The idea of predestination and God’s election of certain individuals to salvation has been a topic of theological debate for centuries. Put simply, the ‘elect of God’ are those whom He had already chosen to be saved.
They are referred to as the ‘elect’ because that word denotes “determining beforehand,” “ordaining,” and “deciding ahead of time.” In simpler terms, it means that even before this world came into existence, God had already determined who would receive salvation.
Understanding who the elect are and how they are chosen is essential to comprehending God’s character and our own salvation.
It can be challenging to reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign choice with our free will and responsibility, however, the Bible provides clarity in showing that it is God who chooses us and grants us salvation.
Today, we will uncover who the elect are in the Bible and consider what predestination is. We’ll look at two primary views on election doctrine and if even those chosen can be deceived.
We’ll also discuss the signs that one is among the elect and the difference between being chosen and being elect.
Who Are the Elect in the Bible?
The term “elect” is used throughout the Bible primarily to refer to individuals who God has predestined to salvation. In Romans 8:33, Paul writes, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” This verse implies that only those who were specifically chosen by God can be considered His elect.
Throughout both Old and New Testaments of The Bible we can find references to ‘the elect’ or chosen people of God. The nation Israel is one particular example referred to in Deuteronomy 7:6 where Moses explains that they have been divinely selected above all other nations on earth as a ‘treasured possession’.
In Deuteronomy 7:6, Moses tells the Israelites, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
In the New Testament, term “elect” refers to individual believers who have been predestined by God for salvation.
For example, in Ephesians 1:4-5, Paul writes, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
The concept of predestination is also found in other passages such as Romans 8:28-30, where Paul writes that those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, and those whom He predestined, He also called, justified, and glorified.
The concept of predestination can be confusing, suggesting that free will and God’s sovereignty coexist in some way. But this is not intended to negate our personal responsibility or faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, it serves to remind us that our salvation comes only by the grace of God and not by anything we may do ourselves.
Even the Elect Will Be Deceived
While the elect of God have been predestined for salvation, it is important to note that even they can be deceived.
This point is highlighted in Matthew 24:24 where Jesus warns us that false messiahs and false prophets will come and perform great signs and wonders to deceive those may be chosen by God.
The fact that the elect can be deceived shows that It is important to remain rooted in the truth of God’s Word and our faith in Christ so that we do not become deceived by false teachings.
Having discernment and examining everything within the context of scripture (1 John 4:1) can help us avoid these false teachings, even if they sound convincing. We must also be aware of how deceptive these teachings may be as it ultimately leads away from the truth shared through God’s Word.
We can protect ourselves from being deceived by reading the Bible frequently, praying for wise judgment, and asking God for help in recognizing false teachings.
We should also stay connected to other trustworthy Christians as we can learn from their experiences and example of following Jesus closely.
Additionally, it is important to be wary of any untrustworthy teachers or ideologies that may not align with biblical truths. This could include false gospels, doctrines taught by false prophets, or philosophies that conflict with the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.
In addition, It is important for the elect to remain faithful and persevere in their faith. The doctrine of perseverance teaches that those who are truly saved will maintain their belief and continue doing good work until the end of their lives.
This endurance serves as an indication that one is part of God’s chosen people, showing that His grace is working in them.
Signs You Are One of God’s Elect
While the concept of predestination can be difficult to grasp, the Bible gives us some indications of how we can know if we are among the elect. Here are some signs that may indicate that you are one of God’s elect:
1. Spiritual Fruit
A fundamental sign of being one among the elect is the manifestation of spiritual fruit in your life. The book of Galatians (5:22-23) explicitly mentions these fruits, which comprise love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Should you observe these qualities flourishing in your life, it may be an outward expression that God’s Spirit is operating within you.
Perseverance is another hallmark of being one of the elect. Salvaged individuals will continue to hold on to their faith and perform good deeds until their earthly lives’ end. To be sure, it does not mean that they will never encounter struggles or transgressions, but rather that they will ultimately endure and persist in their faith.
Repentance likewise stands as a sign of the work of God’s grace in our lives. The presence of divine grace within us will convict our souls of our sins, enabling us to repent and turn away from them.
As a result, we will have an unrelenting desire to lead a life that brings honor and glory to God, reflecting His attributes.
4. Love for God and His Word
Those who are among the elect will have a love for God and His Word. They will desire to spend time in prayer and studying the Bible, and they will seek to obey God’s commands.
5. Confirmation by the Holy Spirit
Ultimately, the Holy Spirit confirms to us that we are among the elect. According to Romans 8:16, the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Such a confirmation is not merely a subjective feeling but stems from the Holy Spirit’s workings in our hearts, resulting in deep-seated conviction within us.
Although it’s impossible to be fully sure if we are among the elect, we may look for signs of God’s grace actively working within us. The presence of spiritual fruit, perseverance, repentance, love for God and His Word, and confirmation by the Holy Spirit may be indicative of our status as the chosen ones.
Whether we belong to that group or not, we can always trust in God’s greatness and sovereignty, certain that His perfect plan for our lives will unfold.are among the elect.
Regardless of whether we are among the elect or not, we can trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God and His plan for our lives.
What Is the Difference Between Chosen and Elect?
The biblical concepts of “chosen” and “elect” are words that are utilized interchangeably by many individuals, although they may hold different connotations at times.
The word “chosen” generally refers to an idea of selection or preference, such as in Deuteronomy 7:6, which explains that God has chosen the Israelites to be his prized possession among all peoples. This reference to being chosen highlights the fact that Israel is set apart for God’s purposes.
The term “elect,” on the other hand, has a more detailed significance – it represents being predestined for salvation. In Romans 8:33, Paul writes that those whom God has chosen cannot be accused because it is God who justifies. Here, the meaning of “chosen” is more like being elected for salvation.
While the use of the terms “chosen” and “elect” may convey slightly different connotations, the Bible emphasizes our salvation rests on God’s unfettered choice rather than on our individual merits or efforts. Whether we use the notion of “chosen” or “elect,” the fact remains – our redemption is ultimately an act of God’s grace.
In Ephesians 1:4-5, Paul writes that God “chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” In this verse, the words “chosen” and “predestined” are used interchangeably to stress that our salvation is solely based on God’s pre-determined choice.
Considering the concept of the elect of God can be quite perplexing and often sparks debates and questions. Nonetheless, as devoted Christians, we can rely on God’s sovereignty and kindness, who has picked us for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as we journey through our Christian lives, may we have complete trust in the goodness of God. Let us anchor ourselves deeply in the truth that His Word provides, cultivate a spirit of wisdom and perception, and persist in our faith. This way, we will keep on believing while firmly resting on the assurance that our salvation is secure in Him.