Vol. 14 No. 25
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 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 speaks to your Positional and Experiential Sanctification 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:
- Decree to create all Men
- Decree to permit man to fall
- Decree to provide salvation for men, unlimited atonement
- Decree to elect those who believe and leave in just condemnation all who do not believe
- 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.”
Finally, Election is a term used for the believer only and never for the unbeliever. Therefore, God does not “elect” the unbeliever to go to Hell. (See Doctrine of Election for additional points.)
The Wealth and Calling of the Church; God’s Purpose for the Church: Eph 1:3 – 3:21
Eph 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
This verse describes why God has chosen believers: that through His Mediator, Jesus Christ, we may stand before Him as His children. Here we see that we have been “adopted as sons” of God, HUIOTHESIA υἱοθεσία, (that comes from the root word HUIOS – son). We noted this doctrine in our study of the Book of Galatians Chapter 4:4-7, so we will not go into detail here. The concept of adoption is also found in Rom 8:15: 23. In brief, adoption refers to a Roman custom of aristocracy. In Roman adoption, adoption meant a natural born son was given the status of adulthood with privileges, responsibilities and inheritance, or one who was brought into a family and given the same rights as an adult naturally born son.
In regard to the family of God, it simply means that through our faith in Jesus Christ’s efficacious work upon the Cross, we have been adopted by God the Father as adult sons into His family. And since we are the body of Jesus Christ, we are adopted into the Royal Family of God. Adoption means privilege, wealth and inheritance, which we have inside of God’s Plan for our lives, from now unto all of eternity, as members of the Royal Family of God. It also alludes to the new creation, the new spiritual species, we have been made, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15, as a result of being “born again,” John 3:3.
As this verse tells us, our adoption is through “Jesus Christ”, IESOUS CHRISTOS, meaning it is based on His completed work and not our work(s); not even our faith. It is a grace blessing from God, which is noted in the phrase “according to the kind intention of His will,” KATA TEN EUDOKIAN TOU AUTOU THELEMATOS. EUDOKIAN comes from EUDOKIA, and is synonymous with the Hebrew word RATSON, which we have noted many times in the Book of Proverbs. They both mean, “goodwill, favor, good pleasure, wish, desire, etc.” It tells us of God’s motivation for pouring out His grace provisions towards us, which in His Sovereignty He has freely done, as noted in the word “will,” THELEMA, θέλημα, that means, “will, desire, determination, purpose, or inclination.” This noun is also used in vs. 9, 11 and was used in vs. 1 where Paul noted he was made “an Apostle by the will of God.” Therefore, because it pleased God to do so, He predetermined that He would adopt us as His own children based on the merits of Christ alone. It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us, cf. Titus 3:5. In addition, as vs. 4 notes, His motivation for our adoption as sons is His AGAPE “love” for us. As such, our “riches in Christ” are based on His love and His will.
Notice that I have skipped the first main word until now, “predestined.” It is the root word PROORIZO, προορίζω, that comes from PRO, “before,” and HORIZO, “to set a boundary,” where we get the word horizon from. Therefore, PROORIZO means, “to set boundaries beforehand, appoint or determine beforehand.”
The Doctrine of Predestination.
To predestine means to preplan a destiny. As such, this word is used in regard to:
- The death of Christ, its meaning and purposes as predestined by God, Acts 4:27-28; 1 Cor 2:7-8.
- For God’s elect who are:
- Predestined to adoption, vs. 5.
- Predestined to an inheritance, vs. 11.
- Predestined to ultimate conformity to Christ, Rom 8:28-30, cf. Eph 2:10 regarding our Divine Good Production.
The elect’s predestination has to do with both their entrance into the Royal Family of God, (salvation), through adoption, and their daily walk as they put on the Christ like nature in the execution of Divine Good Production.
Predestination is the work of God the Father in eternity past on behalf of every Church Age believer to enter and execute His Plan, purpose and will for their life. Therefore, predestination is the grace provision of God the Father for the Royal Family.
Predestination and Election:
Under the Doctrine of Divine Decrees, election cannot be divorced from predestination. Even though we were elected in eternity past, election to privilege occurs at salvation. Whereas “election” looks back to discover whom God has chosen, “predestination” points forward to what God has determined shall be the destiny of those who are His. 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 and predestination alone do not result in the salvation of people, it is a combination of God’s Omniscience and your free will volition to accept God’s grace provisions for salvation and blessings in time and eternity. People are saved and blessed through faith in the substitutionary death of Christ on the Cross.
Charles Ryrie notes, “Biblically, predestination is limited to the elect people and assures their present position and future destiny. Theologically, the term has been used to include all things, that is, as a synonym for the total Plan of God. From this theological definition it is an easy step for some forms of Calvinism to use predestination in relation to the destiny of the nonelect. Thus there arises a doctrine of double predestination. However, this is a logical assumption, not based on biblical texts. The Bible is clear that the elect are predestined, but it never suggests that there is a similar decree to elect some to damnation. The Scriptures seem content to leave that matter as a mystery, and so should we.” (Systematic Theology.)
What we call the Plan of God in time is from the Divine viewpoint of eternity past called predestination. The purpose of our election and predestination to adoptions as sons of God is not only for eternity but for service and good works in time, John 15:16; Gal 1:15-16; Eph 2:10; 1 Thes 1:4-10, as well as for God to manifest His glory, Eph 1:6, 12, 14.
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.”
Predestination and the Sovereignty of God.
Notice that both vs. 5 and 11 use PROORIZO and THELEMA. Therefore, our predestination to salvation, our predestination for blessings in time and our predestination for blessings in eternity are all part of the sovereign will, the sovereign decision of God our Father. It is based on His free will that is motivated by His love for us. Along with election, foreknowledge, justification, and glorification; predestination also expresses the sovereignty of God who wills the highest and best for every believer. Therefore, not only does our predestination include our salvation but also the previously deposited “spiritual blessings in the heavenlies,” vs. 3, for each believer in eternity past that we call our escrow blessings. This includes the subject of vs. 11, “our inheritance.”
Predestination is the grace provision of the sovereignty of God for every Church Age believer. It is the provision of the sovereign will of God for the Royal Family. Predestination provides equal privilege (union with Christ) and equal opportunity (the Divine Power System, GPS) to execute the Plan of God for your life. Through His grace policy the sovereignty of God provides everything necessary to sustain every believer (your logistical grace blessings). In the Church Age every believer under predestination has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Plan of God. Equal privilege is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequent Positional Sanctification, and equal opportunity is the Divine initiative of God’s prehistoric grace related to your Portfolio of Invisible Assets.
Predestination Means Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity to Execute God’s Plan.
Under predestination, we have the privilege of historical impact by advancing to spiritual maturity, 2 Peter 1:3-11. Therefore, predestination is the provision of the sovereignty of God from eternity past for the execution of the Plan of God in time. It includes equal privilege and equal opportunity for the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for your life during the Church Age.
Equal Privilege: Equal Privilege includes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation and Positional Sanctification, which refers to the formation of the Royal Family. The Royal Family, (i.e., Church Age believers), share the destiny of Christ. Your equal privilege of predestination is being made Royal Family by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, who placed you in union with Christ at salvation. This is called Positional Sanctification. Being in union with Christ means we share all that Christ is and has. Specific to this doctrine is the fact that we share Christ’s heirship, being made heirs of God. Also we are the sons of God, adopted as adult sons, Roman style. Therefore, being made a member of the Royal Family of God you have the same privileges as any other believer to execute the Plan of God for your life. The plan God has for your life will differ from your fellow believers’ but your privileges to walk in and fulfill that plan are identical.
Equal opportunity: You have your very own prefabricated palace, the operational GPS, (God’s Power System = The filling of the Holy Spirit plus the Word of God in your soul), 1 Cor 3:16; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18.
1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Equal Opportunity is the Filling of the Holy Spirit coupled with God’s Word resident within your soul that provides the Divine power necessary to execute God’s plan and to fulfill your destiny on earth. This includes the mandate to live, reside, function, and grow spiritually in grace in your palace, that you might accomplish and achieve everything that God has designed for you. The humanity of Christ received the first GPS, His being called the prototype GPS. He utilized it so that He remained impeccable in His humanity and was therefore qualified to go to the Cross and be judged for the sins of the world. We receive the operational type GPS to execute and fulfill God’s Plan for our lives, by growing spiritually and producing Divine Good, to the glory of God. Therefore, in free will, you have the same opportunity to fulfill God’s Plan for your life as any other believer.
Predestination Means Three Things:
- Predestination means Protocol, the provision of the Plan of God for every believer in eternity past. Eph 1:11, “having been predestined for a predetermined plan.”
- Predestination means Royalty. The believer is in the Royal Family of God. Eph 1:5, “He has predestined us for the purpose of adoption to himself.” At salvation, every believer is adopted not only as an adult son but also as Royal Family. Being adopted as an adult son into the Royal Family at salvation means all your previous handicaps related to your physical birth and unbelieving life have been eliminated. This includes all genetic, environmental and volitional handicaps.
- Predestination means the Possession of your very own Royal Palace, the operational‑type GPS. Rom 8:29, “He also predestined us to be conformed to the image of his son.” Jesus Christ resided in the prototype GPS while on earth. He has given us, His Royal Family, the operational GPS for our life on earth.
Predestination Means the Execution of God’s Plan for Your Life Inside of GPS.
God the Father prefabricated a power system, which we call GPS, for the execution of the Christian way of life. It is based on God’s Power not human beings and their legalistic or antinomian standards. Predestination includes the formation and pre-existence of GPS to execute His Plan for your life.
If God is going to deposit all those escrow blessings and will them for you, He must provide a way for you to fulfill the escrow conditions. He provides the way and means; He does not leave anything to your works, abilities, personality, or attractiveness. He provided it all in eternity past. Therefore, God provided for you under predestination everything you need to execute His plan, the Plan of God, the only game plan for the Church Age. It is God’s grace provision for each one of us to fulfill His plan and to receive the conveyance of our escrow blessings, John 14:26; 15:1-5; 8, 26; 16:7, 13-15.
The Unbeliever is Not Predestined to Hell, John 3:18, 36.
He goes by his own free choice because he rejects Christ as his Savior. No unbeliever is ever predestined or predetermined to judgment; they go by means of their own volition. The biblical concept of predestination does not conflict with human volition but emphasizes it. “God is not willing that any should perish.” Unlimited atonement verifies that God’s sovereignty wills salvation for the entire human race. The purpose of this doctrine is to relate the believer permanently to the Plan of God through positional truth, Eph 1:5. Only the believer has a destiny. Only the believer is foreordained under the provision of GPS.
Therefore, for the believer only, God, being motivated by His love for us, has determined “before the foundation of the world,” vs. 4, that we would be adopted into His Royal Family. Based on His pre-determinate will, He predestined us for this adoption, vs. 5 and our eternal inheritance, vs. 11, so that we would walk in them, Rom 8:28-29.
The Missionary’s (Our) Predestined Purpose, by Oswald Chambers.
“Now the Lord says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant …” (Isaiah 49:5).
The first thing that happens after we recognize our election by God in Christ Jesus is the destruction of our preconceived ideas, our narrow-minded thinking, and all of our other allegiances—we are turned solely into servants of God’s own purpose. The entire human race was created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Sin has diverted the human race onto another course, but it has not altered God’s purpose to the slightest degree. And when we are born again we are brought into the realization of God’s great purpose for the human race, namely, that He created us for Himself. This realization of our election by God is the most joyful on earth, and we must learn to rely on this tremendous creative purpose of God. The first thing God will do is force the interests of the whole world through the channel of our hearts. The love of God, and even His very nature, is introduced into us. And we see the nature of Almighty God purely focused in John 3:16—“For God so loved the world … .”
We must continually keep our soul open to the fact of God’s creative purpose, and never confuse or cloud it with our own intentions. If we do, God will have to force our intentions aside no matter how much it may hurt. A missionary is created for the purpose of being God’s servant, one in whom God is glorified. Once we realize that it is through the salvation of Jesus Christ that we are made perfectly fit for the purpose of God, we will understand why Jesus Christ is so strict and relentless in His demands. He demands absolute righteousness from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God.
Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to:
Lesson #’s 15-067 through 15-069
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!