Summary: God is eternal, He knows the end from the beginning and everything in-between, He knew you from the start of time as we understand time, and He loved you and chose you to be His.
As you know our preaching theme is Discovering your Destiny, and this morning we are going to consider how we have been chosen, changed and cleansed by God.
To focus our thoughts I want us to start with a single verse from a letter written by the Apostle Peter to the followers of Christ who were living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. For those of us who are not great on Biblical Geography, it’s roughly the area we know today as Turkey.
Peter was writing to Christians who had been scattered far from home, some because of persecution, some because of circumstance. Peter was writing to encourage people who were lonely, afraid and discouraged. These words that Peter wrote so long ago are an encouragement to us today. Listen to these words from 1 Peter 1 verse 2: "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace."
There are three things I want to draw to your attention this morning:
1. God the Father CHOSE you.
2. God the Holy Spirit CHANGES you.
3. God the Son CLEANSES you.
1. God the Father CHOSE you.
Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
That is an amazing verse. We have been chosen, you have been chosen, I have been chosen. Chosen because of God’s love for us.
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God has chosen us. We are special to Him, we belong to His family, we are children of the living God.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago - the greek word used here is eklektos (ek-lek-tos’) , which means set apart, chosen before, elect, selected.
God is eternal, He knows the end from the beginning and everything in-between, He knew you from the start of time as we understand time, and He loved you and chose you to be His.
God chose those whom He knew would believe and trust in Him. God has given us freewill, yet He knew who would willingly repent and turn to Him.
In all things, especially in salvation, God is sovereign.
He knew who would believe,
He knew who would know their need of a Saviour,
He knew who would have faith in the Messiah that He would send,
He knew who would turn to Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour,
God the Father knew everything and everyone even before He spoke the universe into existence.
You and I, and all who have faith in the one true God are loved and chosen to be the people of God. 2 Timothy 2:19 reminds us, “God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”
If you are a Christian this morning, if you have repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour then you have been loved and chosen by God.
We are saved by God’s love and mercy, we are set free from the penalty for our sin and assured of a place in Heaven, all because of God’s love for us.
He deserves all the glory for His wonderful plan of salvation.
Choosing to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour changed our lives, and those who knew how we were may think that now we are a little odd...
As a Christian, do you know anyone who thinks you are strange? Different? Perhaps a little bit odd?
You see, when we chose to follow Christ, our lives became different, perhaps subtle differences for some, maybe radical changes for others.
Are you odd in the eyes of the world?
The preacher and author A.W. Tozer wrote these words: “A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen. Talks every day to Someone he cannot see. He expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order that he might be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, and goes down in order to get up. He is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and is happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, and gives away so he can keep. He sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge.”