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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Chosen of God


Are the Chosen of God the Jews only?



καὶ εἰ μὴ κύριος ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας
Mark 13:20



The words in yellow in the Greek text above are elect and to chose respectively. Here’s the verse in English:
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
The word translated elect here is the plural form of the adjective eklektos [ἐκλεκτός],1 which comes from the verb eklegomai [ἐκλέγομαι]; which just happens to be the word translated chosen in the same verse. The verb eklegomai means “to choose or prefer something or someone out of a group of similar things”; the noun eklektos means “the thing chosen or preferred”.

From this, we can conclude that, in the NT:
1. Wherever the nouns or adjectives elect and chosen are translations of some form of the Greek word eklektos, they are referring to the same thing(s).
2. Wherever the verbs to elect and to choose are translations of forms of eklegomai, they are referring to the same activity.
Now let’s look at I Peter 2:9-10:
9But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an 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: 10Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
In verse 9, Peter is referencing Deuteronomy 7:6 and 14:2, the verses wherein the Jews are called “God’s Chosen”:
For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.
However, in verse 10, Peter is referencing Hosea 2:23:
And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.
The “people who were not God’s people” in Hosea are the children of God who were cut off because of the harlotry—the worship of other gods—of their parents (represented by Hosea’s children by the harlot Gomer). Their obtaining mercy is their being brought back into the family of God. That Peter says the believers he is writing to are these people prophesied about in Hosea means that it is faith in Joshua the Messiah that marks the people God has chosen to receive His mercy.

Or, in other words, the Chosen of God are Christians.

Now, in Romans 9, the Apostle Paul speaks about the two types of people in the world: The Vessels of Wrath and the Vessels of Mercy. In verse 9:23-24, he tells us who the Vessels of Mercy are:
23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles
He then cites the same prophesy in Hosea as Peter:
25As he saith also in Osee2, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
So, the ones who are brought back to God after being cut off, the people who are not a people, the Vessels of Mercy, the Elect, the Chosen of God, are both Jewish and Gentile Christians!












Footnotes:


1. From which English gets the adjective “eclectic”, meaning something composed of elements chosen out of a wide range of sources.

2. Hosea: “Osee” is the transliteration of the Greek Ὡσηέ (Hōsēe), itself a transliteration of the Hebrew הוֹשֵׁעַ (Howshea`), meaning “salvation”.




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