Election – In the New Testament the doctrine of election is formulated from the word “elect” (Eklektos NT: 1588) meaning, “God’s chosen.” And in the Old Testament the word (Bachiyr OT: 977) meaning, “select” in which the English King James translation translates it, “elect.” Compare KJV and NASB concordances for usage. Also see Strong’s number definition. Examples of usage can be found in: Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:22, Romans 8:33, Isaiah 45:4, Isaiah 65:9.
The doctrine of election is built on two other doctrines:
1.) The sovereignty of God. Illustrated in (1 Timothy 6:13-16): “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time– He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” (NASB)
2.) The depravity of man as illustrated in (Romans 3:9-18): “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving, The poison of asps is under their lips; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; Their feet are swift to shed blood, 16 Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”(NASB)
Based on these two principles comes two views in church teaching:
1.) God saves man from his sin by Grace alone and is based on God’s sovereignty – holding the position that man has no capacity to save himself, to include not having the ability to have faith of his own. (See: Romans Chapter 9.)
2.) God through Grace alone provides the way for salvation, but man must make a choice of faith to complete the process. (See: 2 Peter 3:9, John 1:12, John 3:16.)
Because of these positions, theology books and word study tools tend to slant themselves toward one view or the other. Examples: read Christian Theology by Emery H. Bancroft and The Great Doctrine of the Bible by William Evans. Throughout this debate it is important to remember 2 Timothy 2:14-15: “Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” (NASB)