Theological Commitments of the Biblical Gospel: Election

Must be a low information voter.

God cast a vote for you, Satan casts a vote against you, and you get to cast the deciding vote? Really?

Election: Who Chose Whom?

The Arminian/semi-Pelagian understanding absolutely rejects any type of election based solely upon the free choice of God. Their understanding of this can be seen in the response of the Synod of Dort (1619):

“The true doctrine concerning election and reprobation having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:[3]…Who teach: That the incomplete and non-decisive election of particular persons to salvation occurred because of a foreseen faith, conversion, holiness, godliness, which either began or continued for some time; but that the complete and decisive election occurred because of foreseen perseverance unto the end in faith, conversion, holiness, and godliness; and that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness, for the sake of which he who is chosen is more worthy than he who is not chosen; and that therefore faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness, and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur.

This is repugnant to the entire Scripture, which constantly inculcates this and similar declarations: Election is not of works, but of him that calleth (Rom. 9:11). And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48). He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (Eph. 1:4). Ye did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16). But if it is by grace, it is no more of works (Rom. 11:6). Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son (1 John 4:10).[4]

God is sovereign in his divine choice of those who are saved contra the Arminian system. As for those who would say that this means that God actively predestines sinners to condemnation (a view sometimes called double predestination) Scripture does not teach that God actively predestines sinners to the Lake of Fire, but that those whom God does not elect unto salvation are passed over, left in their sins to face the fruit of their sin. This form of reprobation sees God as passive in his condemnation because man is merely receiving the just desserts for his rebellion and law-breaking.

If a person holds to an understanding of personal depravity that is less than total, or is inconsistent with this understanding, he or she will more than likely see election as being based upon the free choice of the sinner.

[3] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

[4] Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997), I.2.5 Emphasis mine.

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