All of us are familiar with the principle of election. In this country, it has to do with our political system. Candidates run for a certain office, an election is held and the people vote for their favorite candidate. At the end of the day, someone is chosen for the office.
There is no denying that there is such a doctrine in the Bible as the teaching of election. The serious Bible student will have no trouble finding it and the honest Bible student will have no trouble accepting it. However, there are many misconceptions about the interpretation of this great and precious teaching. Though most believers who read their Bible will agree that such a teaching exist, few there be who will consider the subject without the influence of their own human nature and reasoning entering into the matter. Go to your Bible concordance and look up the words “elect,” “election,” “chose,” “chosen” and “predestinated” and then read the verses and passages in the Bible, in their own context where these words are found. You may be surprised at the number of times they are used and the way they are used.
Elect Defined: Noah Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary defines election as: “In theology, divine choice; predetermination of God, by which persons are distinguished as objects of mercy, become subjects of grace, are sanctified and prepared for heaven.” (Keep in mind, that unless mankind is totally depraved, unconditional election doesn’t make sense.) The Greek word for elect, election or elected means to choose, select or pick out. We all practice election every day; you make choices; you decide on certain things; you pick out what you want to ware to work, etc. Election means to select or make a choice. In the Bible teaching of election, a choice or selection is made. Webster’s New World Dictionary agrees with the Greek definition; “In theology, chosen by God for salvation and eternal life.” On the question of election, in relation to salvation, it is whether God chooses man or man chooses God. Romans 11:5, Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Here are four very important facts about the Bible teaching of election: 1. Election is an absolute. In other words, it is positive and definite, with no element of degree. 2. Election must be personal. One cannot elect without choosing something or someone. 3. Election can only be one way. I cannot choose God if God chooses me, nor can God choose me if I have chosen Him first. 4. Election must have an end or goal. There must be an object involved. One cannot choose without choosing for a purpose.
There are only two basic views in all the world on the teaching of salvation. According to Romans 11:6 it is either works or grace. Likewise, there can only be two basic views on the teaching of election. It is either that God has chosen man, or mankind chooses God. As we have stated, it cannot be both ways. Unconditional election means that God, before the foundation of the world, chose a people to be saved in time. God’s choosing was not based on anything that the person would do. It was not based on any foreseen faith on the part of the person. It was not limited to any conditions, or prerequisites whatsoever. Election then, is God’s own eternal choice of men, women, boys and girls unto everlasting life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Please be present for the next class, as we continue this very important thought. E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org