The eternal election of God is to be considered in Christ, and not outside of or without Christ. The apostle Paul testifies, "He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world" as it is written, "He has blessed us in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:4,6). This election is revealed from heaven through the preaching of His Word, when the Father says, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (Mt. 17:5). Christ says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). Christ says, the Holy Spirit "will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you" (John 16:14). So the entire Holy Trinity - God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - directs all people to Christ, as to the Book of Life, in whom they should seek the Father's eternal election. For this has been decided by the Father from eternity: whom He would save He would save through Christ. Christ Himself says, "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). And again, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9). However, Christ, as God's only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18), has announced the Father's will to us. Christ says, "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life" (John 6:40). (paragraphs 65-67)
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.