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Chosen By God

Chosen By God

1 Pet. 2:9

 

Introduction:

 

1.  Do you remember what it was like in elementary school to play Red Rover?

2.  Two captains were chosen.  The captains took turns choosing who would be on their team.

3.  I learned early on there was only one thing worse than being chosen last, and that was not being chosen at all.  Pity the last two kids . . . one chosen and the other, humiliated.  Head down he/she always walked silently over to the other team.

4.  The same scenario plays itself out throughout life.  One is chosen for marriage, another not.

One is chosen for the job, another not.  One is chosen to be promoted, another not.  One chosen to be honored, another not.

5.  1 Pet. 2:9 says, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.”

6.  Oh what a wonder it is to be chosen by God, a people for His own possession.

7.  The word in the Greek is “ekleg?.”  It is formed from the prefix “ek” meaning to pick out or select and the word “leg?” meaning to call.  It is virtually the same as what those two captains did when we divided up to play Red Rover.  They called individuals to join their team.

8.  It is a very prominent concept in Scripture.  We will try to trace some of its history and significance and make it relevant to our understanding of who we are as the chosen of God.

 

Discussion:

 

I.  O.T. Israel is spoken of as the chosen of God.

 

    A.  Deut. 7:6 says, “You are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has

         chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the

         face of the earth.”

         1.  The language of this text is reminiscient of what we read in 1 Pet. 2:9.

         2.  Here in Deut. it refers to the nation of Israel as contrasted to the Hittites, the

              Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the

              Jebusites (Deut. 7:1).

     B.  The choosing of the nation of Israel extended backward to God’s choosing of their

          fathers.

          1.  Deut. 10:15 says, “On your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He

               chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.”

          2.  God’s choosing of Israel stems backward to His choice of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

               whom He separated apart from all other peoples as Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans

               (Gen. 12:1-3), and the gods of his fathers (Josh. 24:2).

          3.  This choosing of Israel involved a separation between them and all other peoples and

               the gods that they worshiped and a joining together with Jehovah in an exclusive

               relationship. 

          4.  It was their relationship to Him that made them a holy people.  In Isa. 43:10ff God

                  said, “You are My witnesses and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may

                  know and believe in Me and understand that I am He.  Before Me there is no God

                  formed and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no

                  savior besides Me.”

            C.  There was a narrowing of the chosen mentioned in Rom. 9:6-12.

                 1.  It would be Jacob and his descendants that were chosen.

                 2.  Esau and his descendants were not chosen.

                 3.  But Rom. 9 enlarges on the definition of “Israel” when it says, “They are not all

                      Israel who are descended from Israel.”  It then extends the definition to include

                      Gentiles who attain righteousness “by faith” (24, 30).   (More on this later.)

            D.  Observations about the choosing of Israel.

                  1.  The nation was chosen as God’s special people.  There is a sense in which

                       merely being born from the right descendants qualified you as one of the chosen

                       of God.

                  2.  In this kind of choosing of this group there were individuals chosen.  Ex.

                       Abraham, Jacob and his descendants, not Esau and his descendants.

                

II.  In the N.T. Jesus is spoken of as a chosen individual.

 

     A.  At His transfiguration a voice from a cloud said, “This is My Son, My Chosen One” (Lk.

          9:35).

     B.  At His crucifixion His mockers referred to Him in derision as “the Christ of God, His

          Chosen One” (Lk. 23:35).

     C.  In an interesting passage in Matt. 12:15ff Matthew quotes Isa. 42:1ff. 

          1.  The Pharisees were conspiring to destroy Jesus.  Matthew says Jesus withdrew from

               there and warned them not to tell who He was.

         2.  Matthew said, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet” and

              then quotes 42:1ff:  “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom

              My soul is well-pleased; I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to

              the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the

              streets.  A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put

              out, until He leads justice to victory.  And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

         3.  Matthew seems to quote this to emphasize the gentle approach of Jesus.  While the

              Pharisees were seeking to destroy Him He did not fight back but simply withdrew.  But

              in the process He quotes this passage about Him being the one whom God has

              chosen.

      D.  Some observations about Jesus being chosen.

            1.  He is an individual that is chosen, not a nation of people.

            2.  He is from that chosen nation, and like that nation, is chosen to accomplish a

                 particular purpose in the service of God.

 

III.  You are chosen.

 

      A.  1 Pet. 2:9 says, “You are a chosen race, a people for God’s own possession.”

             1.  Well, who is this chosen race?

             2.  It is those who are “called out” of darkness and into the Light of God (1 Pet. 2:10).

                  It is those who have received mercy (1 Pet. 2:10).

             3.  It is those who have come to Jesus who is the living stone, rejected by men, but

                  “choice” and precious in the sight of God (1 Pet. 2:4-5).

             4.  It is those who believe in this precious stone (1 Pet. 2:7).

       B.  In 2 Thess. 2:13-14 Paul thanks God for the Thessalonian brethren “because God has

            chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and

            faith in the truth.  It was for this He called you through our gospel that you may gain the

            glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            1.  Notice that God had chosen them by faith in the truth.

            2.  Notice that God had called them through the gospel.

       C.  So who are the chosen?

             1.  Those “called out” of darkness.

             2.  Those called through the gospel.

             3.  Those who have faith in the truth.

             4.  Rev. 17:14 depicts the war of the world.  Those with the Lord of lords and the King

                  of kings are the chosen. 17:8 identifies names written in the Book of life.

       D.  Are individuals chosen or is a group chosen?  Are individuals or a group called out of

             darkness?  Are individuals called through the gospel or is a group?  Do individuals

             have faith in the truth or does a group have faith in the truth?  Be careful before you

             answer that.  Be reminded that Peter referred to a “chosen race” and “a holy nation” (1

             Pet. 2:9).

       E.  Other passages seem to refer to individuals being called.

             1.  Rom. 8:29-30 refers to them as brethren.  Brethren are constituted of individual

                  brothers.

              2.  1 Pet. 1:1-2 refers to “those who reside as aliens . . . who are chosen.”  Sounds

                   like individuals.

              3.  Rom. 16:13 actually refers to Rufus as a “choice man in the Lord.”  That sounds

                   like his choosing was personal.

        F.  There has been much discussion on the subject of God’s choosing.  Some say a

             group is chosen.  Some say individuals are chosen.  Some say individuals are chosen

             unconditionally.  Some say a group is chosen on the basis of their faith in Christ.  Can

             it be that individuals are chosen and constitute a group?  Can it be that individuals are

             called out of darkness by the gospel and those who place their trust in Jesus Christ or

             believe in Him are the ones whom God has chosen?  I would contend that individuals

             are chosen conditionally on their belief in Jesus Christ.

 

IV.  “Well what difference does it make whether one is chosen or not?”

 

       A.  Remember what it was like to be chosen for the team when playing Red Rover or

            some other game? 

            1.  It meant to be connected.

            2.  It meant to be included in.

            3.  It meant that you were not abandoned.

            4.  It meant that someone cared for you.

       B.  What does it mean to be chosen by God?

             1.  It means to be connected to Him and to His family.

             2.  It means to be included in rather than left out.

             3.  It means you are not abandoned.

             4.  It means that He cares for you.

             5.  It means that you are on His team.

       C.  When you were called on to a team to play Red Rover you wanted to do everything

             you could to cause your team to win.  You willing bore the pain of someone slamming

             into your arm trying to break the chain.  And so it is among those chosen by God. 

             They join forces.  They discipline themselves.  They glorify God (1 Pet. 2:11-12).

        D.  God chooses you! 

 

Conclusion:

 

1.  You can be numbered among the chosen of God, but you must be willing.

2.  Will you place your trust in what He has done to purchase you for His own possession?

3.  Will you come over to His side trusting in the blood that was shed for you?

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