Choice is a powerful tool. One can make a good choice or a bad one resulting in a good outcome or an ill result. Everything in life hinges on it. The choices we make determine the kind of people we are and will be. God has created us in such a magnificent way. When He created man, He did not impose on him a certain mentality, but gave him everything necessary to make the right choice. His wisdom told Him it is the only way for His unassailable glory. He too made a choice when He created man. Knowing he would sin He chose to create him; then chose to make amends to claim him and all who came from him. He cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden, but chose not to utterly destroy them. He predestined in Himself to make way to claim men back to Him. He fulfilled it by making a choice. This determined the kind of God He is. He Himself chose to come in the flesh “To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isa. 61:3).
The Lord God continually makes choices. They are righteous. Therefore, He is able to grant justice on earth. He chooses whom He wants and the things He wants. His greatness is that He does not make a wrong choice, for He is with absolute power and wisdom. His choices will be known as righteous. When He created man, He did not make a bad choice. For when He gathers the obedient to His home on the last day His choice in creating him will not be wrong. It is the choice, a powerful tool, which justifies Him as righteous. It is His attribute, and He chose to give it to man; man misused it and fell. Yet, in order that His choice in creating him is righteous, He further chose to make provision to turn him into the person He first created. Had He not created man, there would never be a question regarding the choice He made concerning him. But since He created him and toils for him to present him as holy to Himself, His choice is righteous.
God chose to be good to man. So, all who entrust to Him are called to receive glory upon glory. Since the time man had to toil for a living, it has been the work of God to search for those who believe in Him. For the sin that entered man gave men the choice to deny God and gave God the choice to choose men. God began proclaiming His message to men throughout all ages to provide them an opportunity to choose Him over the sin that has its own message. He who was wise chose Him, even as we. His message was with good tidings. And when He chose to come in the flesh, He came with a message that was with a more glorious promise. It availed men from all nations the right to become His sons; He multiplied His glory by many times.
It is to introduce us to the finest joy that He called us. So, any thought of Him being the unjust and uncaring God does not deserve space and time in our life. When we observe the promise He made through Isaiah, it reveals the joy that any man without Him cannot comprehend. It has perfect honor to make us resolutely righteous, which reflects the nature that God placed in the first man. The garland, oil of gladness and the mantle of praise all reveal the various ways He prepared to honor us. Then, He is undoubtedly glorified making His choice to create man a righteous one. His thoughts toward us are noble. He confirmed it when He rose from the dead having nailed our sin to the cross. Relating to this the apostle says, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16). As Jesus contained everything of God or since He is the filling up of God for all things God purposed, we who believed in Him received grace upon grace or complete grace [the grace that is already bestowed and the grace set aside for the days to come]. God through Christ has allotted to each one of us grace to fill us in every area of life until our last day that the glory He must receive is not disturbed. This is His magnanimous choice.
Complete grace is the factor that we are not left to ashes, mourning and to the spirit of fainting. It awards us the hope of joy. It promises help through God’s message. To be precise, grace upon grace is the purview of God’s demonstrations or works to the believing. Yet, it is not fully realized until the way for it has been leveled. In other words, faith in Christ must be made suitable to the mightiness of its appearance. An example of how God clears the way for it is seen in the work of Apollos. “And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace” (Acts 18:27). God chooses to first demonstrate the more urgent work in order to perform the others. What was necessary at that moment was for someone to protect the faith of believers from the Jews by establishing that Jesus was the Christ. God chose Apollos. He brought the sense of calmness and peace to the church concerning Christ. Grace upon grace is experienced as God removes the external factors that rattle our faith in Jesus. To be exact, as we find repose from the enemies of faith, we witness complete grace. And God’s choice for it is appointing His servants.
God has planned everything for us even before He created us. It is all part of His desire to honor us and glorify Himself. He calls men to proclaim His message and calls men to receive it. He sets His promises before them and He makes ways that they see their fulfillment. He takes away their obstructions to witness His complete grace. This is His greatness known by the choice He made. He calls, He sends, He removes and He provides. Once we make the choice to entrust ourselves to Him we are taken care of for the rest of our life. Yet, our entrusting to Him has responsibility. For the Spirit says, “Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil” (Rom. 14:16). When God has called us for a purpose, He has called us for a good thing. Good things always have good results. It is our duty to take care of the good thing God appointed to us. If it is spoken of as evil, we lessen the glory that is due God. For example, if one is appointed to preach the gospel, it is a good thing given to him. But, if he lacks patience, he allows it to be spoken of as evil. To have received grace upon grace denotes continually entrusting ourselves to God. This is the choice we make that His choice toward us is rewarding. Hence, it is written, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Eph. 1:5).
He foreknew us to be exactly the way He thought we would be for Him. He knew that through Christ we make right choices to satisfy Him. Therefore, the kind intention of His will, i.e. the choice to create us and claim us back to Him is fulfilled. He knew us to be the perfect bodies that execute His desire: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jam. 1:22). He adopted us, because of the sincerity we would show toward His Word. We do not hear the Word to consider it in another way and carry out our choice. Mere hearers do not receive the wisdom set before them to act on it. Instead, they neglect it to suit their choices. But when it comes to us, who entrust to God at all times, God knew us to perform His Word, which discloses His commands, will, guidance and instructions. We are born again to demonstrate God as the Righteous One.
The Word is the source for our existence. To hear from it is our utmost priority; performing it is our finest choice. Then, God is truly glorified. For His choice to make us oaks of righteousness through Christ is righteous and will be known as a righteous. “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1).