Colossians 3:12 / The Elect of God

Posted on August 16, 2015


This is the fourteenth in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of August 16, 2015. This message deals with election and predestination. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript).

Col 3:12


This verse reiterates who this letter is written to, it is the elect.

First, we tend to think of the term “elect” in relation to a process (i.e. as a verb). However, throughout Scripture it is used as a noun, simply a reference to a group of people (or occasionally an adjective, i.e the elect angels). As it refers to people, it is always a name for the saved.

The word “election” occurs 5 times in the New Testament as a reference to a process which God uses. So the question becomes, what is the process of election?

This is a term that is often used in conjunction with a calvinistic view of predestination, so we will explore that.

  • Romans 8:29-30

Who did He predestine? Those who He foreknew. (Any Predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge.)

What were they predestined for? To be conformed to the image of Christ.

Who did He call? Those who were predestined by His foreknowledge.

It is not God’s will that any should perish, so there is an open invitation to all men, as God seeks to draw all men to himself.

  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • John 12:32

Not all will believe. Nowhere does the Bible say that some people are predestined to heaven, while others are predestined to Hell. The closest we can come to that is Ephesians 1:5
That; however, does not negate God’s foreknowledge. We will probably never understand all of the complexities of the eternal relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. What is clear is that God’s purpose for people was not an afterthought; it was settled before the foundation of the world.

People are to serve and honor God. If you believe in Christ, you can rejoice in the fact that God has always known you. All have equal opportunity for adoption, and God predestined those who would answer the call. In a nutshell, God predestined (predetermined) the believer’s destiny, which is to become like Christ.
The only standard we should have for testing doctrine is “thus saith the Lord.” If it doesn’t meet that standard, then we must dismiss it as a false teaching.

Christ died for all:

  • John 3:16 
  • Romans 10:12  

All have an opportunity for salvation:

  • Romans 2:11
  • Romans 10:13 

Salvation must come through Christ:

  • John 14:6  

God draws all:

  • John 6:40 
  • John 6:44
  • John 12:32

Jesus already knows who will answer the call:

  • John 6:64

Predestination is a Biblical reality, but pure Calvinism is not. Calvinism is summed up in these 5 points:

  1. Total depravity (true)
  2. Unconditional election (true)
  3. Limited atonement (false)
  4. Irresistible grace (false)
  5. Perseverance of the saints (true)

We must remember that salvation is entirely the work of God, and dependent on man’s faith. . . all at the same time.

  • Ephesians 2:8-10

God’s love is eternal, His wisdom and power are supreme. Here is what we know:

  • It is not God’s will that any should perish.
  • Jesus draws all men to Himself.
  • God’s foreknowledge is infinite, He knows who will answer the call, and who will not. 

Based on that foreknowledge, those who will answer the call are predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ. Thus us the process of election.
The Bible makes it clear that salvation is available to all, and that accepting it or rejecting it is an act of free will. God calls, justifies and glorifies, and in that we can rejoice.

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