The Doctrine of Election and Mission Work, by Prof. John Brenner

Our guest presenter for the May 2012 Institute meeting was Professor John Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He presented a paper exploring the relationship between election and mission work. We commend this paper for your study. — JES

When Paul presents the doctrine of election in the eighth chapter of Romans he lays out the order of salvation. God chose and predestined people in eternity. He foreordained that they would believe. In time he sees to it that they are called, justified, and ultimately glorified. To accomplish his eternal purpose God sees to it that each of the elect comes into contact with other people whom God uses to bring them the gospel. God gives a variety of gifts to individual Christians and to those who serve in the public ministry. God sanctifies these gifts and abilities and uses them in the ways he sees fit. To some God has given a winning personality that makes people naturally like them and to be drawn to them. To others he gives the ability to think quickly on their feet. To some he gives a powerful voice and pulpit presence. Others have the ability to be an especially engaging teacher. Some have tremendous energy and capacity for work. Some have a unique ability to understand the problems of others and to apply appropriate Christian counsel. To others he gives the ability to survive and thrive in another culture. Some are particularly gifted to work with little children while others are very good with teenagers or the old and infirm. These gifts do not make the gospel more powerful but God uses them to accomplish his purpose with the elect.

Rev. Jonathan E. Schroeder

Jonathan Schroeder is the pastor of Faith Lutheran in Sharpsburg, GA. He serves as the Moderator of the Institute of Worship and Outreach, pastor-at-large on the Synodical Council, and is actively involved in WELS School of Outreach and WELS School of Worship.

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