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The Elect of God
Alan Richardson

From An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament. pp.271-281. Copyright(c) 1958 by Alan Richardson. Reprinted by permission of Harper & Row, Publishers. Inc.

In the OT the idea of election is met with in two connections, that of Israel and that of Yahweh's Anointed. Election in the Bible is a social conception, since it is comparatively rarely that we meet with the idea of the election of an individual, such as a prophet, for a special task (e.g. Jer. 1:4f.; contrast Isa. 44:2, 24; 49:1; P55. 22:9f.; 71:6). In the NT St Paul after his conversion came to think of himself as having been separated from his mother's womb and called through God's grace to evangelize the Gentiles (Gal. 1:15f.). The primary biblical doctrine of election, however, is that of the election of Israel and of Israel's Messiah-king. These two conceptions flow into one another, because Israel as a whole is involved in the persona of the King or of the Messiah. The OT standpoint is carried over into the NT and determines the meaning of the concept of election in the NT.

. . . the Torah itself embodies the prophetic conception of Israel's election for the service of God's universal purpose. 'Thou art an holy people unto Yahweh thy God: Yahweh thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people (laos periousios1) unto himself out of all peoples . . . Yahweh did not set his love upon you nor choose you because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all peoples: but because Yahweh loveth (agapan, LXX) you . . . " (Deut. 7:6-8; cf. Ps. 135:4; Isa. 41:8f. and a great number of other passages). In the prophetic conception Israel is not elected for privilege, i.e. to be served by other nations, but in order to serve them (cf. Mark 10:45); she was redeemed from Egypt and made laos haggish Kuril (Duty. 7:6) in order that she might serve God (7:11) and his purpose for the nations (e.g. Isa. 45: 4-6). We may note that two modern objections to the idea of election at once disappear. First, the election of Israel does not involve the rejection of any other nation; Israel is chosen for the sake of the world's salvation. We might ask (though the Bible does not) how God could have shown his character and purpose otherwise than by taking a weak and uncouth nation and demonstrating his grace and power through it. A second objection falls to the ground when it is recognized that election in the OT is to the service of God in this world and has nothing at all to do with salvation in the world to come. God's choice of Israel and 'hatred' (i.e. non-choice) of Edom has nothing whatever to do with the exclusion of the Edomites from the blessedness of the Age to Come.

This prophetic conception of election had, however, been completely obscured in the rabbinic Judaism of our Lord's day. Israel, it was held, was holy and would therefore always enjoy the favour of God (e.g. P55. Sol. 9:17f.; 14:3), whereas sinners (i.e. Gentiles) were to be destroyed from before his face (12:7f.). So far were the rabbis from holding that Israel existed for the service of the nations that they now taught that the world was created for the sake of Israel (II [4] Esd. 6:55; 7:11; 9: 13), and the question of the salvation of the Gentiles did not arise: 'O Lord, . . . for our sakes thou madest this world. As for the other nations, which also come of Adam, thou hast said that they are nothing, and are like unto spittle . . . And now, O Lord, behold, these nations, which are reputed as nothing, be lords over us and devour us. If the world be made for our sakes, why do we not possess for an inheritance our world? how long shall this endure?' (II [4] Esd. 6:55-59). The Jews of our Lord's day believed that their covenant with God implied that they and they alone were the centre and object of all God's activity in creation and redemption and that they had no responsibility for the 'sinners of the Gentiles.'

Against this religion of pride and merit, the teaching of Jesus and his disciples, notably St Paul, represents a vigorous 'protestant' reformation, a reformation based upon a return to the sola gratia of Israel's prophets and to their parallel doctrine of election for service. Indeed, the NT as a whole affirms the continued operation of the principle of election as embodied in the biblical history since the days of Jacob, Abraham, Noah and Seth; for now the most astounding instance of that principle's working has recently occurred. God has rejected the elect, Israel herself, and chosen a new covenant-people out of all the nations of the earth. St Paul in Rom. 9-11 seeks to explain this astonishing paradox: God has not reversed the principle which has all along operated in biblical history; indeed, he has given a signal demonstration of it in the coming of Christ and his Church. In times past God has chosen between the different descendants of Abraham. He chose the Israelites and rejected the Edomites, Ishmaelites, etc.; so now he rejects Israel kata sarka and chooses those other spiritual descendants of Abraham, who is the father of many nations (Gen. 17:5; Rom. 4:17f.; 9:6-13), for these other descendants 'walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham which he had in uncircumcision' (Rom. 4:12). This operation of the principle of election (or, to use Paul's own phrase, he kat' eklogen prothesis, 'the purpose of God according to election,' Rom. 9:11) is the very heart of the mystery that has been hidden from the foundation of the world but has now been revealed (Rom. 16:26; Eph. 3:1-12), viz. that the Gentiles are now being included in God's saving purpose, while the rejection of Israel is only for a season (Rom. 11:25-32). It is God who 'hardens' the heart, whether of Pharaoh, or of Israel, or of Gentile nations (Rom. 9:14-18), but he 'shuts up all unto disobedience' only in order that he might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32).

The clue to Rom. 9-11 and to what is sometimes (not very happily) called St Paul's philosophy of history is to be found in the phrase he kat' eklogen prothesis tou Theou (Rom. 9:11). It means God's purpose in history which operates by means of the principle of selection.'2 In the later Paulines and in the Pastorals the word prothesis has become a technical term for the purpose that had existed in the mind of God since before the creation of the world, though the word is used occasionally in a non-technical sense in other parts of the NT (e.g. Acts 11:23; 27:13; the phrase artoi tes protheseos is a technical term for the 'shewbread,' Mark 2:26 and pars.; Heb. 9:2). The idea of divine purpose in this sense is expressed by boule in the Lucan writings (Luke 7:30; Acts 2:23; 4:28; 13:36; 20:27; cf. also Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17); the word means the foreordained counsel and purpose of God through the ages. So far as is known, no one before St Paul had used prothesis in this deep sense. The Christians are 'called according to God's prothesis' (Rom. 8:28), which was the operative principle of selection in the history of salvation (Rom. 9:11), and so they are now 'in Christ,' in whom they have been made a kieros or inheritance for God, 'having been foreordained according to the purpose (prooristhentes kata prothesin) of him who worketh all things after the boule of his will (thelema)' (Eph. 1:11; cf. the verb pro tithemai, uniquely in this sense in Eph. 1:9: kata ten eudokian autou, en proetheto en auto; cf. Rom. 3:25). In Eph. 3:11 we read of God's 'purpose of the ages' (prothesis ton aionon) in Christ Jesus. In II Tim. 1:9 we read that God 'saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own prothesis and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times everlasting' (pro chronon aionion).

The conception of God's calling (klesis) and of Christians as 'called' is largely Pauline, but not quite exclusively so (see Matt. 22:14; Heb. 3:1; Jude 1; II Pet. 1:10; Rev. 17:14). The idea is based, of course, on God's call to Israel (cf. Hos. 11:1; Ps. 95:7; Heb. 3:15f.): Christians are called into a covenant-relation with God, as Israel of old had been called. The word klesis in the NT always means our 'calling' in this sense — never 'vocation' in the Reformation sense of one's calling in the world, even at I Cor. 7:20.3 In this sense all Christians are kletoi ('called'), a word which is thus in the NT virtually synonymous with eklektoi or hagioi (Rom. 1 :6f.; I Cor. 1:2; Rev. 17:14; cf. II Pet. 1:10). St Paul seems to think of himself as having been specially or personally called to the status or office of an apostle (Rom. 1:1; I Cor. 1:1); perhaps a tendency developed to think of all the apostles as having been 'chosen before by God' (Acts 10:41; of. the choice of Matthias by lot, Acts 1:24: 'Shew of these two the one whom thou hast chosen'). But broadly speaking there is no emphasis at all in the NT upon the individual's call, and certainly no suggestion that he ought to hear voices or undergo emotional experiences. The fact is that klesis is a social conception: it is significant that except in the special case of Paul in Rom. 1:1 and I Cor. 1:1 the word kletos is never found in the singular. Christians are corporately 'the called' and corporately 'the elect,' and they are these things, as we shall see, because they are one body in Christ, the Elect One.

A proper understanding of the NT doctrine of election in Christ will dispel the sombre and frightening mists of post-Reformation theories about predestination, double predestination, reprobation and the rest of the lingering errors of medievalism, from which the rise of biblical science has happily set us free. We must note that in Rom. 9-11 St Paul is still speaking about groups and nations, not about individuals. God is still Lord of the nations, and it is still entirely of God's will and grace that this nation or that is elected as the servant of his universal purpose: it is solely to achieve this purpose that 'he has mercy on whom he will and whom he will he hardeneth' (Rom. 9:15-18). Election refers to God's purpose in this world. It is true that the elected ones, if they do not fall away, will be saved in the world to come, but that is not the primary meaning of election. In the NT, as in the OT, election is a matter of service, not of privilege. Nothing is said or implied by the phrase he kat' eklogen prothesis (Rom. 9:11) about election to life in the Age to Come, and Calvin's gloss dum alios ad salutem praedestinat, alios ad aeternam damnationem is nowhere implied in the text.4 Furthermore, nothing is implied about the rejection of any individuals whatsoever. Even if corporately or as a nation 'the Jews' are rejected by the principle of ekloge, this does not imply that individual Jews are not being numbered by thousands amongst the kletoi, hagioi, eklektoi or sozomenoi (I Cor. 1:24, tois kletois, loudaiois te kai Hellesi). The NT does not teach that any human beings whatsoever have been created for reprobation, or that they are now irredeemably predestined to damnation. Indeed, it was against precisely such a view — the rabbinic notion of the rejection of the 'other nations' — that the Christian movement was a protest.

In the NT it is Jesus Christ who is the predestined one, the Elect of God (cf. the Lucan form of the utterance at the Transfiguration, houtos estin ho hubs mou ho eklelegmenos, Luke 9:35; and cf. 23:35; I Pet. 2:4, para de Theo eklekton; 2:6, citing Isa. 28:16; and John 1:34, houtos estin ho eklektos tou Theou, which is, if not original, at least of great antiquity: cf. Isa. 42:1, Israel ho eklektos mou). The early Church believed that everything that had occurred in the story of the life, death and resurrection of Christ had happened according to 'the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God' (Acts 2:23; cf. Luke 22:22; Acts 3:18; 13:27). Herod and Pilate, Gentiles and Jews, had done precisely that which God's counsel (boule) had foreordained to come to pass (Acts 4:27f.). The Fourth Evangelist, indeed, goes so far as to make Jesus himself fully cognizant of this whole pre-determined boule Theou and thus able to foresee the course of the Passion in advance (John 12: 32f.; 13:19, 27f.; 18:32); but this tendency is already well developed in the Synoptists. This insistence upon the pre-established plan of events is a characteristically biblical and Hebraic way of stressing the divine initiative in the whole Christ-event; though at first sight it might seem that the disaster which overwhelmed Christ was unforeseen by God and entirely beyond his control, the glorious, saving truth of the Gospel was that God himself had actually planned what had happened: God sent his Son to die for man's salvation. Hence Christ is ho horismenos hupo tou Theou (Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom. 1:4), and all who have to do with him in his Passion are drawn, as it were, into the fatal, pre-determined course of salvation-history — Herod, Pilate, Judas, Gentiles, Jews. But this does not mean that Herod and Pilate and Judas were mere puppets in the hand of God, with no personal choice or responsibility in the drama; the NT does not teach that anyone is pre-determined to commit a crime, chosen to be a murderer or a traitor. It means that, since human nature is what it is, it was inevitable that the Son of God, having taken flesh, should suffer at the hands of wicked men, and therefore that, if God willed the incarnation of his Son, he must also have willed his death: this is what the horismene boule kai prognosis tou Theou (Acts 2:23) means in relation to the Passion story. It is a characteristically Hebraic way of stating this truth to assert that God foreordained all the details of the drama in advance, like a playwright working out the fate of his dramatis personae.

The NT writers never raise questions about the compatibility of divine foreknowledge with human free will. Such problems are therefore not within the scope of our discussion, but we may perhaps assert the necessity of maintaining the reality both of divine foreknowledge and of human freedom. Jesus must have known well enough, as the Gospels assert that he did, that Judas was going to betray him: does this mean that Judas was predestined to the betrayal and had no choice in the matter? Of course not; the fact that my friend, who knows me well, can predict what I am likely to do in a given situation does not in the least mean that I am not free or am not fully responsible for my action. It was inevitable, in the circumstances of Christ's incarnate life, that he should have been rejected, betrayed, set at nought and put to death: it was not inevitable that any particular individual — Caiaphas, Judas, Herod, Pilate — should have been the instrument of the inevitable. Each participant in the action did what he did consciously and deliberately, knowing that he could have done otherwise. 'Pilate answered and said, What I have written I have written' (John 19:22). 'All the people answered and said, His blood be on us and on our children' (Matt. 27:25). 'Then Judas . . . repented . . . saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood' (Matt. 27:3f.). The mystery of determinism and freedom in human life is indeed beyond our comprehension, but we must acknowledge it as a fact. Statisticians can compute with astonishing accuracy how many people will commit suicide in London or New York next year: it would seem to be mysteriously predetermined that these unhappy events shall happen. But no one can predict which individuals will kill themselves; the categories of predestination, foreknowledge, and so on, are valid, as we have suggested, for the behaviour of groups, but do not apply to this or that individual person.

Caiaphas, Judas, Herod and Pilate were in their actions free and uncoerced; and yet, such is the mystery of our corporate involvement in human relationships in their totality, each became a representative man, acting on behalf of fallen humanity at large. I cannot boast my moral superiority to them, because I know that 'in Adam' they were my representatives, they were myself rejecting, betraying and condemning the Christ. And yet, in the overruling providence of God's almighty love, their very rejection, betrayal and condemnation of Christ became the means of the salvation of 'Adam,' who was recreated in God's image in the person of the crucified Son of God. Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die for the people, that the whole nation perish not (John 11: 49f.). He did not know what he was saying, but those words in the mouth of the Jewish high priest bore an unintended prophetic truth: 'he prophesied,' says St John, 'that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad.' From that day forth they took counsel that they might put Jesus to death (John 11:51-53). The horismene boule kai prognosis tou Theou means this also, that man's sinfulness cannot frustrate God's plan of salvation, because even in exercising his freedom to choose evil man is still effecting the foredetermined purpose of God. In this sense even the crimes of Pilate and the rest were committed for the accomplishing of whatever God's hand and boule had foreordained should come to pass (Acts 4:28).

Because Christ is the Elect of God, we who are 'in Christ' are therefore eklektoi. It is probable that this conception of the Messiah as Elect and of Christians as elect in him owes its origin to Jewish apocalyptic thought. From ancient times the king was regarded as having been 'chosen' by God; indeed, the anointing of the king expresses God's choice (cf. I Sam. 16:1-13; I Kings 8:16; Ps. 89:3, 19f., etc.). The Servant of Yahweh in Duetero-Isaiah is anointed with God's Spirit and is therefore 'the elect one' (Isa. 42:1, etc.). In apocalyptic circles the heavenly eschatological deliverer, the Anointed, was styled 'the Elect One' or 'My Elect One' (Enoch 39:6; 40:5; 45:3f.; 49:2, 4; 51:3, 5; 52:6, 9; 55:4; 61 :4f., 8,10). Here, as in the OT generally, the elect one is the one whom Yahweh favours and cherishes and whom he uses as the instrument of his purpose. He is the leader of all the rest of the elect, a great company in heaven, consisting of the patriarchs of old and of all faithful and righteous Jews of former generations, the righteous and holy ones, existing already in the presence of the Lord of Spirits (i.e. God). The Messiah in the Similitudes of Enoch is the king of this community of the elect. Indeed, in a sense the Messiah, the Elect One, represented in his own person the whole company of heaven, though the extent to which he may be said to be identified with them as their own corporate personality is a question upon which differences of opinion are possible.5 In such apocalyptic views the elect are regarded as divine, or at least superhuman beings; they are the 'holy ones' (Enoch 38:4; 39:4, etc.), a name which means divine or angelic beings in the OT (Deut. 33:2f.; Ps. 89:6; Job 5:1; 15:15; Zech. 14:5; Dan. 8:13).

It is from such patterns of apocalyptic thought that the NT sayings about the Messiah 4 and his holy ones are drawn (Matt. 24:30f.; 25:31; Mark 8:38; John 1:51; I Thess. 3:13, where hagion means 'holy ones' in the OT sense; 4:16; Jude 14). Three times in the Marcan Apocalypse Jesus refers to 'the elect': the days of the tribulations (Messianic woes) are to be shortened for the sake of 'the elect, whom he chose' (Mark 13:20): false Christs and prophets may deceive, if possible, the elect (13:22): the Son of Man shall 'send forth the angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven' (13:27). Jesus thinks of his apostles as sent out into all the world preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, issuing the invitation to the Messianic Supper, calling 'many' (i.e. all), preaching the gospel to 'all the nations' (13:10).The number of the 'called' is great; in ideal, at least, it is all mankind; but the response is only partial. He himself summed up the situation in the words polloi gar eisin kletoi, oligoi de eklektoi (Matt. 24:22). But God would vindicate his oppressed elect (Luke 18:7), and it was the purpose of God that the elect should be gathered to the Christ at the harvest which the angel-reapers were about to begin (Mark 13:27). This is a metaphorical way of speaking of the missionary labours of the apostolic Church as it set out to preach the Gospel to all the nations.6

Election and Grace

The NT conception of 'the elect' is thus thoroughly eschatological. The Anointed One is 'the Elect': cf. Luke 23.35, ho Christos tou Theou ho eklektos. Christ, as the Elect, is even now in the latter days gathering together his elect into his body the Church. If Christians are 'the elect,' it is because they are 'in Christ,' because they are baptized into the person of him who alone may with complete propriety be called the Elect of God. In him their salvation is assured, and nothing can be laid to the charge of God's elect (Rom. 8:33). The divine purpose from the foundation of the world was to recreate a new humanity in Christ. Thus, in Rom. 8.28-30 St Paul says that the whole Church corporately was in this sense 'foreknown' of God, who ordained beforehand that it should be conformed to the image of his Son: God's 'foreordaining' came first, that is, his determination of the plan to create a new humanity who responded and were justified in Christ: those who are justified in Christ shall be 'glorified' in him at the parousia. If we read this passage as if it related to atomic individuals, we shall create difficulties which are wholly of our imagining; we will then have to ask why it was that God picked out some individuals, and not others, and 'predestined' them to salvation since the foundation of the world. Paul, of course, does not think of the Church as made up of a collection of individuals, but as a body: it is the body which is foreknown, foreordained, called, justified and is to be glorified. There is no suggestion here or elsewhere in the NT that some individuals are predestined to a mechanical salvation irrespectively of their own decision for Christ. It is stressed that, though God calls us, we must respond. There are no elect automatons in the Kingdom of God. God works in us, but we have our 'work' to do (Phil. 2.12f.). The mystery and paradox of grace is that grace does not do away with our free will or our responsibility for our own decisions; our will is never more truly free and never more completely our will than when it is wholly surrendered to God (I Cor. 15.10)7

The fact of election shews, on the one hand, the absolute sovereignty of God in the unconditional exercise of his freedom. Man has no 'rights' as over against the Creator, any more than an earthenware vessel has the right to dictate to the potter the use to which it shall be put (Rom. 9.20f., alluding to a frequent scriptural analogy: Isa. 29.16; 45.9; 64.8; Jer. 18.6; Wisd. 15.7; Ecclus. 33.13). The potter makes his vessels for his own purposes, one for this use, another for that: so God chooses Moses as an instrument of his mercy or raises up Pharaoh as an instrument by means of which his name might be made known in all the earth (Rom. 9.15-18). God uses Moses, but he also uses Pharaoh, for the accomplishments of his purposes; the biblical way of putting this is to say that God himself 'hardens' Pharaoh's heart (Rom. 9.18; cf. Ex. 4.21; 7.3; 9.12, etc.). In the same way God has 'raised up' the Chaldaeans (Hab. 1.6) and other nations or their rulers (e.g. Zech. 11.16; Jer. 27.41: the word exegeirein is virtually a technical expression: cf. Rom. 9.17; Ex. 9.16). God rules all history, so that even the deeds of the Assyrians ('the rod of mine anger,' Isa. 10.5) or the Chaldaeans are themselves instrumental to his purpose. St Paul rejects the view that this means, since righteous Israel and wicked Assyria are both doing the will of God, that they are both on the same footing with God in respect of righteousness, and that God should therefore not find fault with either (Rom. 9.19-24). It means only that God's sovereign will is done, though unintentionally, even by wicked nations. God endures 'vessels of wrath' (such as imperialistic Assyria or Pharaoh) because they are, in spite of themselves, instruments by which his larger purpose of mercy will be achieved (Rom. 9.22-24). Again we may note that in this passage (Rom. 9.14-24) 'election' is set forth in terms of nations or their representative rulers (like Pharaoh) considered as the agents of God's purpose in history; the passage is not saying anything at all about ultimate salvation in the world to come, and the phrase 'vessels of wrath' does not refer to individuals predestined from the creation of the world to everlasting damnation; it means nations (or their rulers in their representative capacity) who are 'raised' up to execute God's righteous order in this present age. St Paul, of course, certainly holds that individual Christians who were once numbered among the eklektol can fall from this state of grace. He knows that only by askesis (cf. askeo, Acts 24.16), by spiritual discipline, can he himself keep his place in the race so that in the end he is not adokimos, 'reprobate' (I Cor. 9.23-27; cf. II Cor. 13.5-8; cf. Heb. 6.4-8; I John 5.16).8 There are indeed reprobates (II Tim. 3.8; Titus 1.16; cf. Jer. 6.30), but there are none who have been 'elected' for reprobation.

The fact of election shews also, on the other hand, the utter sovereignty of God's grace. Election may be defined as the action of God's grace in history; cf. Rom. 11.5, kat' eklogen charitos. All election is the result of the operation of God's grace, by which we are saved (Acts 15.11; Eph. 2.5, 8; II Tim. 1.9; Titus 2.11; 3.7; cf. Rom. 3.24). Election is not the result of the divine order (cf. I Thess. 5.9), but only of the divine charis, which works in history to accomplish God's ultimate purpose of salvation: God 'saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace' (kat' idian prothesin kai charin) (II Tim. 1.9).
Paul points to an actual, visible effect of the operation of the divine grace, working according to the principle of selection, in the existence of Jewish Christians in the Church now (en to nun kairo): they constitute a leimma9 or 'remnant,' a token and pledge that Israel has not been finally rejected, but is still within the scope of God's ultimate saving purpose (Rom. 11.1-6). They correspond to the 7,000 in Israel who in Elijah's day had not bowed the knee to Baal (I Kings 19.18), and they were thus the pledge of Israel's future recovery and restoration to God's favour. Thus, in one of its principal NT meanings, is simply the power or activity of God at work in history for the salvation of mankind; this saving grace in history operates by the method of the selection of instruments (or, to use the Pauline word vessels') by means of which— whether by obedience ('vessels of mercy') or by disobedience ('vessels of wrath') — God's universal design is accomplished. The special significance of the word charis, as thus used almost synonymously with 'the purpose of God according to election' (Rom. 9.11), is that it implies that God's choice of instruments has nothing to do with their merits, their erga (II Tim. 1.9; Rom. 11.Sf.; cf. Rom. 4.4), but rests solely in his unconditioned freedom. God's salvation itself is unearned, a free gift; so also is the privilege of serving God's purpose as an elected vessel of his design. As St Augustine insists, Gratla nisi gratis sit gratia non est.

1 The word 'peculiar' in EVV of this great passage is most unfortunate in view of its changed meaning; 'personal' might be better. The word penousios of LXX means 'of one's own special or personal possession': it occurs in NT only at Titus 2:14, which is based on OT passages where the phrase occurs, e.g. Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2. etc.
2 The word ekloge appears late in Jewish lit., its earliest use being in the Psalms of Solomon (e.g. 18:6). In NT it is found at Acts 9:15; Rom. 9:11; 11:5, 7, 28; I Thess. 1:4; II Pet. 1:10. It means 'election' in the sense of the 'principle of election' and is thus a new word for a well-known OT idea. It can also be used as an abstract noun standing for a concrete one, eklektoi, 'the chosen,' as at Rom. 11:7
3 See Alan Richardson, The Biblical Doctrine of Work, 36.
4 See Sanday and Headlam, Romans (ICC), 245, on Rom. 9:11, where an illuminating note will be found.
5 See N.A. Dahl, Das Volk Gottes: eine Untersuchung zum Kirchenbewusstsein des Urchristentums, Oslo, 1941; S. Mowinckel, He that Cometh, esp 381, n.2, where he criticizes Dahl's view. On the whole subject see Mowinckel, op. cit., 368, 63-7, 365f., 379-83.
6 See supra, 26-9.
7 See D. M. Baillie, God Was in Christ, 114-18.
8 The word adokimos means 'rejected after testing'; cf. dokimaro, to test (e.g. I Cor. 3.13), to approve after testing (Rom. 1.28; 2.18; 14.22). The word reminds us that Christians, though justified, still await the last judgment; see infra, 341-4.
9 Only at Rom. 11.5 in NT; not used in OT in the technical sense of 'remnant' (to kataleiphthen, not in NT, but cf. Rom. 11.4, katelipon emauto heptakiachilious andras . . .)