Wednesday, January 30, 2013


(Because of the wretched state of Red Deer’s pulpit space, it is now, as predicted by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3, the time to ‘pluck up that which is planted…a time to break down…a time to weep…a time to cast away stones’ and even ‘a time to refrain from embracing.’ And it is certainly more ‘a time to speak’ than ‘a time to keep silence.’ Be that as it may, the wrecking ball of negative criticism should be followed by the laying down of truth. To this end, we introduce the sermon sketch as an intermittent blog feature. As the term ‘sketch’ implies, this kind of post, in distinction from the usually lengthy analysis, will be pithy. The source for each sketch will be indicated at the bottom of each post.)

Particular Election

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure….” (1 Peter 1.10, 11.)

Introduction. It is a hard thing, especially during election times, to leave our worldly thoughts outside the sanctuary. I will not have you put away thoughts of election altogether. As a matter of fact, let’s travel on this election train, but in a new direction. As for politics, use your vote wisely, may God help us, and may the result be for his glory. But now, to our points on Election, Particular Election.

(1) Calling and Election. There are two important matters in Religion—secrets, both of them, to the world—but understood by those who have been made alive by divine grace. In the Scripture there is a general call, in the preaching of the gospel. And there is a special call, an effectual call, a call from death to life, from sins to righteousness, from loving the world to loving Christ. By the irresistible power of the Spirit this call goes to our hearts. The second matter is election. As without calling there is no salvation, so without election there is no calling. As many as are appointed to believe, have been so appointed from before all worlds. To dispute this is to deny the holy Scriptures. Are you an Episcopalian? This teaching is taught in your Articles. And it goes back from our day to Calvin to Augustine to Paul and to the Lord Jesus himself. Calling is put before election in the text because it is first to our experience. We see our election after we feel that we are called. It is worth while to know ourselves elect, for nothing in this world, election being from eternity to everlasting, can make man more happy and brave.

(2) Make your Calling and Election Sure. Make it sure to yourself. God is already sure. Full assurance is an excellent acquirement. Do not seek it in dreams, visions, and voices, etc. That is no sure ground. Full assurance of faith comes by diligence. Take care that your faith results from necessity, depending on Jesus Christ and him crucified. Plead with God for courage to trust in the face of trouble. Get knowledge of doctrine. It will confirm you. Get a system of theology out of the Bible. Then be moderate in life, heart, and thought, and patient in affliction. Pray much, and God will nerve you to endure. Be religious inwardly. Love all of Christ’s members. Be charitable to all. In proportion to such heavenly practice, so will your assurance be. And the only means to this assurance of your calling and election, is the witness of the Spirit with your own. There is a man who says he is elect. He gets drunk. Ah, you are elect, by the devil, sir; that is about your only election. Out with an election that lets you live in sin! Away with it! Away!

(3) The Apostle’s Reasons why you should make your Election Sure. Let me put a reason of my own in first. It will make you so happy! Happiness and faith are like Siamese twins. They flourish or decay together. Now Peter. First, it is the best thing in the world to prevent you from falling. Second, it will provide you an abundant entrance into heaven. It is the difference between being tugged into harbor, and coming in with the sail up and full of wind. If you have lived a consistent life of holiness, by adding virtues to virtues, then this abundant entrance will be yours. And if you have been the means of saving souls, this entrance will be ministered to you by these saints.

Selection from Conclusion. “There are some of you with whom this text has nothing to do. You can not make ‘your calling and election sure,’ for you have not been called; and you have no right to believe that you are elected, if you have never been called. To such of you, let me say, do not ask whether you are elected first, but ask whether you are called. And go to God’s house, and bend your knee in prayer; and may God, in his infinite mercy, call you!”

{This sermon by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) is sketched by M. H. Gaboury.}

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