Tag Archives: choices

Make The Right Choice

Make The Right Choice| BaptismForLife.wordpress.comThis is the last of a 3-post series, in which we’ve explored the choices that God Himself has made.   Great choices that both He and His Son have “lived and died” by.   I’ve been “in” the church of God for 35 years, and I’m just starting to learn how to make right choices – choices that I know are right because they are based on clear scriptures that reveal the choices of God. It lifts a tremendous burden from a person to know that a choice we are faced with has been given the stamp of approval by God Himself.

The Chosen Foundation

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,  you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:4-9)

In 1 Corinthians 3:11, Paul tells us that no other foundation can be laid “than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” This is true because it was God Himself who laid this foundation.

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth (2 Thes. 2:13)

Brethren, Jesus Christ is not the only one God the Father has chosen for salvation, but as we have seen, everything about that salvation goes through Jesus Christ.

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Eph 1:4-6)

God the Father has chosen us “in Him,” and He chose Him to be the head of all things to us. Are we fully submitting to His leadership? That’s a choice we need to prayerfully make. Just look at John 17, specifically verses 2, 6, 9, 11, 12, and 24. Here, Christ says that the Father has chosen to give you and me to Him, entrusting us to His care. Do we choose to protest that, or do we choose to embrace it?

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matt. 7:21)

God’s will is revealed in the choices He makes, and He has made some very evident choices for the whole world. He has also made some very personal choices for you and for me, particularly for our good and our eternal welfare, but they can only benefit us if we choose to submit to them out of love for Him, and with trust and faith in Him.

Choose Christ

We can never forget that there is a very active “spirit of anti-Christ” and the many anti-Christs spawned by him. Almost every day I log on and check out the articles on WorldNetDaily, and almost every day there’s a story about someone defaming, abusing, and ridiculing the name of Jesus Christ. Some of it is so grossly immoral that I don’t want to mention it on my blog! Why is that brethren? What manner of spirit is behind that? What is it that is so offensive about Jesus Christ to our society today?

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:18-23)

Brethren, if we deny the chosen of God, we will lose the Father also. He made Jesus the Christ – in the Greek, Christos (G5547) means “anointed” – to be King of kings in the kingdom that we are here to recognize, and appointed Him as Lord, the kurios (G2962) who is our owner, master, and ruler.

God also made Jesus the Apostle & High Priest we are to recognize as such, the Head over all things for us, our Prince, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and the Captain of our salvation. We cannot afford to choose to reject this great Being.

Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will[a] abide in Him.

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when[b] He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:24-29)

These verses elaborate a bit more on the benefits of making a correct choice in the face of all the deception thrown at us by a society dominated by this spirit of anti-Christ.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

John carries on with this same point, stressing the importance of making choices about which “spirits” we will follow in the world we live in today. We can make a choice to reject the chosen of God, as the people did who derided Him as He hung on the cross (Luke 23:35). These people were mocking the chosen One of God the Father, His anointed, and it was not a choice that would have endeared them to God. We must not make the same mistake.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

Here, Christ tells us very plainly how we can draw near to the Father … the supreme God of the universe. Deuteronomy 30:19 said a choice had been set before us between life and death, good and evil – and God admonished us to choose life! He wants us to choose to come to Him through Jesus Christ – to recognize Jesus for who and what the Father chose to make Him, for us!   We all have the wonderful opportunity each and every day of our lives to “CHOOSE LIFE!

God’s Choices

We talked last week about some of the choices we can make in following God. Today, I’d like to focus on the fact that God the Father and Jesus Christ have also made choices, choices that they were also willing to live and die by, and They made all those choices for us.

I’ve run into quite a few people who think that I put far too much emphasis on Jesus Christ, and not near enough on God the Father … so, for their sake I’m going to concentrate mainly on the choices that the Father has made to lead us into the kingdom of God.   After all, the Father iS … THE … Supreme being in the universe, as Christ Himself said, “My Father is greater than I” in John 14:28.   So the choices that the Father makes are really the final, authoritative, and ultimate word we should rely on.   Right???

Anointed and Sent

God the Father chose to raise Jesus Christ from the dead, then He chose to exalt Him to His right hand. He chose to give Him the promise of the Holy Spirit, not in the way that it was given to us … to reveal things of the Spirit, but so that Jesus could be the One to “shed forth” the Holy Spirit to the rest of us.

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:32-36)

In verse 36, it seems that now God the Father has made a choice once again, choosing to make this Jesus Christ both Lord (kurios, G2962, meaning owner, master, ruler) and Christ (Christos, G5547, meaning the Anointed or Redeemer). In the Bible, anointing was used to consecrate people for special offices. High priests were anointed, kings were anointed, regular priests were anointed, and prophets were anointed. This begs the question, “What was Christ anointed to do?”

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Isa. 61:1)

God's Choices| BaptismForLife.wordpress.comAs “God’s Anointed,” Jesus Christ has been fulfilling this ministry since He was born of Mary . This didn’t just happen brethren. These things are the result of God the Father’s choices — there’s no other way Jesus could have been appointed King of kings and Lord (kurios) of lords.

 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32)

Here we find the apostles making and voicing a right choice before the high priest, the captain of the temple and the chief priests. They declare Jesus to be their “Prince,” which is translated from the Greek word archegos (G747). It means the chief leader or author, and also used to describe Jesus as the “Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2) and “the Captain of our salvation” (Heb. 2:10).

Agreeing With God

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. (Heb 3:1-2)

What would you give to be included in this “holy brethren” group? All human beings want to be in the “in crowd,” right? I’d give just about anything to be “in” with this crowd. So we ask, what God wants of us to reach this level, and we see instructions to contemplate and think deeply about … to consider.

So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, and though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 5:5-10)

We are to recognize and confess and profess Jesus Christ as both Apostle and High Priest on the authority of God the Father, Who appointed Him and sent Him out (which is what “apostle” means). Before any other apostle was chosen, God the Father chose His apostle (John 17:3). How many times does God have to say something in the scriptures before human beings get the point? This word apostello (G649) is used in reference to Jesus Christ no less than 24 times in the 4 gospels. He was and is the “One sent” by God the Father. This is God the Father choosing and sending His Son for a specific job, and appointing Him to fill specific roles.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11)

Look at this brethren … the Father is glorified when we “agree with Him” (that’s what “confess” means) that Jesus Christ is our kurios. He’s the one who gave Jesus “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18) and that authority remains all His to this day.

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. (John 17:1-2)

Here we see another choice of God the Father, where He puts all flesh under the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Notice that includes the power to give His followers – the people who are chosen by God – eternal life.

The choices that God has made should lead us to make right and wise choices about our own course of life. If we make choices in line with God’s will, we won’t find ourselves regretting the choices we’ve made in the end with the words, “if I had listened, I wouldn’t be here today … living and dying with the choices I’ve made.” God speaks of our latter end, and that is what He is mainly concerned with. He wants us to live forever!

Choices of God, or Choices of Man?

This seems to be “one of those days” … when the title of an old country music song makes the best title for a blog post. In this case, a song entitled, “Choices” by George Jones. One line in particular stands out for me in today’s world, “living and dying with the choices I’ve made”.

Isn’t that the way this world is? Whether on a personal level, or on a national level, our world today is what it is because of the choices we’ve made … and today, as it has been throughout history, people and nations are living and dying with the choices they’ve made.

Making Choices

We all make choices, and we all bear responsibility before our Creator for them. Not only that, but our choices don’t just affect our lives, but the lives of our children and grandchildren as well.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deut. 30:19)

Something most human beings (myself included) would want is for someone else, who is totally reliable, to make their hard choices for them. You know the ones – the agonizing life-and-death choices that seem to carry your entire future in their hands.

Well what if I told you that many of the most weighty choices of our lives – the ones that can truly bring us to the fulfillment of what God’s great plan for mankind pictures – have already been made by just such a Being?

“Thy Will,” or My Will?

On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ prayed, “let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, Thy will be done.” In other words, He said, “I will comply with Your choices for Me, Father, with no reservations. He came to do God’s will with the physical body that God had given Him, and we are supposed to follow that example.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:15-19)

This shows Peter voicing a right choice (though I don’t think he fully understood it) in compliance with the will of the Father. Now just think about what Christ tells him and how this would make you feel … would it appeal to your vanity a little? Well, just look at what happens next in the context.

Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt. 16:20-23)

How cocky is this brethren? to rebuke the one whom he himself just identified as, “the Christ, the son of the living God”? Would we do something similar, and would Christ tell us we “savor the things of men”? Do we focus on our will, our power, our glory, our self-exaltation, our ideas, and maybe our interpretation of what God says? If so, then we are not making right choices. The alternative is to “savor the things of God,” and make the life-choice to focus on God’s will, His choices, His instructions, and His inspiration.Choices of God, or Choices of Man? | BaptismForLife.wordpress.com

When I say “thy will be done,” do I really mean, “my will be done”? Do I say, “Thy will be done,” and then wait, or do I say “Thy will be done” and do everything in my power to influence the outcome, so that my will is done instead? It really is hard for a man not to savor the things that be of men, isn’t it?

Whether we like to admit it or not brethren, all churches are built partly on the things that be of God, and partly on the things that be of men. The question we have to ask ourselves as individuals is, “What am I built on as one of God’s called out ones aspiring to the kingdom of God?”