As a result of the talk I gave this last Sunday at VLC, Participating in the People of God, I was asked, referring to my text, Colossians 3:12-17, “Who are the chosen?” The answer that came out of the conversation was that all are chosen, but not all accept the invitation to become part of the chosen. Though I agree with this answer, I also acknowledge that it is an over simplification. The ramifications of which cannot be simply borne out. I believe that the work of Jesus Christ for salvation is universal in its scope. I also believe that not all who enter into eternity enter peacefully into the Lord’s presence. In the end we will find that the chosen are those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their righteousness, receiving forgiveness of sins, and living in him, with him, and for him. Those who have not accepted God’s choosing, are not the chosen.
Colossians 3:12 begins with “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, …” In this the Apostle Paul gives two descriptions of God’s chosen, holy and dearly loved. (These are not exhaustive.) God’s love is not at issue here. His love extends to all. But, the chosen are also holy. Holiness is only ever a gift to those who renounce their own righteousness and receive Christ’s righteousness as their own. As such, Christ sets them apart as his (the meaning of holy: set apart). This is a simple explanation of the chosen.
The “therefore” in Colossians 3:12 points to the balance of the passage up to verse 17, which describes how the chosen are to live among one another in this world. There is a cost and responsibility to being chosen, but this too can only be accomplished by the grace of God.
My point in all this is that being chosen is a gift we receive, open up, and put on. None deserve such a gift, but it is available to all.
Grace and peace,