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Ephesians 1:4-6

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Arthur Lewis Collier II, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. Arthur Lewis Collier II

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    Eph 1:4-6 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    1:4
    he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world – Time for us is something fixed and we cannot escape it. It's the most constant thing in our existence, moving along at a constant, continuous pace, never slowing, never stopping, always steady. God lives outside of time. That's hard for us to understand. He has no beginning, no ending. To God there's no past, no present, no future (please don't ask me to explain that). One of the results of God's timeless existence is that of seeing our past, present and future all as one, which allows for such statements as we see here. Paul wrote in Rom 8:29-30 For whom he (God) did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Predestinate means to determine before or ordain. Before God created the heavens and the Earth He chose a position for all who would accept Him as God and Savior. He would call them, justify them and glorify them. In His mind it was all done before it ever happened. I don't believe this means God only chooses certain people to be saved. Salvation is offered to all, but not all will accept.

    holy and without blame before him in love – This is a position God has given the saved in Christ, it's a place He has put us. Col 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins... We believers have been taken from one place and put into another. This is something that only begins to become wonderful in our mind as we understand God's idea of holiness. Our idea of holy may be a good person who does right most of the time, but God's idea of holiness is far greater. Such as a person who thinks only right thoughts, whose behavior is correct 100% of the time, who loves, hates and feels correct at all times. One selfish thought, one bad attitude, one small disobedience and holiness is gone. Such a holy position is not attainable for us so God granted it to us through and in Christ. The Bible says the saved are in Christ so when God looks at us He sees His Son, therefore He sees only perfection. Notice we have this position in love, meaning because of God's love for us. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We cannot begin to grasp the love God has for each one of us. I remember years ago I was asked the question, how much do you love your God? My answer was quick, I'd rather tell you how much He loves me. You see, I only love Him because He first loved me and my love for Him will impress few. His love for us is not only impressive, but it literally rescued our soul from Hell.

    1:5 predestinated us unto the adoption of children – As stated earlier predestinated means to have determined before or ordained. The thought here is still of that blessed position of being holy and without blame in Christ. The adoption of children is best described by Jesus Himself in John 3:3-6 ...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The adoption of children is the spiritual birth into God's family. Adoption is the taking of someone as they are and the spiritual birth is a new beginning. That's a wonderful picture of real salvation. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. This adoption of us by God was something predetermined by Him, something He chose that He would do for all those who accepted Christ.

    to Himself – Here we see what a deeply personal thing it is for God to provide salvation for us. God did not create us for a spectacle or entertainment. God created us to walk and talk with us. He wants a relationship with each and every one of us. Our Creator God has gone to great lengths to explain His love and desire to be our Father. He wants us for Himself. Some might say that's selfish, but it's far from that. Consider what Jesus said in Matt 6:25-30 ...Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you... Matt 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Our Creator wants to be our Father and He has moved heaven and Earth to make it happen. How terribly tragic it is for people to reject Him.

    the good pleasure of his will – Pleasure means delight and satisfaction. It truly makes God happy to provide all He has for us. God's will is His wish for us. 2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is pleased beyond measure to provide for us as He has. It is His heart and the meaning of His existence to give us Himself.

    1:6 the praise of the glory of his grace – Grace is the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits we receive from him. The glory of God's grace is the view, the estimate, the splendor and the brightness of His grace. The praise of the glory of His grace is what we say to God and others because of our view and estimate of it. Phil 4:8 ...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. If we have no joy, no peace and are not satisfied we might be thinking on the wrong things.

    he hath made us accepted in the beloved – The words “hath made...accepted” are translated from one word meaning to be highly favored. Remember the position God has given us in Christ, that of being holy and without blame before Him in love. It's a position in which we are highly favored. God's love is truly amazing as is His grace. See God's love to us as a condemned sinner: Rom 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. No one loved us more than God when we were condemned in our sin. See God's love to us as His child: Rom 8:38-39 ...I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. No one loves us more than God. We are most definitely highly favored. God's children are loved by Him and collectively they are called the beloved.
     
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  2. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Active Member

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    Hi, interesting topic. So do you believe all will come to repentance whom God is not willing should perish ?
     
  3. Arthur Lewis Collier II

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    Hello Brightfame52, since you asked me a direct question, I will answer, trying to avoid a misunderstanding. God is not willing any should perish. I believe any means any. However, many will perish, but that's not His will for them. I realize this is a short answer to your question. Please understand I suggest no hostile intent on your part by asking me what you did, but this is a debate forum. I won't answer any more questions concerning what I meant or believe concerning this matter. I believe the original post speaks for itself. Thanks for your question though.
     
  4. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Active Member

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    Okay gotcha. I believe that verse is limited to the Elect and none of them will perish and all of them will come to repentance as God wills.
     
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  5. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another "time travel theology" post. God created "time" as we know it when He created our universe. But to conclude there is no "spiritual time" in which God exists is an argument from almost silence. But OTOH, the saints in heaven were aware of the passage of "time" while in God's spiritual realm.
     
  6. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    I like your study, Arthur.
    Very in-depth, very thorough and very well-thought-out.

    My only real disagreement with you is that I believe the Scriptures teach that God does indeed choose people "in Christ", and He does so independent of their belief or any other act that they can do.
    In other words, I don't see that salvation is "offered" to anyone...

    It is a promise and a sure thing to those who have been chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world and predestinated to their adoption of children...
    The "whoseover believeth", from the heart ( Romans 10:8-10 )...as opposed to those who believe and fall away, showing that their "belief" was not genuine ( Matthew 13:16-23, Matthew 13:36-43 ).

    Those who are chosen "in Him" constitute a great multitude out of every tongue tribe and nation, which no man can number ( Revelation 7:9 ), even though there are few, relatively speaking, which are saved ( Matthew 7:14 ).
     
    #6 Dave G, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  7. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    @Arthur Lewis Collier II :

    I also see that the reason that not all ( even those who physically hear the word of God ) will choose to believe, can be found either directly or indirectly in many places, including these:

    John 6:35-47
    John 6:64-65
    John 8:43-47
    John 10:26-27.
    John 17:2.
    Acts of the Apostles 2:39
    Acts of the Apostles 2:47
    Acts of the Apostles 13:48
    Romans 8:29-30
    Romans 9:13-24.
    1 Corinthians 1:18.
    1 Corinthians 2:14.
    Ephesians 1:4-6.
    Ephesians 2:10.
    Philippians 1:29.
    2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
    2 Timothy 1:9
    Titus 3:5-7.

    If God does not give a person "ears to hear" and "eyes to see" ( Matthew 13:10-11, Luke 24:45, Acts of the Apostles 16:14 ),
    Then they will not welcome His words.
     
    #7 Dave G, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  8. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    To summarize,

    I see that election makes God the giver in the active sense, and the subject of that election the receiver in the passive sense.
    Grace is freely given and freely received...with no strings attached.
    It is completely unmerited favor and is in no way dependent upon our own efforts to receive it.

    If it were dependent upon something a man does, either with what God gives them or they already have, then that would give us, as rebellious sinners, something to potentially take credit for... or to have an advantage over our fellow man in God's eyes.

    God is not a respecter of persons when it comes to who "has what" or who "does what" to gain His favor.
    It cannot be merited in any way, shape or form.
    That is part of why I see the Scriptures teaching that belief of the Gospel is an evidence of, and not a requirement for, salvation...
    even though at first glance ( and many more ) it does appear so.


    May God bless you richly, my friend, in your continuing studies of His precious word.:)
     
    #8 Dave G, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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