"THOSE WHOM THOU HAST GIVEN ME"
The pages of the Old Testament are filled with God’s dealings with a special people. Most are aware that the Lord dealt with no other nation as He did with the nation of Israel: "He sheweth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgements unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for His judgements, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord" (Psa. 147:19,20; cf. Ex. 33:13; Amos 3:2). God blessed the nation of Israel and He gave His laws to that nation. He enriched that nation with His special favors. The Lord even showed those people the way in which their sins could be forgiven them (Lev. 16). It was through a sacrificial system that the Lord introduced Israel to the Messiah that would come. In particular, the Lord ordered a priesthood to be established and once a year the high priest was directed by God to enter into the Holy of Holies, there to make sacrifice for the sins of God’s special people: the physical nation of Israel (Lev. 16:34). No other nation was part of this. Only Israel was to be the recipient of God’s forgiveness. The apostle Peter, too, speaks of a special people in the New Testament. In 1 Peter 2: 9,10 he talks of a people chosen by God, a royal priesthood, a holy nation—a peculiar people. This does not mean that they were strange people but a purchased people, a purchased possession (cf. Acts 20:28). It was these people who were chosen to show forth the praises of God, Who had called them out of darkness into His marvellous Light. Jesus Christ also speaks of these special people, this select group. When praying to the Father He describes them as "...those whom Thou hast given Me..." (Jn. 17:11). Like Israel in the Old Testament, these people are set apart from all others, for these alone are the ones whom God has chosen to receive all His benefits, evidenced by His giving, or entrusting, them to His Son. Christ says of them: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (Jn. 6:37). Jesus speaks of no other people who shall come to Him, whom He will not reject, other than these ones whom the Father gives to Him. This verse tells us that all those who will come to the Savior He will in no way leave them, expel them, drive them out, or send them away because they have been given to Him by the Father Himself. They come, not on their own initiative, but have been sent, given by the Father, and are the ones that are said by Jesus to "belong to Christ" (Mk. 9:41), which is why they are so precious to Him. They were the Father’s to give and He has given them all to His Son. So the question needs to be asked, ‘Who are these people?’ Are you one of them? How can one be sure that one is among those whom the Father has given to the Son? What makes these people so special that God the Father would separate them from all others and entrust them to His Son? What was the reason for these people being chosen by God and for what purpose were they given to the Son? Has this anything to do with election, that dreaded word/doctrine hated by millions who call themselves Christian? This book will proceed to answer these and many other related questions in order to reveal who those people are whom the Father has given to the Son.
So, just who are these people Jesus says have been given to Him by the Father? It is obvious that the Father in giving, or entrusting, these people to His Son, has chosen them—to the exclusion of all others, just like Israel was made distinct from every other nation—to be the recipients of something very good and very special. So then, are they the people Arminian’s believe have freely chosen to accept Christ? Are they every individual ever born, whom they claim Jesus has died for? Or are they a select group of people whom God has freely chosen out of the world to become His sons? To answer these questions we must look firstly at the state of man after the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Man’s spiritual condition is best summed up by the Scriptures themselves: "God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psa. 53:2,3); "...there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10-12); "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Eccl. 7:20); "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Jesus Christ shows in the following two verses what all this means: "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him..." (Jn. 6:44; cf. 1 Cor. 2:14), and later in the same chapter He confirms this: "...no man can come unto Me, except it were GIVEN UNTO HIM of My Father" (Jn. 6:65). By nature, man is dead in sin and cannot come to God unless God initiates the move. Without God man is without hope (Eph. 2:12). In light of these Scriptures we learn that man has no free-will to reach out to God. Man is dead to God and has no desire, in and of himself, to come to the True God. Man, by nature, loves his religion but he does not and cannot love God. It is not difficult to see that, because of man’s sinful state, none can, as the Lord says, come to Him unless the Father gives a people to Him. In order to give something, that thing must first be chosen. This is where election comes in. The Scriptures say that a man’s election to salvation is not because of anything done on his part that has made him electable or qualified him and brought him to God’s notice, but is purely by the Will, Grace and Mercy of God according to His purpose. This is made abundantly clear in the following verse. Speaking to believers, Paul the apostle writes: "(God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9; cf. Eph. 1:3-7). The reason election by grace was necessary is because "...man is not justified by the works of the law...for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 2:16). Salvation is either by works or grace, the one nullifying the need for the other (see Gal. 2:21). These two verses teach that man is not justified before God by what he has done, his own efforts, therefore there is only one way remaining and that is purely by what God has done, by the grace of God, which is given or bestowed according to nothing else but God’s own Will, which stems from His Love. The nation of Israel was not chosen because of anything they had done to impress God: "The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord LOVED YOU..." (Deut. 7:7,8). In the New Testament God has again chosen because of His Love, and so it stands to biblical reason that He loved only those whom He chose. Nothing man can do will recommend him to God, for man is a sinner and all he does is stained with sin: "...we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isa. 64:6). "Nothing outside of God Himself moved or influenced Him to save sinners. It was His love and purpose to glorify Himself that caused Him to save sinners." So we see by these Scriptures that no man can come to God unless God draws the man to Him. In order to draw a person, God must first love and then choose that person: "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING love: therefore WITH LOVINGKINDNESS HAVE I DRAWN THEE" (Jer. 31:3). This was not done because of anything that person has performed, or was foreseen would perform, but was done before the foundation of the world according to God’s will, purpose and grace, leaving no possible room for anyone to boast and say "God chose me because of what I have done", or, "He chose me because of what He knew I would do." The chosen ones are they whom Jesus refers to as "..the children which God hath given Me" (Heb. 2:13).
With this established, we now turn to the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John to find out the identity of these people the Father has given to the Son. John 17 contains the very words of prayer made by God the Son, Jesus Christ, to the Father shortly before He was to be betrayed by Judas Iscariot. It is the longest prayer recorded in the New Testament. Christ lifts up His eyes to heaven and says: "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him (the Son) power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM" (Jn. 17:1,2). Here we learn that the Father has given the Son power over all flesh, that is, absolute and unrestricted authority over all mankind, that the Son may give eternal life, NOT TO THOSE WHO HAVE CHOSEN HIM, but to those whom the Father has GIVEN Him—to those whom He has entrusted to the care of His Son. Here Jesus is speaking of salvation, eternal life, which He has been delegated to give. In light of this, the question begs to be asked: TO WHOM will He give eternal life? How can we identify them? Many say that it is wrong to ask such questions, that no one can tell who the saved are and to whom God will give eternal life. But Scripture speaks the opposite of this, for Jesus Himself reveals here to whom the Lord will give eternal life. The concrete and undeniable fact of the matter is that Jesus Christ gives Eternal Life to all those whom the Father has given to Him. It is right then to conclude that no one OTHER THAN those whom the Father has given to His Son will receive eternal life. This particular verse, or any other in the entire Bible, does not speak of, or even hint at, eternal life being given to those who have, by their own so-called free will, chosen Him. Your studies will prove fruitless and you will search in vain for such a Scripture, for none exists. The Word of God says that all those who will receive eternal life are those whom the Father has chosen to give to His Holy Son. Jesus says to the Father that He will indeed give eternal life, but only to THOSE WHOM THE FATHER HAS GIVEN UNTO HIM. Therefore, the primary point of identification of those Jesus will give eternal life to, and by which the saved are distinguished from all others, is that God has loved them and chosen them before time began and entrusted them to his Son Jesus. Jesus says in Hebrews 2:13, "...behold I and the children WHICH GOD HATH GIVEN ME." Christ "...is not ashamed to call THEM brethren" (Heb. 2:1), because He is "...the Captain of their salvation..." (Heb. 2:10). He is not the potential Captain of everyone’s salvation but the sure Captain of His people’s salvation: "...thou shalt call His name Jesus: FOR He shall save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). "For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one (Heb. 2:11; cf. Heb. 2:16; Jn. 17:9,10,21). There is no doubt that all those who will be saved are the ones referred to in Scripture as those whom the Father has given to the Son. These are the ones "...who are called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow; He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son..." (Rom. 8:28,29; cf. 1 Cor. 8:3). The word foreknow here is "presented as that which God gave prior consent to, that which received His favorable or special recognition. Hence, this term is reserved for those matters which God favorably, deliberately and freely chose and ordained....Used of persons, to foreknow with approbation, to foreapprove or make a previous choice of, as special people (Rom. 11:2; cf. 1 Pet. 1:19,20)" . God has predestinated those whom He fore-loved to salvation. God has entrusted a people, whom He chose before the foundation of the world, to His Son. He has done this that His Son should die for them and establish a perfect Righteousness for them. In John 17:3 Jesus adds, "And this is life eternal, that THEY (whom the Father has given Him) might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent." This is a specific prayer for a specific people. All those whom the Father has given to His Son are the ones Jesus prays for and gives eternal life to.
The recipients of eternal life are never referred to in the Word of God as the choosers, but as the chosen: recipients and vessels of God’s mercy (Rom. 9:23,24). While it is true that the saved love God, the Scriptures say that the reason for their love is because God loved them first (1 Jn. 4:19). God is the Initiator just as He was in His Old Testament dealings with Israel. A vessel can do nothing to produce its contents, but is merely a receptacle which receives what is poured into it. Just as Deuteronomy 7:6 speaks about Israel: "...The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth" and Deuteronomy 14:2: "...the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth", so too, 1 Peter 2:9 speaks of the saved as "...a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..." They are not a generation of choosers but one chosen of God to be His eternal people. The Scriptures do not say blessed is the man that chooses God, but "Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and causest to approach unto Thee..." (Psa. 65:4; cf. Psa. 33:12). How can man possibly be the chooser when the Lord says that "...there is none that seeketh after God..." (Rom. 3:11). How can one choose that which one does not seek? Moreover, the Scriptures say that the elect, those chosen by the Father and given to His Son, are those whom He called "...with an holy calling. Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9). Again, we see that the grace of God is something that is GIVEN, not chosen. Christ does not say that all those who come to Him God will give to Him, but that God has first given (entrusted) them to the Son and then they shall come to Him (Jn. 6:37). The is clearly demonstrated in Acts 13:48: "...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Here we learn that those who believed had first been ordained (appointed or determined) to eternal life, not that they believed and were then ordained to eternal life. Salvation has been given, not because of anything which the elect have done, or were foreseen would do, but solely because of God’s own purpose and grace (cf. Rom. 9:11), grace being something which is given and not merited or earned by the receiver, otherwise it would no longer be grace (see Rom. 11:6).
Further on in the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to His disciples as those whom the Father gave to Him: "I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word" (Jn. 17:6). Jesus is speaking of those who were present with Him, His apostles. Later on in the chapter Jesus makes clear that He is not praying just for those that were with Him at the time but also those who would believe through their word (v.20). More about that later. John 17:9 can come as quite a shock to those who have been taught to believe that Christ died for every individual ever born. Jesus says: "I pray for them (those which the Father gave Him out of the world): I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD, but FOR THEM WHICH THOU HAST GIVEN ME, for they are Thine." Christ is here praying immediately for His disciples but it is true to say, and is in accord with John 17:20, that the disciples were not the only ones Jesus was referring to as those the Father had given Him. The bigger picture, as subsequent Scriptures will show, is the distinction made between those that are of the world and those whom the Father has taken out of the world and given to His Son. In praying ‘not for the world', Jesus is not saying He prays for no one, for He is praying for those the Father has given Him. The word world here therefore could not mean every individual without exception, for He does pray for God’s chosen ones. We learn from this that a distinction is made between those that are given to Him and those that are of the world. Christ does not pray for the world of the ungodly. If the Universalists are right in saying that Christ died for everyone, is it not strange that Jesus would only pray for those whom the Father had given Him and not for everyone? It is impossible to confuse those whom Christ prays for in John 17—His disciples and all those who would believe through their word—with those whom He does not pray for—those that are of the world—for the two groups are clearly distinguished one from the other. In light of this, how could Christ have died for everyone and yet pray, intercede, exclusively for those alone whom the Father gave to Him? The disciples and those who would become believers through their word, are indisputably contrasted with those of the world. John 17:9 is one of the clearest Scriptures in the Bible which shows a marked and definite difference, a distinction, between those whom the Father has given to the Son and for whom the Son exclusively prays, and those who are referred to as of the world, who were not given to the Son. One of the things we learn from this distinction is the fact that those who will be saved are those whom God has chosen out of the world and given to His Son. There are many Scriptures which unite with those found in John 17 in making this point even clearer. For instance, speaking to believers, the apostle John says: "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 Jn. 5:19) Again we see the distinction made between believers, those who have been given to the Son to save, and those of the world who have not. Even though John says that the entire world lies in wickedness, it is clear that he excludes himself and fellow believers from that group of people, for they know that they have been chosen out of the world and are of God. Some other Scriptures to look at are: 1 Jn. 3:1,13; 4:4-6; 5:4; 1 Cor. 6:2; 11:32; Js. 4:4.
Mankind is separated into two categories: they that are of the world and they that are of God (Jn. 17:16). The Lord Jesus describes them as the sheep and the goats. Christ says that before Him "...shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye BLESSED of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the foundation of the world....Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye CURSED, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:32-34, 41). The ones who are saved are here referred to as sheep whom the Father has blessed, and the ones who are eternally lost are referred to as the goats, those who are not blessed but cursed, who were of the world. Biblical reason tells us that Christ could not have laid down His life for those that are of the world. Christ’s Righteousness is obviously not imputed, or charged, to the goats for on Judgement Day they will be referred to as cursed! Christ did not become a curse for them by hanging on the Tree. The apostle Paul, writing to the believers in Galatia, said "Christ hath redeemed US from the curse of the law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US..." (Gal. 3:13). Clearly, Christ redeems all those whom He became a curse for. Only believers can say that Christ was made a curse for them. Of course, Christ was made a curse for all those who would, in time, also believe. The goats are the ones who are cursed of God, revealing that they never were His sheep, never were the wheat that He had planted (Matt. 13:24-30, 15:13), and, therefore, never were among those He had entrusted to His Son. The kingdom of heaven was not prepared for the goats, but exclusively for the sheep of God from the foundation of the world. The only ones ever referred to as sheep in the Scriptures, whether it be Israel in the Old Testament or the Church in the New, are God’s people: "Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture" (Psa. 100:3). Jesus says "I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (Jn. 10:11). The only ones who will not perish are those for whom Christ gives His life. These are the same ones God the Father has given to His Son, they are His sheep, and the reason they will never perish is because Christ has died for them. God is not willing that they perish, and to ensure this He has given them to His Son. All others WILL perish, for they have not been entrusted to the safekeeping of the Son. They are not of the Father nor the Son but are of the world, who have never and will never believe in Him. THEY ARE NOT OF HIS SHEEP (Jn. 10:26)! For what other reason has the Father given those whom He has chosen to receive Eternal Life to His Son other than for their salvation? It is unthinkable that God did not give any to His Son for whom His Son lived and died. God has decreed, He has declared by His very act of electing these precious ones to salvation, that they should not perish. No other group of people fit into this category. The Lord Jesus also makes clear the fact that none of the chosen will perish, in the following verse: "All that the Father giveth Me SHALL COME TO ME..." (Jn. 6:37). Those who are not given to Him will not come to Him, they will not believe for they are not of His sheep. Therefore none can say that all those the Father has given to the Son are all without exception, for we have seen that all those that are given to Him are the ones who will believe and be given eternal life. All those who are given to Him shall come to Him and BELIEVE in Him, thus showing that they are His sheep. We learned earlier that Jesus says that none can come to Him unless the Father draws them and here in John 6:37 we see that all those whom He does draw SHALL come. Christ concludes by saying, "...and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." It is clear from this that all those God has chosen He gives to His Son and all who come to His Son, as a result of God’s electing them and drawing them to Jesus, WILL NOT BE CAST OUT OR REJECTED for they shall obviously all believe. The elect of God shall not perish for God is not willing that they perish but that all of them come to Jesus His Son. THERE IS NO GREATER SECURITY THAN TO BE AMONG THOSE WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN TO HIS SON. The elect will ALL come to Him for THEY have been given to the Son by the Father THAT THEY should receive eternal life. They are not brought to Him to see how they will respond to the ‘offer’ of salvation, nor are they brought to Him only to have them reject Him, but to be GIVEN eternal life for they are the Father’s! All those whom the Father has given to His Son He in turn gives eternal life to and thus these shall never perish.
Now, what is the discernable feature of these chosen ones that separates them from the lost? The following Scripture provides us with the answer: "Whosoever BELIEVETH in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (Jn. 3:15). Those who believe in Jesus Christ and His glorious Gospel are those who are the saved, the elect, those whom the Father has given to His Son. They are the sheep of God. The believers are they whom "...God hath from the beginning chosen...to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and BELIEF of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13). God’s elect have been chosen to believe His Truth. They are the ones God has chosen to reveal Himself to (Col. 1:25-27). Those who are not His sheep do not, and will not, believe (Jn.10:26). After commanding His apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature, Christ declared: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). How can any man be in a saved state before believing the Gospel, when Christ has plainly stated here that any who do not believe the Gospel are in a damned state! The primary identifying principle as to whether a man is saved or not is not his lifestyle but WHETHER OR NOT HE BELIEVES THE GOSPEL! If so, then he is saved. If not, he is lost. Nothing could be simpler for our minds to grasp and by which we can scripturally draw the line between saved and lost.
A person is either of the world, or of God, chosen to salvation. Either God loves all men, or He loves only His elect. One is either committed to the care of the Son by the Father or one is not. One is either a sheep or a goat. One is/will be a believer by the grace of God or one does/will not believe. As a consequence, one will either be set at the right hand of the Son or separated and set to the left side with those who perish. One is either blessed of the Father or one is cursed. One is either given to the Son or one is not. Christ has either died for you or He has not. One is either saved or lost. Seeing that the Father has given, not all but only those whom He has chosen, to the Son, what of the rest? Can it be said that there has been provision made for them in and by Christ’s atoning death? Has Christ died even for those whom the Father has not given to Him? If so, what did He do for them by His death, and why are these ones for whom Christ has allegedly died, as much, it is claimed, as He did for the ones the Father did give to Him, not part of the ones given to the Son to receive eternal life? Why the inclusion into one group but not the other? Why do they not all belong to the one group? Has Christ atoned for those whom God has not chosen, and, has God chosen any for whom Christ did not die? Are we to conclude that some did not need to be entrusted to Christ’s care in order to ensure their salvation? If so, why then was there a need for any to be entrusted to Him if some could be saved without being given to Him? Who else but the chosen, the beloved of God, would He give to His Son? The non-chosen? Those whom He has not chosen: the non-elect? Can the reader locate a Scripture which teaches that God has given those whom He has NOT chosen to His Son to die for and give eternal life to? How could Christ give eternal life to any He did not die for, and how could Christ have died for any to whom He will not give eternal life? What then of those whom He has chosen? Surely they are the ones He has given to His Son to die for and to give eternal life to. Rejection of the truth concerning those whom God has chosen and whom Christ died for and given eternal life to, leads one to the absurd conclusion that God has given to His Son those whom He has and has not chosen! In turn, this means that Christ has become a curse for those He has redeemed and for those He will not redeem! The false doctrine that says Christ has died for all is riddled with holes that no Scripture will fit. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). Paul was here writing to fellow believers in Corinth (see 2 Cor. 1:1). Only for believers, those chosen by God to believe, was Christ made sin. Why? So that THEY might be made the Righteousness of God in Him. This verse shows clearly that Christ was made sin for a particular people and that all those for whom He was made sin would be made the righteousness of God in Him! That was the purpose of the Cross. There is no other teaching concerning Christ’s work of atonement that rightly glorifies Him and honors His death! No people were/will be made the righteousness of God in Him other than those He was made sin for! What then did He do for those whom He was not made sin for and who were not made the Righteousness of God in Him? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!
Some may argue that "Christ has died for all, but only those who would choose Him, accept Him and make Him their own personal Savior, are among those the Father has given Him". Such reasoning fails to grasp the fact that those who have been given to Christ have been chosen from before the foundation of the world, not because they would believe but SO they would believe! Christ’s death was for the salvation of all those whom God had chosen and given to Him to receive eternal life. One cannot separate those whom God has chosen and given to His Son from those the Son has died for and given eternal life to. They did not choose Him (Jn.15:16), but were chosen by the Father and given to the Son, not according to anything foreseen that they would do, but according to God’s will before they even existed! If this were not so, verses such as Ephesians 2:8,9 would be made a nonsense. The example of Jacob and Esau is used by Paul to teach election according to grace not works: "For the children being NOT YET BORN, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, BUT OF HIM THAT CALLETH" (Rom. 9:11). All those that are given are those who have been entrusted by the Father to the Son for safekeeping. In other words, it is plain to see that ALL these ones and only these ones shall be saved! Every one whom the Father has given to the Son WILL be saved for that is the very purpose behind their being given to the Son: THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE (see Jn. 17:2). There are no others for whom Christ has died apart from these special chosen people of God. If the Son died for more than those whom the Father gave to Him to save, there would be contradiction among the Scriptures and conflict within the Trinity Itself! The Scriptures assure us that Christ has done that which the Father sent Him to the earth to do exclusively for those whom the Father has given to Him. After stating that those He would not cast out were those that the Father gives Him in John 6:37, Jesus announces in the following verse: "FOR I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me" (Jn. 6:38). Who else would fit into the category of those whom Jesus refers to as "blessed of My Father" (Matt. 25:34) other than those whom the Father entrusted to His Son for Him to give eternal life to? (see Jn. 17:2). It is to these alone that the Son will give eternal life, so how could He have been made a sacrifice for those to whom He will not give eternal life? (Eph. 5:2). Christ died in the place of, or instead of, those whom the Father gave to Him. Christ is the Substitute for all those whom the Father has given to Him, so how could any have benefited from His death for whom He was not made a Substitute? And if He was made a Substitute for everyone, how could they not have benefited from what He has done on their behalf? The Word of God says that Christ is the Propitiation, or Satisfaction, for all those for whom He died (1 Jn. 2:2).
"The substitution of Christ in the sinner’s place was most distinctly shown in the Old Testament types, particularly in the sin offering. Before the animal was slaughtered, the sacrificing priest laid his hand upon its head (Lev. 4:3,4). That act represented THE TRANSFERRING OF SIN FROM THE TRANSGRESSOR TO THE VICTIM (Lev. 16:21): IT IDENTIFIED THE ONE WITH THE OTHER. It showed the substitution of the victim for the offender, and declared by a visible sign that it bare HIS sins and endured HIS death-penalty." Significantly, the breastplate worn by the high priest had four rows of precious stones set in it which were engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (Ex. 28:15-28; 39:8-21). Also, the shoulder pieces of the outmost garment of the high priest were "...buttoned together with two onyx stones set in gold, one on each shoulder, on which were engraved the names of the children of Israel" (Ex. 28:6-12; 39:2-7), indicating that they were the only ones for whom the sacrifice was made and whose sins were borne. Now turn to the New Testament and see that Christ has fulfilled this Old Testament type which foreshadowed what He would do for His people: "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21; cf. 1 Pet. 3:18). As in the Old Testament, there was a specific transgressor whose sins were transferred to a specific victim. There was nothing general about it. Even though the sacrifice was made for a large number of people, it was made ONLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE. "In this way was the solemn yet blessed truth of imputation foreshadowed. It was because God transferred to Christ the guilt of His elect, constituting Him "sin for us", (the sin-bearer) that the sword of Divine justice smote Him as He bare our sins in His own body on (or "to") the tree." From this we see clearly that Christ’s atoning death cannot be separated from His act of Substitution, nor can it be separated from the transferral to Him of the sins of those for whom He was a Substitute, and His perfect Righteousness to them. All this hinged, not on man’s acceptance, but on God accepting what Christ had done. The Substitute was slain for a particular group of people and those people were directly related to Him through God’s appointment and not something initiated by, or reliant on, their choice. "The burnt offering (Lev. 1) and the sin offering (Lev.4) claim particular attention, for not only were they the most important sacrifices of the Levitical dispensation (as Psalm 40:6 intimates), but they represented the sufferings of our great High Priest under two distinct aspects. The burnt offering principally shows Christ as He was to God, the sin offering as He is to men. In both He was represented as a SIN-BEARER, for in both of these sacrifices TRANSFER WAS MADE OF SIN by the priest laying his hand on the head of the victim (Lev. 1:4; 4:4); in both the victim’s blood was shed and sprinkled (Lev. 1:5; 4:4-6); in both atonement was made for sin (1:4; 4:20); and both were burnt, either wholly or in part upon the altar (1:9; 4:9,10). These points of union were sufficiently close to show that they corresponded in representing the sacrifice offered by our High Priest on the cross." We see in all this that the sins of a particular people were transferred to the substitute and the sins of those people were the only ones dealt with. THEY WERE THE ONLY ONES WHICH THE SIN-BEARER BORE! Remember that all this was a shadow of the substance of what Christ the Savior would do for His people. Christ was the SIN-BEARER! The sins of those for whom He was the sin-bearer have been borne, or, carried away forever and according to His name, Jesus, it is HIS PEOPLE, those whom the Father has given Him, whom He saves and no other. "...by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; FOR He shall bear THEIR iniquities" (Isa. 53:11; cf. 1 Pet. 2:24). Those who are justified are those whose sins have been borne, or carried away! Jesus justifies all those whose sins He carried away. Anyone for whom Christ died can be assured that their sins have been dealt with. HIS DEATH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE. There is no room here for a general or universal sacrifice, the success of which depended upon its reception. Who are those whom Christ has borne the sins of? God reveals in this next verse exactly who they are: "...for the transgression of MY PEOPLE was He stricken" (Isa. 53:8; cf. Psa. 85:2,3; Isa. 53:6). He was stricken for the sins His people committed, and He has put away the sins of those people (see Heb. 9:26,28). Payment has been made in full on their behalf. "The Old Testament sacrifices vividly evidenced the fact that the Divine punishment incurred was inevitable, yet that that punishment could be borne by a substitute, and on THAT ground the offender could be restored to favor. The principal thing they were designed to exhibit was the indispensable necessity of atonement by vicarious expiation": Substitution!
Writing to the believers at Rome, Paul says of the Savior: "Who was delivered for OUR offences, and was raised again for OUR justification" (Rom. 4:25). In Romans 5:8 Paul says: "But God commendeth His love toward US, in that, while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for US." Paul also says: "...For Christ OUR Passover is sacrificed for US" (1 Cor. 5:7). If He did die for all, then in light of the fact that not all are saved, it must be said that He actually atoned for the sin of some on the cross but not others for whom He was equally sacrificed. There is no such precedent in the entire Bible which supports this false teaching. Christ’s death, His sacrifice, was an offering to God and any for whom He was an offering not to benefit from what He did would render Christ’s offering more worthless than the Old Testament high priest’s offering, for that, though it needed repeating each year, was wholly successful for those for whom it was made. Christ’s death accomplished salvation for all for whom He died and His sacrifice needs no repeating (Heb. 9:26; 10:12,14). There is no part of His dying that merely fell by the wayside, that was purposeless or fruitless (see Isa. 53:10). Every drop of His precious blood was shed for the chosen of God and He has redeemed them all from the curse that was upon them, being made a curse for them. Writing to the believers in Galatia, Paul the apostle says: "Christ hath redeemed US from the curse of the law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:13; cf. Rom. 8:3,4). The Old Testament high priest, who was a type, a shadow, a blueprint if you will, of the Messiah, the Great High Priest, was not directed by God to perform the annual sacrifice for everyone on earth at the time, but made the sacrifice exclusively and specifically for the nation of Israel—God’s people. This man was high priest, not over every human being, but only over those of the chosen nation of Israel. He was there for the benefit of God’s chosen people and no other. So too, The Lord Jesus Christ as great High Priest of His people, all those whom God had given Him, performed His glorious sacrifice exclusively for those people, and not any other. How could He have died for any whom the Father did not give Him and still be doing His Father’s will? (see Jn. 6:38) What Christ did for those whom the Father gave Him was wholly effective for the removal of their sin and the transference of His Righteousness to them. People seem to think that all the Cross was about was the taking away of sin, but it was also very much about the imputation, or transference, of Christ’s Righteousness to those for whom He died. The imputation of His Righteousness, as with the imputation to Him of their sin, was not dependant on their choosing Him, but was inevitable because of God’s having chosen them and Christ having died for them. The Bible is precise; the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword and whosoever it is that Christ has been made a curse for can be assured that THEY are the redeemed, THEY are the ones whose sins have been carried away. We have seen that Christ refers to the redeemed, His sheep, as those "...blessed of My Father..." (Matt. 25:34) and He speaks of the goats as "...ye cursed..." (Matt. 25:41). It is clear from this that those whom Jesus calls cursed could not possibly be among those for whom He died, whom the Father has given Him, for these are told to depart from His presence into everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41). Christ did nothing for these ones, hence their cursed state. It is not that Christ did something for them but all He did was in vain because they refused to believe therefore they died in a cursed state, but that Christ did nothing for those whom the Father DID NOT GIVE TO HIM! Any talk of His death being in vain for those who do not receive Him is totally baseless in light of the fact that the Father gave to Him all those for whom He was to die and give eternal life to. The high priest of Israel did nothing for any other nation apart from Israel and so they remained heathen nations. So many who call themselves Christian have no problem with God’s exclusive dealings with Israel and His having chosen them above all other nations, yet they rise up in anger and vehemently protest when New Testament election by grace and Christ’s death being exclusively for those whom God elected to salvation, is mentioned. According to the Scriptures all those for whom Jesus died He became a curse for. And so, in accord with Biblical reason, those for whom He did not die remain cursed. If those who remain cursed are also among those for whom He died, then He could not have become a curse for all He died for. If He did die for those who remain cursed, then there must be two facets to His death! One took away the sin of His people and the other was specifically for the purpose of NOT taking away the sin of those the Father did not give Him! This is all rather preposterous, for becoming a curse upon the Tree for those whom He was sent to save is what His dying was all about. Why did Christ die? It was not merely because of sin, but because of sin charged to Him. Not His own sin for He was without sin, but with the sins of all those He became a curse for. Whom did He become a curse for? Those whom He justified by bearing their sins (see Isa. 53:6). His death was not for those who will not believe, for they are called goats and remain cursed to the end. Christ became a curse for His sheep. How shall we recognize them? Before the end comes they shall all believe! One cannot have an airy-fairy death just sitting there waiting for someone to accept it, and receive the benefits of it, and at the same time believe in the Atoning, Sacrificial and Substitutionary Death of Jesus Christ the Savior and Redeemer of those whom the Father has given Him. Christ’s death—His work of atonement—was the means by which those whom God called to salvation would receive eternal life: "And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Testament, THAT BY MEANS OF DEATH...THEY WHICH ARE CALLED might receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Heb. 9:15; Col. 1:20-22). The Scripture says "...without shedding of blood there is no remission (of sins)" (Heb. 9:22), therefore it stands to biblical reason that where there is the shedding of blood, in a sacrifice, the effect or result is the remission (pardon, deliverance, liberty, forgiveness) of sins (see Heb. 10:14,18-20). Clearly, remission of sins was dependant on blood being shed in a sacrificial death. It was by means of Christ’s death and not by anyone’s acceptance of it, that the sins of those for whom He died were remitted. The Bible knows nothing of an ineffectual sacrificial death, directed and ordered by God, for sin. When a sacrifice was made for sin it was ordered by the Lord for a specific people. The Bible knows nothing of a sacrifice made for an indeterminate number of people and only successful upon their acceptance of it. In the Old Testament, sacrifice was made for the people of God and in the New Testament, sacrifice was made for the people of God, and that sacrifice was as effective as God wanted it to be, which was absolutely effective, for the very purpose of God in establishing it was to take away the sins of those for whom it was performed. Nowhere in the Scriptures will you find a sacrifice ordered by God to be performed for the benefit of His people which failed to achieve the purpose for which He ordered it in the first place. He directed the Old Testament high priest, and He sent His Son, to make sacrifice for His people and that sacrifice was wholly effective, for where God has directed that blood be shed in a sacrifice there IS remission of sins! "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?" (Heb. 9:13,14).
The apostle John, writing to believers, said "We know that WE have passed from death unto life..." Two verses later he states, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for US..." (1 Jn. 3:14,16). From this we learn that only those for whom Christ laid down His life have/will pass from death unto life. In order for a last will and testament to be put into effect, there must needs be the death of the one who made it (Heb. 9:16,17). It is not conditioned on the acceptance of what has been bequeathed by the testator, but what has been left to a person becomes reality when the one who made the will dies. Jesus Christ has not only made sacrifice, or atonement, for God’s people, HE IS THE SACRIFICE; HE IS THE ATONEMENT for all whom God chose. God has promised an Inheritance for His people and it has now been put into force by the Death of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore it is by means of Christ’s death and not the ‘free-will’ acceptance of it, that has put into effect His last Will and Testament. The receiving of this great gift of salvation is, in reality, not a work of man’s but the granting of a gift by God. In light of this, how then can it be said that He died for those who were to remain cursed, those who would not be granted the Gift of Salvation? What purpose would there have been in such a death? This would be like saying that the death of John Smith the billionaire is to benefit everyone on the planet but only those who are named in his last will and testament will receive any money!! It is an utter nonsense to say "Christ died for all", when to say "Christ died" is to say "He became a curse for". What Arminians are saying, albeit in ignorance, when they declare that "Christ died for everyone", is that "Christ became a curse for all". If He did, then all will be saved for the Scriptures say that all those He became a curse for He has redeemed: "Christ hath REDEEMED US from the curse of the law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US..." (Gal. 3:13). If the ‘us’ here is speaking about all mankind, there is nothing else to conclude but that all will be saved. The Arminian’s version of the above Scripture would thus read: "Christ hath redeemed everyone without exception from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for everyone without exception". This is patently not the case as many die in unbelief and shall face God on Judgement Day in a cursed state, thus displaying the clearest evidence that Christ did not die—become a curse—for them. Jesus says that there is no way that He would ever reject any of those for whom He died, whom the Father gives to Him and who come to Him (Jn. 6:37). In your wildest imagination, could you ever see the Lord Jesus Christ referring to those who came to Him, whom the Father gave to Him, as ‘cursed’? How could He ever say ‘depart from Me’ to those who were given to Him by the Father and for whom He died? All those whom the Father gives to the Son will come to Him and they will not be rejected, they will not be cast back into outer darkness, but be received warmly and lovingly for they are the Father’s and now belong also to Christ. If Jesus had become a curse for everyone, including those whom the Father did not give unto Him, how could these people have still ended up in hell and cursed rather than blessed of the Father? Some say that "He died sufficiently for all but effectually for only some". This is sheer fiction, for Christ either became a curse for you or He did not. His death abolished your sins or it did not. His death was sufficient for those He died for and His atoning work on the tree was effectual to carry away the sins of those people. How could His death have been sufficient for all if He died only for the sins of those whom the Father gave Him? This does not take away from His death in the least but rather defines what His death was all about—what His death accomplished. Just as His physical death, His last gasp of air, was real, tangible, so too was what He accomplished on the Tree: Redemption for all for whom He laid down His life: "...by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy place, HAVING OBTAINED eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12). Christ’s death was to be sufficient for all those the Father gave Him and effectual enough to obtain redemption for them. This was its purpose. This was who and what it was designed for. It is by Christ’s Blood, His Death, that He obtained redemption for all whom He became a curse for. These three elements are inseparable: Christ’s Death; His being made a curse for those He died for; and the Redemption of His people.
God has not made peace theoretically possible with all people, He has made peace an actual and practical reality between He and His chosen people and He has done this by means of the Death of His Son: "And having MADE peace THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS..." (Col. 1:20). "And you...hath He reconciled (restored to Divine favor) in the body of His flesh THROUGH DEATH, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1:21,22; cf. Eph. 2:13,14). If Christ had become a curse for, that is, took on the sins of and nailing them to His cross, those who, despite His dying for them, will still face God in a cursed state, why would He still refer to them as cursed and not blessed, as He does all those whom the Father has given Him and for whom He died? How can there be two groups of people for whom He died and yet only one receive the benefit of His death? How could and why would there be two groups? Why would He need to die for a people in order to achieve nothing for them? What would be the sense in doing something in order to achieve nothing? If one says "He died for those who end up in hell too", we may well ask "what did He do for them?" There are only two ways one can answer this: (1) He did nothing for them, or (2) He did a work of atonement (paying the price) for their sin but because they did not accept what He did for them, His death did nothing for them. The Word of God knows of only two ways Christ’s death could have been for nothing, in vain, and that is "...if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21), and "...if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). Why would the Father tell the Son to die for a people He did not give Him—a people who would not believe? Why would the Father send the Son to die for a people who would reap no benefit from what He did? What kind of a death would this be? It could not be an atoning death, for their sins remain unatoned for. It could not be a substitutionary death, for their sins have not been taken away. His blood was shed in sacrifice, but their sins are not remitted. Nothing has been accomplished!! This would qualify as the atonement you have when you don’t have an atonement! None for whom He died will reject Him, for He died for a people SO THAT they would embrace Him! Christ was sent to the earth to die for the people the Father gave Him and that death was for one purpose: that their sins be blotted out. His death was to take away sin. There was nothing vain about anything that Christ did, least of all His glorious atoning death! CHRIST BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM, NOT FOR THE MISERY OF KNOWING THAT MOST HE DIED FOR WOULD GO TO HELL ANYWAY! (see Heb.12:2; cf. Isa. 53:10,11).
"And all mine are Thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them" (Jn. 17:10). In this verse Jesus clearly states that all those who are His are also the Father’s and those that are the Father’s are also the Son’s, for the Father has given them to His Son. Imagine anyone chosen by the Father unto salvation yet not given to His Son? Imagine anyone chosen by the Father and given to the Son and yet Christ not dying for them in order to effect their salvation? The elect are entrusted to His Son, for it is He Who is their only Hope. He is their Savior, sent by the Father to save them from their sins and it is this select group, made up of people from every language, tribe and nation, that shall be saved (see Rev. 5:9). As it was in the Old Testament so it is in the New: The annual sacrifice performed by the high priest for the forgiveness of sins was for those whom the Father directed: Israel, His people: "And he (the high priest) shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for ALL THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL" (Lev. 16:16,17). It is vital for a proper understanding of what atonement is, to take notice of just who atonement was made for in the Old Testament, whilst being mindful of the fact that this was a blueprint of what would happen in the New Testament. Atonement was made exclusively for the nation of Israel and no other. Of relative significance to our study is the fact that atonement was made, not for those who would end up choosing God, but on the behalf of the people whom God had ALREADY chosen. So it is in the New Testament: Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest of HIS people, was sent to the earth to give Himself as a sacrifice, not for every individual ever born, but for all those whom the Father directed Him to, whom HE HAD ALREADY CHOSEN—The Church, His people: "...Christ...loved the CHURCH, (the ones whom God called out of the world and gave to His Son) and gave Himself for IT; that He might sanctify and cleanse IT with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present IT to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that IT should be Holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:25-27). Christ died for those whom He loved and He loved those for whom He died. The beginning of Ephesians 5:25 is a command for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved His Wife/Bride: the Church. It would have made no sense for the Scripture to command that a husband love his wife—to the exclusion of all others—while Christ excluded no one from His love. There would be no sense in such an analogy. God the Father has chosen the Bride for God the Son and it is She who is loved and for whom the Son laid down His life. No other people, no one outside of the Church—those whom God has called out of the world and given to His Son—were among those for whom He died. He loved and died for His Bride, that He might sanctify Her and cleanse Her and that He might present Her, His Church, a glorious Body of people without blemish, to the Father.
Further evidence proving that those whom the Father has given to the Son are the ones He has died for may be found in John 10. Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep....I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine....As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep" (Jn. 10:11,14,15; cf. Psa. 100:3; 1 Cor. 8:3). All those whom the Father has elected unto salvation He has given unto His Son for safekeeping. In John 10 Jesus speaks of those whom He gives eternal life to, whom He describes in John 17:2 as those whom the Father gives Him. He calls them My sheep and says that they alone will never perish. Again we see clearly that Jesus says all those for whom He died were His sheep. He did not die for goats who later became sheep! He does not merely call them ‘sheep,’ but significantly calls them HIS sheep, showing that they belong to Him. Now, who are these sheep? Jesus continues in John 10 to describe His sheep as they who hear His voice and believe on Him. Those who do not hear His voice and do not believe, He says are "...not of My sheep" (Jn. 10:26). Christ says: "Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice" (Jn. 18:37). Who then are they that are of the truth? His sheep, those that hear His voice and follow Him (see Jn. 10:3-5). In verse 27 He says that His sheep hear His voice and that He knows them and they follow Him. In verse 28 He says that He gives eternal life unto His sheep and they will never perish. In verse 29 He reveals who these sheep are and how they became His sheep: "My Father WHICH GAVE THEM ME, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand." How much clearer could He have made it! God gave them to the Lord Jesus, and He gave Himself for them. Matthew 18:11 tells us: "For the Son of man is come to save them which was lost." In the very next verse reference is made to the parable of a man who has a hundred sheep, losing one of them, and going out to find the one which is lost. God’s people are often described in Scripture as lost sheep: Isa. 53:6; Jer. 50:6; Ezek. 34:11,12; Lk. 15:4-7. Jesus is described as "...that Great Shepherd of the sheep..." (Heb. 13:20) and speaking to believers Peter says: "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Pet. 2:25). Christ is the Shepherd of sheep not of goats. Those whom the Father has given to the Son are not amongst those who will believe not, who are not of His sheep (see Jn. 10:26) but those who will believe; those who hear and know His voice; those who are given eternal life and who shall never perish. All those whom the Father has given the Son Christ calls "MY sheep". Those who die believing not in Christ never were of His sheep, for if they had been they would have been found, for God searches for His sheep until He finds them (see Ezek. 34:11,12; Lk. 15:4,5).
"While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (Jn. 17:12). Here we learn of the safekeeping of all those whom the Father had given to the Son with one exception: the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot. This was not due to any failure on Jesus’ part, for earlier in John 6:37 He said that all those who would come to Him He would in no wise cast out. No one whom the Father sends to the Son for salvation shall be turned away and rejected by the Son, for all those that are the Father’s are also His and He died for them. Christ knows His sheep and they hear His voice and follow Him. Judas had not been chosen by the Father and given to the Son that he might receive eternal life, but for the purposes of apostleship etc., for a temporary time here on earth. Judas was lost because he was a son of perdition. Jesus also describes Judas as "a devil" in John 6:70. Judas was lost that the Scripture—God’s will—might be fulfilled. No one was ever given to the Son to save who would one day turn out to be a son of perdition, a goat. This is made perfectly clear in passages of Scripture such as those found in John 10 and the previous verses cited in John 17.
"I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (Jn. 17:14). The atheistic secular world hates Christians. The religious world hates Christians. Even professing christians hate true Christians, for they too are not of God but are of the world. True believers, those who believe in Christ and His Righteousness as being that which attains and maintains a state of salvation from beginning to final glory, are hated by all those who are not of the Father but of the world. Christ says that believers are hated because they are not of the world. They do not think like the world and they do not believe what the world’s religions teach—that one can work one’s way to heaven. They do not believe according to man’s sinful nature—that one must, and is therefore able to, do something in order to gain or maintain a state of salvation. They do not believe that salvation can either be attained, or must be maintained, by one’s own works, but believe that it is something which is obtained solely because of God’s grace and maintained by the perfect Obedience of God’s Son: the imputed Righteousness of Christ. They do not believe that one can be saved simply by living a good life and by doing one’s best. They do not believe that one can be saved before one has heard and believed the Gospel. True believers, Jesus says, are not of the world, as He Himself is not of the world. This is because they have been converted. They have been born again. They are a new creation, born not of flesh, but by the Spirit of God (Jn. 3:5; cf. Js. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). True believers are not a product of this world but have been born again spiritually by the grace of God and are of God. They believe that mankind is dead in sin and that if it were not for the grace and mercy of God all would be lost. The true believer believes that God has chosen a people out of the world for Himself and that He has given these to His Son to die for and to establish a righteousness that is charged to them that they may be accepted by the Holy God. They believe that none of these shall perish and that all that the Father has chosen and given to His Son will come to Him. They also believe that none can be saved before hearing and believing the Gospel of God, because the ground upon which salvation is based—Christ and His Righteousness—is revealed only in the Gospel. They believe that no one who is ignorant of, or not submitted to, Christ’s Righteousness is saved (see Rom. 10:1-4).