Ephesians 1:4. “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: ”
A continuation of verse 3, this verse leads us into the realm of election and predestination. I have to admit that I approach this passage with trepidation. I remember the endless wrangles among the preacher boys in my Bible college concerning foreordination, predestination, free will, and so on. You may have a different view than what I’m offering here. That’s fine. This is clearly a topic that has not been resolved since Paul penned the words, and I’m making no claims to resolve it now. You are free to comment. I would ask only that you be civil, kind, and brief. No one is going to take the time to read a lengthy exposition. And please, no name-calling. We can disagree and still be brothers and sisters in Christ. It will all be settled one day, and it won’t be because of anything you or I have said.
God has chosen us. The truly important thing here is that our salvation is not because of anything we have done, but that God chose us before He created the world. I John 4:19 tells us that we love Him because He first loved us. Our love for God is in response to His great love, and His sacrifice of His Son. God Himself purposed our salvation in eternity past. Jesus bought our salvation at Calvary. The Holy Spirit touches our hearts and brings us to Him. There is no credit that we can take. It is all of God.
Before the foundation of the world speaks of the doctrine of election. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “God certainly must have chosen me before I came into this world or He never would have done so afterwards.” This concept is a problem to those who want everything about salvation to be logical and explainable in human terms. I think where we miss the point is in forgetting that God does not operate by our human dependence upon time. Eternity past, present and future are all one to Him. He is not bound by anyone’s clock. For God, the past and the future are all one eternal now. He looked across eternity and decided that the heavens and the legions of angels were not enough; He wanted to include redeemed, sinful humans to increase praise and glory to Himself, and to gift us with eternity in heaven.
Do I have to be able to understand this and make logical sense out of it before I accept it as truth?
No, of course not. When is love ever logical? This I do know, it all made sense to God, and because He is God He gets to make the rules.
Isaiah 55:8-9. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
To be holy and without blame before Him in love is the greatest gift humankind could ever receive.
We’re just getting started. I’m going to move through this passage slowly and carefully. Come back on Monday for the next verse.