The term “elect” simply means chosen, and “election” means to be chosen. In the Bible, these terms are used of: 1) Messiah/Christ, 2) the holy angels, and 3) the nation of Israel. The Lord Jesus Christ is perfect and without sin, so His election by God cannot have anything to do with personal salvation. The holy angels are unfallen, such that they do not require salvation (and the fallen angels are not eligible for salvation). However, by far the most common use of elect/election relates to the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel has always been comprised of both believing and unbelieving Jews (cf. Rom3:3; 9:6), so the election of Israel cannot pertain to the salvation of individual Jewish persons.
Biblical “election” is God’s choice of a person or persons for a particular purpose in His divine plan. Christ was chosen by God to be the redeemer of believing humanity (Jn3:16). The angels were chosen by God to be His governing and ministering spirits within the creation (Heb1:14). And the nation of Israel was chosen by God for a myriad of reasons, but primarily to be His principal channel of revelation to fallen humanity, through which God brought forth both the Person of Messiah (Rom9:3-5) and the Holy Scriptures (Rom3:1-2). These purposes have nothing to do with the personal salvation of the objects of God’s election.
Reformed theology’s notion that “election” is God’s choice of who He will save and who he will not, made before His work of creation and having nothing to do with faith on the part of its objects, finds no support in the Bible.
A full length article on this subject titled Biblical Election has been added under Biblical Studies. God bless!
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