Election is the plan of God for believers only, whereby He chooses or selects certain things to be true. The Greek word for election is “eklektos” and means picked out, selected, or chosen for privilege. The question that must be answered in order to clearly understand this doctrine is “What are these things that God chooses for the believer?” Please notice that it is not God choosing a person for salvation as some teach; rather it is God choosing certain things to be true of the believer. An unbeliever must still use his volition to choose to believe in Christ or to reject Christ. (Ephesians 1:4)
This false doctrine, “that God chooses some to saved and others to be lost”, is called “limited atonement”. What the Bible teaches is “unlimited atonement”. The Bible teaches that any person may come to Christ by faith. God is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to know Christ as Savior. (II Peter 3:9) At salvation, God has decreed (chosen or elected) certain things to be true for those who have believed.
There have been at least three elections by God in history. The first is Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind. The second is the election of Israel as a client nation. The third is the Church Age believer to be Royal Family of God in order to execute the Christian Way of Life. Therefore, election is for divine production (service), not for salvation.
The first election by God took place in eternity past when the plan was formulated for the redemption of mankind. Jesus Christ volunteered to become the Savior and was elected to privilege by God at that time. It is the inheritance of Christ that the believer shares with Him because of our unique relationship of Royal Family of God. Jesus Christ was chosen by God for a service. That service was for Him to become a human being, live a sinless life and pay the penalty for sin by His death on the Cross. As a result of Christ’s accomplishment, He now sits at the place of extreme privilege and honor, “the right hand of God.”
God is completely satisfied with the work of Christ and He (Christ) has been given His rightful place of royalty in Heaven. As Royal Family of God, every Church Age believer has been elected to these same special privileges by God. These privileges begin at salvation and continue throughout all eternity. We call these privileges “Spiritual Assets”. (I Peter 1:2; 2:4-10)
Israel was elected for a service to God. This service was to guard the Word of God, to spread the Gospel message and to bring forth the Messiah (Savior). Of course, Israel as a nation failed to completely fulfill the purpose for which God had chosen them, even to the point of rejecting the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, their election was unchanged by their response to it. (Romans 4:3)
There was always a remnant of faithful believers that God used to fulfill the purpose for which He had elected them. This remnant remained faithful to the Lord through many hardships and trials by utilizing the Faith-Rest Technique (mixing the promises of God with faith). (Romans 9:6; 11:1-6)
The Church Age believer also has been chosen by God for a service. This service is to be Royal Family of God, the royal family of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every person who believes in Christ during this dispensation (a period of time in history when God deals with mankind in a certain way) becomes Royal Family of God. As royalty, it the responsibility of each believer to fulfill his election by the execution of the Christian Way of Life. (II Thessalonians 2:13-14)
The Christian Way of Life involves a life of discipline in order to learn God’s grace system for success. There is no shortcut when it comes to learning Bible doctrine and applying it to daily experience. Even Jesus had to learn Bible doctrine by studying. His study, of course, was from the Old Testament Scriptures. At the age of twelve, He confounded the Hebrew scholars with His knowledge of God’s Word. (Luke 2:41-52)
If we are to make our “calling certain” (II Peter 1:10), we must become knowledgeable of the doctrines of God’s Word and how they apply to our lives. This requires a life of consistent and persistent intake of accurate Bible teaching. In order to fully understand spiritual information from the Word of God, the believer must rely upon the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Spiritual things are revealed only by the Holy Spirit to the spiritual believer (those who are in fellowship with God and controlled by the Holy Spirit). Control by the Holy Spirit is strictly a matter of a believer’s volition (free will). Sin removes fellowship and the control, while naming or acknowledging your sin to God restores that fellowship and control. This is God’s grace system and the only one that works. (I John 1:5-10)
God’s foreknowledge is often studied in connection with the doctrine of election. It is often erroneously stated that because God knew in advance who would believe in Christ and who would not, that He chooses for salvation those that He knows already will believe. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is in fact false doctrine. (Romans 8:29)
Foreknowledge is part of God’s attribute of omniscience. God of course knows all the knowable and He has always known it. It was no surprise to God when you believed in Christ, but God did not force you to believe. Foreknowledge never determines what is going to be, it is only the knowledge of what is going to be. Foreknowledge is an attribute, election is an act.
The foreknowledge of God makes nothing certain, it merely perceives what is certain. What God knows right now, He has always known. God even knows the possibilities, had you or I taken a different path in life. This does not, however, mean that God made all the choices for us; He leaves that up to us. Of course, God in His grace directs us, influences us and He (when allowed) guides us to people, places and circumstances.
God’s decrees are always certain, perfect and unchangeable. God’s plan is always perfect. Only man is imperfect. Some decrees God chooses to carry out Himself. We call these decrees “immediate”, which include things such as Creation. God created time, space and a place for mankind to live. He chose not to delegate this act to another.
When God chooses to allow His decree to be carried out by another source other than Himself, we call this “mediate”. For example, man was created with free will, which was decreed by God in eternity past. With his free will mankind is free to carry out the decrees of God in his life, by first of all choosing to believe in Christ and then choosing to fulfill God’s plan, purpose and will.
God decreed (immediate decree) that all believers in this age would become Royal Family of God and it is so. This fact will never change during this age because God’s decrees never change, they are always certain. Therefore, as a believer in Christ you can be confident that when you believed in Christ you became royalty.
All of God’s decrees are given in order to bring honor and glory to Himself. All decrees regarding you as a believer are designed by God for your maximum happiness and His eternal glory. Since God knows all of our thoughts, decisions and actions, it only makes perfect, logical sense to allow Him to control them. By allowing God to control our thoughts, decisions and actions we are assured of the proper execution of His perfect plan for us.
Think for a moment about all that God has done to reach you, to provide the necessary tools for your happiness, His patience and love, His grace and His blessings in your life. Do you really think that God would provide something for you that was less than perfect, that would make you miserable or unhappy?
God elected you for a service. We know that this service is our “reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1-2) We know from the study of His Word what this service is and we know how to accomplish it. We also know from Scripture the alternative to fulfilling God’s plan. Therefore, it is still a matter of personal volition (free will). Some will and some will not chose to fulfill this service for God. For the believer who chooses to fulfill this service, there awaits a life of peace, joy and contentment. Royalty has responsibility, but it also has great privilege. This is the case with the believer in Christ. The privileges that are available to us as Royal Family of God are innumerable and beyond human comprehension. (Colossians 3:12-17)