jn 15:16. “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
In His sovereign will and grace God foreknew us and chosen us in the beloved son Lord Jesus Christ. cf Rom. 9:11, 26, 13, 18; 11:5; 2Tim 1:9, 10. (1Th 1:4; Rom 8:33; Col 3:12.
The purpose of Election:-
Why did He choose us? Awareness of that will help us to know the blessed position we have in Christ. Some of the goals are:-
1. To be saved. 2 Thess. 2:13
2. To be blameless / holy. Eph 1:4
3. To be His own. 1 Peter 2:9; Deut 7:6.
4. To be conformed to His Son- Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 8:29
In the gracious choice and purposes of God, what blessed privileges we possess. Realization of this truth should encourage us as well as humble us.
Next:- X. Justification