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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Deuteronomy 7:6-8, "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt."

This morning, as we read words of comfort from God's word, it makes us pause to consider once again just
how high and righteous He is, and how low and worthless we are, by nature. Indeed, He has made us worthy to be partakers with Him in glory, but by nature, our place and just position is as far removed from His pleasure as east is from the west. Many times, people show forth their theology in their conduct with their fellowman. It is not hard to spot "works religion" theologians by their conversation.  Sadly, my own conversation speaks such things from time to time (as I believe we are natural born Arminians). If a man believes his own actions merit heaven, he is going to show forth such behaviour in this life as he will think that he is deserving of things he works for and complain when they do not happen. However, grace makes a man humble as he understands that he is worthy of no attention and deserves no honour. This man will walk humbly with his God and not complain even if credit that is rightly his finds its way to another. For, even if we have worked and laboured, at the end of the day, the credit still belongs to someone else: the Lord Jesus.

The words above came from Moses as he is bidding farewell to his brethren as they are about to enter
into Canaan's Land. Moses would die on this side of Jordan, but he is encouraging his kinsman in the
things that the Lord has done for them, has promised to do for them, and their responsibility to walk
righteously. Moses here utters a grand declaration of the love of God for His people that shows forth that
God's love is not based upon anything "natural." He did not pick the mightiest, largest, greatest,
noblest, etc. When players are chosen to play for certain teams, the ones doing the choosing seek out
the strongest, fastest, ablest athletes they can as they want only the best for the team that they are
representing. The Lord did not act thusly when the choice (election) was made for His objects. His love
was not based on their strength or ability, for if it were, then none would have been chosen.

Israel in the Old Testament is a picture and shadow of the Lord's elect family. (I Corinthians 10) While
we understand from the New Testament that there are more in God's family than are in natural Israel, they
serve to show us an example of how the Lord commands and interacts with His chosen. Furthermore, the
language above shows (in a figure) that God's eternal election did not come about due to foreseen good
works, the eternal vital children heresy, or to populate heaven's spirits. These thoughts are all
espoused by different groups to try to "explain" God's election in some kind of way that the human mind will
accept. God's election is based solely on His foreknowledge. (I Peter 1:2) The foreknowledge of God
is not simply knowledge of something in advance, for if that were the case, then all things (and people)
would be loved and chosen of God. Rather, God's foreknowledge is a special knowledge that is intimate
in nature and involves a foreordination based out of love.

Therefore, God's election came about as a result of love that involved purpose. That purpose was that His
people would live with Him in glory, which we call predestination in complete conformity to the image of
Christ. (Romans 8:28-31) This choice can be seen (in type) by the choosing of Abraham out of his family.
There is nothing remarkable about Abraham's first 75 years of life (according to Scripture), but after the
Lord calls him out of Ur of the Chaldees, we find that God's attention in His word is solely devoted to
Abraham's journeys. Then, Isaac comes about contrary to nature (again showing that God's choice is not the
"natural" thing). Finally, Jacob is chosen over his brother Esau before birth and any works come about.
Looking at Israel's heritage, it is easily found in their patriarchs (their fathers) that the promises were not made from natural contrivances. Rather, the choice and promise was made according to God's pleasure.

Likewise, God's eternal choice of His people cannot be fathomed by natural contrivances and humanistic
reasoning. This story is greater than any story ever told. It supersedes even Israel's experience, for the
type will never exceed the anti-type. The Lord chose Israel (in their patriarchs) as a peculiar people unto
Himself. Then, He redeemed them from the curse of Egypt, and finally, He led them through the wilderness
to the Promised Land of Canaan. While we could go into great detail about that story, let us focus for a
moment to consider the greater story being foreshadowed. The Lord, before time, chose a people based solely on His pleasure to live with Him in glory. He sent His only begotten Son to redeem them from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them. Finally, they will all be delivered up without the loss of one into that sweet land that Paul called .

If we feel by God's grace to be in that number, we should humbly beg Him to help us ever live in such a
way as to not bring a blight and reproach upon His matchless name. He has been so good to us, beloved,
that we need to feel impressed to serve Him acceptably in our lives. This story does not lead to lazy
service, for it is the only story that can impress us to Godly service. Finally, let us never hang our heads when speaking about this choice of God when some try to make us feel guilty for believing in such a "wicked and unjust god." This most worthy doctrine shows forth that He is both the most loving and just Being that could be worshipped and served. I once had a man try to make excuses for disproving the doctrine of election by saying, "Well, if election is true, then we have this circle with God's elect family in there. So, what about this little old lady that wants to get in the circle but can't?" The problem is, his circle is smaller than God's. Were it not for His choice, not one would desire to be in, and since He has made choice, our desire shows forth that we are already in the arms of His love.

In Hope,

Bro Philip