U – Unconditional Election

The last time that I wrote about Calvinism I looked into the first doctrine, known as Total Depravity or more appropriately Total Inability. By the way, Phil Johnson has an excellent series on this subject over at Team Pyro which I strongly encourage you to check out. By Total Inability, I am referring to the doctrine that man is totally unable to respond to God because he is spiritually dead. Romans 3:10-12 – as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Because man is spiritually dead and has no ability to respond to God, all men are hopelessly condemned. This is where Unconditional Election comes in. While man was dead in his trespasses and sins, unable to respond to God, God in His mercy has chosen to save some and these are known as the elect. The Five Points of Calvinism by Steele, Thomas and Quinn defines election this way, “His eternal choice of particular sinners for salvation was not based upon any foreseen act or response on the part of those selected, but was based solely on His own good pleasure and sovereign will.” That is to say that God’s choice of the elect was not based upon anything other than His own will. Exodus 33:19 says, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” The goodness of God is seen in His mercy, as he chooses to save some who otherwise would be utterly lost in the deadness of their own hearts.

It would be impossible to examine all of the passages that teach the doctrine of Unconditional Election, but here are a few that are especially worthy of consideration.
John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you…
John 6:44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…
Acts 13:48 – And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, but few are chosen.

In an earlier post I wrote that the heart of Calvinism is humility. This truth shines brightly in the doctrine of election. The doctrine of election forces us to admit that there was nothing that we could do to be saved, it puts us squarely in our place of utter dependence and cries out to a merciful God to act and save some.

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February 13 2008 09:11 pm | Doctrines of Grace

2 Responses to “U – Unconditional Election”

  1. Damian M. Romano on 15 Feb 2008 at 3:31 am #

    Nice post Drew. I too am a resolved Calvinist. I received your post by way of google alerts (subject: Calvinism). Like the site. Check my two blogs out when you get a chance under my profile. One is collaborative, the other one devoted to random musings on scripture. God bless my brother.


  2. steve finnell on 12 Sep 2013 at 7:46 am #

    The doctrine of unconditional election states that some of mankind were predestined to everlasting life and the remainder of mankind were foreordained to everlasting death, an eternity in hell. Is unconditional election supported by Scripture? The short answer is, NO!

    Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

    Why would the apostle Paul tell the Philippians to work out their salvation, if they had been unconditionally elected for eternal life? They would have not had to worry, if God saved them against their will, and kept them from falling from grace. —–THERE IS NO UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION!

    John 8:24 ‘Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,”

    Why would Jesus warn the Jews that they would die in their sins unless they believed. The preselected Jews would have been force to believe and be saved.

    According to the false doctrine of salvation by grace alone, God imputes faith to the unconditionally elected so they will be saved.

    1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

    Would Paul tell the Corinthians to be careful that they did not fall, if they had been unconditionally elected for salvation?
    The apostle Paul was taught doctrine by Jesus Himself. Did Jesus forget to tell Paul about unconditional election and once saved always saved?

    1 John 2:1-2……Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

    Jesus died for the whole world, not just the so-called unconditionally elected few! Everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    1 Timothy 2:5-6…the man Jesus Christ 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

    How arrogant would I have to be to claim that God unconditionally selected me for salvation, but unconditionally selected my neighbor for eternity in hell? Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all, NOT AN UNCONDITIONALLY SELECTED FEW!



    (All Scriptures quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

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