The Elect: Chosen as God’s Firstfruits

Taken and adapted from, “An Antidote Against Arminianism or A Treatise to Enervate and Confute All The Five Points of It” Written by, Christopher Ness; London, published 1700.
Posted on June 22, 2015 by Paul D. Posted in “The Dead Puritan Society”

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“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
–2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)

God hath in all ages given us examples of His free receiving some of mankind and rejecting others…

…this is plain from Scripture history. Of Adam’s three sons, Cain, Abel, Seth, the eldest was rejected. Of Noah’s three, Japheth, Shem and Ham, the youngest was rejected. Of Terah’s three, Abraham, Nahor, Haran, the middlemost was rejected; for Nahor was an idolater, and Laban sware by Nahor’s idol (compare Ge 31:53 with Jos 24:2). Now why this picking and choosing, this receiving and rejecting; eldest at one time, youngest at another time, and middlemost at a third time? What is all this but to show that neither birth nor age, nor anything foreseen or existing in the creature, can produce any claim, but that all lies in the free election of God!

We can give no reason, save the good pleasure of God, why Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar (both engaged in the same warfare against Israel, the church of God) had different dispensations of Heaven upon them; the one was hardened and the other humbled; why Pharaoh’s baker was hanged and his butler restored to his office again; why two men shall be in one bed, the one taken, the other left; why two women shall be grinding at one mill, the one taken, the other left; why Aaron’s rod, of all twelve, only blossomed.

Eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23); He doth not sell it for foreseen faith or works, but He freely gives it. Now if all these fruits of election be free, then the election itself to these fruits must be free also. If faith be the free gift of God (Eph. 2:8), then predestination to faith must of necessity be also free, for God worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).

Christian believer, there is much comfort and establishment to be drawn from a view of the freeness of the grace of God; then:

1.  Admire free grace in this decree of predestination, and cry, How is it, Lord, that Thou dost manifest Thyself and Thy love to me, and not unto the world (John 14:22)?

2.  Thou makest not thyself to differ from others, but free grace does it for thee. Thou art a lump of clay in the hands of the potter, no better than others; yea, pressed down to hell by Adam’s fall; that God should lift thee up to Heaven, be thankful.

3.  Rejoice in the Lord, sing to the honour of His great name, and live to His praise and glory. Did David dance before the Lord with all his might? Did he say to Michael, “It was before the Lord, who chose me before your father, to appoint me ruler over… Israel; therefore will I play before the Lord” (2 Sa 6:14,21)? David’s appointment, at that time, was but to an earthly kingdom; thou art freely chosen to inherit a Heavenly: therefore I say rejoice.