Election Vs. Self Sufficiency
For my part I cannot see how true humbleness of mind can be attained without a knowledge of [the doctrine of election]; and though I will not say, that every one who denies election is a bad man, yet I will say, with that sweet singer, Mr. Trail, it is a very bad sign: such a one, whoever he be, I think cannot truly know himself; for, if we deny election, we must, partly at least, glory in ourselves..-- George Whitfield
AMEN! Our election in Christ focuses much on God and the work of the Trinity in salvation, rather than on me, my autonomy, and my own spirituality. Viewed properly, the doctrine of election brings a strong sense of humility before God and man for it looks away from self to Christ for any and all redemptive blessings. Even faith itself must be seen as utterly beyond all the power of our nature and completely a work of God's grace. Prior to being a Christian I was deeply committed to the New Age movement but when faced with Romans 9:15, 16, God forced me to face up to the fact that He was God and I was not. Denying the biblical doctrine of election is a subtle way of maintaining a small enclave of self-sufficiency, for it denies that Christ is completely sufficient to save to the uttermost. Did Christ die for all sins, including our sin of unbelief and inability to persevere or did He die only for some sins, leaving us to make up for what He did not finish??? When viewed in this light, our natural arrogance is exposed and all glory should thus be given to Jesus Christ.