I’m enjoying the third volume of Petrus van Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology that just came out. Here’s a great section where van Mastricht explains one practical aspect of unconditional election:
It urges us to gratitude. [When] we have already obtained the certainty of our election, it obligates us to gratitude: ‘Blessed be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who chose us…’ (Eph. 1:3-4). ‘We ought always to give thanks to God, beloved, by the Lord, because he has chosen you from the beginning.’ (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Thess. 1:2, 4).
I say [it urges us] to gratitude because:
He elected us when he could have reprobated us (Rom. 9:21).
He elected us instead of so many myriads whom he passed by and reprobated (Rom. 9:27-29; 11:3, 5, 7, 22).
He elected us as fallen, corrupt, sinners, and enemies (Rom. 5:8; Ezek. 16; 5-6).
He elected us led by pure, unadulterated mercy (Rom. 5:8; Ezek. 16:5-6), not by any expectation of any profit or advantage whatsoever, led by his good pleasure alone (Eph. 1:5; Matt. 11:25-26).
He elected us not to slavery, or some sort of friendship with God, or any other lesser benefits, but to adoption (1:5), justification, sanctification, and eternal glorification (Rom. 8:30), to an inheritance which can neither perish, nor be corrupted, nor be weakened, which is preserved in the heavens for us (1 Pet. 1:4).
He elected us in Christ, that is, to be redeemed by the blood of his very own and only begotten Son, to be united with him, and to be blessed with the communion of all his benefits: we are beloved from the foreknowledge of God through the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:2), so that we might be complete in him (Col. 2:10; 1 Cor. 1:30); he elected us to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29).
He elected us through the sanctification of the Spirit (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13), that is, through him to be regenerated, converted, and renovated (John 3:5; Titus 3:5).
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015