Election is the sovereign act of God where he chooses people and/or individuals to carry out his purpose in the world.  God's election is not based on any quality in the individual or group of people, nor is it based on any foreseen ability in them. God is the one who elects out of his sovereign will.  He is the one who chooses people. People do not elect themselves.  So, God chose Israel to be his people (Isaiah 43:20; Acts 13:17) and he chose individuals to do his will (Acts 9:15; Romans 16:13; 2 John 13).

Election has a certain theological meaning in regard to God's predestining people to salvation. Christians are called the elect of God, the chosen ones (Mark 13:20; Luke 18:7; Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12).  The elect are predestined (Eph. 1:4-5) from the foundation of the world have special privileges for God.  you have the mediatorship of Christ (1 Tim. 2:5) and during the end times, days will be cut short for the sake of the elect (Mark 13:20) who will be gathered (Matt. 24:31). Also, the elect cannot be deceived by false Christ and false prophets (Matt. 24:24) and no charge will stand against them (Rom. 8:33).

Jesus chose the 12 disciples. In this, they were elected (Luke 6:13).  In fact, Jesus is also called the chosen one in Luke 9:35 and 1 Pet. 2:4.  There are elect angels (1 Tim. 5:21)

  • "In both the OT and NT, a divine choosing of man, individually or corporately, either to salvation and eternal life, or to a special office or work. The term “the elect” in both Testaments applies mainly to God’s elect people, chosen unto eternal life (2 S. 21:6; 1 Ch. 16:13; Ps. 105:6, 43; 106:5, 23; Isa. 42:1; 43:20; Mt. 24:22, 24, 31; Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 1:2, etc.)"1
  • "The act of choice whereby God picks an individual or group out of a larger company for a purpose or destiny of his own appointment."2
  • "The word "election" emphasizes that membership of God’s people is due to God’s initiative, prior to all human response, made before time began (Eph 1:4; cf. Jn 15:16, 19). It is God who has called men and women to be his people, and those who respond are elect."3

Verses Referenced:

  • Matt. 24:24, "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect."
  • Matt. 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."
  • Mark 13:20, “Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days."
  • Luke 6:13, ""And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles."
  • Luke 9:35, "Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”
  • Luke 18:7, "now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?"
  • Acts 9:15, "knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you."
  • Acts 13:17, "knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you."
  • Rom. 8:33, "Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies."
  • Romans 16:13, "Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine."
  • Eph. 1:4-5, "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."
  • Col. 3:12, "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
  • 1 Tim. 2:5, "
  • 1 Tim. 5:21, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality."
  • 1 Peter 2:4, "And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God."
  • 1 Thess. 1:4, "knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you."
  • 2 John 13, "The children of your chosen sister greet you."
  • 1. Bromiley, Geoffrey W., ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988.
  • 2. Wood, D. R. W., and I. Howard Marshall. New Bible Dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996.
  • 3. Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Tyndale Reference Library. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.