The Cause of Election
These maxims are certainly true and indisputable:
(1) That nothing in time can be the cause of what was done in eternity. To believe, to do good works, and persevere in them are acts in time, and so cannot be causes of election, which was done in eternity.
And (2) That nothing out of God can be the cause of any decree or will in him. He is no passive Being, to be wrought upon by motives and inducements outside of himself. If his will is moved by anything outside of him, that must be superior to him, and his will must become dependent on that; which to say of God is to speak very unworthily of him. God wills things because it so pleases him. Predestination is according to the good pleasure of his will. Election is according to his foreknowledge, which is no other than his free favor and good will to men (Ephesians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:2).
No other reason can be given of God’s will or decree to bestow grace and glory on men, for his own glory, and of his actual donation of them, but what our Lord gives: “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Matthew 11:25-26).
By John Gill