To elect means: to choose, single out, call out a person, in this case, by God, for a place in his kingdom. The elect are the citizens of the kingdom of God.
As individuals, the elect are properly labeled “saints” which means holy people, set apart. As a group, the elect are known as “The Church” and the “Body of Christ.”
1 Peter 2:9 says the elect “are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar [strange, odd, unusual] people… called out of darkness into his God’s marvellous light…”
Romans 8:28-30 says:
28 We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified [to be made right or just], them he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).
Jesus said in Matthew 22:14 that “many are called, but few are chosen.”
Why does God choose some people but rejects others?
God chooses and reject people based on these factors:
- their sincerity
- their level of humility (Matthew 11:25)
- their love of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
- whether they’ll believe and repent
- their choices via their conscience (Romans 2:15)
If you’re elected, does that automatically guarantee a ticket into heaven?
Christ said that it’s God’s desire to give his kingdom to his chosen people (Luke 12:32). He doesn’t say it’s guaranteed—it’s his desire—just like he desires us to be like his son, Jesus (Romans 8:29).
So the answer is, “No.” Jesus also said that he would have to reject some saints because they fell back into darkness (Matthew 7:22). And the Holy Spirit says that in the latter days some will fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-).
Therefore, we’re told to “make our election sure” and “examine ourselves to see if we’re of the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
2 Peter 1:10 says:
Dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away (2 Peter 1:10 NLT).
How do we know we have been elected?
- We don’t fit into this world (1 John 3).
- We don’t abide in or practice sin (1 John 3).
- We’re rejected and persecuted for righteousness sake (1 John 3).
- We love what God loves, and hate what he hates (Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9; Proverbs 8:13).
- We have godly love for our brothers and sisters (John 13:35).
- We display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
A saint cannot be a sinner
“A saint is just a sinner, who fell down… be we get up.” — lyrics from the song, “We Fall Down” by Christian gospel artist Donnie McClurkin.
But a sinner who’s a saint is an oxymoron.
A sinner is a practitioner of sin, a person who abides in sin, a person who has made a commitment to sin. Therefore, a sinner keeps on sinning.
A saint is holy and practices righteousness. A saint is a person who’s made a commitment to God and abides in Christ Jesus. In a moment of weakness, they may fall into sin, but they don’t stay there. Saints walk in the light and not in darkness. When they fall, they confess their sins and repent. Sinners don’t.
Words have power. Be careful what you call yourself. Someone calling themselves a sinner will likely struggle with sin—repeating the cycle of failure and triumph, but this isn’t God’s will. We are to overcome and not keep falling into the same sins. We should be growing.
The life stages of the elect
The end goal is glorification as the scriptures teach, but it starts with justification.
- Justification is being made acceptable and right in the site of God so he can begin to interact with us.
- Sanctification is the process of cleaning us up—making us holy—removing the lies from our minds and the stains on our souls (2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; John 17:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrew 13:12; 1 Corinthians 6:11).
- Glorification is the end result—a mature, perfect son or daughter of God—with permanent citizenship and awarded honor.
Let’s make our election sure to obtain glory from our heavenly father.