"Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him [arose] kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah." (1 Clement 32)God's redemptive history passes through Israel. It was to them that He gave the law, the prophets, the priests, and the protection for over two thousand years. However, the choice of Israel was not because they were better than any other nation, nor were they bigger, nor more righteous, but simply was because God willed it.
"All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will." (1 Clement 32)Israel's election was simply according to God's choice. Presently, the elect of God has shifted from the nation of Israel to us, those who have believed in His Son Jesus and, again, our election is not according to us; our strength, righteousness, or even our good looks. God chose us so that His election would be according to His will and choice and not according to anything that we might make boast of in our lives.
"And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Clement 32)From the beginning God has chosen and justified those who would receive Him by faith. Even during the dispensation of the Law, there were still those who knew God, not based on the Law but by faith. Consider King David who would sit and worship before the Arc of the Covenant, something which the Law forbade, but something that God found acceptable through his faith, and though he did what was contrary to the law he was justified through faith.
Today, God's election is still going forth calling those who would come and receive His by faith to become citizens and participants in the Kingdom of God.
"He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," (John 1:11-13)David Robison