Instruction from the Doctrine of Election
Since "election" is a doctrine of great importance no believer ought to be indifferent to it but rather need to put themselves on trial concerning their personal interest in it and when on trial they ought to be able to bring out of themselves and their Christian maturity evidences of it.
To do this we need to observe some of the properties of God's elect. Ask yourself concerning your salvation if you submit to mercy without arguing or trying to make "deals" with God.
Have you laid yourself at the feet of God and said to yourself, "Perhaps He will save me?" We need to say with Job, first in Chapter 13 verse 14, "Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?" And so Job recognizes that his life is not his own. His life and death are not in his hands but in God's. Then in the next verse, 15, we read, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:...". Can we do that and bow to God? Job has this noble love, love much higher than that of people who say that because I do this or that He must then save me for I have proved my love by my works. Job did not bring his works to the fore and demand that God save him but rather that no matter what God did he was resolved to go on trusting in Him. His love was not of that mercenary kind that Arminianism teaches, where the man will not stir nor even look towards the work until he has agreed to his pay. The other, the kind that was like Job, simply goes in and gets to his work and leaves it to the Master to give him what is right. Matt. 20:2,7 says, "And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard," then verse 7, "They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them. Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive." There are those who are willing to trust and those who do not. Which are you?
Do you believe God's sovereign commands to be true without argument? Abraham did, even in the instance of Isaac's sacrifice, even though he could not see how the promise of God and the death of his son stood together, yet he accepted it and so will Abraham's children, those who have the faith of Abraham. Those who have the faith of Abraham and who not only believe His sovereign commands to be true and accept them without question, they know that their Lord is a great King and is the absolute ruler of His dominion and where His domain is concerned He does not give account to any man. When He commands, they obey and never ask the reason why.
Does your love towards God hold the same course that His love holds for you? Will you give your life for Him if He asks it of you? Does all your obedience arise from your love for Him? Is His electing love the root of your love?
Do you rejoice in the thoughts of His electing love, what it is and where it came from and what it has designed for you and what will be the final result of it?
Do you aim at that which electing love designed you for, and because so designed will you work to achieve it? Are you better satisfied to be at the good pleasure of God than trusting to your own wisdom and do you then bless Him for His wisdom, grace and mercy because He has undertaken your eternal interest? These things could come from none but God, because of His decree and His plan.
Let me, also, besides these questions that need to be answered, add some tokens of true love as it is generally accepted in the conduct of men.
When one person loves another they delight to be in the presence of the one that they love and will seek means and occasions to converse with the loved one.
When one is absent from the person loved their thoughts will be on that person and will welcome the pleasant and loving remembrances that comes.
One who loves will seek to please the object of that love by presenting the loved one with objects that are lovely rather than those things that are repugnant.
These are just a few of those things that could be said but let these few suffice.
Here are some warnings that every believer should be prepared to accept since God has said what the future will invariably hold.
If you are one of the happy remnant of the elect then you can be sure that the world will hate you and try to do you ill. The men of this world have always hated the elect of God. Why did Esau hate Jacob? Because of the blessing. Gen. 27:41, "And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing...". And our Savior expressly says to His disciples, "...but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you," John 15:19. Believers love the world and the world loves them but when they are saved and come to believe in the election of God and its fruits as visible, then a man's enemies will be those of his own house and those whom he has in the past called friend.
And so it is that the very doctrine of election is found to be appalling and disgusting and all the world's hate is aimed against it and those who are part of it.
Having trusted His electing love for eternal salvation we should never distrust it for the things that seem to be of a lesser moment. When He ordained you to live He also ordained all those various occurrences of your life, the windings and turnings that will seem to be trouble for you but are for your good for it is sure that He loves you and does nothing for you in vain. The earth needs all sorts of weather for it's good, if there was nothing but fair weather the earth would die. We need to know that all our concerns, sorrows and joys were fore-ordained of God. There is no way for us to alter what He has decreed and we should not desire to do so nor accuse or challenge our God for these things. Nothing that God has decreed in His plan for His elect can be altered in any manner or form.
And, finally, let me say that if you have come to an agreement with this truth and having made diligent search in yourself and find in yourself those marks of God's elect then sit down and take comfort from it. Let this joy that the Lord has given you be your strength, eat your bread with a happy heart since God has chosen you and put His seal upon you.