John Stott (et al.) on the Doctrine of Election

John Stott comments on the doctrine of election from his commentary on Ephesians:

a. The doctrine of election is a divine revelation, not a human speculation

It was not invented by Augustine of Hippo or Calvin of Geneva. On the contrary, it is without question a biblical doctrine, and no biblical Christian can ignore it. According to the Old Testament, God chose Israel out of all the nations of the world to be his special people. According to the New Testament he is choosing an international community to be his ‘saints’ (verse 1), his holy or special people. So we must not reject the notion of election as if it were a weird fantasy of men, but rather humbly accept it (even though we do not fully understand it) as a truth which God himself has revealed. It seems natural that at this point we should seek help from Calvin. He preached through Ephesians, from the pulpit of St Peter’s church, Geneva, in forty-eight sermons beginning on 1 May 1558. Here is one of his comments: ‘Although we cannot conceive either by argument or reason how God has elected us before the creation of the world, yet we know it by his declaring it to us; and experience itself vouches for it sufficiently, when we are enlightened in the faith.’[1]


[1] Stott, J. R. W. (1979). God’s new society: The message of Ephesians. The Bible Speaks Today (37–38). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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