Election and its fruits
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 1 Peter 1:2
Election unto salvation is indeed unconditional. What that means is that God does not choose anyone because they were better in any way; his choosing is determined only by his own gracious decision and sovereign will. Neither faith nor works figure into God's election as its basis. However, that does not mean that election has nothing to do with faith or works. In fact, faith and holiness and obedience to God have their roots in his election unto salvation.
You see this in 1 Peter 1:2. Believers are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" - which doesn't mean that God looked down through the annals of time to see who would respond to him, but that God has set his saving love upon (this is the meaning of "foreknow") his elect from eternity. However, election is not an end in itself - God chooses them "through sanctification of the Spirit," which means that the elect will and must be sanctified. And this is not a sanctification that only happens once they pass into heaven, though it will be perfected there, but this is a sanctification for believers in the present age as "strangers scattered throughout" the world (verse 1). As the apostle Paul will put it, God has chosen us in Christ that we should be holy, and so we shall be (Eph. 1:4).
But that is not all, for this election is "unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." Here you have not only obedience, but faith in Christ, for all true obedience springs from faith (see Rom. 1:5). The sanctification of the Spirit brings us to this obedience of faith. And when we believe in Christ and trust in him as Lord and Savior, the Bible says that the believer is justified (Rom. 3:22, 28) - the blood of Jesus has been sprinkled upon him and the guilt of his sins are taken away.
Brothers and sisters, let us never divorce election from its fruits. The fruit of election is the work of the Spirit in us so that we embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as he is presented to us in the gospel. Let us not separate what God has joined together. Election is inseparable from regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and perseverance in holiness.
Let us therefore make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). How do you do that? The Biblical answer to that is the answer to this question: have you truly embraced Jesus as your Lord and Savior, not in word only but in deed and in truth? Does your life reflect that? If so, praise God! For we must never thank ourselves or pat ourselves on the back as though we accomplished this great thing. Rather, let us thank the Lord for his sovereign grace that goes all the way back into eternity past in the counsel of the Trinity who loved us before the foundation of the world and brought us to himself.