How do I know that I am elect? How do I know my faith is genuine?
The way in which we come to know our election is through faith in Christ. So we must never try to bypass Jesus Christ, because, for example, as Paul says in Ephesians 1, we are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-4).
So, often, I think we need to say to people, “Instead of trying to go directly to your election you need to go directly to Jesus Christ.” And when you come to Christ, there is a kind of confidence that you find in Christ that He has embraced you and that you are His.
Another thing that is obviously true is that if you have really been born again, then new family characteristics begin to display themselves in your life.
And also the Spirit, as Paul says in Romans 8, begins to work in our lives and witness with our spirits (Rom. 8:14-17). And I think particularly there he seems to indicate that one of the evidences that God has really chosen us, that we really are His children, is that when the crisis comes we have this God-given instinct to cry out, “Abba! Father!” So that instinctive appeal to God as our heavenly Father is like the sense that we have inwardly that He has taken us into His family because He has adopted us, and in that sense chosen us as His children.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Sinclair Ferguson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.