T – total depravity
U – unconditional election
Some quibble about this one but regardless of the camp they come from, it is clear & without a doubt that the “elect”, as seen in the Scriptures, describes those in Christ (true Christians).
In light of total depravity, we cannot turn to Him on our own any longer. We need God to pursue us before we can pursue Him. To do this, He elects us or chooses us to come to Him. This is not based upon anything in us which is why we call it unconditional. As such, God is actively choosing who He will have mercy and compassion on and call to Himself. (Rom. 9:15, Exodus 33:19)
Some will say this sounds unfair. However, we must keep in mind that in our natural and rebellious state that only seeks after self, we deserve judgement, even unto Hell. God would be perfectly justified to throw all of His creation into the fire because of its corrupted state; however, instead He chooses to redeem some of us and make us a part of His family. We do not deserve it which speaks of the depth of His love.
God’s election is what begins our path toward salvation which is something that we will see further information in the next points to the TULIP tool for the 5 points of Calvinism.
Ephesians 1:4-8; Romans 9:11
For more reading:
Note: This topic is also known as predestination.