elect Summary and Overview
elect in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
ELECT or ELECTION The Greek word (eklektus) for "elect" or "chosen" comes from a verb meaning "to choose." It is applied to persons or things. Luke 14:7; John 6:70. The verb is uniformly translated in A.V. "choose," but the adjective both "chosen" and "elect." Luke 23:35; cf. Luke 18:7. Choice implies preference, hence approval, favor, delight, as in Luke 23:35 the Messiah is called "the chosen of God " -- i.e. the One in whom God takes pleasure. The elect in N.T. usage are those chosen of God unto salvation, who therefore enjoy his favor and lead a holy life in communion with him. Matt 24:22; Mark 13:27; Luke 18:7; Rom 8:33; Tit 1:1. Paul once speaks of "the election," Rom 11:7, instead of "the elect," just as he says "the circumcision" instead of "the circumcised." Rom 2:26. In Matt 22:14 the calling of God is distinguished from the choosing of God: "Many are called, but few are chosen." All are called who hear the sound of the gospel and are invited to accept its terms of salvation, but those only are chosen who repent and believe and persevere to the end. Elect Lady. 2 John 1. This title is applied by John to some eminent Christian woman, or else it was a figurative expression denoting a Christian church.
elect in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
ELECT or ELECTION: (See PREDESTINATION.) (1) Chosen to office (Acts 9:15; John 6:70; 1 Samuel 10:24). ELECTION (2) of Israel in the Old Testament as a nation, and of the visible Christian church, to spiritual privileges (Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 44:1; 2 John 1:3; 1 Peter 5:18). (3) Of Israel to temporal blessings in their own land, both formerly (Deuteronomy 7:6) and hereafter (Isaiah 65:9-22). (4) Of saints, individually and personally, (Matthew 20:16; John 6:44; Acts 22:14) before the foundation of the world: to adoption (Ephesians 1:5); salvation, not without faith and holiness, but "through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth," for He who chose the end chose also the means (2 Thessalonians 2:13); conformity to Christ (Romans 8:29); good works (Ephesians 2:10); spiritual warfare (2 Timothy 2:4); eternal glory (Romans 9:23). He chooses not merely character's, but individuals to whom He gives the needful characteristics, faith and obedience (Acts 5:31; Ephesians 2:8), and writes them in the book of life (Luke 10:20; Philemon 4:3; John 6:37; John 6:40). Believers may know it (1 Thessalonians 1:4). Exemplified in Isaac (Genesis 21:12); Abraham (Nehemiah 9:7; Haggai 2:23); the apostles (John 13:18; John 15:16; John 15:19); Jacob (Romans 9:12-13); Paul (Galatians 1:15). God's "grace was given in Christ Jesus (to the elect) before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9). Its source is God's grace, independent of any goodness foreseen in the saved (Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 9:11; Romans 9:18; Romans 11:5). The analogy of God's providence in this life choosing all our circumstances and final destination, and numbering the very hairs of our heads, illustrates the same method in His moral government (compare John 17:24; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:2). The election being entirely of grace, not for our foreseen works (Romans 11:6), the glory all redounds to God. The elect are given by the Father to Jesus as the fruit of His obedience unto death (Isaiah 53:10), that obedience itself being a grand part of the foreordained plan. Such a truth realized fills the heart with love and gratitude to God, humbling self, and "drawing up the mind to high and heavenly things" (Church of England, Article 17). Yet men are throughout Scripture treated as responsible, capable of will and choice. Christ died sufficiently for all, efficiently for the elect (1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2). The lost will lay all the blame of their perdition on themselves because "they would not come to Jesus that they might have life"; the saved will ascribe all the praise of their salvation to God alone (Revelation 1:5; Matthew 22:12).