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Unconditional Election

Before the foundation of the world, God chose particular individuals unto salvation. His selection was not based upon any foreseen response or act performed by those chosen. Faith and good works are the result, not the cause of God's choice.

  1. God did the choosing. Mark 13:20; I Thes 1:4; II Thes. 2:13
  2. God's choice was made before the foundation of the world. Eph. 1:4; II Tim. 1:9; Rev. 17:8
  3. God chose particular individuals unto salvation - their names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. Rev. 13:8; 17:8
  4. God's choice was not based upon any forseen merit residing in those whom He chose, nor was it based on any foreseen good works performed by them. Rom. 9:11-13; 9:16; 10:20; I Cor. 1:27-29; I Tim. 1:9
  5. Good works are the result, not the ground, of predestination. Eph. 1:12; 2:10; John 15:16
  6. God's choice was not based upon foreseen faith. Faith is the result and therefore the evidence of God's election, not the cause or ground of his choice. Acts 13:48; 18:27; Phil. 1:29; 2:12-13; I Thes. 1:4-5; II Thes. 2:13,14; James 2:5
  7. It is by faith and good works that one confirms his calling and election. II Peter 1:5-11

Election is not salvation but is unto salvation. Just as the president-elect does not become the president of the United States until he is inaugurated, those chosen unto salvation are not saved until they are regenerated by the Spirit and justified by faith in Christ. Rom. 11:7; II Tim. 2:10; Compare Eph. 1:4 with Rom. 16:7. In Eph. 1:4, Paul shows that men were chosen "in Christ" before the world began. From Rom. 16:7, it is clear that men are not actually "in Christ" until their conversion.

Election was based on the soverign, distinguishing mercy of Almighty God. It was not man's will but God's will that determined which sinners would be shown mercy and saved. Ex. 33:19; Deut. 7:6-7; Matt. 20:15; Rom. 9:10-24; 11:4-6; 11:33-36; Eph. 1:5

The doctrine of election is but a part of the much broader Biblical doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty. The Scriptures not only teach that God predestined certain individuals unto eternal life, but that all events, both small and great, come about as the result of God's eternal decree. The Lord God rules over heaven and earth with absolute control; nothing comes to pass apart from His eternal purpose. I Chron. 29:10-12; Job 42,1-2; Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 24-27; 46:9-11; 55:11; Jer. 32:17; Dan. 4:35; Matt. 19:26