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Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 20

The Exceeding Riches of His Grace:

Selection and Adoption (continued)

"Election": To Serve God In A Purpose (continued)

We have a great illustration of this in Joseph, the beloved of his father. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children ... and when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him ..." (Genesis 37:3-4). Joseph was sold into Egypt. Hence, it was through Joseph, that Egypt was saved from famine and from death. It was not only his brethren, the children of Israel his father who was saved, but it was through Joseph that the blessing of life, salvation, came to the nation of Egypt. So Joseph, a chosen one, a selected one out of a nation took real blessing to the nations of the world.

Whatever word you like to use, "Election, chosen, selection," just means: "To serve God in a purpose." It does not mean that you should be saved, and others are appointed to be lost. See the twist that has been given to this word, and how false it is?! And we know right through their history that whenever Israel forgot, or lost sight of, and failed to fulfill their vocation to the nations, they were put under a state of suspension as to their very calling. They were in the nations for the nations, and when they made themselves an exclusive body, shut up to themselves, and despised the nations, and called the Gentiles dogs and had no dealings with them, and said we are the people, and we are the only people, God so heartily disapproved that He withdrew their vocation, and sent them into captivity.

And mark you, dear friends, the two thousand years of Israel's history since their rejection of the Son of God is because they failed to recognize their own calling, that through Jesus Christ they could be made a blessing to all the world. They put a hedge around themselves and said, "We are the beginning, the end of everything, God is only interested in us, the other nations are doomed." This was just the reverse of their calling, "in thy seed - and That Seed, says Paul in Galatians 3:16, is Christ - shall all nations of the earth be blessed." And, when, instead of being a blessing, they really became a curse among the nations. God said, "That is enough, you have canceled out your own vocation, your own calling, your own election. You have canceled it out." So Israel for these two thousand years has been in the outer darkness with much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. That is how it is, is it not?! Why? Because in the Son of God, their vocation for the whole world was secured, and they rejected their own vocation when them rejected Him. That is history. And that is the meaning of "election or selected," not to be saved as over against all others to be lost, but for a purpose, the blessing of all others, the salvation of all others who will be saved.

Now, we come to Ephesians 1:4, where "the Church was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world." Chosen. What for? To be a blessing! The vessel and instrument of God is to be a blessing to the whole world. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, speaks of the Church as the "Jerusalem which is above, the mother of us all" (4:20) John, in his vision, sees the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven" (Revelation 21:2). Paul has seen it there, the new Jerusalem from above, our mother, and he goes on to say: "The nations shall walk in the light thereof" (Revelation 21:24). So there are nations that are extra to this selected nation. And of this selected nation, says Peter again, "Ye are a chosen nation" (1 Peter 2:9). This selected nation, which is the Church, has been selected to be a light to the nations in the ages to come. "The nations shall walk in the light thereof. This is, as I see it, the true doctrine of election.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 21)

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