In this passage, we have three titles given as a description of those who, with Christ Jesus, battle with and gain the victory over the Harlot (the Apostate Church; that is, the Roman Catholic Church) and her political allies. In a broader context, these three titles are an accurate description of those who will gain the ultimate victory over this world and who will inherit the eternal heavenly kingdom.
These three descriptive titles - "the Called, the Chosen and the Faithful"- reflect three phases of our spiritual journey according to the plan of Jehovah God. I want us to examine those three phases in this study.
First, we need to understand that none of us could be "the Called, the Chosen and the Faithful" had not the Son of God become the original and True ’Called, Chosen and Faithful.’
Before the foundation of the world, God "called" His Son to a specific service and destiny. He "chose" His Son to be the Messiah. And, it was the Father’s will and hope that the Son would be "faithful" in His life and in the appointed office of Messiah.
1 Peter 1:20, "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world."
Isaiah 42:6-7, 1-4, "I am the Lord, I have CALLED You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will APPOINT You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations (KJV - Gentiles), to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and to those who dwell in darkness from the prison... Behold, My Servant, Whom I uphold; My CHOSEN ONE in Whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations (KJV - Gentiles). He will not cry out or raise His Voice, nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed, until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."
Isaiah 49:1, 5-6, "Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord CALLED Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me. .. And now says the Lord, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him (for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and My God is My strength), He says, ’Is it too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will make You a light of the nations (KJV - Gentiles) so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’" (See Matthew 12:18-21)
That the Son was called and chosen before His incarnation is acknowledged by Christ Jesus, Himself, in John 10:36, as He refers to Himself as He, "Whom the Father sanctified and sent into the World."
If there was any doubt as to Jesus being God’s Chosen One, the Father erased them in His declaration to the apostles, in Luke 9:35, "And a Voice came out of the cloud, saying, ’This is My Son, My CHOSEN ONE; listen to Him."
All aspects of His earthly ministry (including His death) and His subsequent glorification were according to God’s eternal purpose or plan. Thus, the resurrected Christ could say to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, as recorded in Luke 24:26, "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory."
Even though it was God’s eternal plan for the Son to be called and chosen; yet, it was up to Jesus the Son to choose whether or not He would heed the Father’s Calling and be Faithful to the purpose for which He was Chosen. Thankfully, as Paul says in Hebrews 3:2, "He was FAITHFUL to Him Who appointed Him."
What was God’s eternal plan that He was wanting to accomplish through His Chosen One? It was God’s eternal purpose that the Son, as the Christ, would be the instrument by and in which the Jews and Gentiles would be redeemed, be accepted by God as His children, be conformed to the image of His Son both in this world and in the world to come. Paul informs us, in Ephesians 1:3, "every spiritual blessing is in Christ."
1. To these blessings in Christ, we are first CALLED.
Certainly, it is not coincidental that the Greek word which we translate "Church" in the English Bible is the Greek word ekklesia, which literally means "the called out". Indeed, the Church consists of those, says 1 Peter 2:9, "CALLED... out of darkness into His (Christ’s) marvelous light." This implies that those who are in the Church were in darkness when they received the Call to come out.
Thus, in a general sense, the whole world - all of Mankind - is called by God. How does God call Mankind to become part of "the called out"?
Paul reveals it in 2 Thessalonians 2:14, "He (God) CALLED you through our Gospel." God is calling Mankind through the preaching of the Gospel.
Salvation is not meant just for some and not others. As Peter proclaimed at the close of the first Gospel Sermon, in Acts 2:39, "the promise is for you and your children, and for ALL who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall CALL to Himself." 1 Timothy 2:3-4, "God our Savior... desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Thus, Christ implores us, in Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
Sadly, As Jesus says, in Matthew 22:14, "Many are CALLED by few are CHOSEN."
God calls many; that is, the Gospel call has and will come to many. Yet, compared to the number who are called, God chooses few to actually be saved... to become members of "the called out".
2. Who are THE CHOSEN?
The answer to that question is found in Ephesians 1:4, "He (God) CHOSE us in Him before the foundation of the world." It was God’s eternal plan, before the foundation of the world, that those whom He would choose would be those "IN HIM", that is, those who are ’in Christ’. Who are the Chosen? They are those who are ’in Christ’.
God did not choose any individual, before the foundation of the world, other than His Son, the Christ. However, He chose before the foundation of the world that those who are ’in Christ’, the Chosen One, would constitute ’the chosen’. Outside of Christ, no one is chosen. Only by virtue of a union with Christ, we are ’the chosen’.
Let’s note what Paul says in the first chapter of Ephesians -
Verse 3 - "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ... hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings...IN CHRIST."
Verse 4-5 "He hath CHOSEN us IN HIM before the foundation of the world,... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children
Verse 6 - "He (God) hath made us accepted IN THE BELOVED (Christ)."
Verse 7 - "IN WHOM (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
Verse 11 - "IN WHOM (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
Verses 13-14 - "IN WHOM (Christ) also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance."
This I want to pause here and look at Verse 11 a little closer because it mentions a word that we need to understand - "predestinated". Some believe that our destiny is predetermined by God. Those who believe this are absolutely correct. Our eternal destiny was determined by God before the foundation of the world - if, we are ’in Christ’.
Just as God purposed before the foundation of the world that ’His Chosen’ would be all who are ’in Christ’, so also God determined before the foundation of the world what would be the destiny of His Chosen - that is, those ’in Christ’.
Matthew 25:34, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Let me reiterate, without being too redundant, that God did not choose us individually nor did he predestinate us individually; on the contrary, he chose us collectively and predestinated us collectively. That collection being all who are ’in Christ’.
Seeing that our becoming ’the Chosen’ is only by virtue of our becoming ’in Christ’, united with Him, in union with Him, we ask how does one become "in Christ"?
Is it not by obeying the call of the Gospel. Galatians 3:26-27, "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST have PUT ON CHRIST."
It is only when we are IN CHRIST, a member of the Body of Christ, that we are counted as belonging to the Chosen. For, Ephesians 1:9-10, 22-23, "He (God) hath purposed in Himself that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things IN CHRIST... and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church." The Chosen, as a title, is synonymous with the Church, the Body of Christ.
With Divine privileges come responsibilities. Just as the Son of God was not only called and chosen, but was expected to be faithful in order to be worthy of the promised inheritance,
3. So we who are the Called and Chosen are also expected to be THE FAITHFUL.
1 Thessalonians 2:12, "God... CALLS you into His own kingdom and glory."
2 Thessalonians 2:14, "It was for this He CALLED you... that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 5:10, "the God of all grace, Who CALLED you to His eternal glory in Christ."
These passages reveal what Paul referred to, in Ephesians 4:4, as "the one hope of your CALLING."
With this hope in mind, Paul writes to the congregation at Ephesus (4:1), "I therefore... entreat you to WALK in a manner WORTHY of the CALLING with which you have been CALLED."
To the church in Rome (1:7) and in Corinth (1:2), Paul reminds the body of believers that they were "called as saints" or "saints by calling". We know that the term "saint" means ’holy one’.
1 Peter 1:14-16, "As obedient children, do not be conformed to your former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One Who CALLED you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: ’You shall be holy, for I am holy."
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, "For God has not CALLED us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God Who gives His Holy Spirit to you."
Colossians 3:12-15, "And so, as those who have been CHOSEN OF GOD, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with each other, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were CALLED in one body; and be thankful."
And, in closing, 2 Peter 1:10-11, "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His CALLING and CHOOSING you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you."