Blessings from God the Father (Part 2)
Eph. 1: 4-6
God the Father had blessed us, chosen us, and adopted us in Christ. These are tremendous truth which is hard to believe, but the Lord did it for us, out of love, His great love for us sinners. Calvinistic teachings can be found in the Epistles of Paul, but they do not stand for what the Bible teaches. When Paul speaks of God electing men, choosing them, foreordaining them, predestinating them, He means something very different from what Calvinism means when it uses the same words. We will continue this very important, interesting, and intriguing verses. But before we start I will give you another illustration about the subject “election” by God and I hope this will help clarify things.
Illustration: Know Your Election
Many people want to know their election before they look to Christ. But they cannot learn it thus; it is only to be discovered by ‘looking unto Jesus.’ Look to Jesus, believe on Him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for as surely as you believe, you are elect. If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God’s chosen ones. Go to Jesus just as you are. Go straight to Christ, hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.
Christ was at the everlasting council. He can tell you whether you were chosen or not, but you cannot find out in any other way. Go and put your trust in Him. There will be no doubt about His having chosen you, when you have chosen Him. – Charles Spurgeon
I. Predestinated by God (Eph. 1:5a)
A. Predestinated here means to limit in advance, predetermine, determine before.
B. God planned man’s salvation before the creation (Eph. 1:5,11). This does not mean God arbitrarily chooses who will be saved and who will not be. He has revealed that He wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4; Jn. 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). God knows the future and knows who will receive His offer of salvation; predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge and has more to do with what the Christian is predestinated TO than WHO is predestinated (1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:29). Predestination assures eternal salvation
C. Predestination refers primarily to what God does for the saved people.
D. The difference between election and predestination is this: election seems to refer to people, while predestination refers to purpose.
E. The goals of predestination as given in this chapter are:
1. Producing holiness to those He had chosen (Eph. 1:4)
2. Adopting them as His own sons and daughters (Eph. 1:5)
3. Assuring them of an inheritance in eternity (Eph. 1:11)
F. The overall purpose of predestination is “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14, 3:21).
Illustration: God’s Work
God is sovereign and He is working out of his purposes in the affairs of nations and in individual lives. God predestines those who are saved (Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 1:4-5). He does not stand on the side lines, a helpless spectator (so to speak), until we, with our repentance and conversion, give him permission to do something. Unless our names were written “in the book of life from the creation of
the world— (Rev. 17:8) we would not even make the motion of turning from sin. Predestination means that our salvation, from first to last, is God’s work.
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell.
II. Adopted us
A. Adoption is the process through which a person who does not belong to a given family is formally brought into it and made a full, legal family member with the rights and responsibilities of that position.
B. The practice of adoption was not common among the Jews, but was more widespread in the Greek and Roman world.
C. The apostle Paul used the term to illustrate the truth that believers have been given the status of “sonship” in the heavenly family; they can call God “Father” (Rom. 3:15; Gal. 4:6).
D. Adoption exists in three forms namely:
1. Natural – Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses (Ex. 2:10), and Mordecai Esther (Est. 2:7).
2. National – God adopted Israel (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 7:6; Hos. 11:1; Rom. 9:4).
3. Spiritual – An act of God’s grace by which he brings men into the number of his redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings he has provided for them. Adoption represents the new relations into which the believer is introduced by justification, and the privileges connected therewith, an interest in God’s peculiar love (Jn. 17:23; Rom. 5:5-8), a spiritual nature (2 Pet. 1:4; Jn. 1:13), the possession of a spirit becoming children of God (1 Pet. 1:14; 2 Jn. 4; Rom. 8:15-21; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 2:15), present protection, consolation, supplies (Lk. 12:27-32; Jn. 14:18; 1Cor. 3:21-23; 2Cor. 1:4), fatherly chastisements (Heb. 12:5-11), and a future glorious inheritance (Rom 8:17, 23; Jas. 2:5; Ph. 3:21).
Illustration : What If Wesley Were Adopted
In 1721, a wealthy Irishman offered to adopt Charles Wesley and make him his legal heir. The 13-year-old boy refused the offer, choosing to continue his way through school under very difficult circumstances.
This turned out to be one of the most momentous decisions of life. The boy who was adopted in place of Charles became the grandfather of the Duke Wellington who defeated Napoleon.
The young Wesley achieved immortal fame through his hymns as “The Prince of Hymn Writers.”
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
III. Accepted by God
A. The word accepted here come from the Greek word charitoo (khar-ee-to’-o) which means:
1. To grace, that is, indue with special honor,
2. Make accepted, be highly favoured
3. It is used in Lk. 1:28 when the angel Gabriel greeted Mary – highly favoured.
4. Those in Christ are all “highly favoured” also, like just Mary. What a blessing!
B. Basis on which we are “accepted”
1. “In the Beloved” (Jesus Christ is the Beloved).
2. Because believers are accepted “in the beloved or accepted in Christ”, we believers are also beloved by God.
3. In short, Christians are beloved by God and highly favoured by God and for me it’s already a grand blessing. Do you doubt God’s love for you? He gave His only begotten son to die for you.
Truly God have chosen us, predestinated us, adopted and accepted us in Christ. What a wonderful truth and blessings that a true believer in Christ have yet seldom or never appreciated at all. More will be revealed to us as we continue our lesson. Will you join us and really see the wonderful works of God in our salvation?