Why did God choose me part 1
Evan and I have started reading a book together called Ordering Your Private World written by Gordan Macdonald. It’s a book that is really about getting your personal life, your inner world, organized in order that you may be able to live in greatest peace and enjoyment with God.
The book begins with a man who is hurting inside. He cries,
“I’m so disorganized! I can’t get my act together! My inner life is a mess. My private life is a failure.”
It is here Christians. In the place where we feel like failures on the inside, that we might begin to wonder, Why did God Choose me?
Over and over again, I have asked this very question. At times when I have watched men who seemed much more godly than myself fall away from the Lord, and at times when I have seen friends who are much better morally than me, never come to believe. I ask why me, God?
It is my hope that today we can begin to find an answer to this age old question. Why did God choose us?
Lets read in 1 Peter 1:1-2
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
In this passage we can see right away that it may not be Peter’s intention to teach us about theology or anything else for the matter. This is a letter and Peter is simply stating who he is, who he is writing to, and a little bit about why he is writing to them, but the truth is that there are so many wonderful things that we can learn from this brief greeting, and probably all the greetings found in the epistles.
I also want you to know as we deal with these teachings, we will begin with the theological words because it is where the passage begins, but I hope to explain these truths in a way that we all can understand.
1. Chosen according to God’s foreknowledge
As we dive into these teachings. First, we see that God chose his people according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
In that brief little statement we get a great deal of theology , but basically what it means is God picked all of us who are Christians to be his people based upon something that he knew before he made the decision.
At this point if you have grown up in a Presbyterian church you might be saying, hold on Matt, what are you trying to say?
Are you really saying that God chose us based upon his foreknowledge of what we were going to choose?
The answer is no, this is not at all what is meant here by foreknowledge. What we find here is something is so much more beautiful and special.
God chose you and me not because he knew what choice we would make, but because from before the creation of the world God knew all his people, and even before we choose him in this world, he knew us.
We just don’t know it or understand it, until we finally give our lives over to Him.
A story is told of,
An old woman, hearing of some preachers who dwelt on the doctrine of predestination, said: “Ah, I have long settled that point, for if God had not chosen me before I was born. I am sure He would have seen nothing in me to have chosen me afterward.”
When I look at my own life I can certainly identify with this old woman, because I am completely and utterly a sinner. If God had not chosen his people before the creation of the world, I do not believe that I would have chosen Him, nor do I see anything within myself that makes me deserving of being chosen by Him.
But the truth is the old lady missed something very true and special.
She missed the fact that even when God chose her before the creation of the world, He knew her more deeply and intimately than she could ever have known herself.
In fact God knew us all, all of his people, before the creation of the world.
He knew us inside and out.
He knew my messes and your messes.
The book of Romans says, that he chose us and died for us even while we were still sinners.
He knew my passions and your passions, everything about us, and I believe that God chose us, not because we are good, or because we are more holy than another person, or because we deserve it at all, but because He wanted you and me to glorify Him.
He wanted you and me exactly who we are to be his children, his people, his chosen ones.
RC Sproul points out that In the Bible knowledge is often used in a sense of personal intimacy, as when Adam “knew” Eve and she conceived a son (Genesis 4:1). He says that God’s foreknowledge is then linked to His foreloving.
In other words because he loved us before the creation of the world, that is why he chose us.
He says then that “foreknowledge” must have the sense of intimacy and personal calling, and can refer only to God’s elect.
In other words God chose you, because he knew you intimately and loved you even before the creation of the world.
No matter how messed up you have gotten your world, no matter how many times you have screwed up, fallen away, given up, or anything else.
No matter how bad you think you are, God did choose you for a reason. He chose me for a reason, and even though I don’t understand it. He chose me because, he loved me and he still loves me today.
2. Chosen through the Sanctifying work of the Spirit
Secondly, we see that God chose us through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
In other words through the power of the Holy Spirit, God makes us into people who will glorify him.
Basically, Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire.
Most people say that this process begins when one gives their life over to Christ, and continues until we are with the Lord. However, I simply cannot buy that.
You are free to disagree with me on this point if you wish, and if you would like to talk about this or anything else I would be happy to talk with you.
However, I believe this sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, actually begins the very day we are born. As the Father has chosen us before the creation of the world, as soon as we are born the Holy Spirit begins to mold us and make us into the people he wants us to be, and somewhere along the line we give our lives over to God, but the truth is we were God’s all along.
I think one of the best stories to illustrate this truth is that of Michelangelo’s sculpting of David. When he was asked how he was able to create such a magnificent sculpture out of a block of marble, Michelangelo responded, the sculpture was already in the marble, I just had to chip away what did not belong.
This is the case I believe with our sanctification, God created us from the very beginning for the purpose of glorifying him, and he gave us all that was necessary to do this, then from the time we enter the world the Holy Spirit is chipping away and refining all that which is in us that does not glorify God. This process continues until we meet God face to face. Sanctification is simply, God’s molding and making us from birth to eternal life.
3. Chosen for Obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood
Finally, we see that the primary reason God chose us is for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.
It is here we probably say, man- I was just starting to feel a bit good about being chosen by God, and now you have to point out my failure again.
However, John Macarthur points out
Inevitably, He will be glorified by everyone. Ultimately all men give God glory, willingly or unwillingly, in life or in death. The glory God gets from the righteous is what especially pleases Him. They give Him glory willingly. In fact, giving Him glory is the special calling of God’s people. In Isaiah 43:21, God says, “The people whom I formed for Myself, will declare My praise.”
In other words, God’s going to get his glory no matter what, but he enjoys it most when we his people give him the glory he deserves.
The truth is though we all fail at carrying out what God primarily called us to, which is to be obedient to Christ by glorifying God, but this passage says that he chose us for obedience and for sprinkling with his blood. The obedience that it is talking about here is having faith in Jesus Christ, and then we find here that Christ’s blood takes care of the rest.
Ultimately God chose us in order to glorify him by truly believing that Jesus paid for our sins.
What does this mean for us today?
Jerry Bridges says that we must live each day remembering God’s grace. He died for our sins, so we are not allowed to keep on feeling guilty about them. We must give everything over to God once and for all, remembering God paid for our sins once and for all. God forgave us, but often we cannot forgive ourselves.
What I want you to do today and everyday this week is to write down your sins ask God to forgive you, and then throw that sheet of paper away.
Remember believing this will give God great glory, this is why Jesus died.
In this Peter says, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”