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Elect - Chosen of God

I Thessalonians 1:4
   Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

   The believers are beloved of God and have been elected or chosen of God.  The word elect means chosen or selected.  In the Old Testament times God selected the Children of Israel (from whom the Christ was to come) as His chosen people.

Deuteronomy 14:2
   For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

   After Jesus Christ came he was rejected of Israel (as a nation); yet many individuals accepted him.  In our day and time the elect of God are selected in Christ out of all nations: Jews and Gentiles.

I Peter 2:9-10
   But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
   Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

   God selected the believers of our day according to His foreknowledge even before He selected Israel.

Ephesians 1:4
   According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

I Peter 1:2
   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.

   God's foreknowledge is an interesting thing.  God knows ahead of time who is going to believe His Word.  Therefore, God calls them according to His eternal purpose (to have a family).

Romans 8:28-29
   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

   God knew ahead of time (foreknowledge) that you and I would believe.  Consequently, God predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son.  Predestination is a very misunderstood concept.  God does not pre-arrange what you and I are going to do!!!  God pre-arranged or predestinated that which HE was going to do as a result of our believing.  God decided (according to HIS purpose) that HE WOULD GIVE US holy spirit making us His children.   Predestination in the Word of God is God deciding ahead of time what He is going to do - not what we are going to do.

Ephesians 1:4-5
   According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
   Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

   God chose us.  He foreknew that we would believe His Word.  Therefore, He predestinated us unto sonship ("the adoption of children" is "sonship" in the text.)  Predestination is what God has planned to do for us.  It is the good pleasure of HIS WILL in making us His sons and daughters.  It is not that God decides ahead of time what we are going to do.  It is that God decided ahead of time what HE was going to do as a result of our believing.  He decided (according to the good pleasure of His will) that He would give us sonship.  That is predestination.

Ephesians 1:6-11
   To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
   In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
   Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
   Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
   That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
   In whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

   God chose us and predestinated many great things for us:  acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, knowledge of the mystery of His will, gathered together in Christ in the future, and an inheritance.  This is what God predestinated for us; not what we would do, but what He was going to do for those who believed.  All these things are given us according to His purpose and the good pleasure of His will.  This is what God decided ahead of time He would do for us when we believed.

   So who does God elect?

I Corinthians 1:21
   For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

   God chooses those who believe His Word.  This seems foolish to the world.  That by confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) you can receive all that God has predestinated is amazing.  The world puts importance upon worldly intelligence, strength or might, and a noble upbringing or background.  Yet God chooses those who believe without regard to these things which the world puts so much importance on.

I Corinthians 1:26-29
   For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
   But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
   And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
   That no flesh should glory in his presence.

   God has not chosen us because of our great ability, knowledge, or background.  God chose us because we believed His word.  It is not what we did or do that is so important.  What is important is what God does and will continue to do for us because we believe.

I Corinthians 1:30-31
   But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
   That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
   We have a right to boast and be proud.  Not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done for us.  He has made unto us wisdom.  He has made us right.  He has set us apart.  He has redeemed us.  We are God's elect: chosen in Christ and predestinated to sonship by God Himself.

November, 1999
Michael Cortright