Unconditional Election in the Bible
When people talk about Unconditional Election they can take one of two extremes (with everything between) in regards to this question. Some will emphasize the sovereignty of God to the point that human beings are little more than robots simply doing what they have been sovereignly programmed to do, while others emphasize free will to the point of God not having complete control and/or knowledge of all things. So lets examine if Unconditional Election is Biblical
Sovereignty refers to the supremacy of God, kingship of God, or God having absolute rule. To say that God is sovereign declares that He is the Almighty and no one can resist His will.
Isaiah 46: 9,10 I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all My purpose.
The question in salvation becomes, does God choose us or do we choose God, or both. What does it mean when we talk about the Sovereignty of God, Depravity of man, unconditional Election, and mans free will?
What is the Doctrine of election
This has been a hotly contested debate in the history of the church. The word itself simply means chosen. In our culture today we usually think about the election or choosing of our government officials. In the Bible we see how God has chosen us to salvation. Let's look at at few verses that speak about election.
Col. 3:12 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
2 Thess. 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You can't cause your own birth.
In each of theses verses and many more we see how God refers to us who are Christians as the 'elect', 'appointed' or 'chosen' ones. We will also see that the 'elect' have been chosen before the foundation of the world; as in the following verses.
Has God chosen the elect from the beginning, for salvation.
We were chosen before we were born; even before there was a world. God has predetermined who would be saved or elected, before they were ever born?
2 Thess. 2:13 We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved of God, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation.
Eph. 1: 3, 4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," "just as He chose us in Him," "before the foundation of the world."
Those that are not 'elect' have not been chosen and are not in the 'Book of life'. These will end up in an eternity of Hell.
Rev. 13: 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
Rev. 20: 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Rev. 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is...
God planned the death of Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world, which means that God planned for sinners to be redeemed which meant that He must have planned the allowance for sinners to fall. God created the world planning that He was going to redeem the world.
Verses that seem to contradict.
So what about those verses that seem to contradict that God has elected us unconditionally and we can do nothing to save ourselves. With study and proper understanding of the scripture we are able to see how these scriptures do not contradict but reinforce the Doctrine of Election. When there seems to be some differences of opinion about what the scripture is saying about any subject, we need to do some study to address these apparent differences and reconcile what God is saying.