The explanation of the eternal and saving choice of God's elect children entirely gives God all the glory. In Christ He save us out of pure mercy, without any merits or good works of ours. He does this according to the purpose of His will, as it is written, "He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:5-6). Therefore, it is false and wrong when it is taught that not only God's mercy and Christ's most holy merit, but also something in us is a cause of God's election, on account of which God has chosen us to eternal life. Before we had done anything good, also before we were born, yes even before the foundations of the world were laid, He elected us in Christ.
Furthermore, this teaching gives no one a cause either for despair or for a shameless, loose life. By this teaching, people are taught that they must seek eternal election in Christ and His Holy Gospel, as in the Book of Life. This excludes no penitent sinner, but beckons and calls all poor, heavy-laden, and troubled sinners to repentance and the knowledge of their sins. It calls them to faith in Christ and promises the Holy Spirit for purification and renewal. It gives the most enduring consolation to all troubled, afflicted people . (paragraphs 87-90)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.