We attach the name of unconditional election to the fact that, before the foundation of the earth, God purposed, in Christ and for nothing in themselves, to choose certain lost sinners to be saved.And this is good news. Firstly, God elects. He has chosen people: you and me, if we are believers. It is a true source of comfort to realise that we are chosen by the God who made the universe; for if he has chosen us, what can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord? God has chosen, and he will ensure that his purposes—though they may be bitterly opposed by the world, the flesh and the devil—will triumph. We can be certain because of the eternal decree of the Almighty.But secondly, we are chosen unconditionally: not for anything in ourselves, but in and because of Jesus. It doesn't take much reading of the New Testament to realise that God's love is for us because of Jesus. This is such good news because if we were left to wonder whether we were good enough for God's love in ourselves:
even if we could point to one [good work], memory of a single sin is enough for God to reject that work.So we would always be in doubt, tossed back and forth without any certainty, and our poor consciences would be tormented constantly if they did not rest on the merit of the suffering and death of our Savior.So it is that we are elect by union with Christ, the Elect One. And so we can be confident in God's election, because it rests not upon our own righteousness, but upon the surpassing righteousness of Christ, God's righteousness revealed.To be elected by the God who made the universe is a comfort all right: an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping comfort. However, the fact that we were elected in Christ makes it plain to us that we were not chosen for any good in ourselves, but for all the good that is in him. And that, I think, we can both believe and rejoice in.
(Belgic Confession, art. 24)