This is a great objective ground for assurance. And we should consider it deeply. There are many, many people who do not believe this. They do not believe that God chose who will be saved and who will be passed over and left to unbelief and rebellion. They insist that this text only teaches that God chose Christ and an undefined number of those who choose to be in Christ by faith.
They say that Ephesians is not an election or choosing of individuals, but an election of Christ and the church; but what individuals are part of the church, God does not decide. It's like the Super Bowl. The national officials don't choose a specific team of men to go to the Super Bowl; they choose that the winners of the playoffs go, whoever they are. God does not choose who will be in Christ and who will be saved. That lies ultimately in the power of man's autonomous will, which God does not rule. They say that the wording of verse 4 proves this interpretation: "God chose us in him.
If anything the wording points the other way: it says he chose us. Not an undefined mass of people, but us, you and me personally. He chose us. The word means select from a larger group. And the way he did it was in relation to Christ. Christ was not an afterthought to election. God chose us to come to salvation in Christ, not apart from Christ. But it was us that he chose.
These words are not strained at all in carrying this meaning that God chose particular people to be his children through their union with Christ. But I say the words of verse 4 alone will probably not settle this issue. But if we look at what Paul says elsewhere about this, we can be sure about what he means, namely, that God chose his people individually and personally before the foundation of the world to be saved; and he chose them to be saved through union with Christ.
What this text says very clearly is that God chose particular kinds of people to be in the church. He did not just choose the church and leave its composition to man. He chose foolish individuals and called them into Christ. He chose some weak individuals and called them into Christ. He chose some low and despised individuals and called them into Christ. So that no one might boast in anyone but the Lord.
And then to make this crystal clear he said in verse 30 literally : "From him [God] you are in Christ Jesus. So he says, in verses 27—29, that God chose the individuals who would make up the church in Christ. And he says in verse 30 that it is by God's doing that they are put in Christ. The glorious, unshakable, objective foundation of your being a Christian is that God chose you to be one. God put you in Christ. So I say with Paul in verse 26 "Consider your calling! Think about it. It will take all boasting off of man and put it all on God. So verse 31 ends the section: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.
This is the exultation of considering our calling and our election, and seeing that it's all of God, and feeling a tremendous peace and confidence and courage and strength and love well up inside to keep us going in the face any opposition. Because "who can bring any charge against God's elect! James teaches the very same thing from a slightly different angle: God chose the poor to come to faith and be in the church, so be careful that you not discriminate against him.
Listen, my beloved brethren.
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Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Main menu Skip to content. For what were we chosen? For what were we predestined? They are not to be adjusted to our fancies.
14. — Before the Foundation of the World and before the Ages of Time
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you. It was not because they were a mighty numerous nation with an ancient culture like those of the Chinese or the Indians or the Egyptians that God chose them. They were amongst the smallest of all the nations. Then was it because they were the most holy and obedient of the nations?
So his choice was not dependent on their merit either by way of their power or good works.
They had neither. While we are in the Old Testament let us be sure of this, that it was not that the Lord simply chose a nation during that dispensation in a kind of corporate national election, and that the Old Testament knows nothing of individual and personal choosing. That idea cannot be supported. God chose individual prophets to serve him. Then let us look at the same concept of choosing people as we find it on the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Does the Saviour himself speak of choosing people?
He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world!
That is the picture we have in the early chapters of the gospels. He bypassed thousands of other fishermen and hundreds of other tax collectors and he chose these men. Or again, let us look at one of the New Testament congregations. Was it any different when we move from the old dispensation to the new? Could it have been that, perhaps, under the old dispensation, God chose people, but under a the new dispensation people choose God?
No, there is no difference. Again when we look at the spread of the church and the mighty growth of the gospel recorded by Luke in the book of Acts how does he describe it? The first part of that chapter describes the evangelistic message Paul preached about the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul is declaring the gospel to the city, telling them of the marvellous grace of God and urging them all to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Many became believers and Luke is keen to give credit to God for every conversion.
Those whom God had chosen to receive eternal life responded to the gospel and trusted in Jesus Christ. Though there are scores of references to this in the Bible we can look at just one more example found Romans chapter 9. There was once a pre-terminal conference for university students taken by the Pennsylvanian John Reisinger, and during one of the question and answer sessions somebody raised this question about God choosing us. Not at all! If you object to election on the grounds that you think it is unfair, you are using an objection that has already been used and answered in the Scripture.
Chosen Before the Foundation of the World - Therefore Now Ministries
In his statement Paul does not back down or soften his statement. He declares that God has every right to show mercy to whomsoever he chooses. He is only a robot. For who resists his will? The problem that girl had, which she shares with many Christians, is the idea that they have a right to be saved. The Bible approaches the subject very differently. We have forfeited all our rights before God by the fall of our father Adam and by our own sins.
CHOSEN AND FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
All of us stand before God as condemned sinners. The fact that God saved anyone at all is an amazing demonstration of his free grace to the sinner. A young man went to his pastor with a problem. I do not like chapter 9. My problem is, how could a God of justice and holiness ever love a cheat and a liar like Jacob? So, those are some of the many verses in the Bible that speak of the initiative God takes in our redemption when he chooses us.
Election is a saving work of God.
There are many people who take the Bible seriously.