No one disputes the fact that God elects those who will be saved. The Scripture makes that quite plain, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4). The grammar of the verse makes the holy and blameless status the result of the choosing by God, and the us is Paul speaking to Christians about Christians. The word chosen is a translation of the Greek word where the English term election comes from. It should also be noted that this election by God took place before the foundation of the world. The controversy over election involves its basis. Was it conditional; did God look down through the ages and see who would choose Him and then, as a result, He elected them? Or, was this election unconditional; the choosing of God was the result of God’s sovereign choice and the basis is never revealed in Scripture? God has a sovereign right to bestow more or less grace upon any subject He wishes as grace is unmerited favor. In Romans 9:21, in a passage dealing with salvation, Paul wrote, “Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?” There have been times when God exercised this sovereign right among men. Speaking of Paul, “He is a chosen [elected] instrument of Mine, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15). There are also direct statements of unconditional election of God in the Scripture. “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). The word appointed here is TETAGMENOI and is used to describe military orders. It is a participle in the perfect tense meaning completed action in the past with results lingering on to the present. Hence, it was because of their appointment by God that they believed to eternal life. “We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). The word in this passage rendered chosen is a different term altogether. Thayer, in his Greek lexicon renders it “to remove by force.” In secular literature of Bible days it is used of picking fruit. It is always used in the Scripture in the middle voice meaning it is done in the self-interests of the one choosing. In his explanation of the various steps of salvation, Paul began with the foreknowledge of God in Romans 8:29. Keep in mind that God’s knowledge is eternal and complete. There is nothing God does not know at all times. As a result, He does not learn anything from his creation because He has always known everything. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Ro. 8:29-30). The grammar of the passage makes the conforming of the sinner to the image of His Son the result of the predestination. Hence, I would conclude that the election of God is unconditional and is the action that results in using choosing Him. Having said that, I’m sure this entire matter is one of great controversy and should ignite some lively posts.