Election

Election

Eph 1:4 – 2015

Eph 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love.”

In our outline, we noted that there are “seven elements of the believer’s position” that are part of our “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies,” Eph 1:3-14. Those seven begin here with “being chosen” or elected into the family and Royal Family of God. The list of seven includes:

1) Your Election, vs. 4.

2) Being made holy and blameless (sanctified), vs. 4.

3) Predestination, vs. 5, 11.

4) Adopted as “sons of God,” vs. 5.

5) Redemption, we have been redeemed from sin, vs. 7, 14.

6) We have an eternal inheritance, vs. 11, 13.

7) We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, vs. 13.

In vs. 4 we first see that we have been “chosen” by God into His Royal Family for the Church Age. The verb “chose” is the Aorist tense, Middle voice and Indicative mood of the verb EKLEGO, ἐκλέγω that means, “choose, select or elect” which is EKLEGOMAI, ἐκλέγομαι. It is derived from the preposition EK, “from,” plus the verb LEGO, “say.” In the middle form the word denotes “to choose or pick (for oneself).” Therefore, God chose us for Himself.

In Him” is synonymous with “in Christ” of vs. 3, and indicates that all of God’s blessings come to people “In Christ,” literally “in the sphere of Christ,” and our election into the Royal Family of God is one of those spiritual blessings.

Before the foundation of the world,” tells us that our election was provided for us by God before the creation of the world; in eternity past.

That we would be holy and blameless before Him”, uses the words HAGIOS for “holy” and AMOMOS ἄμωμος for “blameless.”

This “holy” is your Experiential Sanctification.  In vs. 1, HAGIOS represented your Positional Sanctification as “saints” before God. Here it is our Experiential Sanctification that we are able to walk in because of our Position in Christ. As such, your election, even though related to your position in Christ, has to do with the experiential part of God’s plan for your life. Holiness has to do with separation unto God, here it is separation from sin and the world experientially for the execution of the Plan of God for your life.

Blameless before Him” uses the Adjective AMOMOS ἄμωμος that uses the prefix of negation “A,” plus the Noun MOMOS that means, “blame, fault, blemish, spot, etc. Therefore, AMOMOS means, “without blemish,” which although it speaks to your Positional and Experiential Sanctification, it is actually a reference to Ultimate Sanctification in the eternal state.

Holiness and blamelessness are imputed to the individual at the time of his election. That is the doctrine of Positional Sanctification which we noted previously in vs. 1, as we are HAGIOS, “saints, holy, pure, clean,” positionally before God from the moment of our salvation.

Before” is the Genitive Preposition katenōpion κατενώπιον that is a marker of a position relative to someone (i.e., God) who is viewed as having jurisdiction, whether visibly present or not. Here it means “before, in the presence of or in the sight of our Sovereign God.”

Therefore, as saints, holy and blameless, we are able to stand before God pure, clean, spotless, and without blemish positionally, experientially and ultimately, which is all made possible because of our “election” into the Royal Family of God.

So this verse acts as a headline, along with vs. 1, for the three phases of our sanctification which are explained further in vs. 5-14. Nevertheless, all three phases are made possible because of our “election” into the Royal Family of God. Therefore we will discuss what our elections means.

In its simplest definition, election refers to the intention, process and result of making a choice. In regard to God and the Church, it is an act of the Divine will of God.

In Henry Thiessen’s Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology, pg. 344, he states, “By election we mean that sovereign act of God in grace, whereby, He chose in Christ Jesus for salvation all those whom He foreknew would accept Him. This is redemption in its elective aspect.

Our election is the prehistoric, pre-creative recognition by God of those who would believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior in time. Because of God’s omniscient, foreknowledge of your faith in Christ Jesus, God in eternity past was able to elect you into His family and gave you salvation in time. Therefore, election is the expression of the sovereign will of God in eternity past before the universe existed and before mankind lived on the earth. It is the sovereign right of God over His creation.

God is under no obligation to elect anyone since we all were lost in Adam, (sin). Election is wholly of God’s grace apart from human merit.

2 Tim 1:9, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” Our works have no relation to our historical impact.

In grace God chose to provide salvation for man through Christ, and election is only applicable to those who are “in Christ.” In other words, God chose man on the merits of Christ, not on the merits of man. As such, God looked down the corridor of time and in His foreknowledge saw who would non-meritoriously accept Christ as their Savior and then elected them to salvation.

Under God’s Divine Decree, His Sovereign Plan for mankind, He elected those who are in Christ into His family. The Biblical order of God’s Decree is as follows:

  1. Decree to create all Men
  2. Decree to permit man to fall
  3. Decree to provide salvation for men, unlimited atonement
  4. Decree to elect those who believe and leave in just condemnation all who do not believe
  5. Decree to apply salvation to those who believe

Election emphasizes God’s free choice of individuals to salvation. As Paul uses the verb EKLEGO in the middle voice, he is indicating that God’s choice was made freely and for His own purposes, cf. 1 Cor 1:27-28; with Eph 1:4.

1 Cor 1:27, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.”

We were chosen before the foundation of the world to live godly lives, Col 3:12; 2 Peter 1:10.

2 Peter 1:10, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”

Col 3:12, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

To understand your election, you must function under grace orientation. Understanding election is orientation to the Plan of God for your life.

As a Biblical term, election is applied to only the believer, Rom 8:28‑30; Eph 1:4. Along with foreknowledge, predestination, justification and glorification, election expresses the sovereignty of God who wills the highest and best for every believer. Therefore not only does it include your salvation but also the previously deposited “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies” for each believer in eternity past that we call our escrow blessings.

Election is a termed used for the believer only and never for the unbeliever. Therefore, God does not “elect” the unbeliever to go to Hell. Their eternal condemnation is a result of their personal choice to reject God’s plan of salvation; Jesus Christ.

In human history, the sovereignty of God and the free will of man coexist by Divine decree. God will not and cannot force the believer to execute His plan, nor will He force the unbeliever to accept His Son as their Savior. God does not coerce or hinder your volition by any coercion in eternity past or in time. Therefore, election alone does not result in the salvation of people.

Election assures that those chosen will be saved, but it alone does not save them. People are saved through faith in the substitutionary death of Christ on the Cross. They must learn about the death of Christ somehow in order to have content to their faith. Thus election, the death of Christ, testimony of His death, and personal faith are all necessary in the salvation of an individual. Election alone does not save.

Election’s purpose is for God to manifest His glory, Eph 1:6, 12, 14.

The purpose of our election is not only for eternity but for service and good works, John 15:16; Gal 1:15-16; Eph 2:10; 1 Thes 1:4-10.

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Your equal privilege of election is your very own royal priesthood. A priest represents himself before God. You as a priest have the right of going directly before the throne of grace in prayer. You have the right of becoming spiritually self‑sustaining, which is the purpose of the priesthood. Your equal opportunity of election is logistical grace blessing.  This is extended to every believer, winners and losers.

The mechanics for the election of the church is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which occurs at the very moment we believe in Christ. This is one of the forty things we receive at salvation by which each one of us is entered into union with Christ.

At the point of birth you come under the concept of selection, not election, in that God selected you to be a member of the human race rather than an animal, (although for some of you I’m not sure you were even selected into the human race, lol). The fact that you have life is selection from the sovereignty of God.

Once selected into the human race upon physical birth, you die spiritually. When during your life you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you were then “born again,” John 3:3-16, which is the result of your election from eternity past and a matter of common and efficacious grace. At this point, selection becomes election. This opens the door for the greatest opportunity ever known to man. You are a Royal Priest sustained by logistical grace, a person in union with Christ, and you can function under the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s Power System (GPS).

This means you can capitalize on your escrow blessing that are a part of the “every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.” As such, election is the expression of the sovereignty of God who wills the highest and best for every Church Age believer. Therefore, you have equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Plan of God for the Church. Equal privilege is the royal priesthood. Equal opportunity is logistical grace support and blessing.

John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

Rom 11:5-7, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.” 

Infralapsarianism:

This is known as moderate Calvinism. The distinctive issue is that the decree to elect some and to leave others in retribution follows the fall. This order glorifies God revealing His infinite, wise, holy and righteous will.

  1. Decree to create all Men
  2. Decree to permit man to fall
  3. Decree to provide salvation for men, unlimited atonement
  4. Decree to elect those who believe and leave in just condemnation all who do not believe
  5. Decree to apply salvation to those who believe

This order correctly places election after the provision of salvation for all men and then, based on God’s election, salvation is applied to the elect who have freely believed. Compare to John 15:19; Rom 11:5-7; Eph 1:1-15; 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:1-2.

John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”

Rom 11:5-7, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.” 

Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

1 Peter 1:1-2, “To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

In the interpretations of the five points, we must first note that they are:

  1. All-Comprehensive; they all go together and are held together perfectly.
  2. Eternal; the decrees always existed; God knew all the decrees at all times.
  3. Perfect; God is perfect; therefore, His decrees are perfect.
  4. Unchangeable and Certain; nothing can possibly occur to necessitate a change.
  5. The free choice of God; God determined all future events from His sovereign will in eternity past.

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