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Written by W.R. Daniels, Jr.   

There is no doctrine so misrepresented, so misunderstood, so maligned than the doctrine of election. The word “election” means: choice, to choose, to select. The Bible very plainly teaches that God’s people are the elect (Mat 24:24,31, Lu 18:7, Ro. 8:33, Eph 1:4, Tit 1:1, 1Pe 1:2). Election is not salvation, but is unto salvation. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation” (2Th 2:13). Now, if the elect obtain salvation, and if election is unto salvation, election must precede salvation. Men are saved when they are brought into the state of saint-ship by the effectual call, (the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit) through which they become believers in the Gospel (Eph 1:13, 2Th 2:13).

SOME OBJECTIONS TO THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION

Some object to the doctrine of Election by the false claim that God would be unfair if he chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell. Election in not the cause of anybody going to hell, for again, election is unto salvation. Neither is non-election the cause of anybody going to hell. Sin is what sends men to hell, and all men are sinners by nature and practice. Just because election is unto salvation, it does not mean that non-election is unto damnation. In Election God simply leaves the non-elect where they are, and sin is the element of damnation. Another objection to Election is: “it excludes the person that wants to be saved but cannot, because he is not an elect.” This is a misrepresentation of the doctrine of Election. Election does not prevent the salvation of anybody who wants to be saved. When I speak of being saved, I mean saved from sin (Mat. 1:21, Eph. 2:1), wanting to be saved from sin is a spiritual desire resulting from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, and God’s electing grace is the cause of this desire.

WHO DOES THE ELECTING

Since Election means, “to choose” who does the electing? Who chooses the persons to be saved? The scriptures give us the answer. “But for the elect’s sake whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.” (Mark 13:20, Eph 1:4). See Romans 8:28-33. Election is of God not of man. God is the CHOOSER; His people are the CHOSEN. There is the theology that God votes for us, the Devil votes for us, and that we must cast the deciding vote. This idea is ridiculous to say the least; there is absolutely no scripture to support it. This would make man the master of his own destiny. It would make man the CHOOSER and not God. If man’s destiny is in his own hands before he is saved then it follows that, he regenerates himself, he resurrects himself, by his own power, out of a state of sin and death, he is his own savior, and has no one to thank but himself for being saved.

ELECTION TOOK PLACE IN ETERNITY PAST

Election took place in eternity past. The Bible is clear, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ehp 1:4). “Who hath saved us, and called us with a Holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2Ti 1:9). Now, since Election took place in eternity past it is clear that God is the chooser, and not man.

ELECTION NOT BASED UPON FORESEEN GOOD

Why was the Electing done? Was it because of good in the sinner? Then nobody would have been elected, for “there is none good no not one.” Holiness is not the cause of election, but the effects of it. Men are chosen that they may be holy, not because they are holy (Ehp 1:4). Election was not based upon foreseen faith and repentance. Repentance and faith are graces of God given to the elect. Election is the cause of repentance and faith, and not the effect of these graces. The elect are manifested in repentance and faith and good works. These graces wrought in man by God are evidences of election. (Lu 18:7, Php 2:12-13, 1Th 1:3-10, Tit 2:14, 2Pe 1:5-10).

May God add his blessings.

W. R. Daniels Jr.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.