PHBC October 12, 1997
Series: First Peter, Ser. #30
A CHOSEN GENERATION
SCRIPTURE: I Pet. 2:1-10
TEXT: I Pet. 2:9
INTRO: In the verses preceding our text, the Apostle has shown the relationship of believers and unbelievers to Jesus Christ. He first sets forth the fact that Jesus Christ is elect and precious unto God though he was disallowed and rejected by men. He emphasizes that this was already established in Scripture and should be no surprise to any student of the Word.
He then says, "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious, but unto them which be disobedient (or unbelieving), he is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense."
In our text he addresses those who have believed, and from verse 10 it appears they were Gentiles, and reminds them that they are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people, a people whom God has made a special treasure for himself.
I. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION INDICATES THAT WE WERE CHOSEN OUT FROM AMONG OTHERS
A. The very fact that there is an election signifies that we were chosen out of a group, in this case the human race, or the world. John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
B. That we were chosen out of the world while others were not chosen, or rejected, is evident from Paul's discussion in 1 Corinthians 1:23-28 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.
1. There is no way that one can intelligently read this and not see that there are some who were not called as were one group.
2. There is no way that one can intelligently read this and not see that there are some who were not chosen as were others.
3. That some were chosen while leaving others in their just condemnation is evident from I Cor. 4:7. 1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
a. It is evident that Paul is saying that the difference in these people and others of their city is not of their own doing.
b. It is evident from Scripture that it is God who puts the difference in some and others. Exodus 11:7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
4. That some were chosen out of the world while others are not chosen is evident from the example God set in his election of the nation of Israel to be his people. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
a. Notice in verse 6 that he sets his chosen ones in contrast with and above all other people on the earth. Deu. 7:6
(1) This election was for them to be a special people, not because they were a special people.
(2) This election was for them to be a special people unto God.
(3) This election was of God, he is the chooser, they were the chosen.
(4) God is the actor, they are the objects of the action.
b. Notice in verse 7 that the chosen are again set in contrast with other people who were not chosen.
(1) They were not chosen because they were more in number than any other people, or nation on earth.
(2) They were chosen in spite of the fact that they were fewer than any other people on earth.
c. Notice in verse 8 the chosen ones are again set in contrast with others who were not chosen, in this case they were contrasted with the Egyptians.
(1) They were chosen out of the house of bondmen; they were in bondage with others as is evident from the mixed multitude that went out with them, and they were chosen out of the group.
(2) They were in Egypt, in bondage to the superior nation of Egypt, but God chose them out of Egypt and rejected the Egyptians.
d. Notice also that God's election of them preceded their deliverance from Egypt; they were not chosen because they, of their own free will, initiation, and motivation, left the land of Egypt.
(1) They did not want to leave the land; they merely wanted some relief from some of the rigors of their bondage.
(2) They reminded Moses that it was not their idea to leave Egypt before they even crossed the Red Sea. Exodus 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
5. The choice of a tribe, a person, or a nation, always indicates the rejection of another or others. Psalm 78:67-68 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: 68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
a. God does not simply say that he chose Judah.
b. He specifies that he refused the tabernacle of Joseph.
c. He specifies also, that he chose not the tribe of Ephraim. v-67
d. He chose to honor Judah instead, and placed the leadership of the nation in that tribe and had his seat of government for the nation in Mount Zion on which he had set his love. Psalm 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
6. Out of all the descendants that would spring from Adam, God chose the line of Seth (Adam's third son), and out of the line of Seth he chose the line of Shem (One of Noah's sons), and of the line of Shem he chose the line of Abraham, and of the line of Abraham he chose Isaac, and of the line of Isaac, he chose Jacob, and of the twelve tribes which issued from Jacob, he chose Judah, and out of the line of Judah, he chose Jesus Christ to be the federal head of his elect people. Psalm 89:19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
a. He caused his conception in the womb of Mary, a virgin of the tribe of Judah, who was herself chosen to be the vessel through which he would bring about the incarnation of his Son in human flesh.
b. He sent him to take on himself the likeness of sinful flesh, with a body of flesh and blood such as we have.
c. This was all foreordained before the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
d. The election of Christ was an election of one out from among the people because he came and was made one of the people.
7. God's choice of David to be king over Israel and his rejection of David's 7 older brothers clearly illustrates this principle that the election of one or some, necessarily involves the rejection of others. 1 Samuel 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 1 Samuel 16:6-12 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
8. Now let us come back for a closer look at Jn. 17:6 and Jn. 15:19
a. Notice in Jn. 17:6 that those given to Christ were given to him out of the world. John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
b. From Jn. 6:37 it is obvious they were given to him before they ever came to him so they could not have been given because they came to him. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
c. From Jn. 17:2 it is evident that these were given to Christ before he ever came into the world with universal power to give eternal life to those already given him by the Father. John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
d. In Jn. 17:9, these who were given to Christ in the covenant of Grace before the foundation of the world are the specific objects of his prayer in contrast with the rest of the world for whom he did not pray because he is not their mediator and high priest. John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
9. Notice this same contrast in Jn. 15:19. John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (KJV)
a. Again the elect are set apart in contrast with the rest of the world.
b. That we were chosen out of the world and set apart from the world, therefore, they were hated by the world.
c. The world hates the doctrine of sovereign election; therefore, the world hates those sovereignly chosen.
d. We must never let this hatred drive us from the preaching and teaching of this blessed doctrine.
10. Notice this same contrast at the pool of Bethesda. Jn. 5:1-9
a. There was a great multitude of people present who needed healing. v-3 John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
b. One certain man was there on whom Jesus had mercy. John 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
c. This man was totally helpless and there was nothing in him to attract the sovereign Saviour, but he had mercy on him and healed him, and, as far as the record is concerned he healed no other. John 5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
11. Notice this same contrast in the raising of Lazarus. Jn. 11:1-46
a. This too was a certain man, singled out to experience something few ever experienced in this manner. John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
b. He was a man whom Jesus loved very much. John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
c. He was singled out to endure this sickness and death for the glory of God. John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
d. He purposely stayed away until Lazarus died and had been dead four days before he came to raise him. John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
e. When he did raise Lazarus, he called him by name. John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
(1) He did not call for just any one who would of his own motivation rise up.
(2) He called a specific person to come forth from death and the grave and live.
(3) He left all others in that cemetery in their graves; did not raise any other.
(4) Was it fair for God to raise Lazarus and not any others?
(5) Was it just for God to leave many others, even many saints, in their graves and raise just one from the dead on that occasion?
(6) Was it fair to other families who had lost loved ones to death to raise the brother of Mary and Martha and not raise the loved ones of others who died?
(7) Did Jesus owe every dead person an opportunity for him to raise him from the dead?
(8) Was Jesus obligated to give every dead person the same opportunity to be raised from the dead?
12. See this same contrast set forth in Rom. 11:1-10
a. In the days of Elijah, unknown to Elijah, God had reserved to himself seven thousand men. Romans 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
b. In the days of Paul God had preserved a remnant whom he had chosen by his grace. Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
c. Their election was wholly of grace without any regard for works lest grace cease to be grace. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
d. This elect remnant in the days of Paul had obtained salvation but the rest of the Jews had been blinded. Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
(1) Their blinding was of Divine origin. Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
In a Messianic Psalm David had foretold this blinding in answer to the prayer of Jesus, the Messiah. Romans 11:9-10 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. Psalm 69:21-25 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. 24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. 25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
Did God have a right to blind many of the Jewish leaders and let them go on in their sins and save others, such as the chief of sinners, Saul of Tarsus?
(a) Saul of Tarsus was less deserving of God's salvation than any other Jew of his day; he was the very chief of sinners.
(b) Saul of Tarsus was making havoc of the Lord's churches and was in the very act of going to arrest Christians when he was graciously saved. Acts 9:1-5 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
(c) The Lord had to literally apprehend this vicious, persecuting rebel and take him into custody; conquer him with love and draw him by his mighty power and make him willing to come to Christ for salvation. Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:63-65 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
(d) He had chosen Paul before the foundation of the world, had separated him from his mother's womb, and now he called him by his grace, and caused him to approach unto him. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Galatians 1:13-15 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
13. See this same contrast set forth by Jesus in Luke 4:24-27. Luke 4:24-27 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
14. See this same contrast in what was done in Sodom and Gomorrah and in Capernaum. Luke 10:12-15 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. 15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
15. See this contrast again in John 10:26-27 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
a. Those not of Christ's sheep do not believe because they are not of his sheep. Jn. 10:26
b. Those of Christ's sheep hear his voice, follow him, and he gives them eternal life, and they never perish. John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
16. See it in Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
a. Those ordained to eternal life believe.
b. Some never believe on Christ so apparently were not ordained to eternal life.
II. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION MEANS WE WERE THE OBJECTS OF AN EVERLASTING LOVE
A. We could have been the objects of his hatred as was Esau. Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Malachi 1:2-3 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
1. Some are horrified at the thought that God hates some people.
2. Many times I have heard preachers say that God hates sin but he loves all sinners.
3. The fact, however, is inescapable, it is decided and certain that there are folks who are objects of his hatred.
4. In the case of Esau, God did not set his elective love on him, and, as far as the covenant of grace was concerned he was hatedónot loved. Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
5. There are others who are the objects of his hatred because of their sins.
a. God hates the wicked and those who love violence. Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
b. God hates all workers of iniquity. Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
c. Solomon tells us of parts of people and some people are hated by God. Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
(1) A proud look speaks of arrogance and pride in oneís self and God hates a proud look. Proverbs 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
(2) A lying tongue is also the object of divine hatred. Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Psalm 50:20-22 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
(3) God hates hands that shed innocent blood.
(a) Abortion is the shedding of innocent blood.
(b) I heard a liberal newscaster this week who spoke of partial birth abortion after the President had vetoed the bill that would have outlawed most instances of this hateful and wicked act. The newsman said that partial birth abortion is where during the giving of birth the head of the fetus is voided.
(c) What he did not say was that scissors or similar instruments are driven into the back of the head into the brain cavity and a suction hose is inserted and the brains are vacuumed out, killing the baby.
(d) By this act, our President is as guilty as the Doctor and his hands shed innocent blood and are thereby, an object of Godís hatred.
(e) These teenage gangs and others who kill for the delight have hands that God hates.
(f) The murderers of children and adults in this world have hands that are the objects of Godís hatred.
(4) God hates the heart that devises wicked imaginations.
(a) One of the characteristics of depravity is the wicked imagination of people. Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. Jeremiah 11:8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.
(b) One of the characteristics of the Gentiles who for centuries were without God and without hope was their vain imaginations which caused God to give them up to reprobate minds eventually. Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(5) God also hates feet that are swift in running to mischief.
(a) Friday is a terrible day to be out during rush hour for many are rushing home so they can go out and drink and commit mischief.
(b) In its context it may also have reference to those who are swift to spread gossip and slander against others for that is certainly mischief.
(6) God hates a false witness that speaks lies. Proverbs 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
(7) God hates those who sow discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:19 He that soweth discord among brethren.
(a) Unity in a congregation is so pleasing to God that we ought to be sure we are never the instrument of discord. Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
(b) Those who seek to sow discord and dissension in a congregation of the Lordís people can be sure they are hated by God for that deed and they will not escape his severe judgment. Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Proverbs 6:12-15 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
(c) Those who think they are doing good by sowing discord should remember that such thinking is from the devil himself and is itself devilish. James 3:14-16 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
B. As I said a while ago, being a chosen generation we are the objects of Godís everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
1. He loved his elect from before the foundation of the world. John 17:23-24 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
2. This love was set on us without regard to any honor, good, wealth, or anything we might have or might do or be able to do. Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
3. This love was set on us without considering the evil or the good that we might do. Romans 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
4. This love was not set on us as a mass of unnamed people but was set on each of us individually.
a. Godís love for Jacob was an individual, personal love set on him in eternity. Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. If you go back to verse eleven it is clear that he is talking about these twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca.
b. He set his love on Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace.
c. His loving choice of Jeremiah was the choice of a particular person. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
d. His loving choice of individuals was so distinctive and definite that he had their names recorded in the Lambs book of life from the foundation of the world. Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
e. That God has lovingly chosen us before the foundation of the world is the assurance of all that follows. Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
f. This loving choice of God is more important and should be the cause of more rejoicing than demons being subject to us. Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
III. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION IS THE RESULT OF A SOVEREIGN CHOICE MADE BY GOD WITHOUT ANY PARTICIPATION OR COUNSEL FROM US AND IS NOT BASED ON ANY GOOD SEEN OR FORESEEN IN US
A. Consider again Godís election and calling of Jacob and his rejection and not calling of Esau. Romans 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
1. Notice that God chose Jacob out of sovereign love without any regard to anything good seen or foreseen in him.
2. Notice that God, in contrast, rejected Esau without any regard to any evil seen or foreseen in him.
3. Jacob, in his fallen, unregenerate state was no better than Esau and Esau, in his fallen and unregenerate state was no worse than Jacob; therefore, the election of Jacob and the rejection of Esau could not be attributed to anything seen or foreseen in either of them.
4. It is further declared that the election and rejection was done in such a manner that it would rest upon the ability of God to call his chosen to himself, not on their willingness and ability to come to him. v-11
B. It is very evident that the Corinthians were not chosen with regard to any good seen in them. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
C. It is evident that the Ephesians were not chosen because of any good seen in them. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
D. It is evident that the Thessalonians were not chosen because of any good seen in them. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-9 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
E. It is equally obvious that Israel was not chosen because of any thing special seen in them. Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
1. When you see their unwillingness to leave the land until God hardened the heart of Pharaoh causing him to make things more and more rigorous for them, you wonder how any could suppose his election was based on their willingness and motivation to leave rather than God's sovereign election. Exodus 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
2. When you remember they were nothing but slaves in the land of Egypt, while Egypt was a far superior nation, you see there was no national glory that prompted God to choose them.
3. When you see how they acted only three days after they were delivered from bondage and death on the first born you must be convinced that God did not choose them because they, of themselves, their own free will and inclination, would be such a godly people.
IV. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION LET US REMEMBER THAT OUR ELECTION OF GOD IS NOT ON FORESEEN FAITH
A. God and Christ chose us; we did not make the first move or the first choice. John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
B. God and Christ first loved us; we did not initiate this loving relationship and God react to that by loving us in return. 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
C. Faith is the gift of God; not something that is found in the heart of all men. Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
1. Since faith is a gift of God; and all men do not have faith; we must admit that God obviously does not give faith to some men. 2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
2. Since ordination to eternal life precedes faith, we can say that ordination to eternal life is the cause, not the result of faith. Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
V. GOD'S ELECTION IS FROM ALL ETERNITY
A. Not only did it take place before the elect were born, it took place before the world was created.
B. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
C. We were from the beginning chosen to salvation. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
D. Our salvation and calling thereto was given us in the eternal purpose and grace of God before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:8-9 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
VI. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION WE CAN BE ASSURED THAT WE WERE AMONG THE OBJECTS OF THE COVENANT OF GRACE ENTERED INTO BY THE THREE PERSONS OF THE HOLY TRINITY BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD AND THAT WE WERE AMONG THOSE GIVEN TO CHRIST TO SAVE AND BRING TO GLORY
A. As I said before, all our names were written in the Lamb's book of life under his name which is at the head of the book. Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
1. According to A. W. Pink, the Greek word KEPHALE is used in the New Testament 76 times and every other time except here it is translated head.
2. Literally translated Heb. 10:7 would read, ". . . at the head of the book it is written of me."
B. When these were given to Christ the Father assured him that all those given to him would most certainly come to him. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
C. The Father would himself take responsibility for calling them and bringing them to Christ. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:63-65 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
D. Christ assumed the task of securing eternal life through his death for those given to him. John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
E. It was for these particular persons, and not for the world in general, or mankind in mass, that he prayed his great high priestly prayer. John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
F. It was the particular persons given to him by the Father that Christ desired and willed to be with him in glory. John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
G. It is these particular persons who were given to Christ and whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world, who will be permitted into heaven and none others. Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
VII. BEING A GENERATION CHOSEN OUT OF FALLEN MANKIND OUR ELECTION IS FOR GOD'S OWN GLORY
A. It reveals the glory of his own sovereignty. Romans 9:11-21 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
B. It reveals the glory of his mighty power. Romans 9:21-22 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
C. It reveals the glory of his wrath. Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
D. It reveals the glory of his mercy. Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
E. It reveals the glory of his grace. Ephesians 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
VIII. THIS ELECTION IS SOMETHING WHICH THE ELECT CAN ASCERTAIN CONCERNING THEMSELVES. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
A. It is certain that you have been chosen if you have truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
B. Ascertaining our election is something that calls for diligence. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
IX. BEING A CHOSEN GENERATION SIGNIFIES ONE OF AT LEAST FOUR THINGS
A. In Scripture a generation may signify one of at least four different things.
B. Generation may signify a family or race. Greek: GENOS translated kindred in Acts 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. Acts 7:13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. It is translated stock in Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
C. Generation may signify offspring, those descending from a person. Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
D. Generation may also signify a kind, a sort, a class. Mark 9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
E. It may signify all the people born in a particular period of time, or all the people living on the face of the earth at a particular time. Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows.
F. Generation may signify a nation or race. Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, . The Greek word translated country is GENOS signifying parentage, rather than geographical place of birth. Countrymen in Acts 11:26 is GENOS signifying people descended from the same common parentage. Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. See also Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
1. It is used in this manner in our text.
2. The elect are a certain race of people, whose generation and birth agree, not as to time, but as to descent and pedigree, or as to those persons from whom they originally proceeded (From Jonathan Edwards definition).
3. The righteous are sometimes referred to as a generation. Psalm 14:5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Psalm 24:6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Psalm 73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
4. The elect are a distinct seed, descended from God as to spiritual birth. Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
a. We are called his seed. Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
b. We are called his people. Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
c. We are called his children. John 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Hebrews 2:13-14 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
d. We are called the brethren of Christ. Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
e. We are called fellow citizens with the saints. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
f. All the saved together are called the whole family in heaven and earth and the household of God. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephesians 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
g. We are the sons and daughters of God. 2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
h. We are the Sons of God. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
i. We are called sons of God because of his love which he bestowed upon us; his sovereign, eternal, electing love. 1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
G. That the elect are especially to be considered as a chosen generation is evident from the times we are referred to as the elect, chosen, etc. in the Scriptures in comparison with the number of times we are called Christians, believers, etc.
1. We are called believers 2 times in the New Testament. Acts 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2. We are called or referred to Christians 3 times in the New Testament. Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
3. We are called the elect or the election 16 times in the New Testament.
a. Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
b. Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.
c. 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
d. 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
e. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
f. These are just five examples. Arminianism has so affected the thinking of Godís people that we use the word Christian or believer much more often than we do elect to designate the people of God.
CONC: Let us glorify and praise God for his election of us and all the others whom he has chosen. Were it not for his sovereign election, we would have all perished. If God had left our salvation up to our own alleged free will we would still be in darkness, without God, without Christ, without hope. We are strangers and pilgrims in a world that hates the true people of God. And, it is no wonder, for they hate the God who chose us and the Christ who redeemed us; why should we expect anything else. Let us just thank God that from the beginning he has chosen us to salvation that we should be to the praise of the glory of his grace.
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