Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Title: Ephesians; 1:4 - Election, part 3.
Doctrine of Election: 1) definition for church:
Election definition for church age believer: God the Father chooses or elects believers to the life of Christ.
The simple word choose becomes incredibly profound when one understands the life of Christ.
MAR 8:27 And Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?"
MAR 8:28 And they told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets."
MAR 8:29 And He continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "Thou art the Christ."
MAR 8:30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
MAR 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
MAR 8:32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
MAR 8:33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
Borrowing from the parable of the Wedding Feast, Peter wanted to keep some of his own clothes on. He liked the garment that Jesus was the Messiah, but he hated the garment that Jesus must suffer and die at the hands of His enemies.
MAR 8:34 And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Peter therefore seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!"
Evolutionists wonder what the next step is, meaning man will evolve into some kind of superman. But the end stage of humanity has already come. The next step and final step is the new man in Christ. Christ is the pinnacle of man.
MAR 8:35 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it.
MAR 8:36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
MAR 8:37 "For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
MAR 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
One wonders if these words rushed in upon Peter’s mind after he realized that he had denied knowing Jesus.
Church age election: Whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall find it.
MAR 10:17 And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
MAR 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
MAR 10:19 "You know the commandments, 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
MAR 10:20 And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up."
MAR 10:21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
The thing that the man lacks was hinted to him by Christ. “No one is good but God alone.” He did not see Christ as God or even sent by God, for if God told you to sell your possessions, and with it promised eternal life, the greatest riches of all, how could you refuse Him?
MAR 10:22 But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.
It never entered his mind that life with God was not compatible with material things, meaning, one has no association with the other. He asked, “what must I do.” To him, salvation was a work, but what kind of work and how much, he did not know. Why did he not think that he already had eternal life if he kept the ten commandments? But it is sure that he violated the first commandment, EXO 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Yet, he did not see himself as violating it. No matter how rich he was, he was bankrupt before God. By giving away all he possessed, he was giving nothing to God. Jesus could see his heart and knew what he worshipped and out of love for the man tried to help the man to take it away.
MAR 10:23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"
MAR 10:24 And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
After seeing their amazement, Jesus goes further, “how hard it is for anyone to enter the kingdom of God!” In fact, it is impossible in the way they currently see it. None of them yet understand that Jesus must die for them.
MAR 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle [impossible] than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
The implication here is clearly that they cannot enter because of their riches. He makes this clear as He continues.
MAR 10:26 And they were even more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?"
MAR 10:27 Looking upon them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
With men alone, impossible, riches and all.
MAR 10:28 Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You."
Peter’s implication is that they are not rich, but have sacrificed everything, and so, perhaps they are qualified for eternal life. He does not yet understand.
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Yet Jesus doesn’t reiterate to them what He had already told them multiple times - that He was going to suffer and die. Perhaps He didn’t say so here because He knew that they wouldn’t understand until they saw it for themselves, which was the case.
Jesus goes right into the principle that Peter opened up when he mentioned sacrifice. The elect must lose their whole life and live only for Him, and only then will they find life.
MAR 10:29 Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake,
MAR 10:30 but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
MAR 10:31 "But many who are first, will be last; and the last, first."
The conclusion of Mere Christianity: “There are no real personalities anywhere else [than in God]. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different the saints.
There must be a real giving up of self. You must throw it away “blindly” so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and your just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two-pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through life from top to bottom. Give up your self, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
2) Election is the call to sanctification or living the life of Christ.
We must not miss what we are getting at in this study of election. Election is for you. It is not for improving what others think about you, though that will likely happen. It is not for getting you to do more good things. Election is for you to understand what God the Father has made you as a new creature in Christ. There is no use bothering about how it happened, whether your faith came first or His choosing you came first, or if they both happened simultaneously, or if one caused the other, or etc., etc. It would be like a man who refused to start living his life because he didn’t understand the science of conception. What we know for sure is that God elected some before the foundation of the world and they believed upon Christ as their Savior from their own free-will. We know that they were not forced.
2a. Election is for you to experience the life that is Christ; full of love, joy, and peace, and to understand that living as that creature is now your only option. In faith, get cracking!
EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
I’ll repeat the Greek words that begin this clause.
“Just as” - kathos= explaining “blessed us” in vs. 3.
“He chose us” - eklego(aorist middle indicative) = to select, elect, or choose. Middle - He chose for Himself.
Never forget the use of the middle voice here, it is very unfortunate that the NASB doesn’t translate it fully; only the expanded translations do so.
He chose you for Himself. Don’t water this down by only focusing on the fact that you chose Him, which you did by faith. But you didn’t pick Him out of a lineup of possible Messiahs, or blindly chose Him and get lucky. God the Holy Spirit presented Him to you as the One who chose to die for you. We cannot resolve this with any human language. It must remain a mystery. The Sovereignty of God chose you and your free-will chose Him through the gospel. God doesn’t make mistakes. If He chose you, you are to be holy and blameless. He isn’t going to force you to be. You must chose to be, knowing that God has graced you out to be.
2b. God chose you for Himself. Don’t get bogged down on “why.” Just rejoice in the intimate, special tenderness of it.
EPH 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
The conjunction hina (that) is not in the original. “World” is followed by “we should be holy and blameless before Him.”
2c. The present infinitive of the verb “to be” (should be) means that we are to always be holy (hagios = set apart unto God in thought, conduct, and life) and blameless (amomos = without blemish).
1PE 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
1PE 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.
We’re going to see more of this later, but it is a part of election that bears repeating, much more than the arguments over why God elects.
1PE 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, just like EPH 1:3, because of His mercy which caused us to be born again to a living hope and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.
2d. Election comes with an inheritance from God composed of His spiritual blessings which enable us to live holy and blameless.
1PE 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
Therefore, because you are elect, because you have your inheritance in Christ, because you live resurrected, because you have a love fulfilled relationship with the Christ …
1PE 1:13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.