VII.—Hence arises a seventh argument for the preaching of predestination, namely, that by it we may be excited to the practice of universal godliness. The knowledge of God’s love to you will make you an ardent lover of God, and the more love you have to God, the more will you excel in all the duties and offices of love. Add to this that the Scripture view of predestination includes the means as well as the end. Christian predestinarians are for keeping together what God hath joined. He who is for attaining the end without going to it through the means is a self-deluding enthusiast. He, on the other hand, who carefully and conscientiously uses the means of salvation as steps to the end is the true Calvinist.

Now, eternal life being that to which the elect are ultimately destined, faith (the effect of saving grace) and sanctification (the effect of faith) are blessings to which the elect are intermediately appointed. “According as He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4). “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God…and ye became followers of us and of the Lord” (1 Thess. 1:4,6). “God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). “Elect, according to the foreknowledge [or ancient love] of God the Father through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience” (1 Peter 1:2). Nor is salvation (the appointed end of election) at all the less secure in itself (but the more so) for standing necessarily connected with the intervening means, seeing both these and that are inseparably joined, in order to the certain accomplishment of that through these. It only demonstrates that without regeneration of the heart and purity of life, the elect themselves are not led to heaven. But, then, it is incontestible from the whole current of Scripture that these intermediate blessings shall most infallibly be vouchsafed to every elect person, in virtue of God’s absolute covenant and through the effectual agency of His Almighty Spirit. Internal sanctification constitutes our meetness for the kingdom to which we were predestinated, and a course of external righteousness is one of the grand evidences by which we make our election sure to our own present comfort and apprehension of it.[1]

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[1] 2 Peter 1:10, Give diligence to make your calling and election, undoubted; i.e., to get some solid and incontestible evidence of your predestination to life.



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