Wednesday, July 1, 2009

7/2- Election and Perseverance

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

37 All whom the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:29)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide: so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you. (John 15:16)

Calvin: Since the church consists of the people elected by God, it is not possible for those who are truly its members to perish finally, or be destroyed by evil forces. For their salvation depends on so sure and solid a foundation that, even though the whole world be thrown out of its orbit, it cannot fail or fall to pieces. They may waver and fluctuate and even fall down, but they will not be bruised, because the Father supports them…Hence, those whom the Father elects he surrenders into the protection and care of his son Christ that none of them should perish, but that they might be all restored on the final day. Under such good protection they can both wander and totter, but they surely cannot be lost. (OS 1:87)

Those who are given to God cannot be snatched (plucked) out of His hand. He will not cast them out either. Those who are elected, are elected for life, not just for a term. God chooses us forever, and He chooses us to bear eternal (abiding) fruit. Calvin was saying election has to do with perseverance, and assurance- or peace within. We do not have to worry about earning our salvation, nor do we have to worry about losing our salvation. It all is of God, whom we can trust and believe. It is clear, that Calvin does not follow predestination because it is a theory or philosophy, but because of its practical implications.

Prayer: Thank you God, that we can rest in your promises and love.

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