Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bible Truth #2 - Ephesians 1:3-10

Ephesians 1:3-10
3  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.
4  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5  he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
6  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
8  that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
9  And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10  to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

This passage is packed with Spiritual Truths. This letter was written to believers in Ephesus, NOT the whole city, but only the believers, and the two verses that really hit home for me are 4 & 5. He chose US, not them, He chose US in Him before the creation of the world... and He predestined US, not them, but US to be adopted. Each time you see the “us” in these verses, you can add right behind it “not them.”

Now consider this about verse 4. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. All of God’s Elect, and not just simply “all” (pas), but “each and every” single one (hekastos), are already in Christ whether they have been saved yet or not, or whether they have even been born! We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world! God’s Elect are conceived in sin just as every human is (Psalm 51:5) but because we had been chosen, it was a matter of time (history) before God acted and quickened our dead spirit through faith, the faith that He gives us (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8). God simultaneously gave us belief (John 6:29; Philippians 1:29), and repentance (2 Timothy 2:25).

If we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, the opposite is also just as true. There are many He did NOT choose before the foundation of the world. If He knew He would not choose them, why would He create them anyway? Answer - because He has a purpose for them that brings glory to Himself.

Now for a term that is used several places in the New Testament and there is a reason it is used. I’m sure you will agree that every word in the Bible is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16). What is the word? Adopted. (Romans 8:15, 8:23, 9:4; Galatians 4:5, and Ephesians 1:5 above)

There was a reason Paul used the word “adopted.” With an adoption of any sort as we know it, does the adoptee have ANYTHING to do with the adoption? NO! Neither now nor in the 1st century when Paul wrote his letters. The adopting parents have chosen whom they want to adopt and then initiated action to complete the process. The adoptee has no legal rights in the process, he does NOT choose his parents or which family he wants to join.

So also is it with salvation, we were adopted into the family of God in accordance with His pleasure and will (v5), not ours. The adoptee has no choice in the matter, he has no rights in the matter, he has no responsibility in the matter, he simply receives the benefits of the “family name” once the adoption is complete. And it was complete (in history) when the price was paid on the cross by Jesus and we were given to Jesus. And Jesus said in John 6:37, all the Father has given me WILL come to me. The “giving” by the Father precedes the “coming,” to the Son - no ifs, ands, buts, or excepts.

All through those verses you see “us” and “we” - I remind you again that this letter was written to believers in Ephesus, not the lost of Ephesus. For proof, look at verse 1 - Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

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