But I Choose You
John 15:16, “ you did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you”. Jewish students of that day selected their rabbis or teachers. But here, in this verse, the order is reversed. The teacher selected the students.
This verse is sometimes misused by Calvinistic people and their doctrine in that God chooses who or who will not be saved. By not understanding the context in which a statement is made leads one to the wrong conclusion. Here in this verse the Apostles were called or chosen by the Lord. The calling of the Apostles is by the gospel. They were to preach to gospel to all nations. Command to the Apostles in Mark 16:16, “go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Those who responded to what the Apostles taught were chosen, those who reject the gospel were lost.
This passage does not apply to all disciples then, it was spoken specifically to and embraced by no others than the Apostles whom the Lord chose to be His Ambassadors. John 15:14, Christ calls these 12, “His friends”. Jesus chose these because He knew they would keep His commandments. John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you”. Which they did. Jesus knew they would fulfill what He had chosen them to do, except Judas. His calling was the same as the others, but he became unfaithful and was rejected, but the others continued faithful.
Our calling today is the same as the Apostles. We are called by the gospel which they taught and we have their written words today, guided by the Holy Spirit in what they wrote. All mankind is called. Some respond, some reject. Some remain faithful, others obey and do as Judas did. Such was the case of Demas, after he obeyed. II Timothy 4:10, “ Demas has forsaken me, having loved this presence world”
We are chosen today for the purpose of bearing fruit. Only those who bear fruit and are faithful to the end, receives the prize, heaven. Romans 11:22, “behold then the goodness and severity of God. Toward them that fell, severity. But toward thee, God’s goodness. Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off”.
- CL Bruner