Does God elect His people to salvation based on any condition they have met?
No. It’s totally a mystery in God’s love.
Here’s the beautiful thing: go to Deuteronomy, and go to chapter 6, chapter 7, and chapter 10, and look at God’s election of Israel. At one point God says, “I did not choose you because you were the greatest of all the nations, for you were the least” (Deut. 7:7). If I was God, I would have chosen Egypt, because then you’ve got a superpower and you already have a leg up to conquer the world with your religion, right? Israel is a tiny sliver of land between massive nation-states.
At one point in Deuteronomy 10, God says: “To the Lord God belongs the earth and the nations and the heavens. And yet, I set my elective love on you” (Deut. 10:14–15). If there is any text we need that tells us God’s election is absolutely unconditional, it’s that one.
There is nothing in us that merits God’s election; it is purely His good pleasure and will and grace and love. This is Ephesians 1. And what does this do but drive us to gratitude and worship? It is according to the riches of His grace, period, full stop. Don’t mess with that doctrine.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Stephen Nichols and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.