Believing We Are His Elect

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Hi T____,
You ask:

The short answer is, no, no one knows in advance whether God has placed any one of us in that blessed group. We must each “endure to the end” before we are saved.
At the same time, God’s elect are confident of their election and are willing to claim that position. Those who cannot make that claim, and who say we cannot know the Truth will be judged out of their own mouth, saying they do not know the Truth, which Truth is Christ.

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Here are few scriptures which make this clear:

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring [ it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul, inspired of the holy spirit, did not take it for granted that he could not “be a castaway,” he “hoped” to be saved, and he did not consider himself to have yet “attained.”
Here are Christ’s own words concerning how this works:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

All those who teach that once we are saved we will always be saved, are right, only if they understand that having been saved is a matter of having endured to the end of our time in these “clay vessels” we call our physical bodies, and that is exactly what is not believed by those who promote that doctrine.
Now, here is another verse that makes this clear:

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

That is the only Biblical ‘fall of man’ mentioned in the scriptures. Adam was never under grace because the age of grace began with the death and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. Adam was dust from the start. He was “shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin… a vessel made of clay, marred in the Potter’s hand,” with nowhere to go but up. Adam’s sin, like the sin of us all, is the consequence of being “shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin… in the hand of the Potter.” So the message of Gal 5:4 is that being God’s elect entails being faithful to Christ and His doctrine “to the end,” or you can indeed, “fall from grace.”

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

There are three things needed for any of us to know for certain that we have actually been selected to be one of God’s very elect. Here are those three prerequisites. They are listed in order:

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

There they are 1) “called, 2) chosen and 3) faithful… to the end.” Since the end comes only with our last breath, it is incumbent upon us all never to take our calling for granted. Christ was so adamant about this point that He gave us this parable:

Luk 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
Luk 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
Luk 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [ and] be merry.
Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

“Laying up treasure” for oneself is self confidence and self confidence is failing to give God the credit for our faith, which ‘faith’ is “the faith of Christ” and not of ourselves.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [ faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Having acknowledged that even our faith is of God and not of ourselves and that we must not only be called and chosen, but we must also be “faithful… and endure to the end,” we must conclude that it is only at the end of our walk, and in any absolute manner, only after the resurrection, that we know for certain that we are God’s “very elect.”
All I can do is quote you scripture, and the scriptures reveal that while God’s elect never display a cocky, self assured attitude, yet they certainly did display a total confidence in God’s ability to finish the work He had begun in His elect.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

God’s elect are not fearful or timid about confessing that they know Him and His Word. That Word reveals that God’s elect certainly did consider themselves to be His elect. Here are Christ’s words concerning His elect:

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that o f all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 

“I will in no wise cast out all that the Father gives me.” Again, these are general statements which support the sovereignty of God, but do not give anyone any reason to take their own salvation for granted. But does the fact that we are never to take our standing with Christ for granted mean that we cannot, or should not claim to be God’s elect? Well, if the example of Christ’s apostles means anything at all, and if the scriptures are our example, then the answer to that question is a resounding, no, it does not at all mean that!
It is true that we have been born of God already in what the scriptures refer to as “in earnest.”

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [ trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We… who first trusted in Christ… you also trusted…” Who will be “to the praise of His glory?” It will be those who trust in Christ, and not in themselves. But the apostle Paul considered himself among those who “first trusted in Christ,” and he also considered those to whom he is writing to be “those who first trusted in Christ.” Does that mean that all who ever read those words are therefore God’s elect? Of course not. Only those who “trust in Christ” and are faithful to the end, will be to the praise of His glory in that “blessed and holy first resurrection.” ninety- nine out of one hundred Christians do not trust in the faith of Christ. They truly believe their salvation is in their own hands, and they and their own faith are the final words in whether they choose to obey God. They are not willing to concede that their choice is a choice caused by their Maker who is “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” which is exactly what the preceding verse tells us.

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

There again is that pronoun ‘we.’ “In whom we have obtained an inheritance according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will,” in no way whatever contradicts the fact that “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Paul tells us “We are sealed with the holy spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
“The redemption of the purchased possession” is the first resurrection. Only then will we know for certain who God’s elect are. Nevertheless, anyone who is not willing to stand for the truth and who will not even claim to “know the Truth” is doing nothing less than denying that they know Christ, who tells us that He “ is the Truth,” and who tells us “You shall know the Truth,” and knowing that Truth “is eternal life.”

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   

All who “Know the Truth” will accept nothing less than the Truth, and “the doctrine of Jesus Christ” will not be compromised by heresies:

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

How few Christians believe and live by that doctrine!

Can we know we are God’s elect? We have seen that “the manifestation of the Sons of God,” where all doubt is removed about who is and who is not Christ’s very elect, requires that we “endure to the end.”

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [ the same] in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only [ they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [ to wit], the redemption of our body.

Only then will the resurrection from among the dead remove all doubt. In the mean time only those who are willing to acknowledge that they “know God and Christ” “have eternal life.”

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [ his] brother abideth in death.

How do we know we “love the brethren?”

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

“Eternal life is know God and Christ” and ‘knowing God and Christ’ is to “love the children of God,” and ‘loving the children of God’ is obeying God and obeying the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
I will close with a few words from Christ’s last recorded conversation with His father. This is part of his prayer the night before being nailed to the cross. Truly knowing any person is the ability to think as that person thinks. If we think as Christ thought, then we, like Him, do not hesitate to acknowledge that we “ know the Truth.”

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sen t.

I hope this all helps you to see that we can indeed, “know the Truth” and “know that we have passed from death unto life,” and at the same time we must “endure to the end” before we experience “The manifestation of the sons of God.”
Salvation requires faith in the words of God, and faith is confidence in thing that are not seen.

Heb 11:1 And faith is of things hoped for a confidenc e, of matters not seen a conviction,
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

That ‘faith,’ as we saw above, is a gift of God and is “the faith of Jesus Christ.”
Your brother in Christ,

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