My definition from ages ago for unconditional election.
God's choice to save people is unconditional, based upon His will and His will alone, and not upon anything that they have done, earned, or will do in the future. Notably, His election of people is not based upon his foreknowledge of their decision to choose Him. Their faith is a gift of God as well, and dependent upon His election of them.This statement is in contrast to the "foreseen faith" that the Arminians put forth, claiming that God's election of a people was dependent upon the fact that he saw that they were eventually come to faith.
Of course, it's certainly possible for me to accept this and say "yes, God accepts us because he foreknows our faith, but our faith is 100% irresistible gift from God, so he really accepts us based on His giving us faith, so the conditions are in God and not in man." Of course, the real disagreement is where that faith comes from. Is faith an irresistible gift from God or something given to us with the option of accepting or rejecting?
I have previously established (weeks ago) our total inability to come to faith without God's regenerating work as well as the fact that faith is an automatic consequence of God's regenerating work in us.
To tie things together logically. Total depravity means we cannot, without God's work in us, choose God. We're sinners and hostile to God, unable to please Him, unwilling to desire Him. This means that God's reason for choosing us must lie wholly outside of us (otherwise no one would be saved). This is unconditional election.
I'm planning on doing a few posts on Romans 9, as that's a text that's often brought up (and just as often challenged), so I want to do a good job on it.
So for now, I'm going to make a few shorter arguments.
Throughout Scripture we see the term "chosen" commonly used by God of His people. We are God's "chosen" ones (Col. 3:12, Eph. 1:4-6), many are called but few are chosen (Matt. 22:14).
Justification by grace alone demands that our faith be made conditioned upon God alone.
1 Cor. 4:7
7For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?Ephesians 2:8-9
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.If we actually are given a general grace that enables all people to choose God independent of God's decision to save us, then why do some people have faith and some do not? But if it is grace and wholly grace, then there is nothing different in us. All men are like grass, a breath, his days like a passing shadow. All men are wicked, no one seeks for God, no one pleases God. All that we have (including our faith) is a gift of God, making our salvation conditioned not upon man, but upon God alone.
To come, Romans 9