Romans 11:5 contains a bold reminder that there wasn’t anything in me or anything I did that makes me worthy of salvation. I was saved by grace. It was the grace of God that saved my soul. Grace describes God’s mercy, God’s compassion, and God’s love. Grace is getting just the opposite of what I deserve.
The KJV says: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5).
Paul tells his readers that at the present time of writing to the church at Rome, there was a group of Christians that were Christians because of “the election of grace.”
Strong’s Concordance defines election as the act of picking out, choosing. 1a of the act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons.
Paul then alerts the reader to the fact that this act of choosing is according to grace—unmerited favor. Unmerited is the opposite of merited. Strong’s defines grace as:
Merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
Merit is spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits (Webster), but grace is just the opposite of merited.
My election by God for salvation was not based on any righteous act I performed. It was just the opposite—in spite of the fact that I was and am a sinner, that left to my own devices would have been a rebel all my life, the grace of God appeared unto me in a most personal way and awoke me out of my state of separation from God and saved my soul.
I don’t want to have to think about being responsible for turning my own soul to Christ—I don’t want to be responsible for keeping my soul straight and strengthened. I have a hard enough time keeping my body in subjection—I praise God that His grace is sufficient to save my soul and keep it straight. This is precisely what BBC Article of Faith #12 makes specific reference to when it states the “preservation of the believer rests upon the finished work of God, the promises of God, the gracious election and the sovereign predestination of God” (BBC Constitution, p. 5).
Paul is saying here that if it were not for the grace of God, there would not be a single soul saved. Adam would not have been saved. Adam knew nothing of grace when his eyes were opened to good and evil. God did not foresee something that Adam did and subordinate His will to Adam’s decisions. God appeared to Adam and asked Him where he was and what he was doing on that fateful day. Adam attempted to cover his own sin (or nakedness), but it was God who shed the blood of innocent animals to provide a covering for Adam. God was the initiator in Adam’s salvation; and God is still the initiator in every man, woman, and child’s salvation even to this day, because salvation is of the Lord.
Therefore, be quick to praise God for His mercy and election of grace if you are a child of God. Be quick to praise God that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11-12).
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.