You are Not of the World
June 23, 2022
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 (John 15:19).
The world hates the Christian because the world is under the dominate evil of Satan who is lord of the earth. As Satan hates the Father, Son, and Spirit, he also hates those who belong to them. Because Jesus has chosen us out of the world to be His own, he hates us even more than he hates those under his evil influence. It is because Jesus has chosen us out of the world that we no longer belong to the world - we no longer share in its spirit, we are no more dominated by its purposes and goals, we are no longer governed by its principles.
Earlier (John 8:23-24) Jesus said to those Jews who sought to kill Him, You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Because the Jewish elders had already rejected Jesus and were plotting His death, Jesus could reveal to them that they were already condemned in their sin by God, and were destined for hell. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. They had already rejected their Messiah and forfeited the opportunity for salvation as a nation. There would be individuals in Israel who would be saved (the 11 disciples, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Saul of Tarsus, 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost, etc.), but the nation as a whole would not see salvation.
Jesus again emphasized His elective sovereignty to the disciples when He said, I chose you out of the world. To ‘chose’ (eklegomai) is ‘to willfully select’. It is in the middle voice, meaning that we are chosen by Him, not that we chose Him. He declared this in v.16, You did not choose Me, but I chose you . . . . Jesus is not just speaking about His selecting them to be His disciples, but greater still His selecting them to enter into His Kingdom as saved men. The same is true with our salvation and the salvation of anyone who is saved. Those who are dead in trespasses and sins cannot choose to believe in Jesus and be saved. The only reason we are saved is because His Holy Spirit made our spirit alive, extended grace to us, gave us faith to believe, and drew us to Jesus Christ so that we could be saved. This is why the Gospel is effective in some and not in others. It has the same power to save anyone who believes in Jesus, but that power is not dispensed to the one who has not been chosen by God to believe. This is a hard doctrine to acknowledge and accept, but it is thoroughly biblical.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you . . . I chose you out of the world. F. W. Grant said, “The world cannot endure the thought of God’s sovereignty and electing love.” When God sent a 3 year drought upon Israel in the days of the prophet Elijah, He sent Elijah to save no one except the widow of Zarephath and her son. Although there were many lepers in Israel at that time, none were cleansed through God’s sovereign mercy except Naaman, the Syrian. A. W. Pink wrote, “Nothing so stirs up the enmity of the carnal mind as to hear of God’s absolute sovereignty: choosing some, passing by others.” Amen.