It’ll turn you on your head.

The Second Adam and the New Birth by M.F. Sadler

This book finished the job blowing my former paradigms of baptism away. It is solid in its handling of Scripture and assembles an impressive arsenal against the view that baptism is merely symbolic. It is neither Roman Catholic nor baptistic in its view of baptism; rather it treats the doctrine biblically without falling into any particular ditch. My only caveat is that it gives away too much regarding the doctrine of eternal election, which the author states that he believes wholeheartedly.

The doctrine of election

This begins the second sermon on the practical application of basic Christian doctrine.  Today we will be looking at the doctrine of election.  Most of us are pretty sure we know what election is:  God’s choosing to save a particular group of people before the foundation of the world.  But that’s where we stop.  We think of it as what God has done and that’s the end, but the Scriptures don’t teach election as an abstract doctrine that we only have to believe.  In fact the term is used in several ways, and I hope we can see that as we proceed this morning.

Let’s start with what we know:  election is God’s choosing a people unto Himself – Eph. 1:4-6.

  • It is all of God and none of man – Rom. 9:11, 16.
  • We believe in God’s eternal election of men, and we believe it because Scripture clearly teaches it – John 6:37, 39.
  • But when we refer to this, we think of it almost always referring to individuals, while Scripture doesn’t always do that.
  • Election can refer to any individual (Isa. 42:1), in this case, it’s Jesus.  It can refer to all the predestined of God from eternity (II Tim. 2:10).

Most often though, the term “elect” or “chosen” is used to refer to a visible group of people who are in covenant with God (Deut. 7:6-8, Isa. 41:8, I Peter 5:13, II John 1, 13)

  • This is a key because we’re used to thinking in terms of the elect being an invisible group, but the prophets and apostles referred to the elect as (more…)