A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CONCORD SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST FORMULA OF CONCORD, EPITOME
Predestination, or God's eternal election, covers only the godly, beloved children of God. It is a cause of their salvation, which He also provides. He plans what belongs to it as well. Our salvation is founded so firmly on it that the gates of hell cannot overcome it.
It is not to be investigated in God's secret counsel. It is to be sought in God's Word, where it is revealed. God's Word leads us to Christ, who is the Book of Life, in whom all are written and elected who are to be saved in eternity. For it is written in Ephesians 1:4, "Even as He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world." Christ calls all sinners to Himself and promises them rest. He is eager that all people should come to Him and allow themselves to be helped. He offers them Himself in His Word and wants them to hear it and not despise the Word. Furthermore, He promises the power of the Holy Spirit and divine assistance for perseverance and salvation.
We should not reach conclusions about our election to eternal life based on reason. It would stir up destructive thoughts in people's hearts. For [if] they follow their reason, [they will think], "If God has elected me to salvation, I cannot be condemned, no matter what I do." [Or], "If I am not elected to eternal life, it doesn't matter what good I do; it is all in vain anyway." (paragraphs 4-9)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.