Election, Grace, and Love (Van Dixhoorn)

The Westminster Confession says this of the elect: “[God] chose them out of his free grace and love alone, not because he foresaw faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of these, or anything else in the creature, as conditions or causes moving him to do this…” (ch. 3.5).  The following Scriptures teach as much: Eph 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thes. 5:9, Rom. 9:11, 13, 16.  I appreciate Chad Van Dixhoorn’s comments on this truth of unconditional election:

“All of this flows out of God’s sheer, ‘free grace,’ a grace which is tinged – no, saturated with his love.  Of course, the Lord sees all things.  But he did not peer into the future in order to find sparks of faith that he could fan into flame.  To think that we can do something that will make God then choose us is to construct a facade in the hope that God will add a real structure behind it.  He did not predestinate us to salvation because he predicted our good works, or knew we would persevere in the Christian life.  There is nothing in us that motivated his choice.  He set no conditions which he needed to foresee before he would choose us.  All such notions need to be deconstructed before we can advance in the school of grace.  There was no human cause that set God in motion towards our salvation.”

As Paul said, “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will, to the praise of his glorious grace.” (Eph. 1:4b-6a NIV).

The above quote is found on page 51 of Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2014).

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI

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