Blessed Assurance Through Holiness

I gleaned the following snippets from the article ‘The Practical Implications of Calvinism’ by Albert N. Martin. I highly recommend reading it in its entirety.

Have you been brought to see your own corruption in sin in such a measure that the first two beatitudes are true of you?’ The only people in the world who are truly blessed are those who have been so wrought upon by the Spirit that they are not strangers to these two things: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted’. How does God make men truly blessed, truly happy? First of all, he makes them sad at the sight and sense of their own impoverishment in a state of sin. What is poverty of spirit? Is it some kind of pseudo-pietistic attempt to convince myself that I am a miserable worm and a wretch? Not at all! Poverty of spirit results from just getting a sight of what you really are, and seeing that you are nothing and have nothing and can do nothing that can commend yourself to the grace and saving favour of God; it results from the conviction that he could make you an eternal monument of his righteous wrath, and let you perish in the eternal burning.  Have you known an inner stripping that has brought you to poverty of spirit? to holy mourning? to the recognition that your sin has been against the Sovereign God? Have you been brought to the place where you hate your sin enough to forsake it and cleave only to Christ?

‘Do I evidence the fruit of his working?’ And what is positive, undeniable evidence that God has been and is working in me? I would say without any fear of contradiction in the light of Holy Scripture that the evidence is biblical holiness.

Assurance of our salvation in Christ according to the last 4 points of Calvinism

What is the goal of election? Ephesians 1:4 tells us: ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that’ . . . we should glory in our election? No! But ‘that we should be holy and without blemish before him’. Election unto holiness!

What is the goal of the atoning work of Christ? Listen to the testimony of Titus 2:14: ‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people as his distinct possession, zealous of good works’. He died to have a holy people ‘zealous of good works’.

Then there is the efficacious call of God, ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord’ [1 Cor 1:9]. ‘Called into a life of sharing vital realized communion with Christ!’ ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ [1 Thess 4:7].

Again, there is the preservation and perseverance of the saints. It is a perseverance in the ways of holiness and obedience, for Scripture says, ‘Follow after holiness without which no man shall see the Lord’ [Heb 12:14]. ‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’ [John 8:31, 32].

Predestinated to what end? ‘Whom he foreknew he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son’ [Rom 8.29]. if so, then I must ask a question of myself: Is God’s electing purpose being realized in me? He chose me in Christ that, being purchased in time and called in time, I might begin to be holy in time, and have that work perfected in eternity. The only assurance I have that I was purchased to be holy, and will be perfected in holiness, is that I am pursuing holiness here and now. Essentially holiness is conformity to the revealed will of God in thought, word and deed, through the power of the Holy Spirit and through union with Jesus Christ. Holiness, godliness, this is the evidence that his electing purpose has come to life and fruition and it finds its expression in obedience. That is why John can say in 1 John 2:5, ‘Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected’. It finds its designed end in the one who keeps the Word of God.

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