Due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 3:6-7), humanity was plunged into a state of total depravity (Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12–21). Our entire being—mind, body, will, and spirit—has been corrupted by the power of sin. Amidst our sinfulness, however, God promised a plan of redemption. He would send a Savior who would redeem humanity from the curse of sin (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 3:13). From the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15 to the messianic prophecies in Isaiah 53, the expectation of a coming Messiah was a source of hope for countless generations.
When the time was right, God’s plan of redemption led to the incarnation of the pre-incarnate and eternal Logos: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14, ESV). In the incarnation, the Son of God entered human history as the ultimate expression of God’s glory, grace, and truth to redeem sinners from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. To this end, the Son voluntarily sacrificed His life on the cross and took it up again on the third day (John 2:19; 10:18).
The doctrine of election takes center stage within God’s redemptive plan. The elect are those who were sovereignly and graciously chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4–5). This doctrine does not negate human responsibility; rather, it magnifies the depth of God’s grace to undeserving sinners.
Central to God’s plan of redemption is the call to repentance and faith. Repentance involves an acknowledgement of our sinfulness and turning away from it (Acts 3:19; cf. Psalm 51:17). This is a crucial step in salvation because it places sinners into the hands of a merciful, gracious, and loving God who would never reject anyone who earnestly seeks Him (John 6:37; Hebrews 11:6).
Saving faith is confident reliance and trust in Christ alone to obtain salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9, ESV). Both repentance and faith are part of God’s plan of redemption and are necessary for humanity to be rescued from the bondage of sin.
As the pages of redemptive history unfold, the ultimate purpose for creation is revealed—total restoration of all things. This is not merely a return to a pre-fall state; it is a cosmic renewal whereby all things are reconciled to God through Christ: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19–20, ESV). This renewal encompasses the physical and spiritual realms, culminating in a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). The elect are not only recipients of eternal salvation but also co-heirs and participants in the restoration process.
In the consummation of redemptive history, God’s love, sovereignty, and righteousness will be on full display (Revelation 22:3–4). And the redeemed, now perfected, will stand in His presence with fulness of joy (Psalm 16:11; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12).