This treatise on God’s love is carefully written for the believer in anything they are going through, but especially for those going through a difficult time. How comforting to remember that the context of this book was that Watson (and other pastors) had been kicked out of their churches and homes while being faithful to the Bible. In such loss, Watson concludes this glorious and careful work by pointing out that IF, after searching you find that you are effectually called, there are three points of application for you.
First, respond by admiring and adoring God’s free-grace in calling you! This ought to naturally send you to your face in adoration and grateful worship. This is true even for those going through a time of loss. Second, pity those who are not yet called. But we should not have pity alone. The only thing between the lost and the bottomless pit is death and so godly pity should always be accompanied by prayer. If the lost are breathing, there is still hope so pray to the only savior! Third, honor your high calling by walking worthy of your King (Eph. 4:1). God forbid that we make Christ suffer again with worldly and sinful words, attitudes, and behaviors. On the contrary, the walk that is worthy of our calling will be wise, joyful, influential on those around you, and single-minded.
The cause of salvation and grounds for assurance:
Appropriately, the last thing Watson points out is the last phrase in this majestic verse. He reminds us that all of this is “according to His purpose” and these four words are the foundation and fountainhead of our spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:11). God’s purpose in election is the cause of our salvation and grounds of our assurance. In four words, the scripture plucks up the root of man’s free-will which many confused teachers sadly give ultimate glory to (Rom. 9:16). As scripture plainly says that it is God, “Who has saved us, and called us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace. (2Tim. 1:9). What a medicine this is for our soul!
The healthy response to such good medicine will be to gratefully grow in sanctification and holiness. As Paul writes, “God has chosen you to salvation through sanctification” (2 Thess. 2:13). Salvation and sanctification will go together. Sanctification in one’s life is a great ground for our assurance! Such growth is a sign of those who are saved. If this is the case in our life, Watson concludes his book exhorting us to be assured as we endure. He states,
“By the stream, we come at last to the fountain. If we find the stream of sanctification running in our souls. We may by this come to the fountainhead of election. When a man cannot look up to the firmament, yet he may know the moon is there by seeing it shine upon the water; so, though I cannot look up into the secret of God’s purpose, yet I may know I am elected, by the shining of sanctifying grace in my soul.”
How comforting to know that whatever you go through he will never leave or forsake you because He has a purpose shining through for you that is beautiful. May we find God’s word written on our heart, and as a result be assured, as we walk through all we go through giving our fears to Him.
Are you or someone you know going through a fearful and difficult time? Hear the words of a fellow endurantist who took the time to write this book on God’s love for those who are called. As Watson points out; “How may this cure the trembling heart! What, though the sea roars, though the earth be unquiet, though the stars are shaken out of their places, you need not fear. You are called, and therefore are sure to be crowned.” All of this to the praise of His glorious grace.