A black and white photo capturing a solitary figure kneeling in prayer, bathed in ethereal light streaming through a stained-glass window, symbolizing the eternal question of divine selection.

Why Does God Choose Some And Not Others?

The question of why God chooses some people and not others is one that has perplexed believers and non-believers alike. At first glance, it may seem unfair that an all-loving God would selectively choose who to save and who to condemn.

However, a deeper look at Scripture reveals there are good reasons behind God’s sovereign choices.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: God chooses some and not others not because of anything good in the chosen ones, but solely because of His gracious mercy and in order to glorify His name.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we will examine several key biblical passages that shed light on this topic. We will look at the doctrines of election and predestination, God’s motives in election, and how this truth relates to human responsibility.

By the end, you will have a thorough understanding of the biblical teaching on why God chooses some and not others.

The Doctrine of Election in Scripture

Old Testament Examples of Election

The Old Testament provides several examples of God choosing, or electing, individuals or groups for His purposes. For example, God chose Abraham to be the father of His chosen people, saying “I will make you into a great nation” (Genesis 12:2).

The nation of Israel was also chosen by God when He told Moses, “You are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

These examples demonstrate that election is a key biblical theme, with God actively selecting those who will have a special role in His plan of redemption.

New Testament Teaching on Election

The New Testament continues the doctrine of election, teaching that God not only chose Israel, but also has chosen those who will be saved through faith in Christ. Jesus said to His disciples “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).

The apostle Paul writes extensively about election, saying that God “chose us in Him Christ before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Paul teaches that election is an act of God’s sovereign will, saying “For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:15-16). Therefore, the New Testament upholds the Old Testament principle that election depends completely on God’s gracious choice.

Election Is Unconditional

A key aspect of the biblical doctrine of election is that God’s choice is unconditional – it does not depend on any quality, decision, or action on the part of those chosen. As Paul states clearly in Romans 9, God’s election is “not because of works but because of him who calls” (v. 11).

God does not choose people because they are more deserving or have done anything to merit being chosen. Rather, election is an expression of God’s sovereign freedom and grace. This emphasizes that salvation originates entirely with God, not human efforts.

While some disagree, conditional election is difficult to reconcile with the biblical emphasis on God’s sovereignty and the inability of sinful humans to save themselves. The doctrine of unconditional election humbles human pride and evokes gratitude for God’s amazing grace.

God’s Motives in Election

The Glory of God’s Grace

God chooses to extend His grace to some people in order to display His glorious grace (Eph. 1:6). By saving some out of His grace and leaving others to the consequences of their sin, God shows the riches of His grace to the vessels of mercy (Rom. 9:23).

This brings Him the maximum glory as both His justice and grace are seen.

God’s Sovereign Freedom

As sovereign Creator, God has the freedom to have mercy on whomever He chooses (Exod. 33:19). He does not choose people based on anything good in them or foreseen in them, in order that election would depend solely on His sovereign will and not human merit or effort (Rom. 9:11-16).

This emphasizes that salvation relies wholly on God’s undeserved favor.

To Accomplish His Purpose

Ephesians 1 says God chose believers in Christ “for the praise of his glorious grace” (v.6) and “according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (v.11). So election serves God’s purposes to save people, bring Himself maximum glory, and establish Christ’s kingdom (2 Tim.


The reasons God only chooses to save some relate to His desire to fully manifest both His justice and grace so He gets all glory. It also maintains His sovereign freedom and accomplishes His plans. While a mystery in some ways, it should cause awe at His wisdom.

Election and Human Responsibility

God’s Sovereignty and Human Choice

God’s sovereignty in election does not negate human responsibility. Though God chooses us, we must still respond to His call through faith and repentance (John 3:16; Acts 3:19). As Ephesians 1:4 says, we are “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.”

Yet we must accept His gift of salvation (John 1:12). This mystery of God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will is beyond human comprehension (Romans 11:33). We can take comfort that God works all things for good (Romans 8:28), and trust His perfect plan.

The Mystery of God’s Ways

Though the doctrine of election is clearly taught in Scripture, some reject it because they feel it is unfair. Like Job, we must accept that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). The potter has the right over the clay to make both honorable and common vessels (Romans 9:19-24).

We marvel at His inscrutable judgments. Still, we know that the Judge of all the earth will do right (Genesis 18:25). We affirm both God’s sovereignty and human responsibility, though we cannot fully reconcile them.

Election Brings Assurance

For believers, the doctrine of election provides assurance and comfort. Just as God chose Israel, He chose those who are His own (John 15:16). This was determined by God before time began (2 Timothy 1:9).

Since salvation does not depend on human effort or will, but only on God who shows mercy (Romans 9:16), we can have confidence in His promises. We can be assured that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Praise be to God for His glorious grace (Ephesians 1:6).


In closing, although the doctrine of election is profoundly mysterious, Scripture clearly teaches that God sovereignly chooses some and not others for salvation. This is not because of any merit in them, but according to His gracious will in order to glorify His name and accomplish His purpose.

Though we may not fully understand the mystery of God’s ways, we can rest assured that He is infinitely wise and loving in all His decisions. Election is a humbling doctrine that should lead us to worship and trust God all the more.

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