The elect of God – Who are they?

The "elect of God" is a theological phrase that refers to predestination. Predestination holds that God determined who will be saved. Those people are the elect of God. He chose—or elected—them.

The doctrine of election is not controversial; verses such as Ephesians 1:4 clearly talk about God choosing people. What is controversial is how exactly that choice is made. One school of theology, Augustinianism, holds that God determined, or specifically chose, who would be saved. The other primary theology is that God knows beforehand who will choose Him and it is those people that He elected prior to creation. This is called the prescient or foreknowledge view. The difference is in who ultimately chooses who is saved. In the Augustinian view, God chooses. In the foreknowledge view, humans choose.

Some hold that if each person has the ultimate free will about whether to choose salvation, God's sovereignty is challenged. God is left to hope that people will choose His way, rather than in complete control.

In the other view, the Augustinian, God has complete control to determine who is saved, cause them to choose Him, and accomplish their salvation. Critics say this view undermines each person's free will and erodes any accountability people have to God.

Romans 9 offers the most pointed Scripture about God's sovereignty in election. In this passage, Paul is addressing questions some Jews had about God's sovereignty in choosing His people. Paul points out that not all ethnic Jews were among the spiritual nation of Israel (Romans 9:6) and that God has always made choices about who He favored (Romans 9:11). He makes the argument that God is not unjust, but has the prerogative of doing what He pleases (Romans 9:15). God doesn't sublimate His authority or sovereignty to His creation.

Other passages, such as John 6:37–45 and Ephesians 1:3–14, refer to God's elect. Not every person will be saved. Some people will. Who chooses which people are saved is the question regarding the elect of God—each individual person, or God Himself?


Related Truth:

In the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate, which side is correct?

What is the doctrine of predestination?

What is the connection between predestination / election and foreknowledge?

The doctrines of grace – What are they?

Conditional election – What is it?


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