"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruitófruit that will last.
Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
HE FOUNDATION OF FAITH in Christ is an invitation by which Christ previously
called us. When we come to him and believe, we think to ourselves that we have
chosen Christ. But the established theological truth is that our names were known from
before time, and when the time of the covenant and grace comes Christ reveals his
invitation, which is also Godís invitation, ĎYou did not (initially) choose me, but I chose
you Öto go Ö and bear fruit that will last.í
It is in Christ that God chooses us, and without Christ no one at all would be
chosen. We also know that, in advance, God prepared good works for us the chosen
ones to do.1 This does not mean we ourselves have no work or choice. On the contrary,
we are required to receive and be content and happy with the will of God by which our
choosing took place before time and the creation of the world.2
The one who does not give God his heart, life, will and conscience, gratefully
worshiping in obedience to Godís choice, loses this choosing and falls into disobedience
to God. He joins the side of the enemies of God, which faces terrifying condemnation
and eternal punishment.3
Even if we accept Godís choosing of us and enter into faith in God and Christ, but
then do not bear the fruit of the chosen that pleases God, He deals with us as if we have
rejected the choice. The thing that shows we are chosen and that our choosing is
acceptable to God is when we answer the divine choice from the heart with a choice of
our will. We express it in love, which is the first and greatest and most precious of the
works of the choice. The richest of the works and will of man that bring joy to Godís
heart is love for God in spirit and truth, without falsehood or hypocrisy. In itself, love
for God with a sincere heart and a soul submitted and obedient, is the greatest sacrifice
and which extends from the greatness of the love of the Son for God. The value of the
love of the Son for God was shown by Christ on his cross, in sonly obedience to the
point of death.4 Its price was the exaltation of glory, the triumphant resurrection over the
world and the Sonís entrance into his glory and kingdom.
We remember the cross as the greatest sign of love to the Father so that we draw
from it our love. Our love for God the Father is in the crucifixion of self to the
temptations of the world, for the chosen are those crucified to the world and who have
crucified the world to them.
They have crucified their fleshly desires and lusts and have rejected the urging of the
flesh toward cheap pleasure and destructive comfort. They have preferred life with
Christ more than all the treasures of the world which are passing away. The one chosen
by God and Christ is able to recognize that everything in the world is passing away and
fleeting along with the rejected prince of this world and the enemy of God. On the
contrary, the fruit of those chosen in the Spirit and love does not spoil; rather, it obtains
the fullness of the new heavens and the new earth. Those chosen, whose fruit is
established and eternal and whose hearts are filled with the love of God, are
distinguished by the fact that God answers their requests. This is because Godís glory is
contained within their requests, as well as a testimony to his tender fatherhood.5 The
divine mark of the chosen is their love for one another, for love in itself is a gift from
God which he pours into the hearts of his chosen ones. It bears fruit and multiplies and
fills the world, so that the children of God will all live in the love of God.
July 25, 2005
4 See Phil. 2:8.
5 See John 14:13.
1 See Ephesians 2:10.
2 See Ephesians 1:4.
3 See Heb 10:29-31.
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