Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Elect of God – elect, chosen.
I always found it interesting that the Calvinists who place so much emphasis on being “one of the elect” can never tell you if you ARE actually one of the elect even though Paul here in Col. 3:12 definitely declares you TO BE the elect of God. He says in vs. 12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness…” There’s no question here about your standing before God. You are the elect of God. Period. He’s saying in these passages that since you are the elect of God then you should put on all the inner qualities of Christ in the outliving of your faith!
What does that phrase, elect of God, mean exactly? Did God choose us to be saved?
No, He didn’t choose WHO. He chose HOW and WHAT our standing would be before Him because of our faith. We Gentiles were, according to Eph. 1:4, “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” He didn’t choose WHO got saved. He chose WHAT our standing would be before Him because of our faith. He chose that we all who in our free will came to Him in faith should be holy and without blame before him in love. Our standing before Him in Christ would be perfect because of our faith.
Romans 8:29 tells us, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” He didn’t predestinate WHO got saved. He predestinated that all who get saved would be conformed to the image of his Son. He predestinated that His Son would be the firstborn among many brethren, the first to be permanently resurrected from the dead so that we believers might all have His resurrection life, which is how we are made able to conform to His image – through the transformation and power that came with His eternal life.
Before the foundation of the world, God looked down the corridor of time into the future to see what would happen if He were to implement a period of grace before He brought the world to judgment. He foreknew everyone who would come to Him by faith. Foreknowing who would come to Him by faith doesn’t mean that He forced anyone to believe. He simply foreknew all who in their free will would come to Him by faith.
And by foreknowing who would believe, He chose how His grace would operate in us today by making our standing before Him holy and beloved in His Son. He also chose us in the sense that He chose to implement this whole period of grace because He wanted that intimate relationship with each one of us, and because He wanted all of us to be part of His family, and because He wanted us to walk this Earth as His ambassadors knowing that we’re holy and without blame in His love.
How can you not love predestination?
Sometimes it is said that so-and-so “moved Heaven and Earth” to accomplish something. God literally moved Heaven and Earth to have a relationship with you. Before God ever spoke the world into existence, He decided He was going to die for you so He can have a relationship with you and live His life out through you. Is there ever a point when that thought isn’t mind-blowing?
Consider that God sacrificed His Son and altered the course of prophetic history because He wanted that relationship with you. When you consider the fact that He showed His love to us through the death of His Son, that He showed His love to us in this entire package of grace whereby we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10), seated in the Heavens (Eph. 2:6), and co-inheritors of everything with His only begotten Son (Rom. 8:17), and that He showed His love to us by virtue of the fact that He planned for all of this before He ever spoke the world into existence, I don’t see how we cannot get up every morning and not praise Him for all His incomprehensible love and grace!
God the Father foreknew who would believe. He chose us in the sense that He chose to implement this whole period of grace with us walking the Earth knowing that we are holy, elect, and totally without blame before Him in love because of what His Son would accomplish on the cross, and He did it all because He wanted that intimate relationship with you. He, therefore, predestinated you to be a recipient of all His spiritual blessings, made alive unto God as ambassadors for Christ conformed to His image with a ministry of reconciliation to the lost and dying if we merely come to Him in faith by accepting His Son’s death, burial, and resurrection as a complete payment for all our sins.
Isn’t that amazing?
“Elect of God” carries with it the idea of ALL that God predestinated to accomplish in us today in the age of grace for believing in His Son.
In light of everything Paul established up until this point in Colossians – the glory of Christ, the glory of His perfect work of redemption, and our completeness in Him, “elect of God” in chapter 3 has such a powerful impact. “Elect of God” carries with it the full weight of what God predestinated to accomplish in us through the perfect work on the cross. What an amazing thought that the creator of the universe before the foundation of the world was ever laid determined that because of our faith in His Son we’d be transformed, complete in Him, forgiven, elect, holy, beloved, and we’d also be conformed to the image of His Son before a lost and dying world.