The ultimate aim of creation, of history, of salvation, of theology, of all that has been made and can be known is this: that the triune God would be magnified in the praise of the glory of his grace (Ephesians 1:3–6). For this reason, God elects saints to come to believe in his Son and so be made “holy and blameless before him” (Ephesians 1:4). Thus, our understanding of God’s unconditional election begins and ends with the praise of God’s own infinite glory.
The biblical doctrine of election refuses to let our own comfort rule in place of God’s word. It is not a comfortable feeling to say at the same time, “God is totally sovereign” and, “Man is wholly responsible.” But this is the testimony of God’s word, and we cannot silence either truth in order to secure a theology which fits easily in our categories. This is the truth that Calvinists love: a God who cannot be confined within the narrow limits of our human reason — a knowledge too wonderful for us, which we cannot attain (Psalm 139:6) unless God graciously reveals it to us, to the praise of his glorious grace.
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 5 in a series on Ephesians called “Seeing and Savoring the Splendor of God’s Sovereign Grace.”