The basic meaning of the word elects comes from the greek word, eklego, ek - meaning out and lego - meaning to call an assembly. Therefore when we use it as a noun as in elect people, we mean a called out people.
Bancrofts Systematic Theology defines election as - that eternal act of God by which in His sovereign pleasure and on account of no foreseen merit in them, He chooses out of a number of sinful men, to be the recipients of the special grace of His Spirit and so to be made voluntary partakers of Christ's salvation.
Scripture forbids us the privilege of finding the reasons for election in the moral action of man before the new birth
1. God has a sovereign right to bestow more grace upon one than another. Grace is unmerited favour (Matt. 20:12,15).
2. God has exercised this right in the past (Ps. 147:20; Jn. 15:15; Rom. 3:1,2; Acts 9:15).
3. God has some other reason than saving as many as possible for the way in which He distributes His grace. (Rom. 9:22,23; Matt. 11:21).
PROOF FOR ELECTION
1. God has purposed to save certain ones. (IE. Jacob Rom. 9:12; Mark 13:27; Eph. 1:4,5,9,11; Col. 3:12).
2. God gives special attention to those who he foreknew and purposed to save (Rom. 9:29,30).
3. God's choice is based entirely on grace from eternity past (2 Tim. 1:9)
4. The Father has given certain ones to the Son as his peculiar possession (John 6;37,39,40; Eph. 1:14; 1 Pet. 2:9).
5. The uniting of believers to Christ is wholly due to God. (John 6;44; 10:36; 1 Cor.1:30)
6. Believers receive a special call. (Rom. 9:23,24; Gal. 1:15,16). As well many examples in the old testament as in God's call to Abraham.
7. Regeneration comes not by man's will but God's (John 1:13; James 1:18; Rom. 9:16).
8. Everywhere are statements that, repentance, faith, holiness and good works are gifts of God. (John 6:65; Phil 2:13 - God works in you of His good pleasure.) Acts 5:31; 2 Tim 2;25
ARGUMENTS FROM REASON
1. God does what He wills because He is God (pretty radical hey!) Only God has an absolutely free will. All creation is limited.
2. God's purpose in choosing some to salvation cannot be conditioned upon human merit, because there is no such merit.
3. Depravity means that all would have rejected salvation unless God had ministered to some.
4. What is God's foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2)? It does not imply that God knew who would make a "good" christian or who would believe, and thus choose them for salvation. It simply means God, who knows all things, knew who He would call to salvation.
5. There is a practical side to election (2 Pet. 1;10). This text is the answer to the objection, that election means a person can do whatever he likes and still be saved. (Compare Phil. 2;12, also James 2:14-26).
6. A major objection to the doctrine of election is an implication that some demand, namely a decree of reprobation. This means that if God calls some to be saved, He must likewise actively condemn (or decree) the wicked to be lost.
*This we reject for two reasons:
a) There is no such statement anywhere in Scripture.
b) The unbelieving world is not decreed to hell but permitted by God to go their way in self-chosen rebellion, with revealed consequences.
There is an election to life but no election to death. There is a "book of life" but no "book of death".
4. A final concern is that election destroys evangelistic concern. This we reject because:
a) Some of the greatest evangelists were strongly calvinistic (eg. George Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon).
b) Election is God's secret. It cannot hinder evangelistic effort.
c) It provides stimulus, for without election, all would be lost (Acts 18:10)>
d) God has chosen to use people in the process of calling people to salvation (Acts 1:8). Ours is to obey the command to go. His is the responsibility to fill up the numbers of the elect.
In closing .....
Is God sovereign ......? The answer is yes [ ] or no [ ]. If the answer is no then He is not God as the bible describes Him. If the answer is yes He is sovereign, then He is sovereign in all areas.
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