When you consider that God elected you before the foundation of the world, was there anything in you that compelled God to elect you over someone who he rejected? This is a heady thought. I have pondered this often and it will cause you to twist a bit.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jn 1:6–13.

The word ‘receive’ would be the descriptive to regeneration. After we were regenerated, man has the lawful rights to the title, ‘son’s of God’. In this regeneration, we are given ‘power’ to assent to biblical truths and facts that were previously, hid from our scaled eyes. We now have the capacity to ‘believe’ on His name, where as before, we were unable.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Co 2:14.

2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even bwhen we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Eph 2.

‘Quickened’. Made alive in Christ Jesus. See John 3:3 ‘By grace’. It is alone by God’s mercy toward those he chooses.

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Ro 11:5–6.

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in omalice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by vthe washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Tt 3:3–7.

‘He loved us’. God chooses to love the elect in Christ Jesus. He cannot love us outside of Christ as we are sinful creatures-it must be that He loves us upon regeneration and conversion, else He would destroy His own laws in that regard. It is by God’s grace alone.

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 2 Ti 1:9–10.

The above passages show that God’s choice of the elect were not arbitrary per se; on one hand, they were, i.e. comparing us personally with any other created being and on the other, based on God’s decree and plans, they were not; or in another way to describe it, as Turretin would say, in the compound sense, it was never arbitrary and in the divided sense, it was.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Je 29:11.

This deliverance will not depend upon your merits, but upon my own mercy and kind thoughts and purposes I have for the seed of Abraham my servant, and I am resolved in my own thoughts what to do;

Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, vol. 2 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1853), 581.

I. By whom, and in what manner, it was brought about and effected. 1. Negatively: Not of yourselves, v. 8. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not the mere product of any natural abilities, nor of any merit of our own: Not of works, lest any man should boast, v. 9. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, and therefore all boasting is excluded; he who glories must not glory in himself, but in the Lord. There is no room for any man’s boasting of his own abilities and power; or as though he had done any thing that might deserve such immense favours from God. 2. Positively: But God, who is rich in mercy, etc., v. 4. God himself is the author of this great and happy change, and his great love is the spring and fontal cause of it; hence he resolved to show mercy. Love is his inclination to do us good considered simply as creatures; mercy respects us as apostate and as miserable creatures. Observe, God’s eternal love or good-will towards his creatures is the fountain whence all his mercies vouch-safed to us proceed; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy of his is rich mercy, inexpressibly great and inexhaustibly rich. And then by grace you are saved (v. 5), and by grace are you saved through faith-it is the gift of God, v. 8. Note, Every converted sinner is a saved sinner. Such are delivered from sin and wrath; they are brought into a state of salvation, and have a right given them by grace to eternal happiness. The grace that saves them is the free undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves them, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus, by means of which they come to partake of the great blessings of the gospel; and both that faith and that salvation on which it has so great an influence are the gift of God. The great objects of faith are made known by divine revelation, and made credible by the testimony and evidence which God hath given us; and that we believe to salvation and obtain salvation through faith is entirely owing to divine assistance and grace; God has ordered all so that the whole shall appear to be of grace.

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2309.

At the end of all of the above, we still have to deal with the conundrum of why god chose you over anyone else? It would seem arbitrary and random. The terms are most likely faulty as God is never random or arbitrary. There is a plan behind all He decrees and does.

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