Welcome to Bibleforums, Jreyes78.
Originally Posted by Jreyes78
Yes, John 15:16, as with every part of the Bible, is indeed true, but you're not alone in being confused over the Biblical doctrine of election. Many, if not most Christians find confusion and some difference of opinion and interpretation on the details of what the Bible presents in how God has planned our salvation and chosen us. I believe Ephesians 1:3-14 explains it best:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory." (NASB)I believe we are first chosen by God, and then in time we choose Him. We sure have a lot of discussions here about the issue, however, so there's certainly room for differences of opinion.
From our looking at the process of what God has done and is doing in our lives, we especially see our choice, our decision, our election of Him; yet the Bible teaches us that God had and has a plan and purpose long before we even begin to think about God or making a choice of choosing Him. We might not realize beforehand what God has done and is doing, or what God's plans are for us or others, but God works in our lives according to His plans for us. We do not live or die without God's purposes.
Earlier in John's Gospel, in chapter 10, Jesus speaks of His sheep and how they know His voice; He says, "I know My own and My own know Me" (v. 14), and "I lay down My life for the sheep" (v.15). And in verse 16 He says of other of His sheep, "I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd." He says, "I must bring them", and "they will hear". Many of those who heard Him say these words and yet did not hear, did not understand, said, "He has a demon and is insane". Jesus made clear to certain of the Pharisees in John 8:19 that they did not know God because they did not know Jesus. They did not recognize the Good Shepherd because they were not His sheep.
In writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul also explains that our salvation and calling is not by our our works, not by our action of choice, but by God's own purpose and grace given to us from before the world began, but then revealed and brought to light for us in Christ and the gospel:
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me
in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:8-10