Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10, focus on verse 4
Questions for observation and application:
In verse 4:What did God do?
When did he do it?
For what purpose?
Much ink has been spilled in trying to understand and explain the connection between God’s sovereignty in salvation (“He chose us… before the creation of the world… in love he predestined us…”) and our free choice. I believe that, ultimately, this is a mystery which our finite minds will never be able to fully grasp. For the purpose of this study it is worth seeing how these phrases connect to the broader context.
First, God’s choosing of his people for salvation is a reason for worship (see “praise” in v3). Second, just as God’s people receive their blessings “in Christ” so their election is also “in him.” We are united with the Chosen One. Third, God’s choice “before the creation of the world” re-enforces the nature of God’s blessings, that they come to us as a pure gift, prior to any action on our part. Fourth, the choosing of God’s people is directly tied to their ethical behavior. We are chosen to be holy and blameless before God – an objective reality which comes through forgiveness and a subjective experience of daily following Christ.
Ask God to help you live a holy and blameless life.
Bonus Reading: Psalm 119:17-24