Chosen For a Purpose

God chose His elect for a great purpose. All who were selected by God for salvation should live with the realization that there is an eternal purpose and specific design for their lives. All believers have been saved “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Like salvation, the “good works” of a believer were preordained by God before the foundation of the world. So there is something for us in this world that has been eternally prepared by God. For this reason, the believer should live with a sense of eternal destiny. He should know that God has gone before him and determined what will be his contribution to His kingdom. Living with an eternal perspective requires that we boldly enter into the fullness of the good works that God has prepared for us to accomplish.

May you not waste your life. Invest it wisely. And may you realize what God has ordained for you to do from before the foundation of the world.

– From Foundations of Grace by Steven Lawson, pgs 439-440.

Inseparably Loved

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39 NASB

All the elect will be kept secure by God, even in the face of mounting persecution and even martyrdom.  Such painful ordeals will be only the means by which they enter into glory.  But Christ will never remove His saving love from them.  John MacArthur writes, “Only the true believer perseveres, not because he is strong in himself but because he has the power of God’s indwelling Spirit.  His perseverance does not keep his salvation safe but probes that his salvation is safe.  Those who fail to persevere not only demonstrate their lack of courage but, much more important, their lack of genuine faith.  God will keep and protect even the most fearful person who truly belongs to Him.  On the other hand, even the bravest of those who are merely professing Christians will invariably fall away when the cost of being identified with Christ becomes too great.  Only true Christians are overcomers because only true Christians have the divine help of Christ’s own Spirit.”

Currently Reading

Foundations Of GraceI’ve been reading Steve Lawson’s Foundations of Grace and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand God’s grace in a Biblical, thorough, and exegetical way.  Lawson starts in Genesis and goes through Revelation and has done an outstanding job of documenting many passages of Scripture that deal with God’s grace.  Currently I am reading the chapter on the Gospel of John, which Lawson calls The Mount Everest of Theology.  During my reading time this morning, I read the following:

Selective Choice.  Christ has chosen His people out of the world of lost sinners.  Because this divine choice does not include everyone, those who are not chosen hate the elect:

  “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  – John 15:19

Jesus openly taught His disciples the doctrine of election.  Making no apology, He cited this cardinal truth as a chief reason why the world hates them.  (James Montgomery) Boice explains, “What is the meaning of this?  It is merely the old subject of election.  Christ elected the disciples to salvation.  He chose them for a specific work in this world.  Therefore, although the world rejects Christ’s salvation and despises His work, it hates those who have been chosen by Him for it.  There is probably nothing that the world hates more than the doctrine of election.  Certainly it was this more than anything else that caused the world’s virulent hatred of Christ during the days of His ministry…. Nothing so stirs up the hatred of the worldly mind than the teaching that God in sovereign grace elects some and does not elect others.”  Of course, Christ’s choice was preceded by the eternal choice of the Father.  (William) Hendriksen notes, “The act which took place in time was based upon an act which occurred in eternity (Eph 1:4).”  The divine choosing by the Father and the Son distinguished believers from the world, stirring the hatred of unbelievers.

We all want to be liked and loved and certainly do not want to be hated.  But this is just another area in which we Christians will be hated by the world.  It isn’t pleasant, but it is to be expected.