1. What is the scriptural meaning of election?
Mark 13:20 reads - "And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days." The scriptural meaning of election pertains to God choosing someone. Those whom He chooses are the elect. Thus, to be chosen by God is to be one of His elect, and vice versa.
2. Who are God's elect; who are His chosen?
I Thessalonians 1:4 teaches - "knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God." Paul states that "beloved brethren" are God's elect, His chosen.
3. Who can rightly be called "beloved brethren"?
We read, just a few verses earlier, in I Thessalonians 1:1 - "Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..." "Beloved brethren" are those who belong to the church in God and in Christ. Thus, those in the Lord's church are the elect; to be in Christ is to be one of the elect.
4. How does one become a part of the Lord's church and consequently one of the elect?
Acts 2:47 states - "...And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." According to the Bible, one does not join the church, but rather the Lord adds those people to His church who are "being saved." When one is added to the church, he becomes a beloved brother and one of God's elect.
5. Who was being "saved", and therefore "added to the church" in Acts 2?
Listen to Acts 2:38,40,41 - "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...' And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.' Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them." Those who were saved were those who had their sins washed away, and those who had their sins washed away were those who heard Peter's words, believed them, repented, and were baptized for forgiveness (i.e., remission) of their sins! These individuals, by their obedience to the divine command, were saved and the Lord added them to His church as we saw in verse 47. Thus, they became "beloved brethren", which means (based upon our examination of I Thess. 1:1-4) that they were also God's elect. Any penitent believer today who is baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins is among God's elect!
We will continue studying this subject tomorrow.