The Ultimate Difference Between the Church and the World: Election
“To those who are elect…”
What is the governing factor that determines whether or not you are a part of a human institution?
What makes you a Republican rather than a Democrat? Calvinist or Arminian? Why are you in Medical school rather than law school?
These paths are determined by human choices and convictions. The reason one finds his or herself to be a part of the Democratic party rather than the Republican is because they have made a personal decision to do so, whether a passive or active decision.
The Church is different. It is not ultimately human choice, opinion, or conviction that makes the Church different than the world.
It is ultimately the Choice of God that makes the Church separate from the world.
We are ἐκλεκτός or Chosen.
We should feel this weight in our personal identity as followers of Jesus.
John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
The reason you have faith, obedience, and love for Jesus is not because you responded rightly to God’s Choice, whereas your neighbor responded wrongly. Rather, you are alive because of an act of Gods rich mercy (Eph 2:1-10).
The reason you have faith is because it was granted to you by Jesus, even though you rejected his call.
You were “granted” faith (Phil 1:29) the same way a blind man was “granted” sight (Luke 7:21).
This is the first bullet point in Peter’s identification of the Church.