The Weekend Word: Ephesians 1
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3–6 ESV)
I’m a Calvinist and for me, the first two chapters of Ephesians are where we get the fuel to fly to Geneva.
Every tenet of Calvinistic soteriology is taught in these opening chapters.
They assert that we were chosen…chosen before we existed anywhere but in the mind of God.
We were predestined…to be family members of the Father.
We were given to Jesus by the Father, (John 6:37-40) and His death and resurrection acquired for us all the benefits of salvation.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)
Finally, in time, we heard the Gospel, believed it and were sealed by the Holy Spirit…and that seal means you belong to Him.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV)
That seal is also your guarantee that the one who began this work before the foundations of the earth will complete it. (Phil 1:6, John 6:40)
That’s good news…really good news.
You object…you’re not a Calvinist.
It’s still good news…really good news.
At the very least you must see that God is the one who initiates your salvation and is committed to you keeping your place in the family.
At the very least you must see His attitude toward sinners and thus, toward you.
God is for you.
Why you ask, did He choose me?
“In love”(Ephesians 1:4 ESV)
He loves you… and He has loved you from before time.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29 ESV)
The word “foreknew” means that He “set His love upon you”.
“according to the purpose of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5 ESV)
He chose to save you…and thought it a wise and good choice.
He wanted you before you ever wanted Him.
He thinks He made a good choice…no matter what some of your brothers and sisters think.
Next week we’ll look at Pauls prayer for us and why we should be praying it as well.