The Chosen One
The idea of the elect/chosen finds its origin in the Old Testament. Scripture states that, primarily, God’s Chosen One is His Son, Jesus Christ. Thus at Jesus’ baptism God declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Back in the Old Testament God had already announced concerning Jesus, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles” (Isa. 42:1). Thus
The election of Jesus was part of the divine plan even in eternity, before the worlds were created. Foreknowing both the obedience of the Redeemer and the disobedience of his enemies, God predetermined the accomplishment of redemption through Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 2:23; 1 Pet. 1:20). Jesus was predestined or foreordained to die for the sins of the world (Acts 4:28).
During the crucifixion, Luke records, “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35). Even though the rulers derided the claims of Jesus, they did not deny the concept of the coming of the Chosen One. By this denial, they acknowledged that the Messiah would be God’s chosen one as well.
Thus, first and foremost, “Jesus Christ the Son of God is the Chosen One, the Elected Man, and the Electing Lord, and according to Peter, ‘He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake’ (1 Pet. 1:20).” God’s choice and medium of reconciling the world to himself was Christ. Thus Paul could write, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Election of Israel and the Church
While God chose Christ primarily, He also chose Israel and the Church to play parts in the plan of redemption. Concerning Israel the prophet wrote, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away” (Isa. 41:8-9). Similarly, Peter described the Church as “a chosen generation” (1 Peter 2:9).
Years earlier, Moses had indicated that God’s choice of Israel flowed from His gracious loving-kindness rather than any goodness inherent in Israel:
The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:7-8)
In the context of the choosing of Israel and the Church, “It must be noted that at times certain individuals connected with Israel were chosen for special roles in order to facilitate the purpose of the nation as a whole.” This underscores the fact that “divine election in its basic Old Testament form is collective, corporate, national. It encompasses a community of which the individual Israelite is an integral part.”
At the heart of calling and choice is mission.
“Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are My witnesses.” (Isaiah 43:10-12)
As with Old Testament Israel, God chose the Church for service. The Church is God’s vehicle for the proclamation of the good news of redemption in Christ. From the Spirit of Prophecy we are reminded, “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 9).
The Chosen One was God’s choice to reconcile the world unto Himself. Thus Christ was chosen for a mission, and this mission consumed His life till He expired on the cross. Israel was chosen to prepare the world for the coming of the Chosen One, and likewise, the Church was birthed and chosen to proclaim the good news of redemption in the Chosen One, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Reward of the Chosen
God has chosen us in Christ to proclaim the message of His love and soon coming to the world. If we remain faithful, the reward is enormous:
The church is God’s agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to Him, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine grace. If she will be true to her allegiance, if she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her.” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 600)
We are chosen in him; we shall be saved in him if we are faithful to him and his mission.
Read the rest of the GYC Theme Series:
- Introduction: Searching for a Model of Salvation
- Part 1: The Call of God
- Part 2: Chosen for Mission
- Part 3: Faithful Among the Faithless
 All Scripture quotations are from the KJV. Italics supplied.
 Jack W. Cottrell, “Conditional Election,” in Grace Unlimited, edited by Clark H. Pinnock (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, Inc, 1975), p. 52.
 John W. Eddins, Jr., “The Mystery of Election,” Faith and Mission 11:1 (Fall 1993), p. 27.
 Cottrell, p. 53.
 James Daane, The Freedom of God: A Study of Election and Pulpit (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1973), p. 104.
 Cottrell, p. 54.