What is the meaning of election?
The Greek word for election is ekloge (ek-log-ay') it means to pick out, choose, chosen, elect. It is to choose some people out of many people. Who does the choosing? God does the choosing. Do not be surprised majority of the churches that are Arminian believe this too. On what basis does God choose some out of many? This is where the rubber meets the road. The most crucial question is, on what bases does God elects some and leave others?
The meaning of unconditional election.
Arminians reply, God looks into the future and sees who will accept him, receive him, and God elects them on the basis of man’s will. The Scriptures make it very clear that Election to salvation is in no way conditioned by or dependent upon man. Unconditional means that there are no conditions that humans must meet, including faith. Faith is a gift of God (Rom. 12:3; Eph. 2:8). If human-generated faith plays a part in salvation, salvation is not entirely by grace.
Now think about it, if election is of man’s will, then God is bound to man’s will. Then where is the sovereignty of God? Where is the mercy of God? Where is the grace of God? All these have no place as God is limited and he has no choice but he has to make the choice as per man’s decision. This kind of teaching is very heretical and slap on God’s sovereignty.
On the other hand, the Bible says just the opposite. God predestines and choose some according to his will and as per his own pleasure.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us
unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure
which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
"It is absurd to think that anything in us could have the least influence upon our election. Some say that God did foresee that such persons would believe, and therefore did choose them; so, they would make the business of salvation to depend upon something in us. Whereas God does not choose us FOR faith, but TO faith. "He hath chosen us, that we should be holy," (Ephesians 1:4), not because we would be holy, but that we might be holy." Thomas Watson
"Moreover, as God respects no persons, so He respects no conditions upon which He gives salvation to us." Thomas Goodwin
"The orthodox maintain that the good pleasure alone (of God) has place and think that no other cause can either be given or rightly sought [for election]." Francis Turretin
"The good pleasure of God is an act of the divine will freely and effectively determining all things." William Ames
If election is of foreseen faith, then God would not have elected man, but rather man would have elected God. Jesus said, there is no one good, but one, that is God.
"Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling,"
Election is a glorious doctrine, as the sinner realize although he deserves hell, it was God who chose him. Election is a work performed by the God of glory. It lifts sinners from the darkness, destruction, doom, and death of sin to become God’s children. It brings glory to God, and nothing to man. It will praise of his glorious grace, which we do not deserve. Election is glorious. We were the chief of sinners, the king of sinners, hypocrites and totally deceived ourselves.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
But God chose me!
'Twas not that I did choose Thee
For Lord That could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me."
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen
the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen
the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,
yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Election brings true humility.
Spurgeon said, “I know nothing, nothing again, that is more humbling
for us than this doctrine of election. I have sometimes fallen prostrate before it, when endeavoring to understand it. I have stretched my wings, and, eagle-like, I have soared towards the sun. Steady has been my eye, and true my wing, for a season; but, when I came near it, and the one thought possessed me,—"God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation," I was lost in its lustre, I was staggered with the mighty thought; and from the dizzy elevation down came my soul, prostrate and broken, saying, "Lord, I am nothing, I am less than nothing. Why me? Why me?"
Friends, if you want to be humbled, study election, for it will make you humble under the influence of God's Spirit. He who is proud of his election is not elect; and he who is humbled under a sense of it may believe that he is. He has every reason to believe that he is, for it is one of the most blessed effects of election that it helps us to humble ourselves before God.”