Jesus Taught Election 

More than the apostle Paul and more often than the prolific writer, Jesus of Nazareth taught the fact of the chosen long before Paul was converted from Judaism to the Christ of God. However, the Son of God was teaching it long before his incarnation: Isaiah 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. This underlined phrase points out unequivocally that “mine elect” here is not speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ as Isaiah did earlier in Isa 42:1 as speaking in the name of the Father regarding the Son. Here “mine elect” shall long enjoy the work of “their” hands (plural, indicating not one but many). (See also David teaching it in Psalm 65:4)

And the Angel taught election in his announcement of the coming birth of Christ to Joseph: Matthew 1:20-21  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Please notice the possessive pronouns his and their, indicating that Jesus would not come to try to save all people but those belonging to him. This would be oft repeated by the Lord Jesus himself as we will notice later. Matthew 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which the Lord speaks of prophetically here, God would show favor to his people, the elect, and shorten the days of destruction, pestilence, torture and violence. So, we see the Lord loves his people.

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Now, Jesus teaches us something else about the elect, they are hard to deceive – not impossible, but more difficult than others. Matthew 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Jesus teaches us further that the elect are the ones he will gather and carry to heaven on that great and notable day of the LORD when the trump shall sound and the dead shall be raised and we shall be changed.

Before we go any further, let us define election or elect as a noun. Noah Webster wrote “The act of choosing; choice; the act of selecting one or more from others. Hence appropriately,...

5. In theology, divine choice; predetermination of God, by which persons are distinguished as
objects of mercy, become subjects of grace, are sanctified and prepared for heaven.

The next verse explores the question 'Who does the choosing?' I have heard in times past that the elect are those who accept Jesus as Savior or those who choose God, choose to follow Jesus, make a decision for heaven over hell, etc. These questions are all answered by Jesus himself: Mark 13:20  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. We do not have to wonder any more who does the choosing regarding the elect for Jesus himself says the Lord that shortened the days did the choosing, and the choosing had already been done (past tense)”... whom he hath chosen,...” For me this answers that question entirely, once and for all.

Luke 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? Another thing Jesus teaches us here about the elect is that God is longsuffering with them. And that we need not seek vengeance on those who would persecute us, hear the rhetorical question “shall not God avenge his own elect?” And another thing, his elect will suffer, and in their affliction they will cry out to him, to God, day and night.

Jesus did not always use the term “elect” when teaching election as we see in the following text: John 6:37-39  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. So encouraging is this facet of Jesus' teaching about election that “I should lose nothing” so that every chosen one is assured of being raised at the last day.

John 6:44-45  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. In this verse Jesus teaches first depravity, then election (which should be a model for us all). There is a rule, or a law given here, a principle if you will, that “No man can,” not a matter of choice, but ability on the part of the sinner, no man can. Because of this principle, we understand that without “election” no flesh could be saved. Another thing we learn of the chosen ones is they shall all be taught of God. Every man that hath heard (see John 5:24-25) and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Another example of this is when Jesus teaches Peter the reason for his belief in himself: Matthew 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus was told by the Father that if he would ask for them, (the heathen ones chosen by God), would be given to him for his inheritance as recorded in Psalm 2:7-8.

John records more teaching by Jesus on election in chapter 10 “The Sheep Sermon.”  Much is written but I will highlight a few of the verses: John 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. Here Jesus affirms ownership of the sheep (he distinguishes between sheep and goats in his prophetic teaching Matt 25:31-46 where he teaches he will separate his sheep from the goats). He also affirms another doctrine of salvation in “special atonement or particular redemption” saying “... I lay down my life for the sheep” (not all of Adam's race).

Again, he teaches election later in verses 26-30 after the unbelieving wicked Jews ask him to shew us plainly if thou be the Christ: John 10:26-30  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. Here Jesus teaches us that you must be a sheep in order to believe, the cause of their unbelief was they were not his (not chosen and given unto him by the Father). The world teaches if you will believe then you will be a sheep, Jesus taught on the contrary, the reason you do not believe is that you are not a sheep, only the sheep are capable of believing. He further teaches the elect “shall never perish” because “I give unto them eternal life.” The elect have the promise of eternal life. Eternal security “no man is able to pluck them out....”.

Jesus teaches us election in his High Priestly prayer on the night of his passion and records unequivocally exactly how many will be saved: John 17:1-4  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. Jesus teaches he has authority and ability (power) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to “as many as thou hast given him”. This is life eternal and this work is finished. At the cross Jesus paid the eternal debt for our sins, for all that the Father gave him, so that Paul could say later “Who can lay anything to the charge of God's elect?” unto which he answered “It is Christ that died....” This is absolute proof of 1. Particular Redemption 2. Full Atonement for none but the elect but all of the elect. 3. Election 4. Predestination 5. Eternal Security for all of the elect.

Finally, Jesus teaches Paul election in the book of Acts saying: Acts 18:1  After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; Acts 18:9-10 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

I included verse 1 to prove that the Lord was not merely saying you are in Corinth because it is a bigger city and more potential, no, he left Athens (a much larger city) to come to Corinth – not to make sheep, but to make disciples out of the sheep already there “for I have much people in this city” not I will get but I have says Jesus.

Much more could be said but please let it be seen here that this teaching is not originated by Primitive Baptists or any other Baptists, neither was it Paul's idea, but that Jesus was the most prolific teacher of election as recorded by New Testament writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude.

Elder Steve Woods

(All references King James)