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Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be holy and blameless

EPHESIANS-1-190220
length: 54:24 - taught on Feb, 20 2019
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Wednesday February 20, 2019
Ephesians; 1:4 - Elected to be holy and blameless
 
 

There is so much to continue in the doctrine of election and we will see more of it as we progress through Ephesians.

 

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.

 

Elected so that we will be holy and blameless.

 

Elected is in the middle voice: He elected us for Himself.

He did this before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

 

God laid the foundation of the earth. The Greek word katabole literally means to cast down, and so refers to a foundation. God states that He laid down the foundation of the world, Greek: kosmos, which means order. God made order out of chaos, GEN 1:2.

 

God created the universe out of nothing. We have no idea how old the universe is, but the farthest object away from us is estimated to be a distance of over 13 billion light years. That means it takes 13 billion years for the light emitted from that galaxy to reach us, which might make the universe at least that old, but God can do anything. The point is that every believer was elected before that distant galaxy was made. God has known you to be His child for over 13 billion years, and actually you were known before time even was.

 

This makes your election to holiness and blamelessness ever more sure. If God chose you that long ago, could He have possibly made mistake? That is a silly question since time is no factor in God’s righteous decisions. And since that is true, now buckle your seat-belts, there was actually never a time when the choice of you wasn’t made, and you stand elected on into eternity for ever more. What a salvation we have in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, our Master, husband, brother, and friend forever.  

 

JOB 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell Me, if you have understanding,

 

JOB 38:5 Who set its measurements, since you know?

Or who stretched the line on it?

 

JOB 38:6 "On what were its bases sunk?

Or who laid its cornerstone,

 

JOB 38:7 When the morning stars sang together,

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

 

There is so much that we don’t know. God outside of time. Angels rejoicing in the creation of time and space means that they existed before then, if we can use the word “before” outside of time. Yet, there are many things we can know, and they are revealed in the Word of God. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you were elected before the foundation of the world.

 

The heights of eternity, both before and after time is dizzying. Such a salvation leads our hearts to the plateaus of heaven, putting our heads in the clouds so to speak. But, like the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, we have to come back down and get to living in time.

 

We were elected so that we would be holy and blameless, this is God’s highest and best for you. His will for you is not to be unholy or a moral disgrace.

 

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.

 

“should be” - present active infinitive of eimi = it is an eternal truth that the elect are to be set apart from the world and unto God, without stain, the obligation of which is in Eph 4-6.

 

Holy and blameless do not refer to our position but to our character and conduct. We have been determining that from many scriptures over the past few months.

 

It is true that we are holy and blameless in position before God. We have been sanctified and cleansed by the blood of Christ. Paul will make that abundantly clear in the letter, but he begins here with the premise that the elect are to not just exist as certain creatures but are to be a certain way.

 

If we are not cleansed by the blood of Christ then we have no business trying to live clean. If we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, then our only business is to live clean.

 

Dr. Ironside asks the rhetorical question, “Why didn’t God create a race of men who could not sin?” He answers, “Certainly He could. He could have made creatures that could not have failed Him. He has given us samples of this in the lower world. He has made creatures who never deviate one hair’s breadth from the purpose of their being. Dr. Leander Keyser, who is not only a great theologian, but a great naturalist, says, “I have studied birds for over forty years and have had thousands of them under my observation, and I can say to the honor of the bird kingdom that I have never known an unchaste bird.” God makes those little feathered creatures to act according to His own thought for them. God has constituted it that way, and could have so constituted mankind that they could not have deviated from the path of rectitude (upright character). But the determination to create a man or woman who could give Him loyal obedience, loving service, and voluntary devotion, necessitated the creation of men and women who could turn away from God if they wanted to, refuse to obey Him if they so desired. Otherwise there would have been no freedom in their love, devotion, reverence, and affection, and God was willing to take the risk that He did take in order to have beings in this universe who would give Him glad and free-hearted love and devotion.”

 

Knowing the foreknowledge of God, as Ironside would have agreed, means that there is no “risk” with God, but we use the term when freedom to choose and self-determination are crucial elements of destiny.

 

Israel was chosen in a similar fashion. We are careful to note that the nation of Israel does not possess an identical election to the church, but there are similarities. They were elected to be holy unto Him, yet there were unbelievers in the nation, which the body of Christ does not possess. 

 

DEU 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

 

DEU 7:7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,

 

DEU 7:8 but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

 

“holy” - hagios = separate from dedication to things secular and dedicated to God and His way. Separate from sin and evil and dedicated to the worship and service of God.

 

Holy we know. It means to be set apart unto Him in mind, spirit, soul, heart, and body. It means to do His will; to yield to all of His will. Hagios describes our life.

 

So often holiness is only the focus of what the believer does not do or avoids. He follows the “thou shall nots” and is called holy. However, holiness also includes the “thou shalls” of God’s holy commandments.

 

Therefore, sanctification in life, or holiness of life, must be progressive, for no believer could know or understand all the commands of God at the beginning of his journey as a born-again believer.

 

Holiness is following the positive and negative commands. It must be pursued. It means dedication and it demands constant dedication.  

 

A believer has to plug with the word of God consistently and he has to plug with living in the truth that he learns, obeying God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. He must take full advantage of his access to God the Father and call upon the Father consistently. It is a dedicated life. There is no watering it down. It is both the hardest and easiest life.

 

Holiness is the hardest life: it demands full dedication and loss of self. It is the easiest life: it is the only one that actually fulfills.

 

A virtuoso makes playing an instrument look easy. A skilled artist makes his craft look easy. When they, or anyone skilled in something difficult, take to their craft, all witnesses say that it looks easy. Yet, decades of struggle and practice and failure and overcoming failure are hidden in every movement of their hands.

 

Decades of Christian living will pay off in a life that easily flows in the semblance of Christ’s righteousness. Is that not the great reward promised by God? Righteousness, life, glory, honor in production and fruit that pleases God?  

 

Now we turn to the result of election that is blamelessness.

 

Blameless is amomos, which is “blemish” with the negative alpha prefix. It is used nine times in the NT. Momos (blame or blemish) is metaphorical for shame, moral disgrace, or licentiousness.

 

The livestock of the OT Levitical burnt offering and the peace offering were to be without blemish or spotless. They were to not have any deformity, nor could they be wild animals; they had to be domestic.

 

Of course, the offered animal without blemish represented the Lord Jesus Christ who was blameless. We are called to be like Him; conformed to His image.

 

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.

 

1PE 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

 

1PE 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

 

1PE 1:16 because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

 

1PE 1:17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth;

 

1PE 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

 

1PE 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

 

We are redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (amomos) and spotless (aspilos). Redeemed by purity - live by purity.

 

1PE 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

 

1PE 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 

He was foreknown and elected before the foundation of the world and so are we. There is a deep, deep connection between every believer and the Lord Jesus Christ, and there are mysteries about it that are beyond us, but if we pursue that connection in daily communion with Him and in daily pursuit of His word, then we will each of us find the reality and value of that connection.

 

That connection is long before the foundation of the world and long after.

 

Holy, pure, predestined, foreknown are the believer and Christ. Our deep connection with Him is eternal before time and after time. God has asked us to explore it.

 

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