Friday, December 07, 2018

The Vision (12.7.18): Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you

Image: Ralph's tree farm, Nelson County, Virginia, November 2018

Note: Devotional taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 15:16-27.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain (John 15:16a).

Note first here how Christ speaks to the apostles and tells them that he has chosen them and not they him. We might immediately want to seize upon Christ’s words here to apply to the election to salvation of all disciples. We might want to lay this aside 1 John 4:19: “We love him, because he first loved us,” modifying it to read, “We chose him, because he first chose us.”

We need to acknowledge, however, that Christ was speaking specifically here about his election of the apostles. They were the ones “ordained” or appointed to a special and extra-ordinary office.

To what end had Christ chosen them? That they might “go and bring forth fruit.” Compare the Great Commission Christ gave to them in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go and make disciples of all nations….”.

His aim also was that the fruit would remain. His purpose was that their labors would not be a flash in the pan, a one hit wonder. And they did it. Look at the fruit they produced! We are the evidences of it!

I think we can rightly extend and apply this teaching as well to the present disciples, beyond the apostles. This is Christ’s end or goal for us. That we would produce fruit and that this fruit should remain.

Calvin observed: “But I extend this statement much farther, as meaning that the Church shall last to the very end of the world; for the labor of the apostles yields fruit even to the present day, and our preaching is not for a single age only, but will enlarge the Church, so that the new fruit will be seen to spring up after our death.”

The fruit of the apostles was not seen till long after their deaths. Have you ever considered that the greatest fruit that might be produced for the kingdom from your godly life and ministry and that of our church might be that which happens long after we are gone?

Christ chose the apostles and he has chosen us that we might bear fruit and that this fruit should remain. Let us then be faithful to this end.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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