Who Are You? (Part 7)

Who Are You? (Part 7)

When Jesus told of those who made excuses and so missed the blessing of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), He concluded by observing that, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” What this parable makes obvious is that many who could receive His blessing of salvation do not! His invitation must be accepted for its blessings to be received!

So “HOW” does God choose us? The first-century Jewish rulers supposed that God chose who to save based on who their parents were, and they were offended when He said they needed the truth to set them “free” (John 8:33 and 37, cf. 32). They thought “all that mattered to God” was that they had the right parents! The Catholic denomination answers this question (“How does God choose?”) by asserting one must “earn” salvation. (Nowhere is this clearer than in Catholicism’s doctrine of “purgatory,” which says Jesus’ blood covers all sins up to baptism, while the suffering of purgatory “burns out” any sins committed after one is baptized.) The protestant doctrines of Luther and Calvin go to the opposite extreme, asserting that God randomly “chose” who will be saved, and this concept makes God an arbitrary being, contradicting Peter’s words in Acts 10:34 and Paul’s in Romans 2:11.

What does the new testament show, about how God “chooses?” Galatians 1:6-7 says He calls us to the gospel by the grace of Christ. The gospel itself is the “tool” by which He calls us, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, and 1 Peter 1:22 says our hearts are purified by obedience to the truth, (which is the word of God, John 17:21). Ephesians 1:4 says that before He made the world, God “chose” for salvation those who are IN Christ. This fact leads to another question: “How does a person ‘get into’ Christ?”

In Romans 10:14 we read that one must “hear” (understand) the gospel message of salvation, because we can’t believe what we don’t know. God’s “choosing” process doesn’t stop with merely understanding, however: We must also believe the message of the gospel (Hebrews 11:6 is very plain!), and if we refuse to change (repent), we cannot be saved, Luke 13:3 & 5. Likewise, Romans 10:9-10 says we must publicly and consistently admit (confess) that we believe that Jesus is the resurrected Son of God. When we are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27), it is GOD who adds us to the church and includes us as members of the body (Acts 2:41 and 1 Corinthians 12:27).

The last point is that we should pay attention to 2 Peter 1:10, to “…be even more diligent to make your call and election sure,” because Peter is telling us that WE are involved in the security of our own souls! HOW? By making sure we conform to the instructions of God’s own words! Who ARE you? If you are Christian, you are one of God’s “chosen” ones!

-Dave Rogers


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