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: ”
Holy. A word we use all throughout religion. We have the Holy Bible, there are holy men of God, we sing of holiness, we are told to be holy, and here in Ephesians 1, we are told that we are chosen to the blessing of holiness. In defining the meaning of this term it is helpful to note that it is also translated as
“saint” throughout the same book. In some religions, sainthood is something that is aquired after men proove themselves worthy of it by performing certain deeds, or having some miraculous work attributed to them. But Scripture tells us that we are His chosen saints – every one who is a child of God is a saint. We tend to not think of ourselves as saints, as we have fallen into the fallacy of reserving that term for men who have some outward form of special connection with God that the “regular” children of God do not have. But we are His saints, even the most immature Christian among us are His saints just the same. Sainthood is not a thing gotten, it is a thing given – meaning we have been made holy, or sanctified. We are the elect who have been set appart from the world. This setting appart is not according to our meeting some prerequisite, it is solely upon the choice of The Almighty.
A thing that is holy is a thing that is separate from all else. The vessels in the tabernacle were holy, sanctified to The LORD and His service. God is The thrice holy God – He is completely other than anything in the entire universe. There is nothing comparable to Him. And here in Ephesianse, we are told that we have been chosen to be holy! We have been singled out by the God of heaven to be His! We are those for whom Christ prayed in John 17 “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” (John 17:6-9) This separation brigs us the prayers, protection and power of Christ, and so much more, for we are God’s.
God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings! All these flow from His Sovereign choice; and among them is that we have been made holy – separated unto Him. We are His sheep; holy to be led of Him for His glory. We have been given the honor to be counted as lambs for the slaughter, to be hated by this world due to our association with The One who has saved us by His grace! Set apart as those who will gather around the throne and sing priases to the Lamb for all eternity.
He has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be His! Oh, may this truth thrill our hearts with humble joy!
Oh, LORD! Make us to understand the truth (and not just intellectually) that You have separated us to Yourself. May we be humbled by it, not passing through this world as if we are better because of the things we don’t indulge in, but to humbly abstain from the pleasures of this world because You have made us Yours by the purchase of Your blood. Not boasting because the world is not worthy of us, but completely broken because we are not worthy of You. May we praise you for the persecution from those who hate you, as it signifies we are holy unto You. Amen.
Ephesians 3:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places n Christ:”
God has blessed His people with spiritual blessings, and not a few, but all. This is by no means an exhaustive study on the blessings, for the grace of God is limitless, and His mercies are new every morning; He daily loadeth us with benefits. There is no way in which any created being could ever comprehend all the blessings of God upon His children. May this be a blessing to you and may God use it to turn your heart in praise to Him. As we look into these blessings may God show our hearts that even in all these gifts to His children, it is not for us, but for His glory He does this!
Ephesians 3:4 “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:”
God has from before the foundation of the world chosen a people from every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation for Himself; and purchased them with His blood on Calvary. (Revelation 5:9) This choosing, I list as the first blessing, for it is because of this that all other blessings are pursuant. Paul says “God… has blessed us with all spiritual blessings… according as He hath chosen us…” The biblical truth of election is one of the most humbling and yet the most exalting of biblical truths.
Those who are God’s children have no merit of their own. We were not chosen due to any merit or foreseen faith or any other good deed on our part. Just as Jeremiah was called from the womb, and known of God before birth, so are all His children known of Him from the beginning of creation. The humiliating thing in all this is that I am absolutely unworthy of any knowledge of God, let alone the blessings that follow that knowledge. As David said, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me…” (Psalm 139:6) The doctrine of election is an extremely self-deprecating doctrine, for in it is contained the utter self-worthlessness of all those chosen.
As a father, I give my children gifts because I love them. My love is set on them because they are my children. I can not help but love them, for there is a father’s love for them in my heart. I didn’t have to work it up, it is as if it just appeared. God placed it there. Yet there are reasons why I love my children. To list a few: they are my children, they are beautiful, they fragile, they are dependent upon me for support and this dependence fills a fatherly void in my life, etc. all these things are true of human father love; but not so with God. God is love. He is the source of all true love. He does not love for the selfish reasons we do, for He needs no fulfillment, there is nothing beautiful in us, we are ugly, and although we are His creation and depend on Him for our every breath, we are diabolically opposed to everything His is and loves. Yet, through all this, He loves us. He loves us because He has chosen to. There is no reason to us – none other than the pleasure of His own will. God doesn’t love us because we are His children. Here in Ephesians we learn the exact opposite – We are God’s children because He loves us. (Eph. 3:5) This is why the truth of election is so deprecating. It is nothing we have done to attain it. We didn’t meet any prerequisite to gain God’s favor. As far as we are concerned, there is no reason why we are not left to perish in hell with others, as there is no difference. (Romans 3:22-23) May God use this truth to bring us to our knees in humble adoration of His goodness towards us. May we see the utter depravity of our hearts and may His glory and grace shine all the more in us.
Yet, this blessing of being chosen by God is exalting, for as He grants me understanding of my absolute wickedness, I revel all the more in the truth that I am still one of His chosen! I am blessed beyond measure that God, through Jesus Christ, has chosen to set His love on me in such a way to cause His grace to abound to me and to change my stone heart, grant sight to my blinded eyes, and give eternal life to me, a man who was dead in his trespasses and sins and loving every minute of that death. (Ephesians 2:1-7) He has completely change me, and it is all because He has chosen to do so. He could have set His heart on another, had He so chosen, but He didn’t! This is the exultation of those who are His children – this is the song we will sing as we gather around the Lamb of God in glory. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)
The blessing of being chosen by God. May God use this truth to drive us to worship Him and say with Paul, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” who hath chosen.
“Almighty God, may we be made to be more and more like You, and may Your glory shine through us. Consume us with a love for You, and make us what You have chosen us to be – testimonies of your matchless grace. All glory be to You alone! Amen.”