Q. Something I have tried to wrap my mind around lately is the doctrine of election. I have read where you stand on this issue that God “foreknew” our choice and then predestined us and this idea makes sense to me. However, I am confused because Ephesians 2:8 tells us that even the faith to believe is a gift from God. If God has to give us the faith to believe before we are able to believe than how is it our choice?
A. This is one of the dangers of relying on a single verse to form a conclusion. If the same writer, Paul, could give us both Romans 8:28-29 and Ephesians 2:8-9 and if both times he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then don’t the two have to be consistent?
When we ask for salvation, God gives us the faith to believe we’ve received it. He does this because there’s no other way we could believe it. Think about it. It’s by far the most unbelievable gift ever given, one we could never expect to earn or deserve. How else could a brand new believer with no experience in walking by faith believe God had agreed to save him or her, if He didn’t give us the extra measure of faith necessary to do so at the time we ask?
Remember, God knew we were going to ask (those He foreknew He predestined), and at the appropriate time in our life He called us to do so (Those He predestined He called). Doesn’t it make sense He would provide everything we need to believe? Most people don’t ask for salvation when they have great faith, they ask when they have great need.