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A Concise Calvinistic Catechism

Category Articles
Date January 8, 2010

What is the Doctrine of Election to Salvation?

Election is the holy and loving choice by God of those who are to receive his grace. (Ernest F. Kevan)

God chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world . . .(Arthur Pink)

God’s elect were the definite objects of his eternal love. (Arthur Pink)

How is Election to Salvation Sovereign?

Salvation originates not in man but in God. (Simon J. Kistemaker)

He that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him. (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

Let it be a settled principle in our religion that men’s salvation . . . is wholly of God. (John Charles Ryle)

It is God alone who saves, and that in every element of the saving process. (Benjamin B. Warfield)

It is God’s prerogative to determine who shall be vessels of mercy, and who shall be left to the just recompense of their sins. (Charles Hodge)

Scripture Proofs:

He hath chosen us . . . before the foundation of the world . . . having predestinated us . . . according to the good pleasure of his will. (Ephesians 1:4-5)

That the purpose of God according to election might stand . . . Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Romans 9:11, 13)

How is Election to Salvation Unconditional?

Election depends not upon . . . worthiness, but upon the will of God. (Elnathan Parr)

God chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe. (Augustine)

We are not chosen because we are good, we are chosen that we may be good. (Benjamin B. Warfield)

When God elects us, it is not because we are handsome. (John Calvin)

Our salvation flows from the fountain of God’s free mercy. (John Calvin).

There is no place in the Scriptures for an election which is carefully adjusted to the foreseen actions of the creature. (Loraine Boettner)

Scripture Proofs:

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. (Romans 11:5-6)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me. (John 6:37)

I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen. (John I1:18)

I have chosen you out of the world. (John 15:19)

He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. (Psalm 147:20)

What Heresy Opposes this Doctrine?

The Arminian’s notion [of election] (is) that it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works or perseverance. (Christopher Ness)

What Names are Given to those Elected to Eternal Life?

The elect are they whom God has chosen to everlasting life. (Thomas Boston)

Chosen . . .not all men, but some only. For where all are taken there is no choice made. (Thomas Boston)

These who are written in the Lamb’s book of life, i.e. true elect. (James Durham)

The Lamb’s book of life . . . is a catalogue of the elect. (Loraine Boettner)

The work . . . which shall be wrought in them and upon them shall denominate them a holy people. (Matthew Henry)

The elect are called the redeemed of the Lord. (David Dickson)

Scripture Proofs:

God’s elect. (Romans 8:33)

His own elect. (Luke 18:7)

Chosen . . . before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)

The people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)

They which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27)

And they shall call them: the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord. (Isaiah 62:12)

How May God’s Elect be Known?

They have passed through the strait gate of regeneration, or the new birth. (Ebenezer Erskine)

Faith as the fruit of election is also the proof of election. (R. B. Kuiper)

None can know their election but by their conformity to Christ; for all that are chosen are chosen to sanctification. (Matthew Henry)

Holiness is the only evidence of election. (Charles Hodge)

Elect men and women may be known and distinguished by holy lives. (John Charles Ryle)

Scripture Proofs:

After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Titus 3:4-5)

But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:2)


Taken with permission from Peace and Truth, the magazine of the Sovereign Grace Union, 2009:4.

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