Written by Daniel S. McPherson II
LESSON TWO: THE CONCEPTION OF GRACE
If man is to be saved, God must do something for him that he cannot do for himself. The Bible is very plain in saying that all men will not be saved. Therefore, it is quite obvious that God gives saving grace to some and withholds it from others. Does God have the right to do this? Why does God choose some? When did He choose them? Did He make the choice because of something in man or in Himself? Let us humbly look to God’s word for the answers.
- Part One: God is Sovereign Over All Things
- Read Isaiah 46: 9- 11
- Is there any like God? (v. 9)
- What does he declare? (v. 10)
- Will his counsel stand? (v. 10)
- What does God say he will do? (v. 11)
- Read 1 Chronicles 29: 10- 13
- Name the five things listed that belong to the Lord. (v. 11)
- How much in heaven and earth is His? (v. 11)
- Above what is the Lord exalted? (v. 11)
- Over how much does God rule or reign? (v. 12)
- What should our attitude be towards our sovereign God? (v. 13)
- Read Daniel 4: 35
- What are the inhabitants of the earth counted as compared to God?
- Can God’s purpose be thwarted?
God is the almighty, all-powerful ruler over all things. Whatever He declares will come to pass and nothing comes to pass without Him declaring it. The inhabitants of earth are counted as nothing compared to the sovereign God. We should humbly bow before Him and praise His holy name.
- Part Two: A People Chosen For Salvation
- Read Ephesians 1: 4-5, 11
- What did God do for the believer? (v. 4)
- When did he choose him? (v. 4)
- Why did God choose him? (v. 4)
- Believers were predestinated according to whose will? (vs. 5 and 11)
- Read John 6: 37
- Who will come to Christ?
- If it were dependent on man’s will, whom could the Father give?
- Will the ones given certainly come?
- Read Romans 9: 11-24
- Were Jacob and Esau born before God had made his choice? (v. 11)
- Had they done anything good or evil? (v. 11)
- For what purpose were they chosen? (v. 11)
- What does God say about Jacob? (v. 13)
- What does God say about Esau? (v. 13)
- Is God unrighteous for making this choice? (v. 14)
- On whom will God have mercy? (v. 15)
- On whom will God have compassion? (v. 15)
- Is salvation by man’s will? (v. 16)
- Is salvation by man’s work? (v. 16)
- On whom does salvation depend? (v. 16)
- Is it your place to question your maker? (v. 20)
- Does God have power over his creation? (v. 21)
- What is shown by God making vessels of wrath? (v. 22)
- What is shown by God making vessels of mercy? (v. 23)
Before the foundation of the world God, in his loving mercy, chose (elected) a people for himself. This choice was not made because of any foreseen faith, belief, or good works in the individual. God was under no obligation to choose anyone. In fact, God would have been perfectly just in sending the entire human race to hell. If it were not for God choosing some, then all would be lost.
- Part Three: Jesus Taught Election
- Read John 15: 16, 19
- Who makes the choice? (v. 16) Why were certain ones ordained? (v. 16)
- Why does Christ say that the world will hate believers? (v. 19)
- Read Matthew 24: 22, 24, 31
- For whose sake shall the days be shortened? (v. 22)
- False christ’s and false prophets would deceive whom, if possible? (v. 24)
- Who will angels gather together? (v. 31)
- Read Luke 4: 25-30
- To whom was Elias sent during the famine? (v. 26)
- How many lepers were cleansed by Eliseus? (v. 27)
- What was the reaction of the people to this doctrine? (vs. 28- 29)
- What’s your reaction?
Many people in our day have the same reaction to the doctrine of election that the people in Jesus’ day had. Man, in his natural state, hates this doctrine because it puts God on the throne and man at his mercy. When the Bible speaks of salvation by grace, that is exactly what it means! It is by nothing at all in man. God does the saving.
We must remember, however, that election is not salvation. It is God’s sovereign decree that marks out his chosen. All of the elect must hear the gospel and come to faith in Christ. They must be born again. We will look at this later on in our study.
"The ultimate destiny of every individual is decided by the will of God, and blessed it is that such be the case. If it were left to our wills, the ultimate destination of us all would be the lake of fire." --- A. W. Pink