Jesus Christ: Chosen
When you or I walk through a car lot or house or apartment and purchase a car or home we have no difficulty understanding that we own that car or home, and that it is ours. In fact, the more we pay for that car, home or item the more certain we are that it has become ours. Few dispute this reality.
However when it is we who are purchased and therefore owned by another, this reality is not as easy for us to fathom. Marriage comes the closest perhaps. Some who say "I do" understand the profound reality of no longer being entirely his or her own, having transferred "title" to our heart, body and future to the man or woman standing across from us.
Recently I found myself reflecting again on the foundational reality that Christ purchased us on the cross and we are His. "None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. (Romans 14:7-8)" The reality that Jesus bought us - gave Himself for us so that we now belong to Him - is difficult for some, but wonderfully true! This reality has profound implications. Here are a few:
1. Christ's choice came first: To start, we become Christ's not by first choosing to follow Jesus but by acknowledging that He chose and bought us. Our choice becomes either to rejoice that we belong to Him or to reject His ownership of us. We may say, "You've redeemed me (the Biblical term "redeemed" means simply "paid in full") and you have the receipt (the blood stains on the cross) but I refuse your legitimate claim on me." Or we may say, "Thank you, Lord!" There is no middle ground.
2. Eternally secure in His love: Because He has already redeemed me, there is no longer any doubt that He loves me and has made me His own. Some struggle with fear that they are not chosen, or not loved by God - He has already answered those fears on the cross - He has died to redeem all of us, the One freely giving his life for us all.
3. God is for and not against us: When we accept the reality that we are His, we are settled, secure and at peace. Striving to prove ourselves, impress (ourselves or) others, earn acceptance, demand recognition or rights mercifully is over. Our status is secure. We are loved and Christ's. When difficult days come we fight only Satan, not God. Satan may seek to "kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10)" but God is for those who are His and not against us (Romans 8).
4. We come to desire the will of the Beloved: Christ's purchase of us on the cross means also that the Christian life is one of God's grace and our obedience. By obedience I don't mean legalism (external compliance by which we earn acceptance) or licentiousness (by which we do as we wish) but love responding to love. Christ so loved us He gave Himself for us on the cross. "We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19)," and love is expressed in desiring the will of the beloved. (John 14:15-27)You are chosen, bought and Christ's forever!