What does it mean to "belong to the Father" before you become a Christian? "Does it mean simply that God possesses all humans, including you? You belonged to the Father because everybody belongs to the Father? Probably not," Pastor John says, "because those who belong to the Father would be those who are 'of God,' and Jesus says in John 8:47 that there are those who are 'not of God.'"
Logically, it follows that "being of God" can’t include all humans. Who does it include, then? Why does it include you?
"Was it because you had some quality, and God saw this and chose you to be in the group that he would give to Jesus," Piper continues, "Did he see that you were willing to come to Jesus or willing to believe on Jesus, and for that reason counted you to be part of those who were his?"
Not at all. In John 6:44, Jesus clearly tells us that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” Pastor John explains, "being willing to come to Jesus was not something God saw in you, but something God worked in you. No one is willing to come to Jesus on his own. Only those who are drawn by the Father can come. "
In Spite Of Disqualification
Again, Pastor John encourages you to ask, "Why were you among those who first belonged to God before he gave you to Jesus?" It was not because you were willing to believe or because you chose to believe. Jesus tells us it was simply because God was willing to grant or allow you to believe, to draw you to Jesus.
"In other words," Pastor John concludes, "God chose you freely to belong to him. By an act of free grace. You did not qualify for God’s choice. Nor did I! It was in spite of disqualification. We were unwilling to come. We loved darkness and hated light and would not come to the light (John 3:19–20). In spite of knowing this about us, God chose some darkness-lovers to be his. And then, to save us from our rebellion and guilt, he gave us to Jesus. 'Yours they were, and you gave them to me (John 17:6).'"
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