Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. (Psalms 65:4)
Psalm 65 is another of David’s psalms of praise. The first part of the psalm has always been one of my favorites because it declares one of the most crucial doctrines of God’s word. This is the doctrine of God’s sovereign choice of unworthy sinners for salvation. The psalm describes the person that God chooses and causes to approach Him. Actually, in this is found two great doctrines. The first is the doctrine of election and the second is the effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. God chooses the sinner for salvation and ensures He will receive it by the Spirit’s work of regeneration. Even though God chooses, we would not come by ourselves because our hearts are depraved and turned against Him. The scripture describes men as the enemies of God and hostile to every righteous intention (Rom. 8:7; James 4:4). In this condition, we will neither choose God nor come to Him. It is therefore the work of God that sinners believe (John 6:29) and also His work that we come (John 6:44).
The result of this election and effectual calling is the blessing upon the one who is chosen and called. What greater favor could any person be shown than to be chosen to enter the courts of the Lord? The court is His presence; it is the place He abides; it is to be near Him and enjoy Him for eternity. This verse clearly shows none of this is owed to anything we have done. God chose us and called us without considering anything He foresaw in us. Since this election was made before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), we know it cannot be based on good works that God foresaw we would do (Rom. 9:10-13).
God’s choice of certain individuals is not a doctrine barely noticed because it is well concealed in scripture. There are many places such as this that put the doctrine on open display, so that it cannot be disputed. Amazingly, as prominent as it is, there are those that hate it. Preachers will either skip over the many glaring instances of it, or else try to explain it away.
Once you understand these doctrines and accept them, you will never open your Bible again and spend very much time without seeing them. The Christian who gladly embraces this teaching has a completely new world view opened before his eyes. He sees Christ magnified and God glorified because he understands he had no part in his salvation. “Salvation is of the Lord” is the cry that continues to ring in his ears. He will never attribute any part of what happened to him to his own contributions (Titus 3:4; John 1:12-13). Even his will is overcome and changed in regeneration, so that he sees Christ and gladly comes to Him (John 3:8).
Many Christians have come to me joyfully proclaiming their new found understanding. They appreciate that Berean Baptist has opened their eyes to these truths. The theological black holes that many fall into and the brick walls they run up against are filled in and torn down, so that the word of God seems fresher and livelier than ever before.
It is no wonder we love these doctrines. Like David, it brings us to our knees in praise. Who are we that we should come into the courts of the Lord? We are His—He has chosen us—He clothed us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We come because He caused it. If you find a greater reason to glorify God, please tell me. This is enough to put me at the door of heaven. Anything more and surely I must be there!
Pastor V. Mark Smith