Let us play a quick little game. Imagine that I have in my hand a $20 bill. I am going to offer it to everyone of you in this room. I want you to decide if you are going to choose to accept it or not. Let us assume for this little example that there are absolutely NO consequences to this decision. (And actually there ARE no consequences because even if you choose to accept this $20 bill you won’t get it). But decide now if you will choose it or not.
Have you made up your minds yet? Good.
Let us say that you decided to accept it.
Now imagine I was having a conversation with you. It would go something like this.
“Let me ask you, what did you just do?”
You would answer: “I just chose to accept it.”
I would then ask you: “Why did you do that?”
And you would give me a reason. E.g. “You had $20 and I wanted $20 dollars. So I chose it.”
Me: “Are you afraid that there are any consequences to what you just did?”
You: “No, because you told me there were none.”
Now let me ask you this: You just did something didn’t you? You agreed that you had just done something. You chose the $20. That was an action. It was something you did. It had a physical consequence…the synapses in your brain fired off, the molecules that create the electrical impulses moved, you may have had some emotional reponses, but someTHING happened. It was an action. Choosing the $20 was something you did. Wasn’t it? In fact if you hadn’t chosen the $20 bill that would also be something you did. Your action would have been to not choose it.
Choosing is therefore something we do isn’t it.
Choosing is an act. Choosing involves the will, it involves motivation, it involves consideration, choosing involves your character, your habits, your intelligence to make wise choices. Choosing is something you DO.
Let us now turn in our Bibles to 2 Tim. 1:8
2 Tim. 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9
who has saved us and called us to a holy life –not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Let’s read that again:
9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life –and why has he saved us and called us to a holy life…because we DID something wise? NO! because we were obedient? NO! Because we.were kinder, gentler? Because we chose him? NO! not because of anything we have done….but wait a minute, if choosing God is something we do..and most people would argue that we choose God… they would be contradicting the Bible, because it says that we can’t do anything… we can’t even CHOOSE him to save ourselves. not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Eph. 2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
You can’t even boast that you chose Him….
Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit
We were too foolish to recognize the right choice, we were too disobedient to make the right choice even if we could have recognized it, we were too deceived by our own sin. But God SAVED us while we where that way.
Rom. 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
We were not seeking God, we hated God, we despised Him.
Eph. 2: 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved….
You see it is critical that you understand that you didn’t choose God, it wasn’t anything in you that saved you. It wasn’t any attitude or personality or character of yours that caused you to choose him. In fact the passage we just read tells us that you hated him. You despised him, the last thing you wanted was God. No one seeks God, no one does good. No one fears God, no one understands God.
And yet He saved you. He saved you while you were in the depths of your depravity, in the depths of your hatred for Him, in the depths of your rebellion against Him. He saved you because while you hated Him. He LOVED you.
He chose you. You wouldn’t have and didn’t choose Him even though He gave you that option. Be glad He didn’t give you what you really wanted.
Thank God He chose you. Thank God He chose me.
At this point it may be worth while to sit and ponder whether you had to DO something to be saved or not.