He Gives Eternal Life
August 12, 2022
. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him (John 17:2).
I was taught that I made the decision to be saved. The Gospel was preached and taught to me. I knew the Father loved me, that Jesus died on the cross to save me, and that it was Their desire for me to be saved - but it was my decision. In every church service I attended an invitation was given. I could say ‘yes’ and be saved, or I could say ‘no’ and not be saved. I made the choice.
The truth is, had God not made the decision that I should be saved, there would have been no decision left for me to make. In other words, if the Father did not choose me to be saved, I would not be saved; I would have no desire to be saved. I wouldn’t even consider it. Was what I had been raised to believe wrong? No. But it was only partially right. There was a component missing to salvation - God’s sovereign authority in saving those whom He chooses to save.
God the Father has given sovereign authority to Jesus Christ over all creation. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). But John 17:2 states Jesus gives eternal life to as many as God the Father gives to Him. In other words, salvation is extended only to those who have been chosen by the Father. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out . . . This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day (John 6:37,39). I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word . . . I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours . . . Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world (John 17:6,9,24).
Furthermore, Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48) . . . just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:4-5). God, by His sovereign authority, chose (elected) those who will be saved. He extends grace and gives them faith to believe in Jesus Christ. Can a person be saved who has not been chosen by God, who has not been given grace and faith? No. Can a person who has been chosen by God, who has been given grace and faith, not be saved? No. All whom God has chosen will be given grace and faith and will exercise that faith and be saved. But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Amen.