John 15:16 – You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
This is one of those doctrines people have fought about forever. You know, the free will thing. Did I choose Him or did He choose me? If you disengage your preconceived idea about free will you will see clearly in the scriptures that He actually chose you. It’s the choosing part that gets us confused. In order to understand freedom of the will you have to go back to the garden and that tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is quite apparent that something tragic happened when our first parents ate from that tree. What was the effect on us? I believe it twisted us, especially in our ability to choose rightly. Our free will became enslaved. That’s why we often know and want to do right but find ourselves right back in the dumper of compromise and sin. It is the grace of God that liberates our will. How are we chosen, it is the work of the Holy Spirit on our hearts. Here is R.C. Sproles and Jonathan Edwards on this topic.
“God used Jonathan Edwards mightily during the eighteenth-century Great Awakening in New England. Edwards was a firm believer in the doctrine of election. He believed that unless God had chosen a person, elected him to salvation, that person would never come to faith. Nevertheless, he pled, cajoled, and scared people half to death, telling them to repent and come to faith, because he did not know who was numbered among the elect…..Some heard Edwards and asked, “What if I am not elect? What should I do?” Edwards said, ‘Be in church every Sunday morning because you do not know that you are not elect, and you should do everything you can do in your fallen condition.’ Edwards said there is nothing people can do to incline themselves to the things of God. They cannot muster from their hearts true repentance unless the Holy Spirit changes their souls, but they can hear the Word of God and know that they are going to be judged at the end of their lives.”
It happened to me at the lakefront in NOLA in 1973, the scales came off my eyes and my will was set free. Has it happened to you? How would you know, by testing the inclinations of your heart.