We may spend more money and time on presidential elections, but there is a much more important election we ought to be thinking about. Paul spoke of it in Ephesians 1:3-6:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
The word “chose” is translated from eklegomai, “to elect, to choose, to set apart.” Paul is saying God elected us as Christians.
Calvinism has redefined the terms “chosen” and “predestined,” which has unfortunately made many Christians reluctant to use these terms. The Westminster Confession, enacted about 1650, expresses their idea of this terminology:
Section III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.
Section IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
The error of Calvinism is in applying these terms to individuals when Paul was speaking of God’s choice to save those who are “in him.” This is the choice that was predestined before the foundation of the world.
At the FHU Lectures in 2002 Alan Highers explained it this way:
A teacher very often decides beforehand which students will pass and which ones will fail. The teacher makes out the final examination and determines that those who make 70 or above will pass; those who make below that mark will fail. The matter is determined; it is determined beforehand; some are chosen to pass, others to fail. But the teacher does not choose individuals who will pass or fail.
The great election is God’s choice to save those who are in Christ. So how does a person get into Christ? Galatians 3:26-27 answers this question: “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Have you been baptized into Christ through faith? Are you one of God’s elect?