The Lamb’s Book Of Life
Peter L. Meney | Added: Jul 13, 2023 | Category: Editorial
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One of the exciting privileges of expectant parents is the opportunity to choose a name for the new baby. Nowadays, many parents know the gender of their child before it is born, such is the power of science and technology. I remember being intrigued as a young boy to hear my mother list the several possible names that had been considered for me and the alternatives depending upon whether I turned out to be a girl or a boy.
Later I learned in Sunday School about the Lamb’s Book of Life which contains the names of all those who will enter heaven. I learned the names were written from the foundation of the world. This was a puzzle to me. If my name was written in that book who chose what my name would be? God, or my mother and father? Even as a child in a freewill church God was preparing the mind and heart of one of His elect to receive and believe the gospel of sovereign grace.
In time I learned a little more about this record of God’s elect. By the ‘Lamb’s Book of Life’ is meant God’s decree of election to eternal life, hence the name ‘the book of life’. It is the Lamb’s book, that is, Christ’s book, because He is compared to the lamb in the legal sacrifices which typified His work of atonement. It also alludes the Saviour’s character of gentleness, meekness, and purity. The Lord Jesus was present at the foundation of the world when the ‘book’ was written and knew all the names in it.
By this we learn election and predestination are eternal works of God and not dependent on anything done in time by man. So, too, election is personal and particular. Those chosen in Christ are named individuals, not groups or nations and they are known to God. Being a book it is durable and stands as a record of God’s will and purpose. It is a sure, certain and unchangeable decree. What is written is written and will endure according to the sovereign purpose and good pleasure of God.
Some wonder if their name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It is no secret. The names written there by eternal decree are revealed in time by the coming in faith of each named individual to Christ. Jesus said, ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). ‘The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his’ (2 Timothy 2:19).
So who really came up with my name? ‘But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine’ (Isaiah 43:1).
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