Unconditional Election and Assurance

What's So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?If you want a short, biblical, and edifying explanation of the doctrines of grace (aka TULIP), you’ll want to start with Richard Phillips’ What’s So Great About The Doctrines Of Grace?  At the end of each doctrine, he gives several points of application. 

For example, here’s one way that unconditional election is great: “Because it promotes assurance of salvation but not presumption.”  The quote is worth posting in full.

“The Bible establishes salvation on the basis of saving faith in Jesus Christ.  No one who does not display credible faith in Christ should ever think himself elect.  Election, like salvation, is only ‘in Christ.’  But what a comfort it is to know that if I do believe in Christ, the Bible tells me I was chosen by God from before the foundation of the world.”

“Here is where the doctrine of election so greatly helps.  It tells us that if we can say to God that we trust in Jesus, then God tells us our faith is grounded on the solid rock of his eternal election.  We are not saved by believing we are elect; rather, we realize we are elect because we have faith in Christ.”

“Faith assures us that we are secure in God’s eternally strong hands.  How many Christians stumble on in weakness, burdened with doubts that would be erased if only they knew their salvation rested not in themselves but in God?  Election tells us that it was God who sought us and not we who sought him, that God called us to himself because he chose us long ago.”

“I don’t know about you, but that changes everything in my struggle for assurance of salvation, and therefore gives me peace about my eternal soul.  Calvin speaks with characteristic understatement when he write, ‘If we find no certainty in things on earth, we must know that our salvation rests upon God, and that he holds it in such a manner that it can never vanish away.  This is a happy consideration.’”

Richard Phillips, What’s So Amazing About The Doctrines Of Grace?, p. 46-7.

rev shane lems