Election Is More About Mission Than Heaven and Hell
From all eternity, God’s dream has been to colonize earth with image-bearers that bring His Kingdom to earth (Ephesians 3:7-13).
ADAM IS CHOSEN/ELECTED
The dream began with Adam and his bride Eve. They were commissioned for mission to “go” and be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28). Adam and Eve rebelled against the loving initiatives and mission of God, and the great enemy – sin, death, and evil – invaded the earth (Romans 5:18-19).
ABRAHAM IS CHOSEN/ELECTED
God loves to love people, so this does not stop God’s epic dream. He calls unto Himself a worshiper of false gods named Abram. He makes a covenant with Abram (Genesis 12:1-3) and changes his name to Abraham. God says, “Through you, all ethnic groups of people will be blessed.” The blessing is that through Abraham and his family, the nations will know the one true God.
Through Abraham, God chooses (or elects) the entire nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6). This does not exclude people who are not in the nation of Israel. In fact, Israel existed so the nations (various ethnic groups) could know YHWH (God), the one true God. Election is the vehicle to carry the mission of God to the world. Israel existed to be a missionary community (Exodus 19:5-6).
Like Adam before them, Israel rebels against God’s loving initiatives and mission for their life. They were to be a light to the nations; instead, they excluded the nations from God through their rebellion.
Does this stop God’s dream? No! His dream is an unstoppable force.
JESUS IS CHOSEN/ELECTED
God then elects (or chooses) Jesus. Luke 9:35 (ESV) says, “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen (Elect) One; listen to Him!’” Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God (John 1:29), so He wasn’t a sinner who needed God to choose or elect Him from a life of sin.
Just as Israel was chosen/elected, which meant they were a vehicle to carry the mission of God to the world, Jesus now fulfills what Israel didn’t accomplish. Because Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, Jesus embodied in His life Israel’s identity and mission. Where Adam and Israel fail to fulfill God’s mission, Jesus succeeds.
THE CHURCH IS CHOSEN/ELECTED
And now, the Church shares in, and participates in, Jesus’ choseness/election (Ephesians 1:4), and is now the vehicle to carry the mission of God to all ethnic groups throughout the world (Matthew 28:18-20).
Here’s just a little taste of what I mean:
Israel is called God’s son (Hosea 11:1). Jesus is called God’s Son (John 3:16). The Church is now made up of sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:1).
Israel was to be a light to the world (Isaiah 51:4). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). The Church is to let its light shine to the world (Ephesians 5:8).
Israel existed to know God and make Him known (Deuteronomy 4:35; Exodus 19:5-6; Psalms 67). Jesus knew God and made Him known through His life, since God dwelt in Him bodily. (John 1:14; 14:9; Colossians 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:3). The Church exists to know God and make Him known (Ephesians 1:6; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
HOW DO WE BECOME GOD’S CHOSEN/ELECT?
Faith in Jesus allows us to be incorporated into Jesus, thus His identity and mission become ours. By sheer, heart-pounding grace, we enter the family of God. And the family of God is made up of the chosen (or elect), who now have the privilege and responsibility to be God’s missionaries.
Just as it was from the beginning, the chosen (or elect) is God’s missionary movement to the nations (ethnic groups). And of course God knows from all eternity who the chosen/elect will be “in Christ” in accordance with His sovereign foreknowledge.
Does God choose us? Yes! Do we choose God? Yes!
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