|But ye are a chosen generation, a peculiar people| (I. Peter ii.9).
We have been thinking lately very much of the strange way in which God is calling a people out of a people already called. The word ecclesia, or church, means called out, but God is calling out a still more select body from the church to be His bride -- the specially prepared ones for His coming.
We see a fine type of this in the story of Gideon. When first he sounded the trumpet of Abiezer there resorted to him more than thirty thousand men; but these had to be picked, so a first test was applied, appealing to their courage, and all but ten thousand went back; but there must be an election out of the election, and so a second test was applied, appealing to their prudence, caution and singleness of purpose, and all but three hundred were refused; and, with this little picked band, he raised the standard against the Midianites, and through the power of God won his glorious victory. So, again, in our days, the Master is choosing His three hundred, and by them He will yet win the world for Himself. Let us be sure that we belong to the |out and out| people.