Vol.IV No.I Pg.3
February 1967

God Wants People!

Robert F. Turner

Jehovah called unto Moses out of the mountain, saying concerning the children of Israel, "...if ye will keep my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own possession from among all peoples.." (Ex.19:3-6) And in Deut. 7:6-f. "For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth."

And when Hosea prophesied that Gentiles would be acceptable to God, he said, "..and I will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." (Hosea.2:23; Rom. 9:25)

God wants people!! His creatures, made in His image, have sinned and turned from Him. The Father gave His Son to die on the cross because He loved us, and wants us to return to the fold. He does not want our money. He does not need anything "seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts.17:25). But He wants us because He loves us -- does not want to leave us lost in sin. (Jn.3:16). Are we grown so calloused we can not be moved by such an unselfish love?

Christ died for people. "But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom.5:8). The whole plan of salvation, as respects us, is God's plan to change people. Our hearts are changed by faith, (Acts 15:9) as we come to put our trust in Him alone. In repentance we turn from our sins (Matt. 21:28-f) to do the Master's bidding. In baptism, the guilt of the old life is removed, and we rise to walk in a new life (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:1-4). We become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-17) and no longer walk the ways of the flesh. It is of such people that Peter writes: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

God wants a people, to dwell in them. Christ says, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (Jn.14:23). In Heb. 8:10 the Lord says, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."

God wants a people, by whom He may be glorified (Rom.15:6-7). God wants a people to save eternally. "He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev.21:3). We will never grasp the true significance of the scheme of redemption until we make it a very personal matter; until, in the words of the old spiritual, "it's me, it's me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer!"

God doesn't want a fine church building! Usually that is something we want. God doesn't want great numbers, for numbers sake. God wants a people -- who are truly his own.