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Chosen and Justified

Chosen

We consider here something of the wonder of who we are in Christ. The nature of the extensive, in-depth change God’s regenerating work produces in our hearts is truly amazing. It is generally understood that Christians are different from unbelievers. The depth, though, to which these differences can extend is seldom fully grasped, even by most believers themselves. Come along as we look into some aspects of the effect of the faith on its highly blessed beneficiaries; you will very likely find it to be a pleasant and rewarding surprise.

Welcome to the Body of Christ, the most blessed group of people in the world; a group of which it is a great privilege to be a member:

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel (Heb. 12:22-24).

God tells us here that you, as a member of God’s ecclesia (His called-out people), are associated with: an innumerable company of angels, the saints of history, every true believer in the world today, and all the new arrivals yet to be reborn in this world. Breathe deeply, the air is precious!

The Christian’s new life should begin with an understanding of what has taken place within him as a person. Scripture tells us that we have been chosen:

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: (Eph. 1:4)

Before He created the world, God chose each person that was to become a member of The Body of Christ! Their membership was validated by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and put into effect when The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune God came to reside within them. The Eternal God actually present within us! How is this possible? Of course, we cannot comprehend the magnitude of such a thing today but, God willing, one day it will all be made clear to us.

For now, we should appreciate that to be chosen by God is indeed a great privilege. It has eternal value and surpasses by far the greatest, most prestigious acclamation or award anyone could receive in this world!

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: (1 Pet. 2:9).

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Cor. 4:6)

Both apostles, Peter and Paul employ here the same analogy: from darkness to light; from the darkness of this world into the light of Christ. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God shines in the face of Jesus Christ. He causes His light to shine in the previously darkened hearts of His chosen people. We were in darkness (ignorance) and suddenly light (knowledge) appeared and we could see (understand).

What great event is it that took place within us that it should require so dramatic a description? It included our release from Satan’s bondage:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Heb. 2:15)

The fear of death is present in all unbelievers; it may be suppressed much of the time but it arises quickly in any life-threatening situation. We are told here that the Devil employs this fear to keep them in bondage for their entire lives. Christ delivers all those that God chose from this satanic bondage in which he holds the entire unbelieving world. This shows us something of the significance of God’s choice. Christians are called out of the darkness of this world into the marvelous light of Christ.

We need no longer stumble about in the darkness of our former ignorance but are now able to discern and appreciate God’s truth. We were chosen to be members of the Body of Christ, chosen by the Triune God before the worlds were made, before there was a universe! We were released from Satan’s bondage by God the Son on the cross, and then reborn, given new hearts, by God, the Holy Spirit, at the appointed time in our lives. We were chosen to show the world, by the kind of lives we live, what God has done for us. We are the seed of the woman that God spoke of in the Garden (Gen. 3:15); we are the ecclesia, the new, called-out people of the world, the born-again humanity in Christ.

Does this describe you? If so, you have been blessed with the greatest blessing anyone could ever receive in this world. Do not let your appreciation of the glory and magnitude of it fade, as it has with so many of God’s chosen. Don’t let your appreciation of this, the greatest of all gifts, be played down, even by those that claim to be God’s chosen ministers. Hold tightly to it; it is precious!

Justified

These chosen people of God were justified, made to be just (righteous) in God’s eyes. God sent His Son, the Second Person of the Godhead to become a man, to be born of a woman, to live as one of His own creatures in this world, and then to die in their place, the innocent for the guilty. What must we do to earn a place among God’s people? All we need to do is believe and have faith, true faith. We must believe in our hearts that there is a God, that He really and truly sent His Son to die in our place:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:1,2)

How though, can we really and truly ever come to such faith. How can we be sure we’re not just deceiving ourselves in order to have this peace with God and receive this most precious gift, life eternal? Such doubts are real and true to life; we often practice self-deception, especially when the stakes are so high. The answer is, we cannot; we may believe it for awhile but, in time, doubts will arise and we will see more and more that it was only wishful thinking, only a desire in our heart and not true faith at all.

If true faith is unreachable, how then are we to be justified by faith? Very simply, we must ask God to give us this faith we so desperately need. He gives it to all that ask, truly ask from their hearts:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:8.9)

Our God is truly a gifting God. He gives and gives and gives. All we need to do is to reach out in faith and accept the free gift. Why is it so very, very hard for some to just reach out and take it?

 

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