As I was recently reading a book on speed training I was reminded of the types of tests that are given to evaluate athletes. From the professional to the college ranks it is very common to put athletes through timed sprints, vertical jump tests, strength tests, etc. in order to decide who to choose in the draft or extend a scholarship offer to.
The problem with this is that you still do not necessarily get an accurate picture of what type of player the athlete is going to be. For example: to time an athlete in a sprint that begins in a 3-point or 4-point stance is only effective if the athlete is a sprinter or football player. How often does a basketball or baseball player start from those stances? Never. And on top of that it still is not measuring the mental aspect of “quickness” – that intangible trait to anticipate, be the first one moving. Measuring vertical is great but it doesn’t show you a player that gets great position and knows how to use his body. The same holds true in the strength department – one who understands leverage and positioning wins the strength battle in a contest – unless that contest is weightlifting.
I am pointing these things out to show how difficult and subjective evaluations are. Many great players are not necessarily the best athletes.
The evaluation of humanity for God was not subjective at all. When the standard is perfection (God’s holiness) then all humanity falls short. (See Romans 3:23) Yet God in His sovereignty designed a way to still “put together a team.” Before time began God, in His foreknowledge, knew man would sin. Sin demands a payment – death. So God decided to send His Son into the world as the Substitute for man. (See Romans 5:6,8) Jesus did live a holy, perfect life and met Heaven’s standard for evaluation. That qualified Him to be the Substitute. And thus you know the story – He hung on a cross, taking on the sin of the world and fulfilling the death penalty; then He rose from the grave – overcoming death and offering new life. (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
So the penalty was paid and now an offer for man to be evaluated based upon the performance of Christ instead of man’s own flawed performance. What an awesome offer!
So that brings us back to the idea of God “putting together His team.” God is never taken by surprise, [He is sovereign (in control).] The Substitutionary death of Jesus satisfied God’s justice. That allowed His incredible love and mercy to be extended to all those that would believe in the finished work of Jesus, and thus receive the free gift of eternal life. (See Ephesians 2:8-9)
When it comes to God’s team the evaluation is not subjective at all. It is totally objective. God put together (chose) His team based upon one singular criterion – Faith (belief.)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14)