Jesus said that everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34). But we have been set free, or redeemed, from sin and death through the payment of a price-the very blood of Christ. We now stand forgiven according to the lavish grace of God who not only sets us free, but reveals how He is bringing all things together under the Lordship of Christ. Jesus is the organizing principle of the universe, and He is able to free completely those who look to Him for grace.
As Luke begins to develop his portrait of Jesus, he begins at the beginning, and gives us an account of the birth of John the Baptist and his cousin, Jesus. Luke weaves together the two accounts to show that even though John the Baptist is a great figure in the outworking of God’s redemption, Jesus is the greatest figure. He alone is the Son of the Most High and the new king, who will occupy the throne of David forever. His kingship and kingdom, foretold long ago, have important applications for us today.
The doctrine of election, or predestination, is highly controversial. Surrounded by misunderstanding on one side and resistance on the other, it often remains an unpolished jewel in the crown of Christian theology. But Paul was not ashamed of the sovereign grace of God. It was the foundation of his eternal life, hope, and praise, and it may be ours as well through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.