June 16, 2022
You did not choose Me, but I chose you . . . . (John 15:16).
Grace literally means ‘to rejoice’; ‘that which causes joy’, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance. Commonly it is defined as unmerited, unearned, or undeserved favor; a kind favor done without expectation. It is the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men, finding its only motive in the abundant benevolence of God. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. That’s grace, God’s grace.
In the framework of Armenian theology is idea that an individual chooses whether or not to be saved, when to be saved, the conditions under which he is to be saved, etc., thus eliminating the sovereignty of God and His will to determine the course of creation - including human beings. The fact that Jesus chose the 12 out of all the disciples to follow Him (and in fact all who would follow Him through the end of the age) removes any notion we have in thinking we have made the decision to follow Jesus. This sovereign act of God in choosing whom He will to do His good pleasure is replete throughout Scripture. He chose Abraham to be the father of the Hebrew people. He chose David to be the true King of Israel. He chose Mary to bear the Christ child. He chose Saul of Tarsus to be His witness to the Gentiles as Paul the Apostle, etc. Christians are saved by God’s grace through faith, neither of which comes from us. Both are gifts from God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
(John 15:19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
(Ephesians 1:3-6) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 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, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) 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.
God’s grace enables us to come before Him as poor sinners in order that He, through His Son Jesus Christ, might save us. Even our coming before Him is a matter of His grace. (John 6:44) No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. Matchless grace of God, indeed! Amen.