T.U.L.I.P. - Lesson 4

Total Depravity and Unconditional Election

"Total" depravity doesn't mean you are as bad as you can be. The point of unconditional election is that there are no conditions we must meet to be among the elect. God chooses individuals he will bring to faith. The Arminian position is that God chooses a corporate entity, so that it is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, but that they are elect because they are in the church. We don't belong to God because we come to Jesus, we come to Jesus because we belong to God.

John Piper
Lesson 4
Watching Now
Total Depravity and Unconditional Election

Total Depravity and Unconditional Election

I. "Total" Depravity

II. Unconditional election

A. Individual vs. corporate election

B. We were dead so that faith had to be given to us

C. We come to Jesus because we belong to God

D. World missions is gathering children of God not betting children of God

  • Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. The Bible holds up Romans 8:28 with foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. We imagine things about God and act as if they are true. Verses like Ephesians 1:4 and Revelation 13:8 refer to God's plans that were in place before the foundation of the world.
  • Dr. Piper explains his assumptions about the authority of scripture, the importance of understanding and applying what it teaches and the role of the Holy Spirit in making it possible. The five points of Calvinism were first articulated in response to five objections that Arminians had to Calvin's theology in the 1600's.
  • Irresistable grace means we are brought to the place where grace gives us faith. Conditional talk from God to us should not be taken to mean he is dependent on us to meet the condition or that we should consider ourselves self-reliant in meeting the condition he has laid out. He intends to enable us to meet the condition so he can act. If grace were not irresistable, we would not incline to God because of our condition of total depravity. In summary, total depravity means that apart from any enabling grace from God, our hardness and rebellion against God is total. Everything we do in this rebellion is sin, our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment.
  • "Total" depravity doesn't mean you are as bad as you can be. The point of unconditional election is that there are no conditions we must meet to be among the elect. God chooses individuals he will bring to faith. The Arminian position is that God chooses a corporate entity, so that it is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, but that they are elect because they are in the church. We don't belong to God because we come to Jesus, we come to Jesus because we belong to God.
  • We are unable to believe in Christ but we are accountable for doing so. In election, God had a design in mind when he chose the foolish, the weak and the low to populate his church so that no human could boast in his presence and so we would praise and exalt God.
  • Is God's election based on his foreknowledge of your faith, or is faith the effect of your election? (see Romans 8:28-30) Faith is the effect because all the called, believe. Romans 9:1-23 is an argument for the justice of unconditional election. The heart of the righteousness of God is his unswerving allegiance to always uphold his glory.
  • God's aim was the revelation of the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. The apex of that glory is the glory of grace. The supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. The atonement is the work of God in Christ, by his obedience and death, by which he cancelled the debt of our sin, appeased his holy wrath against us, and won for us all the benefits of salvation.
  • Even though believers are accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and slavery to sin is broken, sinful desires progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. All who are justified will win this fight.
  • It's important to determine theological truths by basing your ideas on scriptural texts, not just logic. These scriptural truths can encourage us to live our lives in relationship to God, worship him, tell others about him and look forward to his kingdom being realized on earth.

God is sovereign and has planned everything about our salvation from before the foundation of the world. Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

Dr. John Piper
Total Depravity and Unconditional Election
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] The following message is by Pastor John Piper. More information from Desiring God is available at www.DesiringGod.org.  What I'd like to do now, Lord willing, is to move with some dispatch through the passages on total depravity, because I spent longer than I thought I would on that page. And I think I've set the tone that I really wanted to set. And now what's remain what remains to be done, as far as my concerns for you, is that the word total gets some biblical meaning and not just any old meaning, because usually when when you hear that somebody believes in total depravity, but you ask them, So you believe we're are we are as bad as we can possibly be. That what total means. In other words, I don't I do the maximum evil I could do. And they deep down are saying I could show you that I could do more evil than I do. And so we don't we don't mean that a person is doing all the evil that they could possibly do. So what do we mean when we say that our depravity as human beings is is total? Maybe the word doesn't even need to be used, could be pervasive or profound or deep or horrible or. But I'll show you the sense in which I mean, there are five of these senses. Number one, depravity is total in that it affects every human being. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is no man who does not see in First Kings. 846 Psalm 143 Do not enter into judgment with your servant. Four in your in your sight. No man, living is righteous. First, John. One eight If we say we have no sin, we're deceiving ourselves.

[00:02:24] And the truth is not in us. No, that's spoken to believers. But the argument would be, if it's true of believers, how much more would it be true of others as well? So my first observation is that total can be taken to mean the extent of our sinfulness is that it covers everybody. There's nobody outside the fall. Number two, our rebellion or hardness against God is total. That is, apart from the grace of God. There is no delight in the holiness of God and there is no glad submission to the sovereign authority of God. So apart from grace. There is no no delight in the holiness of God. There is no glad submission until grace moves in to a fallen heart. Those things don't happen in the heart. Romans 939. What they. And are we better off than they? Not at all. For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin. As it is written, none righteous. Not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks for God. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now, where you find a seeking, you may be sure, therefore, that you have God nudging God, drawing God doing something. My point is, we don't seek and we don't delight in him. We don't pursue him apart from his enabling grace because of how depraved we are. John 319 This is the judgment that light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light, for their deeds were evil men loved darkness. Just choose darkness. Men love darkness. We love darkness for everyone who does evil hates the light. So this is a love and hate issue. Our condition is not neutral. It's like a pendulum, you know, or a metronome.

[00:05:02] We're not poised, neutral. We are hating light and we are loving dark and does not come to the light for fear that misdeeds would be exposed. But he who practices truth comes to the light so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. That is, if you do make a wise choice. If you do come to the light, what will be shown is that this has been wrought in God. I think meaning God has wrought it. God has brought it to pass. And so where you see somebody breaking free from their depravity with spiritual interests and hungers and longings, you may be hopeful God's beginning to do something here and you pray may bring it to consummation in conversion. When you skip it, go to number three. In his total rebellion against in his total rebellion, everything man does is sin. Now, we spent a lot of time on that, so I think I'll just pass over it and just remind you that everything we do that is not from faith is sin. So the totality. So it's like if a person says, I could do more evil than I do, you say, Well, you only do evil. So there's no only there's no more to do. You could do different kinds of evil. You could do more harm for evil. But as far as your relation to God, if you're not trusting him to help you and seeking his glory in what you do, then what you're doing is in rebellion against him and therefore it is sin no matter what quality at the horizontal level it has been before. Man's inability to submit to God and do good is total. So the inability to submit and the inability to do good is a total inability.

[00:07:28] Ramsey, verse five. Those who are according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh. Those are according to the spirit. Set their minds on the things of the spiritual setting of two kinds of human beings. One, they are according to Spirit, the other they are according to flesh that was born of the flesh is flesh. That which spawned the spirit is spirit. So either you're just flesh that is human, or you have been born of God and you are in the spirit and the spirit is in you as the two alternatives. Verse six four The mind set in the flesh, literally the mind of the flesh is death. But. The mind of the Spirit set on the Spirit, literally the mind of the spirit is life and peace. Why is that? The mindset of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not. To start with does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able. So he moves from does not to care not to do so. And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. So you are two kinds of human beings. Those who are born of the flesh and are simply human with no spiritual life. They've not been born again, and they are simply what we are by nature, apart from divine grace and regeneration. And then you have those who are born of God and whose eyes have been opened and they have been united to Christ, and life has begun to flow in their spirits. Those are the two groups. And you say this group over here that are people who simply have the mind of the flesh, they are the ones who build the hospitals and get us to the moon and invent many things and run the world.

[00:09:27] They are not able to submit to God's law and they cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh. You are in the spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, He does not belong to him. So verses seven and eight here of Romans five are very powerful in stating the moral condition of those who are fallen. And it might be good here to just point out something for you to ponder. The word cannot hear and not able. Here you might think, well, if a person is not able to do something, he can't be held accountable to do it. That's that's the usual response to total depravity. If you say that a person is so depraved, so depraved that he's unable to submit to God, then for you to require that he submit to God is both foolish and he's not responsible for responding since he's not able to. So here's the problem with that. The Bible simply doesn't assume that's the case. It assumes the opposite to be the case that the fact that you are so much in love with evil that you can't choose good does not excuse you from choosing good. In fact, it intensifies your guilt. But this assumes that the kind of ability or inability we're talking about is what Jonathan Edwards calls a moral inability, not a physical inability. So if I am chained to a chair physically and you command me to get up and everything in me wants to get up and I make every effort to get up, and then you punish me for not getting up. I'm being treated unjustly. But if I'm sitting in the chair and it's vibrations and it's warmth and everything about and I'm never going to change on me, it's just everything about this chair feels so good.

[00:11:59] Then you say, Now I want you to stand up and you say, I'm just an animal. Stand up. And you love sitting in that chair so much that so much can rise to a level of moral inability. That's the kind of inability being spoken of here. You have to ask yourself, do you believe in in such a category of thought that there is a kind of bondage of the human heart to sin that makes it unable to choose good. And it's a real unable and a real responsibility? There's one of the mysteries that you have to face. Do you believe that human inability at the moral level can go hand in hand with human responsibility at the moral level? And if you can't, you throw nothing I say in this seminar will work for you. That is a prerequisite for embracing anything sensible about this whole way of understanding life is that we have to agree with the biblical assumption. We have to agree with the biblical assumption that. I am so sinful, I cannot see or savor Jesus Christ as my supreme value, and I am guilty for my failure to see him and savor him because it's owing to a moral inability, not a physical inability. John three five. Truly, truly. I say to you, Jesus says, Unless one is born of water in the Spirit, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the spirit of spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again. So our our inability to submit, owing to the fact that apart from the Holy Spirit, we are simply flesh. Romans six. Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.

[00:14:44] And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. So here conversion is pictured as you having once been a slave of sin, and the escape from that slavery is owing to God because you saying thanks be to God that though you were once, that you became obedient. So we shifted out of our slavery into obedience because of God. I'm going to skip over these these other passengers and jump to number five. Our rebellion is totally deserving of eternal punishment. Among them, Ephesians two, three among them. We two all formerly lived in the lost of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. So our depravity, our nature constitutes us, his children of wrath, which I, I take to mean that we are suited by nature to be shown divine wrath. How can that be? And before I answer that question, more texts on it. Second Thessalonians 189. God will deal out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. Away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. Or Jesus, who spoke of hell more than anyone in the New Testament. These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous, into eternal life. The totality of our depravity means that because of our rebellion against God and our corruption of the goodness that He gave at the beginning, we have offended him in such a way that we deserve eternal punishment. This is simply mind boggling and breathtaking. Children are better at conceiving this than most of us adults are. You remind a child early on that not to believe in Jesus will lead him into never ending suffering.

[00:18:08] Child might lose some sleep. We ought to lose some sleep thinking about hell as never ending suffering, never ending torment, never ending year after year. Century after century millennia. Millennium after millennium. Age after age forever. And when you think of it, you have to ask why such a severe response? And the way the problem will be framed sometimes is why would we get an eternity of punishment for a temporarily limited time of sitting? Isn't that disproportionate? And wouldn't the considerations of justice mean that if we did 70 years of sinning, we should get maybe 70 years of suffering? But do you know that's not the way justice works? That would be like saying because it only took you 10 seconds to kill the little baby. Therefore, you should spend 10 seconds in jail. Justice doesn't quite work like that. It's not a matter of how long is the duration of the crime. It's the heinousness of the crime, the severity of the crime, and the severity of crimes. Rise and fall not simply by how long the crime lasted, but by several other factors, one of which is the dignity of the person. Sinned against an offense against the president of the United States will be treated with far greater seriousness than just a random insult on the street. He will be watched and guarded much more carefully because so many things are at stake. God is an infinitely worthy being and therefore a sin or an offense against him is an infinitely worthy punishment worthy of an infinite punishment. That's the way Jonathan Edwards argues for. Why hell makes as much sense as it does and should sober us and take our breath away. So my fifth observation with regard to total depravity is that we are totally deserving of the kind of wrath that we are promised.

[00:21:05] So conclusion of total depravity or total depravity means that apart from any enabling grace from God, our hardness and rebellion against God is total. Everything we do is in rebellion against Him in sin. Our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment. It's hard to exaggerate the importance of admitting our condition to be this bad. If we think of ourselves as basically good or even blessed and totally at odds with God, our grasp of the work of God and redemption will be defective. But if we humble ourselves under this terrible truth of our total depravity, we will be in a position to see and appreciate the glory and wonder of the work of God discussed in the other four points. So a great deal hangs emotionally on how you feel about your own sin. If you if you come at the doctrines of grace and are not deeply moved about your own unworthiness, then these doctrines will not land on you as winsome lay, as preciously, as if you come with a sense of There's no hope for me. So let's turn now. Let's turn now to the doctrine of unconditional election. And. This is a hope filled doctrine for those who feel themselves totally depraved and utterly without hope and help. Maybe I can illustrate how this actually works in pastoral settings. So what we're going to argue here now in the doctrine of unconditional selection is that before the foundation of the world, that God contemplated the world to come. He chose who would be rescued from the fall and who wouldn't be without respect to their having met any conditions as the basis of his choice. All of us have proved guilty.

[00:24:08] All of us deserve punishment. Justice would be served if all of us perished, and therefore the election is gracious and free, and that I am plucked out of the ocean is owing to nothing in me. Nothing. Nothing. Now, here's a person sitting in your office. This has happened more than once, and he feels absolutely hopeless because of the track record of sin in his life and how many times he has scorned God and sinned against him and is deeply trapped in sin. And he knows that you believe in unconditional action and and he throws that back in your face. And so you knew he would you say that that or may not be elected. And if I'm not elected and I can't be saved here in this room anyway. Now, what are the functions of unconditional action at that moment in the counseling session is to enable you to say to him, you know, don't you, that the implication of the doctrine of unconditional selection is that you have absolutely no right to tell God you have sinned yourself out of the possibility of being saved. Who do you think you are? To describe a list of long conditions that you have failed to meet as to why he cannot save you. See what they've done? They have listed off year after year after year of failure in their life, and they're throwing that at me now and saying there's no way I could be saved. Look what I have done. And you say, Excuse me. The point of unconditional election is to free me as a pastor who loves you right now and an evangelist is to free me to look you right in the face and say, you better shut your mouth rather than tell God all the conditions you haven't met such that you could be among the elect.

[00:27:00] There are no conditions for being elect. You feel the implication of this young man? There are zero conditions for being among the elect. So all of your narrative of your life long sins have zero to do less than nothing to do with whether you can be among the elect freeing effect that has right there. It should strip him of all of his arguments that my ten, 15, 20, 30 years of lechery and rebellion make it impossible for me to be among the elected. Unconditional election means that I, as an evangelist at that point say to him, You can talk to your blue in the face about all the conditions you haven't met. And I will simply say to you, that's the point. That's the point of the UN. None of those arguments can be used against God. None of those arguments can be used in the mouth of Satan to make you ultimately despairing unless you just want them to. In choosing whom he will choose. God does not look to things in us. He has his own wise counsels for why he does what he does, and I don't know them ahead of time. And so I just want to say to you, Leave it behind, brother, right now. Leave it behind that you're going to keep bringing it up to God. All the reasons why you can't be among the elect, none of them holds, whether you are among the elect depends on one thing. Will you submit to Jesus, Period. And then you may know whether all that failure condemned you or not. It need not. So I don't I don't come at these doctrines as though they somehow trap me, somehow limit me from doing the kind of evangelism I want to do from pleading with people be saved.

[00:29:58] Which is one of the practical illustrations, relate to a few of you, I'm sure. When my son from age 19 to 23, walked away from everything, walked away from the Lord, walked away from the church, walked away from the faith and threw it away. I would shed more tears in those four years than in any other time in my life. And that brought me more pain, more continual agony than anything, anything I've ever walked through because I just loved him so much. And I have a treadmill in my office and I jog when I'm not sick three times a week and I pray and I listen to sermons and and oh, my. He was always there. He was there with every song I listened to. It was there with every sermon I listened to. And I never let God go. I just took hold of God's rope will not let you go. Now, sometimes people would ask me how that all related to my Calvinism. And you feel kind of fatalistic about him because of what you believe about election or irresistible grace. And my whole response emotionally and theologically was No. Just the opposite. Just the opposite. I sat in so many linchpins and Pizza Hut across the table from him during those four years, just kind of probing. How are you doing? Is there any movement of God in your life and have his face come back to me so spiritually dead and blank? I felt absolutely, totally helpless. And I was I was helpless. And therefore, the only hope I had was God elects unconditionally and exerts irresistible grace. If there's going to be any any salvation, it's going to be God doing it. I can make it happen. And so my my theology, my theology.

[00:32:35] Was a great bomb, and I think God was just merciful. He didn't have to do what he did to bring him back, but he did. So I will mention that in addition to that evangelistic thing in my office, two illustrations just say these doctrines to me have been lived out in some pretty serious ways and are precious to me for very profound reasons. So here's the definition of election in the Reformed or Calvinist understanding. This is from the Westminster confession. Those of mankind that are predestined unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid according to his eternal and immutable purpose. And the secret counsel of the secret counsel and good pleasure is will hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works or perseverance in either of them or any other thing in the creation as conditions or causes moving him there to and all to the praise of his glorious grace. Heart of that is chosen in Christ under everlasting glory. So God chooses whom He will bring to faith. Pass over that one and go straight to the more contemporary response. Now, here's here's the alternative view. If you say, well, of what's what would be the the Armenian response to the Czechs you're about to bring up in terms of its conclusion or their conclusion and where they lead. And I'll give you actual quotes here from those today who would disagree with where we're going. Namely, that election is corporate and not individual. So when I say that God elect, I mean he chooses which individuals will come to faith. When the Armenian speaks of election, he means that God chooses a a group, but he doesn't determine decisively who gets in the group.

[00:35:39] So he elects a body of people, the church. But who's in and who's out is decisively determined not by you. So he doesn't elect individuals in this eternal sense. He elects a corporate entity. So let me read those. The point is that this is Faustian Marsten book in 73. The point is that the election of the church is a corporate rather than an individual thing. It is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect. It is rather that they are elect because they are in the church, which is the body of the elect one. I think that is exactly wrong. People are chosen by God and thus enabled to be in the church, not the other way around. Here's another one. This is Clark Pinnick. Election is a corporate category and not oriented to the choice of individuals for salvation. Election speaks of a class of people rather than specific individuals. The grace of God and the will of man. Now we have to test those against Scripture. Okay. That's what we're going to do to test those two claims against what we see in the Bible. Here are the texts. The one that's most common for supporting that view of corporate election. Ephesians one. Blessed be the garden Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, just as He chose us in Him. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. And so it's argued that what God really chose was Christ and his church, those who would be in him. But He didn't choose to make us in him. We make ourselves in him by virtue of our decisive choice of him. So I doubt that that's there in this text, but that's where they would go to see it.

[00:38:29] Down a few verses verse 11 in that chapter. It goes like this. In Christ also, we have been chosen, having been predestined, according to His purpose, who works all things after the counsel of his will. And I'm asking here, does all things here include our faith? Who works all things according to the Council's will in Christ? Also, we have been chosen, having been predestined according to the purpose of His will, who works all things. And if it includes faith, then the faith that brings us into Christ was also worked by God, and therefore the election includes the election of who will be in the church or in Christ, which is what I think this in fact means. But we will look at many texts to show why we think that. The problem with taking those checks to support corporate election. This is Ephesians. So that was sufficient one to know Ephesians two were we dead and unable to believe so that life and faith had to be given to us? In other words, as you read chapter one, what would incline you to think that the election there of chose us in Him chose us in him is not a selection of individuals and whether they would be in Christ, but a selection of Christ and whoever gets themselves into him. What would incline you to think that way? The text doesn't imply that you could say the text could go either way at that point. But what would incline you, I think, is, is whether you read the rest of the book and you saw things that would point you in that direction. And I find myself soon as I get to chapter two, pointed very much in another direction besides chapter one, verse 11, God being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace, you have been saved and raised us up with Him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages we might show the surpassing riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

[00:41:16] For by grace, you have been saved. Says it again here, Grace. You've been saved through faith. And that note of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone Shabbos. Still, when He says you were dead and you were made alive. And then he sticks in this parenthesis, it doesn't fit. This is exactly the way it works in Greek as well as English. It seems out of out of place. It's like an insertion. You have to put it in parentheses by grace. You have been saved. Why does he insert that? He's going to say it again right here by grace. You've been saved. But he says. He says it here in verse five. Why does he say it right there? And I think he wants us to see that this grace is of such a nature that it makes dead people alive. That's what grace means. If if Grace waited to see whether we would make ourselves alive and then respond, it wouldn't be grace that the way Paul conceives of grace. Anyway, when we were dead in our trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ, parentless by grace. You have been saved. So when I read that, I say nothing in me is inclined to go back to chapter one and say He chose us in Christ means he chose an undefined mass of people, and he waited to see whether they would get themselves alive so that they could be in Christ. It just doesn't fit. He makes us alive, and thus he grafts us into Christ. And thus the election is an election into Christ and not just of Christ. It is an individual election, not just a corporate election with an undefined membership. Now we start looking at passages of Scripture that show us the individual nature of the election.

[00:43:50] First Corinthians 126 to 30. Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many Wise according to the flesh. Not many. Mighty. Not many noble. But God has chosen the foolish things got His chosen the foolish things in the world to shame the wise God has chosen the weak things in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen the things that are despised, despise, has chosen the things that are not so that he may nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before God. No one may boast before God. But by His doing from Him. From him, you are in Christ. Jesus. No. There. There it is. How you get into Christ Jesus by his doing or from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. So here you have election being spoken of as of individual people, that the church as a whole God has His sovereign reasons for choosing whom He chooses, and He chooses against all our expectations usually. And just when we think he's got his expectations figured out, he'll break that pattern and do another pattern because he doesn't want us to. Everything that we've got his pattern figured out of why he chooses what he chooses. It's according to his own secret and sovereign choice by his doing. You are in Christ Jesus. You don't get yourself into Christ Jesus and thus become part of the elect. He doesn't elect Incognito. He elects particular people. James two five. Listen, my beloved, did God not choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and the heirs of the kingdom God chose who would be in the church particular people for himself. Romans 11 1 to 8.

[00:46:22] His election, the effect or the cause of obtaining salvation that is of four known faith. Do you know? Do you not know that the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have torn down your altars. And I alone am left, and they are seeking my life. But what is the divine response to you? I have kept for myself 7000 men who have not bowed the need to bail in the same way. Then there has also come to be, at the present time, a remnant according to God's gracious choice or God's the grace of election. A remnant there has come to be a remnant according to God's gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works. Otherwise, grace is no longer grace. What then? What Israel is seeking? It has not obtained. But those who were chosen elect obtained it. So obtaining it here is not a condition you meet in order to be elect. It's the elect who obtain it and the rest were hardened. So I regard that text right there as a clear statement that election is not a non individual election of an undefined group of people who get themselves into that people. Election is the very foundation of how you obtain what you are seeking as a Jewish person. And here's the way it said in other terms. Somebody wrote me a little note here on platform and referred to this text as being so decisive in their life and it has been important for me to x. 1348 is election based on foreign faith, like the Armenian say, or does faith happen because of election? When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing in glorifying the Word of the Lord.

[00:49:14] And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. As many as had been appointed to eternal life. Believe said. Which way does it work? Do you believe, and thus enter into your appointment to eternal life? Or had you been appointed to eternal life? And now that's what enabled you to believe. And Paul is saying as he looked at the response in the synagogue there, his answer was those who believed were the ones who had been appointed to eternal life. And so election this appointment was the foundation of the belief, not the other way around. Which is why the argument that the Armenians used that those whom he for knew he predestined. We'll get to that text shortly. Doesn't hold. It wouldn't work here to say that our faith is what decisively brought us into the appointment and God foresaw our faith and thus chose us. It's just the other way around here. We were appointed and because of that appointment, believed John, 1769. Do we belong to God because we come to Jesus? Or do we come to Jesus because we belong to God? I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours. They were yours. And you gave them to me. And they have kept your word. I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but those whom you have given me for, they are yours. So that order right there shows that the election is on the basis of not who came to Jesus, but who came to Jesus was governed by who was already gods that is already elect or John. 637. All that the father gives me, the father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me.

[00:52:05] I will certainly not cast out. This is the will of him who set me that all that he has given me, I lose nothing but raise it up at the last day. So all that the father gives me will come to me. So who comes to him? Those that the father gives to him. You know, John's gospel is often portrayed as the simple gospel. And it is grammatically, there's nothing simpler in the New Testament. It's written So basically. But this issue, I would argue that the most predestined area in Book of the Bible is John's gospel because of things like what we just saw. And this to me, to wrap things up here in just a minute or so so that we can go. John 1024 227 Are we his sheep because we believe or do we believe because we are his sheep? The Jews then gathered around him and were saying to him, How long will you keep us in suspense? If you're the Christ, tell us plainly and Jesus answer, Do I told you and you do not believe so? They do not believe the works that I do in my father's name. These testify of me. But you do not believe. And then he stops their mouths as though they could say, Well, at least we're frustrating your design by not believing. And he says there is an idea that believes this. You do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep, hear my voice and I know them. It simply won't work. Folks just say that election is a choice of an undefined group of people who decide for themselves whether they will be in that group or not. This text says the reason you Pharisees are not believing me is not ultimately because of your free will.

[00:54:48] It's because you're not in my sheep. You're not in the number. I have other sheep that are not of this fall and must bring them all. So they will hear my voice and I will be. They will become one flock and one shepherd. Close with this one. Actually 89. The Lord said to Paul in the night, My vision. Don't be afraid. He's in Corinth. We're afraid any longer. But go on, speaking. Do not be silent, for I am with you. No man will attack you in order to harm you. I have many people in this city. That's the way God spoke to Paul about doing evangelism in view of divine election. I have a people in this city. You don't know who they are. I know who they are. I have brought you here to find them. And the way you find them is simply by scattering the gospel, preaching the gospel. I will make sure that my sheep hear my voice and respond. And those who don't respond resist you. He will. Because they are. They are not among my sheep. They're not among my chosen ones. And they are guilty in their rebellion. Now we have more work to do on the doctrine of unconditional election. But we need to stop here and pray. So, Father, I pray that we would be stunned first by our own depravity and then stunned that we would have been brought to life by your free choice of us owing to nothing in us. There'll be no boasting in us that him who boasts boast in the Lord, which we do as we go. In Jesus name, Amen. Thank you for listening to this message by John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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