I realize the truths of election are hard to swallow. I remember the way I resisted when I first heard them taught. But the more I have grown to understand these truths, the more they comfort me.
Here’s one reason to be encouraged by this difficult doctrine: You cannot lose what you did not choose. If God chose you out of sheer grace, to the praise of His glory, for a life of Spirit-filled obedience, and put His own Son to death in your place to secure that election, how in the world could you ever lose that? You cannot lose what you did not choose, Christian.
Paul writes with such encouragement in Romans 8:29-30—For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. The author and finisher of your faith is God Himself. You cannot lose what you did not choose.
“But what about persevering? I feel like I’m such a failure! I keep messing up!” So did Peter, the man who wrote the letter we're studying as a church. Remember him! Doubting Jesus when He told him to take his boat out to sea after a long night catching nothing. Putting his foot in his mouth on the mountain with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Taking his eyes off Jesus and sinking after walking on water. Rebuking the Son of God after Jesus prophesied of His crucifixion. Insisting that he would never deny Jesus. Falling asleep when he should’ve been praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Cutting off Malchus’ ear. Denying Jesus three times. Telling the Lord “no” when God told him to eat foods that were previously considered unclean. Caving into peer pressure around a group of Jewish Christians in Galatians 2. If anybody could have lost their election, it was Peter. But He didn’t because you cannot lose what you did not choose.
This doesn’t mean we don’t need to persevere. In 1 Peter 5:12, Peter says “I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.” This letter is written so we will stand firm, so we will persevere. And to do that we need grace and peace. And that’s exactly what we are given.
Look at 1 Peter 1:2: “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” I am a horrible math student. I was told growing up that math wasn’t very important, so I graduated high school with such an abysmal understanding of math that I had to take 9th grade math in college. I don’t know a lot, but I do know this: if you multiply by zero you’re always going to end up with zero. You cannot multiply something unless you already have some of it to begin with.
Here’s the Good News, Christian: because of the doctrine of election you have already been given a treasure trove of grace. That’s what election is rooted in, isn’t it? It’s rooted in complete unconditional grace. And that results in a treasure trove of peace. You who were once a hostile enemy of God now has peace with God. Because you’ve already been given immeasurable grace and peace, you can be confident that God will multiply grace and peace to you. When you need grace and peace, you will have it. Every morning. Every staff meeting. Every long night with a sick family member. Every time you sit down to pay the bills. In every temptation. In every doubt. Because God has already given you grace and peace in abundance, you can rest assured He will multiply to you everything you need whenever you need it.