Wednesday, July 25, 2012
“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. These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:16-17).
IDEA: Being chosen by God carries reciprocal responsibilities.
PURPOSE: To help listeners think about what it means to be one of God’s “chosen people.”
We continue exploring the question of “chosenness” in this discussion.
I. God chose a particular people to spread the knowledge of the one true God throughout the world.
It was through the chosen descendants of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah that the promised Messiah would come. Thus it was through the Jews and as a Jew that Jesus left heaven’s glory to become a human being, teaching us God’s ways and ultimately giving His life to make a way back to God for all who sin.
It was through Jewish followers of Jesus that eventually the gospel was spread across the Roman Empire and to us today.
But being chosen by God is not restricted to Jews; it is open to all who believe in Jesus. As the apostle Paul put it in his letter to the Galatians, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:8-9).
II. Being chosen by God carries reciprocal responsibilities.
That “particular people” began with a “Gentile,” Noah, through his son Shem, the ancestor of Abraham, the “Jews.” But Jesus’ followers were told to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
All who follow Jesus are “chosen”: “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. These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:16-17).
We are called to “bear fruit” in Jesus’ name.
Speaking to Christians (Jews and Gentiles) the apostle Peter put it this way: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1Peter 2:9-10).
We are called to proclaim the praises of God our Savior.
In a sense, chosenness is contingent. It involves lives that bear fruit for God’s kingdom and that proclaim the praises of our God.