Verses that show election is conditional:
- Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation is an invite to those who will come.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I just don't get how this how this is saying election is conditional because to say so is saying that it's our choice whether or not we come to Jesus. It is presupposing that we can choose either to learn from Jesus or not learn from Jesus. Whether you are an Arminian or not, you have to agree that the Bible teaches that if you don't learn from Jesus and apply it you will be cast into hell. That's not where the disagreement is. The issue that this passage brings up is can you take up Jesus' yoke and learn from him on your own - of your own will?
I'll give an answer at the end of the post.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
When Jesus said this was he saying that He came because we chose Him? No God chose to love the world and the the sone came so that people who believe in Him will not be cut off from God. In addition the passage does not talk about who has the ability to believe and I don't see how it's saying that everyone has the ability to believe.
"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."To say this verse tells us that election is conditional does not really make sense to me because the most about election you can get is that the elect worship God in spirit and in truth. It does not say that you become elect by worshiping God in spirit and in truth.
"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
I agree that the elect are those who look to the Son and believes in Him. However, Jesus is not saying that anyone can look to the Son and believe on their own. More on this at the end of the post.
- John 6:51 - Must eat of the bread of life to receive benefit.
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
I agree that Jesus is saying that the elect eats the bread of life to get eternal life. However Jesus did not say that everyone has the ability to do so on their own. Again more on this at the end of the post.
Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
I love this passage because it points to the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. However it's describing what the elect does. It's not talking about how we become elect. And it's not saying we elect ourselves because we believe. We believe because we are elect.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
I don't think that Paul is saying that all the elect become elect because of their own choices however he is describing what it mean to be elected to salvation by faith through Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
I'm still missing how the fact that it is by faith we are made a part of Christ tells us that our election is conditional on our faith.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
By what condition was the election of gentiles earned? It wasn't. Gentiles obtained righteousness the same way the Jews did: by Faith. The passage does not tell us that faith is a condition of election. What we again see is that the elect are characterized by having faith.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
I find this passage very interesting. Are we trying to say to that people choose to put their faith in Christ and then they no longer have free will because we are then marked and seale with the Holy Spirit? Why should free will stop when you get saved? I realized that many people believe that salvation is conditional and one can loose their salvation but this is one verse that shows that it's not possible if you have believed. This is because you didn't save you.
- 1 Timothy 4:10 - Jesus died for all, but there is a specific subset that receives the benefits, namely those who believe.
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
This passage is used a lot to discredit the idea the Jesus died for only the elect. It might. Nor do I think it tells us election is dependent on faith. IT only tells us that there is not salvation outside of the living God.
- 1 Peter 1:1-2 - Election is according to God's foreknowing who shall believe.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
This passage is not telling us that God chose those who would choose to believe. It gets sticky because how can you tell if you believe a. because you were chosen or b. because you were chosen because you believed.
That is why many Calvinists think that Arminians are pushing a man centered theology if you think that God's election is based on our choices.
As for the question of what our ability is to believe is the Bible answers this thoroughly. I'm amazed that John 6:40 and 51 are used in the list but verse 44 is not on the list. Here is John 6:40-59:
40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."In the context, neither verses 40 nor 51 tells us that our salvation is contingent on our choices. Our salvation is contingent on the Father drawing us. Unless one wants to argue that God draws everyone the same amount to the same degree and the final choice for your salvation is your own, I just can't see how we can say that election is conditional. Of course I can't find any Bible passage that says that God draws everyone the same amount and we make the final choice.
41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Instead lets look at a couple of passages in which the word "election" and "predestination" are actually used.
4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.
Romans 9:10-12 said::
10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
2 Peter 1:10-11 said:
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I don't think Peter is saying that unbelievers make their calling or election sure but believers do. Again it doesn't tell us that election is conditional. I just can't see how we can get conditional election out of the Bible.
Brennon's Thoughts: Verses All Arminians Should Know