5 Points, God's Glorious Sovereignty in Salvation: Unconditional Election

The fourth “point” of the “Five Points of Calvinism” is the doctrine known as Unconditional Election. The doctrine of God’s sovereign election means that God chose specific individuals to be his children before the foundation of the world. The unconditional part means that God chose us according to his own purposes, not because of anything we have done.

The doctrine of election can be a difficult concept for people because it doesn’t seem fair that God would choose some people and not others. But, it must be important to God that we understand it because it is all over the Bible:

Deuteronomy 7:6- For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
John 15:16- You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.

Romans 8:29-30- For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:4- …he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Colossians 3:12- Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

1 Peter 2:9- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Our natural sense of entitlement leads us to believe that God must have chosen us because we are somehow more righteous than those who are not chosen; BUT this is NOT what the Bible says. God tells us that God chose us before the foundation of the world:

-because of his GREAT love for us (Deuteronomy 7:8; Ephesians 2:4)

-because it pleased Him (1 Samuel 12: 22)

-so that his purpose of election might continue (Romans 9:11)

-to give us an underserved GIFT (Ephesians 2:8-9)

-so that no one can boast (1 Corinthians 1:29)

The thought that God has the prerogative to do whatever He chooses is terrifying…until we call to mind the character of God: He is righteous, He is just, He is loving, He is merciful, He is kind, He is faithful, He is good!!! God’s sovereign election flows out of His perfect attributes.

Even though the joint ideas God’s prerogative and his unconditional choice are hard for us to wrap our minds around, they are not so foreign to us as we might imagine. Why does your earthly father love you? Is it because you were such a good baby when you were little? Is it because you made really good grades in school? Is it because you are talented and responsible? OF COURSE NOT!!! Our earthly fathers love us simply because we are their children….there is NO OTHER REASON! Why does it surprise us that our Heavenly Father’s love is any different? God’s love for us stems from His love for us!!! This circular reasoning is maddening because we all want to take at least a little credit for our relationship with God, but the truth is, you have never done anything to warrant, secure, or maintain God’s love for you. God loves you because He loves you. Period.

There is actually great JOY in this truth: when we understand that our election is all of God (not by our merits), we will burst with praise and worship before our merciful God. God receives all the glory!!! Paul tells us in Romans 8:38 that “from him and through him and to him are all things.” ALL THINGS…even the details of your salvation are to the praise of God’s glorious grace! There is also plenty of room for HOPE for the lost: we know that we did nothing to warrant God’s loving choice, so this should encourage us to pray boldly for the salvation of our loved ones and preach boldly….even to the worst sinners.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

What kind of emotions does the thought of being chosen by God—not because of anything that you have done—stir in your heart?

A little about Debbie:

Debbie is a secretary/receptionist at Redeemer Church. She and her husband, Isaiah, live with their two dogs just a stone's throw away from the church, but somehow they still end up at least 5 minutes late on Sunday mornings. Debbie loves to sing, read, tutor math, encourage people, and listen to her husband tell stories. One day, she and Isaiah want to live on the family farm in North Carolina with a big garden, lots of kids, and the laundry hanging out on the line.