Vol.XIX No.I Pg.4
March 1982

God's Chosen People

Robert F. Turner

When Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden there were no "chosen people" save in the mind of God. For 2,500 years (Usher's inadequate chronology) God showed no special favor to any one nation. But God planned to bring His Son to earth to be born of woman, to die for man's redemption. Jesus must be of some family, some race; and God did not so honor an existing nation, but chose to build a special people, prepared both physically and spiritually, through which His Son would come to fulfill His purpose.

Abraham, a Chaldean, was chosen as father of this special people because of his faithfulness. He was called from his homeland, and he and his descendents lived a nomadic life, having little contact with other nations and forbidden to intermarry with them. Abraham's grandson, Jacob, was given the name "Israel" and his descendents were known as Israelites. Following Joseph into Egypt, they were made bondservants there, and welded together in hardship. Generations later God allowed Moses to lead them to freedom and gave them special spiritual and national laws — basis for a theocracy which God had planned. Joshua led the people into the "promised land" where they were first ruled by Judges, then as a full-fledged united kingdom under kings Saul, David and Solomon.

God's "land covenant" with these people was conditional (Josh. 23:14-f) and because they were unfaithful they were scattered (Jer. 18:5 — 19:10). Had it not been for God's promise to save a "remnant" they would have been utterly destroyed (Isa. 1:2-9; 10:20-21). But God had planned to send His Son as a descendent of David, son of Jesse (Isa. 11:1-16) and the "sure mercies of David" i.e., salvation from sin, would be available to Jew and Gentile through Him (Isa. 49:5-6; Acts 13:22-23, 32-39). (Note that Gentiles could have redemption at the same time, and by the same Savior as the "remnant" — Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-41). Now read carefully, Gal. 3:16-29, for a summary of the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. The literal Jews were "chosen" to bring Christ to the world, but all followers of His are "Abraham's seed" (figuratively) "and heirs according to the promise."

Genealogies of the literal children of Abraham are long lost. Jews, as a race, are no more "chosen" today than any other people. They forfeited that place through lack of faith; but by coming to Christ they have the same hope for heaven as any others. Paul wrote, "lie is not a Jew which is one outwardly ... but he is a Jew which is one inwardly ... whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Rom. 2:28-29). Christians (Jews and Gentiles) are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people" (1 Pet. 2:9). They are a spiritual "nation" over which Christ rules as King (Acts 2:29-36). This is the "kingdom" that was "at hand" during Christ's personal ministry (Matt: 16: 18-19, 28; Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8). In the first century the Colossians had been translated into that kingdom (1:12-13) and the Philippians were told their citizenship was in heaven (3:20).

God's "chosen" (elect) are all who come to Christ for salvation (Eph. 1:).