elec·​tion | \ i-ˈlek-shən  \

Definition of election

1a: an act or process of electing

  • the election of a new governor

b: the fact of being elected

  • her election to the Senate

2: predestination to eternal life

3: the right, power, or privilege of making a choice


c. 1300, eleccioun, “act of choosing” someone to occupy a position, elevation to office” (whether by one person or a body of electors); also “the holding of a vote by a body of electors by established procedure; the time and place of such a vote,” from Anglo-French eleccioun, Old French elecion “choice, election, selection” (12c.), from Latin electionem (nominative electio) “a choice, selection,” noun of action from past-participle stem of eligere “pick out, select,” from ex “out” (see ex-) + -ligere, combining form of legere “to choose,” from PIE root *leg- (1) “to collect, gather.”

In Middle English also “act of choosing” generally, “choice, free choice” (c. 1400). The theological sense of “God’s choice of someone” for eternal life is from late 14c. Meaning “act of choosing, choice” is from c. 1400.


In our age, there are multiple things that come to mind at the word election.

In the Scriptures, election primarily has to do with what is seen above in definition 2 of the dictionary as well as paragraph 2, eytmonline.com. God sovereignly chooses people who will come to faith in Him. It is not an activity involving any sort of divining the future of the person called but an active choice by God to draw certain people to Him. It is because of this choice that those people will ultimately and inevitably come to him, even if, at first they resist.

Election is a common component to Calvinism. This is particularly clear in predestination as is seen in definition 2. By sovereignly electing people to eternal life through coming to faith in Him, God has predestined the chosen to eternity.

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