“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” – Ephesians 1:4 (ESV)
We have today, a verse that teaches us a truth many have great difficulty understanding and therefore accepting or believing. The truth in this verse is hard for our rational and reasoning mind to embrace until we are willing to accept God’s word as it is written even if it does not seem fit in to how we reason it. But it is the absolute truth revealed to us in the Bible. “The doctrine of election is emphasized throughout Scripture* The form of the Gr. verb behind “chose” indicates that God not only chose by Himself but for Himself to the praise of His own glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). God’s election or predestination does not operate apart from or nullify man’s responsibility to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. All before the foundation of the world. Through God’s sovereign will before the creation of the world and, therefore, obviously independent of human influence and apart from any human merit, those who are saved have become eternally united with Christ Jesus.”** God’s purposes exist apart from the bounds of our limited reason. Since both are emphasized, both are truly God’s Promises.
* (Deuteronomy 7:6; Isaiah 45:4; John 6:44; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29; 9:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10;)
** John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Eph 1:4.
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” – Ephesians 1:4 (NASB)
One blessing which we’ve received – is defined in our verse. It is God’s choosing of us by Himself for Himself. And all that God does for us is in His love. Imagine being called to play on a community softball team. When you show up you discover that you don’t have to qualify to make any of the teams. There are no try-outs. In fact you’re already accepted as qualified. A long time ago, it became a done deal the same for every member of the team. You’re asked to do your very best in every game for the coach and teammates. But this is not the way it works in community sports is it? Rather it depends on who you know and who knows you. It depends on how well others have seen your play. Can you catch? Can you throw? Can you hit? We might see our lives as Christian the same way. Strive to do good enough to qualify, hope we’re accepted, and we must live as good Christians. But God made His choice of us to be holy and blameless before Him way back before he made the world before we existed too.
“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.” – Ephesians 1:3-4 (ESV)
Whenever we attend a memorial service at a funeral, one part is almost always included is a eulogy. It may be given by a minister, a family member, or friend. The eulogy’s purpose is to speak well and to bless the one being memorialized. The first word in our verses today is “Blessed” and it is derived from the same Greek word we get “eulogy.” It means to praise or commend. Every human has a supreme duty to bless God by thought, word and deed. Not all do. As faith believers we have already been fully blessed in Christ. When the Apostle Paul writes “blessed be” he is using the meaning to give praise to God. When the Apostle writes “has blessed” he is saying that all who are in Christ have already received from Him every spiritual blessing possible. God has already given believers total blessings. And, this He did when God chose us to be in Christ before the world was made by Him. This promise of being holy and blameless before God became ours before the worlds foundations were set. It was God’s choice to promise this for His creatures and its for His praise and glory.