Equipping at LivingWaters – by Pastor Scott

Equipping at LivingWaters - by Pastor Scott

Election Results!

Did I get your attention?

No, I’m not writing about a current political debate or any specific election results.

The doctrine of election in the systematic study of Scripture is a highly contested concept among everyday Christians and educated theologians. The doctrine often creates controversy, division, and is misrepresented or misunderstood.  My prayer is for God to preserve our unity as believers who are willing to wrestle with God’s sovereign purposes and His plan of salvation for the sanctification of His people, who are called by His Name – Christ followers, “predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29).


Simple Biblical definition: election is a choice; “to elect” or “to be chosen” by God and for His purposes.

Christians have been chosen out of sin and for sanctification to be conformed to Christ.

The Greek verb “to choose” or “to elect” can be found at least 22 times in the New Testament and the noun “elect” (eklektos) is used 22 times referring to a variety of subjects (Jesus, angels, nations & people).

So, what is the controversy and debate about?

Most often the debate is about the basis or conditions for election.

Very simplified definitions (and labels) below:

  • Works: God elects on the basis of self-generated good works of righteousness (Pelagianism)
  • Faith: God elects on the basis of foreknown or foreseen faith (Arminianism)
  • Unconditional: God elects on the basis of His own sovereign good pleasure alone (Calvinism)
  • Reconciling option based in the mysterious and “higher ways” of God (Isaiah 55:8-9 & Romans 11:33-36)

Since the Scripture clearly teaches that it is by grace we are saved by faith in Christ Jesus, we can rule out option #1 above. So, the discussion considers and focuses on how faith, the foreknowledge of God, free will, human repentance & responsibility and the sovereignty of God can abide together.

Are faith & repentance works of righteousness? No!

Are faith & repentance choices of free will and cause for election or is faith delivered by the Holy Spirit as the effect of being elected? Cause or effect?
Let our deeper study, diligent treatments of Scripture and devoted love begin!

In preparation for Sunday, August 20, please read Romans 9:1-6 ~ God’s Sovereign Choice

“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit.

I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed…” 

Our systematic framework (small “f”) is important, but the Text (author, audience, context & language) must remain foundational (large “T”), so Holy Spirit, please let the Biblical text speak to our hearts and minds.

As we consider the challenging passages in Romans 9-11 this fall, it will require a more in-depth study & prayer than can be covered during a Sunday morning sermon – let’s “close the gap” by searching the Scriptures daily.

Equipping Responsibility

Christianity today, especially in America, is suffering from an expanding Sunday to Saturday gap in essential early Church devotions found in Acts 2-4 and Romans 12.  Who we are and what we do on Sunday drops off on Monday and the chasm continues to widen through Saturday until we meet again on Sunday.  Closing the “devotion gaps” of Bible study, fellowship, prayer & worship requires an intentional commitment and plan.

A clear responsibility of the Church that is devoted to the Apostle’s teaching (Acts 2:42) and devoted to one another in love (Romans 12:10) is the commitment to build one another up to maturity in faith through various equipping ministries. God placed on my heart the vision for a dedicated equipping ministries space that I like to call the livingWATERS L.I.F.E. Center ~ Leadership Institute for Equipping

Dedicated to the purpose of making disciples & equipping the body of Christ to be sent & to serve:

Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors & teachers, to equip His peoplefor works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, becoming mature in ChristEphesians 4:11-13

While we are currently unable to build dedicated structures set apart for equipping ministries, we are very much committed to providing opportunities to equip & empower people for kingdom of God ministries.

Consider signing up for one or more of these upcoming opportunities for deeper growth:

August 25-27 = the Discerning the Times conference with Pastor Elijah Abraham

Sept. 5 – Dec. 19 (Tuesday evenings) = a weekly in-depth Genesis Bible study with Dr. John Mayer

Sept. 12 – Dec. 5 (Tuesday evenings) = a weekly Knowing God study on Bibliology with elder Gene Dahmes

Oct. 1-4 (Sunday-Wednesday) = the Experiencing Israel Now conference with Pastor Andy Cook

You can sign up for any of these studies on the equipping ministries page of our church website:


Also, consider closing a “devotion gap” by connecting with a small group, home fellowship or ministry team.

Contact Pastor Rob Olson if you are looking for ways to get more connected at livingwaters church.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Scott


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