"Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Romans 11:5 NKJB

[Calvinists believe election is unconditional, while Arminians believe election is conditional...Arminianism: Election is based on God's foreknowledge of those who would believe in Him through faith. In other words, God elected those who would choose Him of their own free will. Wikipedia.]

Regarding "election of grace" in Romans 11:5

  1. Can we put, is it possible for us to put, Arminian and Calvinist theology to one side, and take a strictly grammatical view of the meaning of "election of grace"? If an answer is "no", that is fine for an up vote if cogently supported.

  2. Is the phrase "election of grace" ambiguous?

  3. What does "election of grace" mean, using grammatical tools?

5 Answers 5


"Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Romans 11:5 NKJB

This word election is sometimes used as the word chosen as well. (eklogé) This word is used seven times:

Englishman's Concordance Strong's Greek: 1589. ἐκλογή (eklogé) — 7 Occurrences Acts 9:15 N-GFS NAS: to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument KJV: he is a chosen vessel unto me,

Romans 9:11

NAS: according to [His] choice would stand, KJV: according to election might

Romans 11:5

KJV: according to the election of grace. INT: a remnant according to election of grace there has been

Romans 11:7

NAS: it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained KJV: but the election hath obtained it,

Romans 11:28

KJV: as touching the election, [they are] beloved INT: however the election beloved on account of

1 Thessalonians 1:4

beloved by God, [His] choice of you; KJV: beloved, your election of God.

2 Peter 1:10 N-AFS

KJV: calling and election sure: for INT: calling and election to make these things

So we understand this choice or election is purely of God. It's His choice

So there is a remnant, a small group chosen by grace. Grace is defined by the following verse.

And if by grace, it is no longer from works; otherwise grace no longer would be grace. Rom.11:6

There is not one work that is associated with Grace.

We see these that are chosen according to God's purposes and again there's no works involved.

1for they not yet having been born nor having done anything good or evil, so that the purpose of God according to election might stand, 12not of works, but of the One calling, Romans 9:10

God showed how in the past he kept 7000 people from bowing down to the false god Baal. This too was of His doing and of His choice

what was the divine answer spoken to him? “I have left to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Romans 11:4

It's important to know that it was at that time there was an election of grace…

then also, in the present time, there has been a remnant according to the election of grace. Rom. 11:5

There's much more to follow..... I encourage readers to continue to Romans 11:32


Let us be very clear - the atonement of Jesus is universal - Christ died for all sinners, even those who will not accept Him and His salvation - see appendix below.

In Rom 11:5, 6, we have:

In the same way, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if it is by grace, then it is no longer by works. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.

Paul is contrasting:

  1. the legalistic, "works" approach of some Jews to obtain salvation, with
  2. the doctrine of salvation by grace - salvation is free and we do not do any works to obtain it.

Thus, Paul could say that people are chosen "by grace" - God choice is based on grace flowing from His love for all people. God then saves those that accept God's free, gracious offer and trust Him to save them. However, we note the following:

  • Salvation is the initiative of God, including our faith and trust in Him (Phil 2:13, John 6:44, Rom 2:4, Acts 5:31, 11:18, 2 Tim 2:25). That is, our response to salvation and God’s grace can only occur because God prompts us to have these responses. However, God wants all people to be saved and thus, encourages all to accept His free offer of salvation by grace (see appendix below). Not all will accept.
  • Rom 3:20, 4:6 – atonement cannot be achieved by man by the works of the law
  • Eph 2:5, 8-10 – atonement is a free gift of God, out of His love and grace to do good works and glorify God
  • Gal 2:16 – we are justified not by works but by Jesus’ faithfulness because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified.
  • Titus 3:5 – we cannot atone for our own sin by deeds of the law
  • Isa 64:6 – our own righteousness (right doing or “deeds”) are as “filthy rags”
  • Acts 4:12 – sinners are saved by Christ alone
  • Phil 2:13, John 6:44, Rom 2:4, 5:5, Eph 2:5 all show that salvation and atonement are God’s initiative and that any positive response to God’s invitation is also the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Rom 3:23, 24, 5:6, 8, 10 – the fact that God provided atonement for all sinners, while were still sinners, indicates that atonement is God’s initiative alone. Isa 65:1.

This led directly to Luther’s reformation catch-cry of “solas”: Sola Scriptura, Sola fide, Sola Christos, Sola gratia, Sola Deo Gloria.

APPENDIX - Election of God includes all

The references below show a consistent pattern - God's gift of Jesus was a sacrifice of atonement, or "propitiation", for the sins of all people, all sinners.

  • John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
  • John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave …”
  • John 12:32, “I [Jesus] … will draw all people to myself.”
  • John 12:47, “… for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
  • Acts 17:30, “God … commands all people everywhere to repent.”
  • Rom 3:23, 24, “… for all have sinned … and all are freely forgiven...”
  • Rom 5:8, 10, “… while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. … if, while were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him by the death of His Son, …”
  • Rom 5:15, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s [Adam’s] offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to the many.” [Note the same word, “many” applies to all people.]
  • Rom 5:18, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all people, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all people, resulting in justification of life.”
  • Rom 11:32, “For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
  • 2 Cor 5:14, “…we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”
  • 2 Cor 5:18, 19, “…God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ …”
  • 1 Tim 2:3, 4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
  • 1 Tim 2:6, “[Jesus Christ] gave Himself as a ransom for all people.”
  • Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God appeared bringing salvation to all people.”
  • Heb 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
  • 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
  • 1 John 2:2, “He Himself [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours [Christians to whom John writes] only but also for the whole world.”
  • Isa 53:6, “We all like sheep have gone astray … and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Thus, the atonement of Jesus is universal but that does not mean all people will be saved - far from it - only some will be saved according to those who trust in God.

  • A sound and undeniable presentation. +1
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 4:00
  • You say....Salvation is the initiative of God, including our faith and trust in Him (Phil 2:13, John 6:44, Rom 2:4, Acts 5:31, 11:18, 2 Tim 2:25). That is, our response to salvation and God’s grace can only occur because God prompts us to have these responses. However, God wants all people to be saved and thus, encourages all to accept.". Such an Irony Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 21:54
  • If God gives us the Responses of our repentance and even our Faith , how do we still have a choice to Accept? Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 21:55
  • @FaithMendel - while God gives is the encouragement to accept, we are not forced to accept. Many will reject God's kind offer.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 22:26

Yes. It is easy to set aside Calvin and seek scripture alone. " a remnant according to the election of grace" is a remaining group of people of all nations whom God has set apart for Himself, who were chosen before this world began. Below are several examples of how God's grace pertains to those specific people:

" To the praise of the glory of His [ grace ], wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved" ( Eph. 1:6).

" Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and [ grace ], which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" ( 2 Timothy 1:9).

" Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: [ Grace ] unto you, and peace, be multiplied " ( 1Peter 1:2).

"But the God of all [ grace ], who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you " (1Peter 5:10).

God's grace means just that. He does all the work in saving us.

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
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    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 0:16

What does "election of grace" mean in Romans 11:5? Romans 11:2,5 NKJV

2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 5 "Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace."

God did not cast his people away, instead, he invited the whole Jewish nation to enter into a special relationship with him, but only a remnant, a very small number chose to do so according to the grace given to them by God. The invitation could be likened to a wedding, in which many are invited but only a few choose to attend

  • Ozzie Might 11:4 "I have kept for myself" be relevant?
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 22:35
  • C. Stroud : No it is not, Elijah felt very lonely, that he was the only prophet of God left alive 1 Kings 19:10 but God revealed to him the thrilling news [1 Kings 19:18] " I still have left in Israel 7,000 followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.” NET Bible For the full story read 1 Kings 19:1-18 Tks Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 17:55

He had given a small part of genealogical Israel a gift of grace so they would believe in Jesus, and have their sins forgiven otherwise every single one of them would of been killed by God in 70 AD due to the hardness of their hearts. Also note it says "at this time" which was first century AD. They are all dead. So it already happened. It makes sense it was the 144 000 in revelation because it puts a big emphasis on genealogy.

Edit: so it was only the remnant in the NT, and the one in the OT that had this election of grace. The first fruit Christians mentioned in Ephesians who were predestined from the foundation of the world were probably part of the remnant also. No one else is.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer and welcome to this site. Have you read the tour to see how it works. I guess this answer is not wrong but would need a bit more development to get an up vote.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented May 2, 2023 at 9:14
  • If you look at Dottard's answer he gives a Bible reference and quote to back his thoughts.You mention "remnant" so could you give a reference and quote and a step by step process to link it to "election"? [I'm retired and have lots of time but I might spent five days fussing over exact wording before posting].
    – C. Stroud
    Commented May 2, 2023 at 10:26

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