We often have the notion that we were the ones who chose the Lord. We think that we are where we are today because of the right choice we made. However, Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15:16). This is particularly so since he also said that many are called but few are chosen. Those chosen ones were the ones who responded to his call. Earlier, Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44).
The apostle Paul appropriately described our right standing before God when he said, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph. 1:4). While we are given the freedom to make choices, we only got to this point in our relationship with the Lord because of his guidance even from the beginning. As far as our freedom to respond to what he planned for us is concerned, God said, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life” (Deut. 30:19). He did not leave us clueless about what is good for us. He had a life all prepared for us and the only thing that we need to do is respond to his choice for us – to choose life.
In his part, the apostle Peter described the beauty of our relationship with the Lord when he said, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We are not just chosen by God but are considered a peculiar people. Indeed, we are peculiar because it was God who chose us. It was him that did the work of saving us from darkness into his light. We are like the Israelites that God had chosen, not because they were the most numerous of people, but because of his love and his covenant with their forefathers. Our salvation by grace and through the sacrificial death of Jesus makes us a peculiar people.
Our calling as God’s chosen people included the need for us to bear fruit. This fruit is often mistakenly referred to as the harvest of souls as a result of works done in evangelism. While reaching out to the lost is part and parcel of our duties as believers, the fruit that the Lord wants us to bear, foremost, is the fruit of the Spirit as enumerated by the apostle Paul in his epistle to the believers in Galatia. He said, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). This fruit of the Spirit that we bear shows who we truly are. Unless we bear it, it will be hard to win others to Christ. People will surely want to see good fruit in us first, before they decide to become one of us. Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16).
To further emphasize the importance of being fruitful, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). Fruitfulness does not only assure us of answered prayers but proves that we are indeed disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. No amount of words will convince people that we are disciples of Jesus Christ unless they actually see the fruit of the Spirit in us. It is glorifying to God when we are able to practically demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our dealings with people around us. It makes it easier also for us to evangelize to the unbelievers.
As a warning, Jesus said, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). It is imperative then that we get connected to the Lord at all times. Those who chose to go their own way will eventually dry up, for they are not getting the nourishment that comes from the vine. A healthy branch will have healthy fruit and these fruit will last. It is not as though they are fruitful today and tomorrow they are not. Therefore, let us desire to remain in the vine and be fruitful. This is the reason why we are chosen of God and appointed to bear fruit. We shall enjoy the fullness of life and shall continue to be known as a peculiar people that belong to God. Yes, God chose us to be his. Praise the Lord!