53. What does the term “unconditional election” mean, and is it biblical?
The term “unconditional election” simply means that God's election (or choice) of those who would be saved is not conditioned upon or influenced by anything outside of God himself. The doctrine of unconditional election was formulated in response to the teaching of the Remonstrance, composed by Jacobus Arminius and others, that God's election of individuals to salvation was conditioned upon the faith which he foresaw that they would come to in time. In reaction to this teaching, the Synod of Dort affirmed the historic teaching of the Church that God elects us, not in response to any good or willingness to believe that he foresees in us, but according to his own good purposes alone.
The doctrine of unconditional election is very clearly upheld in the bible, which proclaims that God “saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9; cf. Eph. 1:3-6). Further biblical defense of this doctrine may be found in the questions below.
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