Religion and politics might be famous conversation killers to avoid at Thanksgiving. But if you really want to push Aunt Suzy to tears, defend the doctrine of election. You know… the biblical doctrine that God has foreknown and predestined those who are saved since the beginning (Matthew 22:14; Mark 13:20; John 6:37, 17:9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30, 9:11-13, 16, 18-20; Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:1-2, and many, many more…).
As important as this precious truth is, this morning’s Morning and Evening warns against the frenzy of focusing on this doctrine without Christ. He is the answer to all of election’s questions. Do you want assurance of your salvation? Run to Jesus before running to a Christian bookstore. As Spurgeon says below:
Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.
I am so thankful for the truths of election and divine sovereignty. God has not only won the war, but every battle belongs to Him as well. Nothing surprises Him. No one fools Him. He is in complete control of all things from beginning to end. Not one of His children will slip through His fingers. He loses no one. Salvation truly belongs to the Lord. However, if I rely on my growing understanding of election while ignoring the Christ who saves, what have I gained? No, we know our election when we know the Savior.
Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.
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For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you. — 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Many persons want to know their election before they look to Christ, but that is not possible; it is only to be discovered by “looking to Jesus.”1 If you desire to ascertain your own election, after the following manner shall you assure your heart before God.
Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? Go straight to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell Him that you have read in the Bible, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”2 Tell Him that He has said, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”3 Look to Jesus and believe on Him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for as surely as you believe, you are elect.
If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God’s chosen ones; but if you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you do not know what you are asking. Go to Jesus, just as you are, in all your guilt. Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”4
Christ was at the everlasting council—He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”5 There will be no doubt about His having chosen you when you have chosen Him.
Sons we are through God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe.
1 Hebrews 12:2, 2 John 6:37, 3 1 Timothy 1:15, 4 2 Timothy 1:12, 5 Jeremiah 31:3