“The marvel of marvels is not that God, in his infinite love, has not elected all of this guilty race to be saved, but that he has elected any. What really needs accounting for—though to account for it passes the powers of our extremest flights of imagination—is how the holy God could get the consent of his nature to save a single sinner. If we know what sin is, and what holiness is, and what salvation from sin to holiness is, that is what we shall feel.
“That is the reason why meditation on our eternal election produces such blessed fruits in our hearts and lives. That God has saved me, even me, sunk in my sin and misery, by the marvels of his grace, can only fill me with adoring praise. That he has set upon me from all eternity to save me, wretched sinner that I am, how can I express the holy joy that fills my heart at every remembrance of it? This is the foundation of all my comfort, the assurance of all my hope.
“‘Sure I am,’ says John Arrowsmith movingly, just to the point, ‘Sure I am that our blessed Savior once said to his disciples, ‘In this rejoice, that your names are written in heaven’; and that nothing doth more inflame a Christian’s love than a firm belief of his personal election from eternity after he has been able to evidence the writing of his name in heaven by the experience he hath had of an heavenly calling and an heavenly conversation. When the Spirit of God hath written the law of life in a Christian’s heart, and therewith enabled him to know assuredly that his name is written in the book of life, he cannot then but melt with flames of holy affection, according to the most emphatic speech of Bernard — “God deserveth love from such as he hath loved long before they could deserve it;” and, “his love to God will be without end, who knoweth that God’s love to him was without any beginning.” ’ ”
From the sermon: Election, God’s Grace Before Time, by B.B. Warfield