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Identifying GodŐs Elect
In these verses of Inspiration, God the Holy Spirit identifies GodŐs elect by seven distinct things. They are not identified as Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians, Catholics, Campbellites, or Mormons, Buddhists, Jews, or Mohammedans. How does God identify his people?
1. ŇGod hath received them!Ó — GodŐs elect are a people who have been received of God (vv. 1-3). We read in Ephesians 1 that we are a people eternally accepted of God in Christ. But this is something else. This word ŇreceivedÓ means Ňtaken to oneself.Ó The God of Glory has taken us to himself! God has taken us as we are as his own. You are the apple of his eye. You are one of GodŐs anointed ones. And that is how we are to treat one another.
2. ŇHe shall be holden up!Ó — GodŐs elect are a people divinely preserved in life and faith by GodŐs omnipotent grace (v. 4). Held up by God, his elect, whether weak or strong, whether a newborn babe in Christ or an aged believer, whether learned or unlearned, shall be held up by God, for God is able to make him stand (Philippians 1:6).
3. GodŐs elect are a people who do what they do for the glory of God. They live for God (vv. 5-9). Both the weak and the strong, both the newborn babe and the aged saint, as they are taught of God and enabled of God, walking in the light they have, live for God.
4. They all live in the prospect of eternity (vv. 10-13). GodŐs people have their eye on eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17 - 5:21).
5. Believers, saved sinners, GodŐs elect in this world, people who know God and live for God are people who seek to live peaceably with one another (vv. 14-17). They seek to avoid hurting or injuring each other. They try to avoid strife and conflict. ThatŐs what godly Abraham and righteous Lot did. And thatŐs what all GodŐs saints do. They try to help, not hurt. They live in righteousness, promote peace, and bring joy to GodŐs people!
6. They are acceptable to God and approved of men (vv. 18-21). Believers are people who serve God in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We are a people whose lives are acceptable to God by, in, with, and for Christ Jesus. — ŇAccepted in the Beloved!Ó And GodŐs saints are Ňapproved of men.Ó Believers approve of and accept one another in Christ. They approve of and accept one anotherŐs service to Christ.
7. All of this can be summed up in this seventh mark of identification by which Gods elect are distinguished from all other people. — GodŐs elect are people who live by faith (vv. 22-23). — ŇIt is written, The just shall live by faith!Ó We begin our pilgrimage by faith. — Looking to Christ! We walk day by day by faith, looking to God our Savior for all things. — Looking to Christ! We are ruled and motivated, governed and inspired by faith. — Looking to Christ! And we shall soon die in faith. — Looking to Christ!