ELECTION -- I Thessalonians 1:4
IT is striking how the holy truth of election was woven into the common speech of the early church. When Paul greets the Thessalonians, he writes, "Knowing brethren beloved your ELECTION of God" (I Thess. 1:4). Peter begins his epistle with, "ELECT according to the foreknowledge of God;" and when he closes the same letter he says, "The church that is at Babylon, ELECTED together with you, saluteth you." John writes, "The elder unto the ELECT lady," and closes the letter with, "The children of my ELECT sister greet thee."
It was not at all awkward for election to come out even in these greetings and good-byes. Why? Because election was not merely a doctrine which they believed the Bible taught, but they worshipped the God of election. Election tells us God is God! and election tells us that salvation is all of grace. This was doctrine that not only a few of the more mature believers believed, but it was woven into the warp and woof of the thinking of the early church. It was the first thing Ananias told Paul about: "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee" (Acts 22:14). Remember this; you cannot separate election and God Himself. He is the God of election. The early church knew this, and the church of the 20th century knows it also!
-- Charles Nibert, Pastor