just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In loveEphesians 1:4(NASB)
How we praise and glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He has poured out every single blessing in the heavenly realms upon us, simply because we are united with Christ by faith and are One with Himself. Should we not rejoice, for this is one facet of the cut diamond of His immeasurable grace with which God has chosen to bless us.
It was not happenstance or fate, good luck, or a happy fluke that rendered us so blessed, but a beautiful showering of His wonderful love on all who believe in Jesus Christ, for which we praise His wonderful name, which deserves to be glorified into the eternal ages to come. In Ephesians, Paul opens the floodgates of God's blessing on His people, with the words, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him - in love.
He has blessed us with pardon and peace; redemption and adoption and illumination and truth from His Holy Spirit. He has called us to be sons of the most high God and has covered us in Christ's robe of righteousness. He has revealed to us the mystery of His will and given us the mind of Christ. He has redeemed, sanctified, and sealed us with His Holy Spirit, and by God’s grace there is laid up for us an inheritance in Christ – and He is building us all up in the most holy faith.
He has made us to be part of His new creation and we are members of the one new man in Christ. The blessings given to the Church were not an afterthought nor a postscript to His perfect plan - they were an integral part from the start. God knew from the beginning the choices each one of us would make and so He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. He chose every one of us in Him before the world was created, that we would be holy and blameless before Him- in love. Our good and gracious heavenly Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and seated us together with Christ in heavenly places.
Too often this wonderful doctrine of election and predestination has been misunderstood, abused, twisted, or ignored. While rejoicing in the truth of election - where God chose us before the foundation of the world, some reformed denominations sadly reject the need for unsaved men to use their free will to respond to the truth of the gospel through faith in Christ. They argue that if God elected some people to be saved from before the foundation of the world, it means that God also elected some NOT to be saved.
Such a doctrine negates the clear teaching of Scripture and removes the need for evangelism while relegating man’s free will to nonsense. Others, sadly, ignore God's election, regarding it as a 'hot potato' of biblical teaching. Man is free to choose to accept Christ as Saviour and believe in His finished work at Calvary.. but man is equally given the choice to reject His free gift of grace and unconditional love.
The omniscient God is beyond time and space. He knows the choices every man will make with respect to salvation before the foundation of the world. He knows who will resist the convicting work of the Holy Spirt in their lives and He knows those who will respond to the gospel and trust in His Son of His love - and everyone who is converted was chosen, by Him, before the world began.
All who believe in Christ for their salvation are called the elect of God. And we are called the elect for a reason - 'so that in Christ, we would be made holy and blameless before Him, in love.' God desires that ALL the elect live a holy and blameless life. He chooses us so that we will be conformed into the likeness of Jesus, for He wants all believers to die to their own desires and live for Him alone.
But just as there is a balance between God's election and Man's free will, with respect to justification there is a similar interplay in the sanctification process. While God desires all the elect to live a holy life, without blemish, the believer is also able to choose to walk in spirit and truth and to grow in grace, OR they can neglect God's will for their lives and remain in spiritual infancy - eternally saved but forfeiting spiritual reward. The former will result in a fruitful life while the latter will result in a life of lost opportunities – but in both cases, God is honoured. May we who are the elect of God use our free will wisely and for the glory of God.
How we should praise and glorify our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, for He has poured out every single blessing in the heavenly realms upon us, simply because we are united, by faith, in Christ. Praise Him that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world and accepted in the Beloved by faith in Him. No wonder Paul exhorts each one of us to live lives that are holy and acceptable before God - in love. May we be ready and willing to be holy and live blamelessly before Him all the days of our lives - IN LOVE.
I glorify Your wonderful name, my dear heavenly Father, that you chose me, in Christ, before the foundation of the world. Your grace is without limit, Your love is unending, Your mercy is boundless and Your wisdom is unsurpassed. I have not always recognised the depth of blessings that have been poured on all who trust in the Lord Jesus. Help me to live a holy and blameless life that is acceptable to You and I praise Your name for the abundant blessings You have showered on me, in Jesus' name, AMEN.