Monday, September 5, 2022

Chosen by God (Ephesians 1)

"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Eph 1:4).

In the Psalms, we find God’s sovereignty supporting every aspect of David’s life and faith. In Psalm 65, David declared, “Blessed is the man You choose and bring near to live in Your courts!” David understood that even salvation rests on God’s sovereign choice. Last week, in our study of Psalm 107, we read how God saved people from distress and brought them out of darkness. Salvation comes only by God’s mighty hand and according to God’s eternal plan.

Many believers will agree that God is sovereign, but when you ask how God’s sovereignty works itself out in salvation, disagreement abounds. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty in salvation is known as predestination—a biblical term which lays a foundation for correctly understanding what it means to be chosen by God. Because this truth is so vital, we will spend the next series of studies exploring the doctrine of predestination.

The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, chapter 3:5, defines the doctrine of predestination as follows: “Those of mankind who are predestined unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.” This statement is taken directly from Ephesians 1, which says, “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.… In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”

Predestination means that God has determined beforehand who would come to faith in Christ and be saved from eternal destruction. This implies that our salvation is not dependent on ourselves, but only on God’s choice. Those He has chosen will come to faith. That faith is necessary for salvation, but our salvation does not begin with it—salvation begins with God alone.

What events led up to your conversion? When did you begin to have faith in Christ? What caused you to have that faith? Think about a friend or relative who is not a Christian but has heard the Gospel. Why did you turn in faith, but that person has not? Who do you give full credit for your conversion, yourself or God?