Unconditional Election, Mercy, and Assurance (Knox)




Posted at The Reformed Reader:

In 1591 a London publisher released this book: An Answer to a Great Number of Blasphemous Cavailations Written by an Anabaptist, an Adversary to God’s Eternal Predestination. The author of this book was Scottish pastor-theologian, John Knox (d. 1572); the book is found in the fifth volume of Knox’sWorks. This treatise on unconditional election might be called one of Knox’s best works; it is extremely biblical, pastoral, and informative. Right at the outset Knox noted that election is an essential teaching of Christianity because, as found in Scripture, it humbles the sinner and magnifies the free grace of our loving God. In other words, it is practical:
“For first, there is no way more proper to build and establish faith, than when we hear and undoubtedly do believe that our Election (which the Spirit of God doth seal in our hearts) consisteth not in ourselves, but in the eternal and immutable good pleasure of God. And that in such firmness that it can not be overthrown, neither by the raging storms of the world, nor by the assaults of Satan; neither yet by the wavering and weakness of our own flesh. Then only is our salvation in assurance, when we find the cause of the same in the bosom and counsel of God.”
Knox said that if election’s foundation was based on our choice, will, or faith, it would be a very weak and uncertain foundation: ...

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