“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
Election. We have the privilege to vote and elect men and women who will hopefully serve us well in government functions and duties. As Christians we pray for them that their decisions will be based upon wise godly counsel and not the sheer whimsical thoughts of men.
There are many other things upon which you and I have the privilege of choosing. We decide who we will date and eventually marry. We choose careers with the concern of being able to physically provide for our families and households. When we truly stop to consider the decision making process that has been meted out to us we see that there are many, many things upon which we vote. Which automobile? Which school or university? Which branch of armed services ? Which city in which to live? Which clothing or shoes or ?????
In the construct of modern evangelism though, we use terms in recent decades that were unknown to previous generations. I know we sing songs like, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” Or we make statements like, “I accepted the Lord as My Savior.” None of those terms are negative in any way. Yet when we stop and consider why we are Christians, we must understand that Christ chose us. If there was any pretense with the apostles that would lend to spiritual pride in any way, Jesus tells them in as much, “Listen men….you did not choose Me….I chose you.” Yes, they had the privilege of being with Jesus some three years, but that honor was not based upon their own personal merit. It was God’s sovereign choice being exhibited.
As we read the Scriptures we read that God chose Israel not for any merit which they possessed. He elected angels to be holy throughout eternity. And He elected believers to salvation apart from any personal merit. It was not as if Jesus looked down from heaven and said, “Oh, look! See how holy and perfect that person is. I think he/she is one that I can now choose.”
The church, the called, the chosen, the elect, finds grace through the tender mercies of sovereign God through faith in which we place in the atonement made for sinners through Christ alone. It is not based on works of any kind. To consider that our salvation is wrought by means of anything we do through works, or performance in some liturgical ritual, is an affront to the finished work which Jesus accomplished for us on the cross at Calvary.
In humble contrition, the believer’s response to such an awesome God is, “Thank you, Lord!”