I. Is the decree |for bestowing Faith on any one,| previous to that by which is appointed |the Necessity of Faith to salvation?|
ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION
The equivocation in the word |Election,| makes it impossible to answer this question in any other manner, than by distinction. If therefore |Election| denotes |the decree which is according to election concerning the justification and salvation of believers.| I say Election is prior to Faith, as being that by which Faith is appointed as the means of obtaining salvation. But if it signifies |the decree by which God determines to bestow salvation on some one,| then Faith foreseen is prior to Election. For as believers alone are saved, so only believers are predestinated to salvation. But the Scriptures know no Election, by which God precisely and absolutely has determined to save anyone without having first considered him as a believer. For such an Election would be at variance with the decree by which he hath determined to save none but believers.