‘For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.’ 1 Corinthians 1:26
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 1:1–14
The church is called a building. With whom does the architecture of the building rest? With the building? With the stones? Do the stones select themselves? Did that stone just yonder in the corner choose its place? or that which is buried there in the foundation, did it select its proper position? No; the architect alone disposes of his chosen materials according to his own will; and thus, in building the church which is the great house of God, the great master Builder reserves to himself the choice of the stones, and the places which shall occupy. Take a yet more apparent case. The church is called Christ’s bride. Would any man here agree to have any person forced upon him as his bride? There is not a man among us who would for a single moment so demean himself as to give up his rights to choose his own spouse; and shall Christ leave to haphazard, and to human will, who his bride shall be? No; but my Lord Jesus, the husband of the church, exercises the sovereignty which his position permits him, and selects his own bride. Again, we are said to be members of Christ’s body. We are told by David, that in God’s book all our ‘members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them;’ thus every man’s body had its members written in God’s book. Is Christ’s body to be an exception to this rule? Is that great body of divine manhood, Christ Jesus, the mystical Saviour, to be fashioned according to the whims and wishes of free will, while other bodies, vastly inferior, have their members written in the book of God? Let us not dream thus (it would be to talk idly) and not know the meaning of the metaphors of Scripture.
For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ does the choosing; we get chosen (John 15:16). He is the head of his own body (Ephesians 1:22–23), the builder of his own church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20–22) and the husband of his own chosen bride (Ephesians 5:23–27).
Sermon no. 587
28 August (1864)