Calvinism in Genesis 1-3?

Is election taught in Genesis 1-3?

Yes, the foundation of election is found in Genesis 1-3. Peter teaches that Jesus himself was foreordained before the foundation of the world to die for his people (1 Pet. 1:19-20). Paul says, Christ's children were chosen "in him before the foundation of the world" and "he predestined [them] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ" (Eph. 1:4-5,11). So, this doctrine is clearly taught from the beginning. Moses wrote:

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Genesis 3:20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

In Genesis 1:28, we observe God's command to Adam and Eve to produce elect individuals to fill the earth. Adam and Eve and their elect offspring were to subdue and have dominion over the entire earth. They were to rule it as sinless covenant vassals for God's glory alone. If not for the Fall, they were to be and would have been "holy and blameless before him" (Eph. 1:4); they would have walked in the "good works, which God prepared in advance as [their] way of life" (Eph. 2:10).

The good and necessary consequence of Scripture (WCF 1.6) indicates that if Adam and Eve and their offspring never sinned by partaking of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-7), then only the elect would have filled the earth. Only the elect would have existed. Then, once all the elect had been born, filled, and subdued the earth, and history finished an unfallen course, it would have been in Heaven; as "nothing unclean would have been in it" (Rev. 21:27). Everyone would have had "the right to the tree of life" (Rev. 22:14).

However, with the entrance of sin into the world, Eve became "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20); now the elect would dwell with the non-elect; the wheat would grow up with the tares (Matt. 13:30). See, "Calvinism and Matthew 13?" below. This produced an ordained purposeful pause in God's ordained plan.

Elect and Non-Elect

Yes, an ordained purposeful pause. Why? One reason for this pause is so the elect children of God - those whom he foreordained before the Fall - could understand his love for them more fully. Adam and Eve knew "of" God's love, but had not fully "experienced" it. What is the greatest way to experience God's love? The Scripture says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John15:13). So, for Jesus to die, sin had to enter the world. Another reason (and there are more) for this momentary pause, is so that God could destroy the devil and his seed (1 John 3:18), thus revealing more fully his holy nature (Rom. 9:17-18). But, God's word always accomplishes it purpose(s) - Isaiah 55:11. After this ordained pause, only God's elect will fill the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1-5, etc.). The elect offspring of Genesis 1:28, will fill the new heavens and new earth.

So, election concerns:

The Elect
The Non-Elect Text
Two Seeds Seed of the Woman [1] Seed of the Serpent Gen 3:15
Two Seeds Wheat Tares Matt 13:24-30, 36-43
Two Seeds Sheep Goats Matt 25:31-46
Two Kingdoms Kingdom of Light Kingdom of Darkness Eph 6:10-18; Col 1:13

For a more detailed answer please see, "Will all mankind eventually be saved? (Isn't election unjust?)."


[1] though the "seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15) is Jesus Christ, his redeemed children are adopted into his family (Eph. 1:5).

Related Topics:

Calvinism and Joshua 24:15?
Calvinism and Psalms 69:28?
Calvinism and Isaiah 55:1-3?
Calvinism and Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11?
Calvinism and Matthew 11:28?
Calvinism and Matthew 13?
Calvinism and Matthew 23:37?
Calvinism and John 3:16?
Calvinism and John 6:33?
Calvinism and Acts 7:51?
Calvinism and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 19?
Calvinism and 1 Timothy 2:4, 6?
Calvinism and 1 Timothy 4:10?
Calvinism and Titus 2:11?
Calvinism and Hebrews 2:10?
Calvinism and 2 Peter 2:1?
Calvinism and 2 Peter 3:9?
Calvinism and 1 John 2:2?
Calvinism and Revelation 3:5?
Theological Flowerbeds - DAISY vs. TULIP
Election vs. Predestination
Election vs. Predestination: Calvinism vs. Arminianism
Will all mankind eventually be saved? (Isn't election unjust?)
What is Reprobation?
Created for Disaster Proverbs 16:4
Evil and God?
Universalism - Ephesians 1:10 and Colossians 1:20

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).