Biola Broadcaster - 1963-09

T hree groups of people are brought into sharp focus through the study of Biblical prophecy: the Gentiles, Is­ rael and the Church. The latter group is described in I Peter 1:2, “Elect ac­ cording to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprin­ kling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multi­ plied.” The word “elect” applied to Israel because God chose them. It was not because of any virtue of their own, but rather because of His great love for them. What was true of Israel is also true of us as the Church. This is the term used to define all those who have been bom again through Christ Jesus as personal Saviour from all sin. We have been elected by God and are redeemed. One who is elect has been called out; selected for a specific service. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). God has elected this special people that we might be a wit­ ness for Him. As the Lord looked down through the years He saw nothing but rebellion from the time of Adam to the time of the atom. The natural man is always against God, he is not sub­ ject to -the law of God neither indeed can be. So God, in His marvelous grace, found a way whereby he could bring men to Himself. This is the knowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit plays an important part in those who are members of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is pressed to the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit and by faith he is new bom in Christ. “So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” God could not elect a people, especially a sinful people, without a purposeful cause or reason. The Bible tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” All men are sinners and are constantly

falling short of the glory of God. As sinners all men have to collect the wages of sin. In order for God to bring people to Himself, these wages have to be paid in full. The Lord is not only gracious, He is also just. In His own mercy and provi­ dence He ordained that in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the wages of sin should be collected. This is why the Saviour came to die on the cross of Calvary. But what is the purpose of this special people, the Church? Just as Israel was to be holy, so we, too, are to be holy. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy: for I am holy. And if ye call on the Fa­ ther, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (I Peter 1:15-17). So, in the midst of an unholy people, we are to walk as the sons of God among the sons of men. Paul declares that as believers we are to be holy and immaculate; absolutely without spot before the Lord. Peter has pointed out for the church that we are merely “sojourning” here. This world is not our home for our citizen­ ship is in heaven. The fear mentioned here, with which we are to travel in this world, is not a sense of terror, but, realizing the gravity of our' position and solemnity of the work, we are to do nothing to bring reproach on the name of the Lord. We are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We are a chosen gen­ eration and a royal priesthood. As it is the function of a priest to bring the need of the people before God, so it is our high privilege to pray for the lost. We, the elect of God, have been given a message. May we be true to our witness. We do not desire to be set aside, as were the Gentiles and Israel. So let us be true to Him. Let us live for Him who died for us.

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