"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"
above is a great statement of God's grace. It tells us of an election
that took place before the foundation of the world. It also tells us
who did the electing. It also tells us what the purpose God had for
doing the electing. This verse teaches us about the "doctrine of
election by the grace of God."
note that we were not just chosen, but that we were chosen "in him."
Since all spiritual blessings are in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We see how that we came to be in Christ Jesus. We are in Christ Jesus
because God chose us in Christ Jesus. It is truly that simple.
verse tells us that God did the choosing. Man did not do the choosing.
You did not do the choosing. God did the choosing. God had to be the
only one doing the choosing, because the choosing took place before the
foundation of the world. Since no man existed, except in the mind and
purpose of God, before the foundation of the world, then man could not
have a say in who was chosen.
have suggested that God looked down through time and saw all the
multiplied race of Adam and based his selection on what man did in his
life or based his selection on who believed and accepted Christ during
his lifetime. While this is a popular belief, yet it is absent any
scriptural basis. Further, we do see that God looked down from heaven
but Psalms 14 and Psalms 53 tell us what God saw: Ps. 14:2 "The LORD
looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were
any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they
are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not
one." What God saw when he looked down from heaven upon the children of
men was that there was none that sought God and there was none that
understood, and there was none that did good. What they did was go
aside and they were all filthy and had become filthy together.
chapter 9 tells us that God's selection of a people was not based on
either good or evil: Rom. 9:11 "(For the children being not yet born,
neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according
to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It
was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is
written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Thus God's
election of a people was not based on any works whatsoever.
chapter 11 tells us that election is totally by the grace of God alone:
Rom. 11:5 "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant
according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no
more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works,
then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
God is a
God of purpose. He elected a people and placed in them in Christ Jesus
for a purpose. The purpose of God's election is that those chosen
"should be holy and without blame before him in love." The final end
result of God's election of a people to be his is that they will be holy
and without blame before him in love. Now there are things that God did
to bring this final end result to pass. Those things that God does to
bring about the elect being holy and without blame before him in love
are set forth in the form of a covenant. We refer to this as the
covenant of redemption. Rom. 8:29, 30 plainly declare the covenant of
redemption: 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to
be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also
called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he
justified, them he also glorified." These same covenant principles are
set forth for us in Ephesians chapters 1 and 2, which we will cover as
we study those chapters.
note, that the same ones that God chose in Christ before the foundation
of the world, were predestinated to the adoption of children (v. 5),
made accepted in Christ (v. 6), redeemed by the blood of Christ and
forgiven of their sins (v. 7), and predestinated unto an inheritance in
Ephesians 1:5, 6 "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ
to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise
of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the
scriptures tell us that we (the elect) have been predestinated unto
1. Unto the adoption of children by Jesus
Christ to himself.
2. Rom. 8:29 "to be conformed to the image of
his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
3. Eph. 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an
inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
word, "predestinate," means to determine the finally destiny
beforehand. God is the only one who can predestinate anything.
Further, the scriptures only speak of God's predestinating a people and
not of predestinating things. The idea that God predestinated
everything that comes to pass is foreign to the scriptures. God
determined and fixed the final destiny of God's people before the
foundation of the world. This final destiny of his people is for them
to be conformed to the image of his Son; to be adopted into the family
of God; and to obtain an eternal inheritance.
a child is to take the child legally out of one family and place them in
another family. Those that God chose before the foundation of the world
are born of the Spirit. Adoption does not apply to the spirit or soul
of the elect. They are born spiritually into the family of God.
Adoption pertains to the bodies of the elect. We are naturally the
descendants of Adam and are naturally a part of the family of Adam.
for our natural bodies to be adopted into the family of God by Jesus
Christ, there are at least three things that had to take place. The
first step in adoption is the choosing of the child. In adoption, the
child does not choose the parents, but the parents choose the child.
The child has no say in who will adopt him. In like manner, it is with
God. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. As
those that God chose, we had no say in this choosing.
second requirement in adoption is that the legal work must be
accomplished and the debts paid. The legal work was accomplished in the
covenant of redemption and the debts were paid by the blood of Jesus
paying the price for our sins.
third requirement is that the child must be brought home. From the
perspective of the children who are being adopted by God, this is yet
future. We are waiting for the adoption: Rom. 8:23 "And not only they,
but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we
ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the
redemption of our body." We have the promise of God of the resurrection
of our bodies and that we will go home to glory at that time. This will
complete the adoption process to which God has predestinated us.
he hath made us accepted in the beloved." So many people today concern
themselves about whether they have accepted the Lord or not. Yet, this
was not the overriding issue. The overriding issue was whether God had
accepted us. In our natural state, we were not acceptable as we were
guilty of sins. The wrath of God rested upon us and we were not in an
acceptable state before God. Something had to be done to us in order
for us to be acceptable unto God. God had to make us acceptable unto
himself. We could do nothing to make us acceptable unto God. As
sinners, we had no ability to redeem ourselves from sin. Only Christ
could make us acceptable unto God. It was "in the beloved" that we were
made acceptable. This thought carries us back to the fact that God
chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and predestinated
us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Furthermore, it was
because that we were in Christ and were redeemed by the blood of Christ
that we were made acceptable unto God. Through the redemptive work of
Christ, we were cleansed of our sins: 2 Cor. 5:21, "For he hath made him
to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him."
praise of the glory of his grace." God's covenant work in choosing us
in Christ before the foundation of the world, predestinating us unto the
adoption of children and making us acceptable in Christ is to the praise
of the glory of his grace. If we had a hand in bringing about any of
the above then it would also be to the praise of the glory of our
works. Yet, it is only to the praise of the glory of God's grace and
not to the praise of the glory of our works. God's choice of a people,
his predestinating them to the adoption of children, and his making them
acceptable unto God is solely and totally by the grace of God.
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward
us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery
of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in
himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in him."
above passage, we find the phrases, "in whom," "in himself," "in one,"
"in Christ," and "in him." Surely, the passage is teaching us that the
things accomplished in this passage were brought about by covenant
design. It all goes back to the fact that "all spiritual blessings in
heavenly places are in Christ." Further, the benefits are to those who
were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
Redemption through the blood of Christ is a great theme of both the Old
Testament types and shadows and of the New Testament. It would be
extremely hard for someone to read the bible and not realize that it is
teaching that redemption from sin comes from the blood of the atoning
sacrifice of Christ. We read, "without the shedding of blood is no
redemption." Redemption from sin required the shed blood of Jesus
Forgiveness of sin is an accounting term. For something to be forgiven
someone, it required someone else make the payment. Jesus Christ made
the payment to God to satisfy God's wrathful judgment of the sins of the
elect. Because Jesus paid the price, we, the elect, are forgiven of our
Redemption is by the blood of Christ alone. Redemption is an
accomplished fact. It is not something that will happen in the future,
it is already accomplished. "We have redemption." We won't get
redemption in the future, because we already have redemption. There is
nothing left to pay. The debt has been paid in full. There will be no
future debt as Christ paid it all.
once again emphasized. Our redemption is according to the riches of
God's grace. You cannot have God's grace and our works together and it
still be grace. Since grace is unmerited, our works are excluded. If
our works had anything to do with our redemption, then there would be
some praise due to us. Yet it is all of God's grace and all the praise
belongs to God.
he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made
known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure
which he hath purposed in himself:" In the grace of God, God has
abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. God's wisdom is manifest
in his covenant work. He has made known to us the wisdom of God through
the preaching of the gospel. It took God's wisdom to bring about our
redemption. Man could not have brought about his redemption. He had
not either the ability or the wisdom to bring about his redemption.
Furthermore, God has made known unto us the mystery of his will. God's
"will" is his covenant work. God made the covenant of redemption before
the foundation of the world. Yet he kept this knowledge secret from man
until it pleased him to make it known. After the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, God began to open the understanding of the
hearts of his apostles and the gospel ministry that they might preach
the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ and salvation from sin by the
grace of God.
was it God's good pleasure to redeem his people from their sins, but it
was also God's good pleasure to reveal this unto us. God purposed to
redeem his people from their sins before the foundation of the world.
God also purposed to make this known unto his people at his appointed
the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one
all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;
even in him." God is sovereign. He does according to his will in the
army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. None can stay
his hand or say unto him, "What doest thou." It pleased God to send
Christ into the world at God's appointed time. Furthermore, it pleased
God to gather together in one all things in Christ. All of the covenant
promises were in Christ, all the prophecies are fulfilled in Christ and
all God's people are in Christ and were in Christ when he was conceived,
born, lived, died, and arose. This included the souls and spirits of
the elect that were already in heaven, and the bodies, souls, and
spirits of all the elect who are still, or were still on earth. Both
the things and the elect were gathered together in Christ in the
fulfillment of his covenant work.