To those whom God gives and preserves His Word, by which people are enlightened, converted, and preserved, God commends His pure grace and mercy, without their merit… We cannot know about matters outside of and beyond what God has revealed to us in His Word. This eternal election of God is to be considered in Christ, and not outside of or without Christ. For "in Christ," the apostle Paul testifies, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world," as it is written, "He has blessed us in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:4,6). However, 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" (Matthew 17:5). Christ says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Concerning the Holy Spirit Christ says, "He 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 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9). (paragraphs 61, 64-66)
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.