The Exceeding Riches of His Grace: Selection and Adoption (continued)
"Election": To Serve God In a Purpose
Chapter one, at verse four, "Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before Him in love." He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. Do you understand that? Can you comprehend that? This is election. In the Word it is definitely stated that "He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world." There was an election, which took place in those eternal counsels of God, which included us if we are today in Christ Jesus. We are in Christ Jesus, because we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world.
You see, to begin with, you are dealing with a Timeless God. As far as time was concerned, what was some four thousand years ahead, was present with God before time began, because He is Timeless. Everything which for us is future time, is always present time with God. And so, for Him in effect, Christ was then, and in effect we were then, and God acted on eternal ground. So let us look at this matter of "election." I am going to change the word "election" because I do not like that word, although in certain forms it is in the New Testament, which is found in 1 Peter, at verse 2: "Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father." That is Peter, and the elect is there mentioned as a body, but let me say again, I am not fond of this word election because of the associations. So I am going to change it and speak about "selection." Selection, it is the same thing in meaning and in word. Now, then, when we get that word we are helped. The nation of Israel was 'selected" out of all nations. They were selected and chosen. If you like: "Elected." But God looked on all the nations of the earth, and selected Israel among the nations. Did that mean that God rejected all the other nations, because He selected this nation? Did it mean that He selected them to be saved, and all the other nations to be lost, because they were not selected?
Now, by the way of illustration, let us come into this room where we are a little company of people. Allow me, not to take the place of God, but just to take this place by way of argument, of wanting something done. I want something done, and I look over this company, and I say: "Brother, I want you to come alongside of me for this thing that I want done. I select you from this company, for the thing that I want to do. Now do not jump to conclusions, either you or the others. Do not jump to conclusions that you are more important than all the others, and that you are better than all the others, that you are more worthy of this than the others, for that is not true."
And you others: "Do not jump to the conclusion that because I did not select anyone, or all of you, that you are rejected by me and have no place in this plan of mine. Do not conclude that you are less worthwhile than this one, or less worthy, because you are not selected for this thing. Do not come to such a conclusion."
The Lord selected the nation of Israel and said, "I have chosen you, not because you are better than the other nations, not because you are more worthy, but I have acted sovereignly and chosen you, or selected you, from among the nations, because I have a purpose that I want fulfilled. Now My purpose is just this, to use you to the good of all the other nations. All these other nations are going to come into blessing through My use of you, through My selection of you."
Let us go to the Bible. What was the covenant with Abraham, who was the first of this nation? "In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). That does not sound as though all other nations were rejected and consigned to be lost, because they were not the selected ones - in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed.
(continued with # 20)