How are you? “I’m blessed.” This common answer is used in conversations. But what does it communicate? In part one this topic proposed a very concrete answer to the question found in Ephesians 1:3-14. The Father has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3). What benefit has the Lord provided believers? The Lord gives believers very concrete benefits described in detail. We are chosen, redeemed, and an inheritance (Eph 1:4, 7, and 11).
The first spiritual blessing God bestows is He chose believers. In the American, freedom of speech, constitutional rights, capitalistic world this seem counter intuitive and wrong. But there it is, in the text, clearly stated. “He chose us in Him.” God picks believers. Not only does God chose believers, but He intentionally choose us according to His plan “before the foundation of the world” (4). “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth” (Genesis 1:1). But before water, space, sky, animals, or Adam and Eve were formed, He chose His believers. This means, we who believe, were always a part of His plan and purpose. God does not look down in this world and randomly pick His chosen ones based on contemporary needs. He has already chosen them before they were born.
The great problem with humans is our sinfulness. We cannot enter into God’s presence because He is holy and blameless. Only holy beings can be in His presence. God provides good news for believers, He chose us to “be hoy and blameless before Him” (4). When God chose believers, He predetermined believers can enter into His presence being transformed with a nature similar to the Triune God. He determined believers would be pure and without sin. God cleanses believers so that they can be in His presence.
Paul fills in details to the picture to be chosen stating, “He predetermined believers would be His children” (5) God did not chose us to become angels, second class citizens, or a part of a club. He chooses believers to be in His family as our Father. He adopts believers to be children, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.” “Predestined” reinforces God’s choice before the foundation of the world. Before the Milky way, Earth, United States, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City, He knew His family.
God adopts believers. He becomes the Father because of what Jesus does on the cross. As children, God gives believers every right, privilege, and benefit to a natural child. There is no red-headed step child or second-degree child. God looks at believers as a natural born child and treats them likewise. Once in the family, like the Mafia, there is no leaving the family.
This raises the question, why did God chose me? Why am I predestined to adoption? It has to be because I am gifted, talented, smart, skilled, mighty, wise and worthy of a first or second round draft pick in God’s family. NOPE. God chose believers, “according to the kind intention of His will” (5).
Some say, “God chose those who He knew would freely chose to believe in Him.” So, God, with His great foreknowledge is able to look into the future and see who would pick Him. Therefore knowing this, God then chose that person. But God undermines this argument by stating the reason why He chose His family, “according to the kind intention of His will.”
God picks believers because He is gracious. He gives the gift of belief, adoption, and blameless character solely based on His gracious character. A child of God was adopted because God is kind. Why am I your child God? Because you are kind!
Knowing I am chosen, cleansed and adopted based solely on His kindness should produce the intended response, “the praise of the glory of His grace” (6). The Greek uses this preposition, εἰς. This preposition is commonly used to reference purpose or result. Ephesians 1:3-14 is a doxology of praise to the Father. He benefits His chosen family with the appropriate gifts to properly praise, glorify, and worship Him!
How is this made possible? This is all made possible by Christ. Throughout Ephesians 1:4-6 God communicates these benefits exist because of Christ. “He chose us in Him . . . He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ . . . grace, which He creel bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Without Christ none of this is made possible. God unites us with Him, through Christ believers are united to Him forever. Often we look over such small words as “in Him” not realizing the significance to them. Paul overwhelming uses union language throughout His writings, realizing this teaches the depth and significance to a believers union with God.
How am I today? No matter what trial exists, I am chosen, praise be to Him!