What is the doctrine of election? Is it Biblical?
The doctrine of election speaks simply of God’s choosing. While God may choose people to do or be certain things (ie. David as King 2 Sam. 6:21), the greater act of God’s election is His choosing of a people for salvation.
Election is definitely a Biblical doctrine that can be readily found in both Old and New Testaments. While the word “election” may not be used or rendered to English in every case, the act of God’s electing is apparent, especially in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament Israel is the most prominent example (Deut. 7:6). We also see the heritage of election traced back to the patriarchs in Genesis as God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be the family of blessing for the whole earth (Gen. 12, 15, 17, Isa. 41:8). In the New Testament we see Jesus introduced as the “chosen” of God (Luke 9:35, 1 Peter 2:4,6). Interestingly, the word “chosen”, in most cases, is a translation of the Greek word “electos.” In the New Testament those chosen by God for His salvation are referred to as “the elect (Matt. 24:22, Rom. 8:33).”
Election is a Biblical doctrine that if misconstrued can do serious damage to our understanding the nature of God, salvation, and the nature of the church. Where most of the theological debate is centered is not as much on “election” but on the knowledge of God. What does it mean that someone is predestined? How did God know? Did He know the choices they would make or did God destine them for His choosing? Another strain of the debate here is that if God has chosen or elected some for salvation does that necessarily mean that He has chosen others for destruction? But you didn’t ask, so I did not want to bring us into all of this :)!
Wherever one falls on these issues there is no debate that election is certainly a Biblical doctrine. Thanks for asking.