What Can I do to Assure My Election?
Stuff the ballot box?
Oh wrong forum, sorry.
That’s the Minnesota senate race your looking for, I believe.
I would also add if there is anything you should avoid to assure your election.
I am interested in seeing the answer to these questions.
Calvinists try to be assured of their election. They don’t assure it. And they try to be assured by having truly faithful hearts and showing good works as evidence.
So are you saying there is nothing they can do about it?
Is showing good works the same as doing good works?
What if they don’t do good works?
I think, and I can’t speak for the Calvinists because I can’t wrap my head around this either, that a Calvinist would say that the elects act like elects, and those who don’t do good works aren’t elects because they aren’t acting like them.
I guess the way to think about it is in the past tense. To God in the Calvinist view, the book has already been written, you just don’t know it yet. Your actions aren’t really your own, just your act of turning the page and reading the next few lines in the book.
Calvinism gives me a headache.
It depends on what you mean by " Assure My Election".
It is rather like a political race in a certain way; if you are trying to assure your election before the election actually happens, you can campaign extremely hard, buy campaign commercials & local bosses, and do whatever else politicians do to “assure” their election. Once the election is over, however, the only thing you can do to assure your election is to count the ballots (except in MN).
We believe that the election has already happened, (Ephesians 1:4) so there’s nothing we can now do to assure that we will be elected, but there are things we can do to assure ourselves that we have been elected:
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love…Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall…Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. II Peter I:5-7,10,12.
We can do nothing to ensure our future election, but if we do what the Apostle Peter tells us in this passage we can “assure” our election before the foundation of the world, in the sense of confirming or verifying it.
Trying to wrap my head around Calvinist theology makes my brain cry
I hope this is helpful to answer the question. I am including several questions from the Heidelberg Catechism.
In short, the answer is “have faith in Jesus Christ.” That is the whole of Protestantism and IMO, Catholicism, too. All that we do as Catholics is done through faith.
Question 60: How are thou righteous before God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. That is: although my conscience accuse me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and that I am still prone always to all evil, yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sin, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me, if only I accept such benefits with a believing heart.
Question 61: Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous only by faith?
Answer: Not that I am acceptable to God on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before God, and I can receive the same and make it my own in no other way than by faith only.
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgement-seat of God must be perfect throughout and wholly conformable to the divine law; whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
Question 63: How is it that our good works merit nothing, while yet it is God’s will to reward them in this life and in that which is to come?
Answer: The reward comes not of merit, but of grace.
Question 64: But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?
Answer: No, for it is impossible that hose who are implanted into Christ by true faith should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness.
(I personally disagree with the answer to question 64. I think that Calvinists have become very loosey-goosey about their theology in recent years. My daughter graduated from Calvin College, BTW.)
According to Christianity Today, there is a revival of Calvinism among many evangelical churches. My personal feeling is that Calvinism–forgive me, Reformed and Presbyterian Christians who might be reading this!–Calvinism excuses people from trying to be good. After all, it’s Christ’s righteousness that is imputed to us and gets us into heaven. We can’t do anything, and when we do something, it’s not good enough, so why bother? Easy theology–doesn’t interfere with my life! Again, apologies to Calvinist Christians out there. My daughter converted to Catholicism this year, and that “disconnect” between Calvinist theology and Calvinist “real life” was one of the reasons. She saw them talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
From a Calvinist perspective, the question makes no sense.
You cannot “assure your election”, but you can receive assurance of your election in Christ.
Look for evidence:
Are you persevering, becoming more godly, self-controlled, kind, loving, etc.?
When the Bible speaks of “making ones calling and election sure” (1 Pe. 1:5-11) this is what it means, verification or confirmation of what God has already done in the redeemed.
Are you persevering, becoming more godly, self-controlled, kind, loving, etc.?**
**Yet these are the very things that are called “dead works” by most evangelicals.
So, this is all about convincing one’s self? Would it be possible, in Calvinist theology, for a person to believe there are of the elect, to live according to Christian principles, and yet to simply be deluding themselves while on their appointed road to Hell?
If you are MAKING your election sure, you are doing more than verifying.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
John 6:53-54 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 15:1-6 “…Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he [the Father] takes away…Abide in me and I in you…I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit…If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.”
John 15:10"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love."
Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you don not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”
Phi 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
Chesterton, I think everyone in this thread agrees with you, but you asked how Calvinists think and so we provided theologically incorrect answers.
What fun is that??
I’m looking for trouble here!
Do you think Paul was talking about dead works when he cited them as fruit of the spirit?
Do you really understand Sola Fide? Do you know that whatever it means it does NOT mean that Christians don’t have to do good works?
When Evangelicals refer to “dead works” they are referring to good works done with a view to earning merit or without faith.
It has nothing to do with what we are talking about here.
The key, Chet is in the word “sure”, not in the word “make”
It’s not a matter of giving our calling and election better footing, or improving it. It’s a matter of making sure it’s there, of proving it in the sense that one proves out an algebraic equation; the work is done, now we verify.