God has an eternal purpose and He chooses individuals from the vast masses of humanity to achieve that goal.
1/. A chosen Race
The OT emphasis is on God selecting Abraham, and his descendants, the Israelites (Jews) who became God’s chosen people. The focus was on the one race so not a great number of individuals from the other nations embraced Jehovah and the beliefs of the Jewish people. The divine plan was for this group of people to live out the heavenly calling in such a contrasting way to the degradation and evil practiced by the other nations that they would also embrace the Israelites God. However, there was seldom any marked difference in the lifestyles of those who claimed to be His chosen people and those who weren’t. In the NT the invitation is much more encompassing and individualised. Salvation is freely available to all people, “whosoever will…” (Jn 3:16). Why God chooses some to be heirs of salvation and not others is a divine mystery.
2/. God’s choice
Value your being chosen in Christ
The Bible declares, He wants all men to repent and be saved (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9). There is a common call or invitation of salvation given as “Many are invited, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14). To be chosen we must respond to the call. Sovereignly God will have mercy and compassion on whoever He chooses (Rom 9:14-16). However, the Bible says, “These are the ones I look on with favour: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and tremble at my Word” (Isa 66:2). God has chosen to use the despised things and people who do not claim to be strong in themselves so the results can be truly attributed to Him (1 Cor 1:27,28). He doesn’t throw people on the scrapheap of life but rescues us from it. “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will…” (Eph 1:11). Praise Him for choosing you to be part of His family.
3/. Our choice
It is our responsibility to walk uprightly and faithfully with Him; this backs up our claim we belong to Him (2 Pet 1:10). Prove yourself worthy of being chosen to be His child by doing things His way as you allow the Word to change you. He shows the way, we must choose to walk it. Thus, we can put ourselves in the position where we are chosen because we make Him ‘Lord’. By understanding and living the kind of lifestyle He blesses we place ourselves where the blessing flows (Ps 1:1-6). God will not override man’s freedom and force His salvation on people. It requires an acknowledgement of being a sinner, together with genuine repentance, acceptance of the Lord’s offer of salvation and continual co-operating with the Holy Spirit. Jesus speaking to the disciples said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16). He chooses us but we must also decide to go His way. God chose us to be saved (2 Thes 2:13). As we delight ourselves in Him, He will make Himself known to us more fully (Jas 4:8).
4/. Chosen for a purpose
God’s purpose for those He chooses is that their lifestyle will bring glory to Him, that He might have a holy people who worship Him and who are being transformed into the image of Jesus, and so by being witnesses bring the blessing of salvation to others (Mt 5:16; Rom 8:29; Eph 1:4,5, 5:8; 1 Pet 2:9,12).
Paul was God’s chosen instrument to take the gospel to the non-Jews with the effects still touching us today through His writings (Act 9:15). He continually gave everything for His master, letting nothing deter his dedication (2 Cor 11:25; Phil 3:12-14). Each Christian has a specific call or ministry within the Kingdom of God. Have you found yours? Are you increasingly walking into that divine assignment for you, fulfilling your potential? That is why Christ laid His hand on you.