The Elect of God

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“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)

by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D. 

drop cap The doctrine of election is a key doctrine of Scripture, but it is also controversial, so any discussion of it should, mostly, let the Scriptures speak for themselves. The Greek and Hebrew words for the “elect” are the same as for the “chosen,” and it is clear that whenever the elect are mentioned, it is God, not man, who has done the choosing.

For example, Christ elected the twelve to be His apostles of His own volition. They are called, in fact, “the apostles whom he had chosen” (Acts 1:2). The Scriptures also speak of “the elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21) and even of Christ Himself as being the “chief cornerstone, elect, precious” (1 Peter 2:6).

Most often, however, the term is applied to those who have been saved through faith in Christ and His substitutionary death, and they are said to have been “chosen . . . in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Having been chosen, these elect ones are then, in the fullness of time, drawn to Christ. As He said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”; and He also said: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:44, 37). Finally, to make it crystal clear who does the choosing, Jesus said: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16).

None of this eliminates our individual responsibility to “make [our] calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10), but the grand purpose of this great doctrine is simply this: “Base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen. . . . That no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29). HMM