How May I Know That I Am Elect

How may I know I’m elect? First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced. Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition. Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope. Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ. Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it. Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness. Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative.

—A.W. Pink
The Doctrines of Election and Justification

This is a theologically rich statement that bears closer examination – there is much to be gained that could be lost by just a cursory reading of the text. How may I know that I am elect?

  1. By the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced.
  2. By the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition.
  3. By having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope.
  4. By the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ.
  5. By the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it.
  6. By avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness.
  7. By giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end.

In closing, it is helpful to remember the last statement in the quote: “Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative.” There is no one step program or method. We should ponder these words and give thanks that our election and salvation are a gracious gift, and that our final assurance of salvation rests not in our own weak power, but in the power of the triune God.

Via: Reformation Theology

Why the Doctrine of Election is Precious to Me

For some the doctrine of election (God’s free and sovereign decision to choose a people for salvation from the foundation of the world – Ephesians 1:3-6) is an abominable thought that produces great fear and concern. However, I propose that a clear understanding of this doctrine should instead produce hope and assurance. Allow me to share some of the reasons why the doctrine of election is so precious to me.

The doctrine of election is precious to me because it is biblical. In a display of the Father’s love for the Son, He gives a specific people to the Son (John 6:37). This truth is evident in the testimony of the book of Revelation when it declares that the only ones entering the eternal heaven are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27). John further testifies in Revelation 13:8, that these names were written in this book before the foundation of the world. In other words, one fruit of the Father’s love for Jesus, is our salvation. The Father made a free and sovereign decision to save a people as a gift for the Son and for His own glory from the foundation of the world (see also John 8:47; John 10:26-29; Romans 9:10-16).

The doctrine of election is precious to me because it secures my salvation. Jesus declared that all that the Father gave Him would come to Him and that He would never cast out any who came to Him (John 6:37). Jesus delights in receiving and keeping those whom the Father gives Him because He came to do the Father’s will (John 6:38-40), and the Father’s will is that Jesus not lose any of the ones that the Father has given Him but that He raise them all up on the last day (John 6:39).

The doctrine of election is precious to me because it encourages me to pursue holiness. Paul reminded the Thessalonians “God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, ESV). The Bible assures us that even though now we are only gradually being conformed to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), we will at glorification be completely conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

The doctrine of election is precious to me because it is the basis for assurance of my salvation. Because God gives a people to the Son, and because the Son receives that people and keeps them, I am assured that I will never be cast out (John 6:37), nor perish, nor be snatched out of Jesus’ hand (John 10:28). Can you imagine such assurance?  The God who predestines for salvation (election) will insure that all whom He calls to salvation will ultimately be glorified (Romans 8:30).

The doctrine of election is precious to me because it encourages me to share the gospel and gives me hope for fruit in evangelism and missions. Not only does the Father give a people to the Son (John 6:37), and not only does the Son receive these people and keep them (John 6:37-39), but the Father also assures that those whom He gives to the Son will come to the Son. It is the Father’s will that everyone believing in the Son have eternal life (John 6:40), and these who believe can only come at the Father’s drawing (John 6:44, 65). Therefore, if the Father gives a people to the Son, and He assures these people come to the Son, then we can be assured that evangelism and missions will bear fruit (Acts 13:48), and we can find encouragement in our Lord’s words to Paul, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” (Acts 18:9-10, ESV).

Finally, the doctrine of election is precious to me because it moves me to make much of God through Christ (true worship) and little of myself (humility). May we understand election and may it strip us of personal pride and move us to worship the Sovereign Lord in all His glory and grace.

—Juan Sanchez

Via: The Gospel Coalition Blog

Entering into Mystical Union

The Christian life is lived in the context of mystical union with Christ. This union finds its initial origin in eternity. Our salvation is from the foundation of the world, resting in the grace of God’s sovereign election. Paul indicates this in Ephesians 1:3-6.

It is in the Beloved that our redemption is found. From eternity, God considers the elect to be in Christ. Before our mystical union is effected with us in time, it is already a present reality in the mind of God.

Just as Christ invaded time from eternity two thousand years ago, so our eternal union intrudes in time through the work of the Spirit. What has always existed in the mind of God in eternity becomes a time-bound reality in the heart of the regenerate. The result is that, in Christ, through the Spirit, we will behold the Father at our death and from there to eternity. We are sons and daughters of the Father, as it was in the beginning.

Our salvation is by Christ and in Christ. By His righteousness we are made just. By His atonement our sins are forgiven.

Coram Deo: Thank God for your salvation, His righteousness, and His atonement for your sins.

Ephesians 1:3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”

—Dr. R.C. Sproul

Via: Ligonier Ministries Blog