Can the understanding of Election motivate us for Spiritual Growth and positive relationships?
Read Colossians 3:1-17
Being the elect of God or as some translations put it chosen and holy. In the Colossian context, refers to God’s people who are in community, who have a special guarantee and favor. This means we have a special personal and communal relationship with Jesus Christ, as He had with the Israelites in the Old Testament. Thus as Paul puts it, this as a question of how will we then live in response to our new life together?
Being a person who is elect, is also in the form of a duty, not to receive salvation, but rather for us to respond to what Christ has freely and lovingly given us. Our Divine election means He chose us not by merit or worth, but just because of His pure and perfect purpose and knowledge, which we do not deserve. And how do I know if I am elect? I will love Christ and desire to follow Him!
Thus, our election is also to motivate our “human responsibility,” not to rest and do nothing with our faith or responsibility! Election is never an excuse to ignore our faith or responsibility to produce fruit and unity but because we have been chosen and are secure in Christ and we can respond back to Him and others with gratitude.
Thus, when the reality of what Christ has done for us hits and motivates us, we can put forth every conceivable effort and passion to live out the Christian life. As Augustine, Calvin, and Spurgeon all said, divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand. So, why would we not put off what holds us back? Why would we not want to be grateful, grace oriented, forgiving, loving, and virtuous?
Election also means that God loves you!
We are His dearly loved and beloved. God loves you and accepts you more powerfully, passionately, purposefully, and deeply than you could ever fathom! You are secure. God “guarantees” you with a clear, powerful, loving, impacting, and lasting relationship with Him. When you are in Christ, God is pleased with you! You have no need to fear; you are a person of deep value and worth before our Lord! You are forgiven because of Christ and His righteousness that covers you—not because of your deeds or performance. You are unique and complete in Him; and because of this, you are a special person whom God loves and will use to further impact His kingdom (John 6:37, 44, 65;13:1; 15:16; Rom. 5:1-8; Eph. 1:4-5; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:21-22; 2:10; 1 John 4:9-11)!
God chose you to be one of His holy people, so you must clothe yourself in His love and His principles. We all must realize that others have faults and show them the grace and forgiveness that Christ has given us. We are to be in unity and filled with gratitude, which will set the tone for our lives, spiritual growth, and our relationship with God and others. This is about what we are to put on and put off in our lives. What are we to put on? Fruit, which is the Holy Spirit working in and through us, so we are oozing with His love. We are to become His masterpiece and showcase of God’s goodness and grace.
What is produced by our election?
Tender mercies, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness; these are virtues that are sealed and empowered by His love for us, which comes from Christ ruling our hearts and His Word indwelling us. This is not a set of ideas we are being asked to consider. Rather, we are called and “must do” them! What do we get in return? Peace, as Christ dwells in us and uses us in the lives of others through our words, attitudes, and lifestyle.
Thus, being elect will enable us to clothe yourselves, put on Christ as LORD. This means we can now emulate the character of our Lord Jesus Christ on how He acted and reacted as He walked this earth. This is a call to take on the character of Jesus and put it on us. Don’t worry; we do not construct this on our own. He imparts to us the power and ability to do so through His and the Holy Spirit’s work! It is something we do not force to come about; rather, it happens naturally as we learn and grow in Christ. Then, His character envelopes us, wraps around us as we take on the new identity of a person not only saved by grace but empowered and shaped by Him (Gen. 35:2; Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27; 5:19-23; Col. 1:15; 2:3; 3:10; 1 Pet. 5:5)!
Since Christ gave us new life and election, we have the empowerment, gifts, and abilities, and alongside that, the Spirit’s indwelling to rise up and live for Him. Because Christ is supreme, because He is there molding and guiding us, we can set our purpose and vision of our life in Him and for Him. He is our real life; He is our all in all. We share in His glory, so we can put to death all that holds us back from embracing and living for Christ, and become persons of spiritual maturity who are effective for the Kingdom! We can recognize sin and remove its influence from us.
Think this is not biblical? See for yourself: Deut. 4:37; John 3:16; 6:37, 44, 65; 15:1-16; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:29-33; 9:10-24; 11:4-5; 1 Cor. 1:1:2, 30; Eph. 1:4-5; Phil. 1:6; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Tit. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; 2:9, what do these Scriptures say to you?
1. What does it mean to you that God loves you and He chose you to be His? How can this help motivate you?
2. Do you understand what Christ did for you? If so, how will you have more hope and confidence to trust and obey Him?
3. What do you need to put on in your life? What do you need to put off?
What do you think?