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His Chosen Ones

posted Nov 8, 2016, 12:53 PM by First Baptist


One of the benefits of expository preaching (i.e., dealing with a passage of Scripture verse-by-verse) is that it forces the church to grapple with things it might prefer not to grapple with.

 

This happened to us last Sunday when we came upon a passage in which Jesus made reference to God’s “chosen ones” (Luke 18:7). This isn’t an uncommon term or concept in Scripture.

 

Who are God’s “chosen ones” and what does that even mean?

 

There are various schools of thought. Indeed, after the service on Sunday, I hadn’t even gotten to the back of the room to shake hands before a member was presenting me with a different idea. (I love this, by the way, but immediately after the service may not be the best time for a meaningful discussion. For one thing, I typically have a lot of adrenaline coursing through my body.)

 

Anyway, over the next several articles, I intend to address this idea of being “chosen” at more length. I hope to do so with humility and evenhandedness.

 

Context

 

Making sense of the word “chosen” falls under the branch of theology known as soteriology, or the doctrine of the salvation. It specifically has to do with the interplay between God’s will and man’s with respect to salvation.

 

Christians agree that salvation is a gift of God and that humans must respond with faith. But why are some people saved and others are not? That’s the issue.

 

An Illustrative Picture

 

Dr. Vic Gordon, my predecessor at First Baptist Wichita, uses an illustration that involves a swimming pool, a human swimmer, and God. He says:

 

Picture a nice swimming pool. Being in the swimming pool enjoying the cool water on a hot day represents salvation. Picture now a swimmer in the pool thoroughly enjoying herself. The question is: How did she get there? Did she jump? Or, did God push her?

 

Preparatory Comments

 

Before diving in to this topic (pun intended), Dr. Gordon suggests three things we need to keep in mind:

 

§  Every human being deserves death. We are all sinners, and God would be perfectly just in allowing every one of us spend eternity in hell.

 

§  God can do whatever He wants with His creation without having to explain Himself to us.

 

§  We are severely limited in our capacity to understand God. This requires us then to be exceedingly humble & cautious in our conclusions.

 

A Recommended Resource

 

In my opinion, one of the best books on this subject is hand in Hand by Randy Alcorn. It’s deep, but readable. Also, while he has his own position on the matter, he fairly represents other views. Most books I’ve read on this don’t do that.

 

 

Pastor Dan

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