TEXT: Ephesians Chapter One.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love  He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:3-5 NIV).
[*NOTE: Capitalizations–“He”, “Him”, “His”–are inserted by this writer out of respect for God’s Majesty. The original text in the NIV Bible doesn’t capitalize].
FIRST of all, this study is NOT about Calvinism or Arminianism doctrines. It IS a study on BLESSINGS:
BLESSING #1. God pursued us in the past–called ELECTION and…
BLESSING #2. He makes us family in the present–called ADOPTION.
BLESSING #3. GOD will make us COMPLETE in the future–called UNIFICATION.
I could end this blog right here…but I won’t, for there is so much more to learn from Scripture. My hope is by the end of this study, you will grasp the LOVE of God has for you and the beauty of this BLESSING regarding ELECTION or CHOICE.
WHAT IS “ELECTION”?
The Greek New Testament, the word is eklegomai – “CHOOSE” [See Footnote [i] ]. In the context of DIVINE ELECTION, God is said to “choose” His people – (Mark 13:20; Acts 13:17; 15:7; and of course, here in Ephesians 1:4).
In Ephesians 1:4, Paul begins with “Long ago, even before he made the world…”- long before anything at all was made, God was there–this was the ETERNITY before CREATION.
God was completely sufficient and not needing anything. But before CREATION, God did something–He thought about you and me with a PURPOSE in His mind. This PURPOSE included JESUS and us – It says “God LOVED us and CHOSE us in Christ Jesus…”
This CHOOSING of us by God is called ELECTION, based on “A Match Made In Heaven”. After 50 years of marriage, my wife and I can look back at all the naysayers, the trials, the disappointments along the way, and truly say our marriage was “a match made in heaven!”
In Eternity–Before time began…
A MATCH was made in heaven where God Almighty matched us together with JESUS in His mind! He did this because His LOVE–He specifically and purposefully CHOSE you, He chose me.
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE!
There are some arguments about where the concept of LOVE belongs in verse 4 of the text; actually three different arguments. But I like the New Living Translation (NLT) talking about God CHOOSING US in relation to His LOVE–and nothing else:
“Even before he made the world, God LOVED us and CHOSE us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
THE FIRST TRUTH–That God’s LOVE should revolutionize and transform the Christian life.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS IMPORTANT TO HIM:
God CHOSE to have a relationship with you–GOD CHOSE YOU! You were important to Him! Take a second and PRAISE GOD, right where you are, for that!
We were like a puppy at the local Animal Shelter. But you know what? God didn’t need to choose you. There’re others far more eloquent than you and me–more compassionate–more holy than us that He could have chosen for His service in our place.
But God, who looks out over all of humanity, knows every skill, every weakness, knows every sin and every part of goodness in every person, and out of all those CHOICES, He decided to CHOOSE you and me.
And notice that Paul wrote “God chose us” – It’s NOT about me being chosen (focused on PRIDE)–It’s about God CHOOSING me (focused on humility).
But in LOVE to God and humility, I can say, if you are a CHRISTIAN, you are God’s CHOSEN–His ELECT.
The Concept of Election…
The idea of “ELECTION” plays against what we’ve always thought. We think that WE need to pursue our relationship with God! CHRISTIANS DON’T NEED TO PURSUE GOD – He has already pursued you, chosen you, and developed a relationship with you. The fact is, it’s not all about PURSUIT, but about OBEDIENCE to the call.
In Tommy Tenney’s popular book, The God Catchers: “God doesn’t hide Himself from you so that He can’t be found; He hides Himself from you so that He can be found” (page 11).
Your RELATIONSHIP with God is more important to Him than it is to you by a long shot–considering all that He has done in advance through Christ to establish it. What we need to do is let HIM continue to RELATE to you.
Don’t insult God by acting as if you bother Him, or a nuisance, or you annoy Him. He went to great LENGTHS to make you His ELECT, His CHOSEN. You have the relationship–start honoring God today by letting Him take back control of the relationship. TALK TO HIM and let Him talk to you…to guide and to love you.
God pursues US!
See, you might not have known this before, and so before…when you WORSHIPED unenthusiastically; before… when you PRAYED, timid and shy; before… when you read your Bible and you didn’t expect anything…that’s where I found myself years ago, so I know…but NOT ANYMORE!
Forget that stuff that’s behind! Now you know that when you come into the PRESENCE OF GOD, He says “MY CHOSEN ONE! I have sought you. I have bought you with the blood of the LAMB. Come on in!”
But there is more– The “BLESSING OF ELECTION” (Ephesians 1:4):
“God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes”
In the Amplified Bible, it reads “He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ…that we should be HOLY and BLAMELESS”
The words “HOLY” and “BLAMELESS” are two important terms in the BLESSING OF ELECTION–
The first term is “HOLY”:
Back in verse one, Paul addressed this letter “to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones).” If something is set-apart, it’s made “HOLY.” VERSE 1 and VERSE 4 uses the same Greek word – “hagios” – holy [Footnote [ii] ].
GOD’S LOVE TRANSFORMS OUR LIVES–
God made you HOLY, and HOLINESS is being set-apart for God’s use. In other words, if you are a “true believer” in Christ, God CHOSE you from the beginning of time so He could USE you today! God doesn’t just set something apart so it can sit and collect dust. He has a specific plan for our lives in Jesus’ name.
That idea doesn’t set well with some people–that God would have a different plan for your life than the one you’ve chosen–
“I don’t want to live in a jungle as a missionary!”
Or here’s a personal statement I made when my pastor approached me with a bible study for dementia/Alzheimer at a group home: “I want to teach Lord, but not here!” He had a different plan for my life, and full of many blessings.
The fact is, we don’t TRUST God with our lives. If you’ve never seen that missionary movie, Edge of the Spear, you should.
But God made us HOLY so He could use you and make your life SIGNIFICANT for JESUS’ sake. Our lives are important to God whether we believe it or not!
But there’s more! – God made us “HOLY” and…”BLAMELESS” in His sight–(without fault).
Paul is making reference to the requirements in the OT system; where lambs were sacrificed. The SACRIFICIAL lambs represented Jesus Christ–the SINLESS, SPOTLESS Lamb of God who would be SACRIFICED for all of us.
Peter uses the same word: “But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19 AMP).
FACTS DON’T LIE!
MY PURITY IS IMPORTANT TO GOD–
God considers you right where you are now, WITHOUT a blemish, not bearing the effects of sin, carrying no blame because you are “in Christ.”
JESUS paid for our sin on the cross. If He hadn’t died…we wouldn’t be “blameless.” But because He did, when we placed our TRUST in the cross of Christ, God looked at us and said “You are spotless.” It ALL comes back to God making that possible in eternity past through His love.
But what a slap in the face we give God…when we willingly turn our backs and choose to live in sin–when we treat our BLAMELESSNESS dishonorably, sinning without so much as the beat of an eyelash.
Our PURITY is important to God–so important that He gave us the title of BLAMELESS in eternity past–before Genesis 1:1.
THE THREE BLESSINGS I FOUND IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER ONE:
ELECTION is the FIRST of Paul’s’ three blessings in Chapter One. Or as I like to call it, “A Match Made In Heaven.”
It reveals the LOVE God had for me; it presents me with some truths about God that absolutely revolutionized my own spiritual life.
My RELATIONSHIP with God is important to him and…my life’s DIRECTION is important to my Father, while at the same time, my PURITY is important to God.
My POST has been directed primarily for those of us who have accepted JESUS as our Forgiver and Lord. When we understand how BLESSED we are to have been chosen by God as HOLY and BLAMELESS through Jesus Christ, when we realize that our DESTINY is to be part of God’s family; when we comprehend that God has poured out all His grace into our lives; how can we help but humble ourselves before Him and give Him the PRAISE and GLORY!
But maybe after reading this message, you’re asking – “Am I really one of God’s chosen, ‘a match made in heaven’?
I believe, if that’s your thoughts in asking, it’s the evidence that God is drawing you to Himself. He’s been waiting for your decision.
SHARE your questions, your decision below in the comment section of this Blog and I’ll try to answer your questions.
Bible References: New International Version [NLT]; Amplified Bible; New Living Translation Bible [NLT].
Photo Credits: Ephesians 1:4-5 – mazmagi.blogspot.com; Shutterstock.
Footnotes: [i]; [ii] – Expository Dictionary Of Bible Words.