Election is really a remarkable view of God's grace, that He would chose His elect before the foundation of the world, not arbitrarily, but in His wisdom to bring about His purpose to fulfill His will. So often we hear from those who oppose God's sovereign election stating that it is not fair that God would elect or chose to save some but not make it possible for all to be saved. Some even go so far to accept a universal atonement, that God would ultimately save everyone because of His love for all. Now to be fair, not all those who hold to mans free will, meaning it comes down to man making the choice as to whether or not God will save them, ascribe to a universal atonement. They reject that God will save everyone, and do not deny that some will go to hell. Thankful for these inconsistencies, because ultimately with the idea that Jesus died for everyone, past, present and future, when taken to its logical conclusion leads you to universalism. Like I said, thankfully there are inconsistencies.
Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
This verse does not say He will make it possible for His people to be saved from their sins, does it? No, it says He will save! That is a one hundred percent guarantee that God will do exactly what he said He will do, because we know that God does not lie. (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18, Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29)
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Again, not to sound redundant, Isaiah 53 which is used so often by many Christians as this is a wonderful prophetic passage pointing to Jesus, completely miss the point that because He took upon Himself the curse of being hung from a tree (Galatians 3:13), He was pierced, crushed, chastened, and scourged and by this we are healed, not that we have the potential to be healed but that we are healed. He did this for His people not only of the Jews but also of the Gentiles, for the world. I can say world without fear because when it is rightly understood in context, you will see that often it is referring to both Jews and Gentiles, and not meaning every single individual on the earth, but from every tribe and people group God is saving from them His elect.
Here is the link to a previous article looking at the word world as used in scripture, looking deeper to understand the context behind world in different passages to help you see that it is not always referring to everyone. does-world-mean-everyone.html
We can not say that Christ did not accomplish His purpose and fulfill His plans to redeem His people if He only made it possible and is now sitting on the edge of His throne waiting to see if people will accept and choose to be saved, relying on man to be the deciding factor in salvation. Which is ultimately what one is saying, even though they will strongly argue that salvation is of God, they fail to see how they are being unbiblical in their position by making salvation a work of God plus man, and man being the determining factor. This type of thinking along with the many inconsistencies lead to many errors in properly expounding the scriptures as we will see with Ephesians 1:4, they simple continue to miss the mark. Thinking they hit the bullseye but in reality are not even hitting the target.
Let me first just look at this verse alone without the context around it and see if there is anything that stands out and is clear and easy to understand.
The scripture says just as He chose us, who is the He, this is referring to God choosing us in Christ, so God chose us to be in Christ, that is pretty clear and simple to understand, now comes the hard part, well it's not really hard to grasp but for some they attempt to make it harder in order to fit their free will theology into the text by eliminating election. However, the verse goes on to tell us when He (God) did this electing or choosing, the scripture says, "before the foundation of the world", and goes on to say that we would be holy and blameless before Him. This choosing by God that we would be in Christ before the foundation of the world is not something that we should be so quick in twisting the scriptures to avoid the plain text simply because we don't like what it says. It says what it says, whether you like it or not this is plain and clear that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, any other means of interpreting this verse differently to avoid the truth is either because one is being outright deceptive or just plain ignorant of the scriptures. We cannot allow our opinions or ideas about what we think God says in His word to dictate what God actually says in His word simply because it doesn't fit with the theology we hold.
Here is an example of someone doing just that, trying to make this passage say something it is clearly not saying.
Do I really even need to respond to this foolishness? I mean honestly think about what this guy is trying to say, the inconsistencies and mangling of the scripture is so bad that this is the best you can come up with to explain away the fact, yes fact, that Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. As I said above when someone clearly hates the doctrine of election they will go to such extreme lengths to avoid the clear truths of scripture, that are so plainly seen right before our eyes in this verse and we haven't even looked at the context yet.
Look how bad this argument is, he says that when you use proper hermeneutics you will see God is not choosing individuals but all believers, both Jews and Gentiles meaning the church. The church is made up of individual believers who collectively make up the church or body of Christ. It's like saying God elects the church but not those who are in the church. Basically what this individual is saying, is ridiculous, yeah ridulous! This is the outcome though when one tries to explain away truth, they claim to use logical arguments and have those who properly exegete the text scratching their heads like...WHAT?
This individual loves to point out the IN HIM phrase in this verse and argue that we are not in Christ until salvation, however, what this individual fails to understand is that regardless of when God chooses to bring one of His elect to the point of conversion, this does not the fact that the one being saved was elected before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world yet this take place before the beginning of the world but at the appointed time God had set forth. the same applies to salvation of God's elect, which God brings about at the appointed time for that individual He has predestined unto adoption.
Basically this man is arguing that God set in eternity past to bring about the church but doesn't choose the individuals He will save to be part of the church, which is the typical free will position, but is contrary to Ephesians 1:4.
At this point I have some serious concerns about this individuals understanding of scripture and even more concerned that this individual claims to be a teacher of God's word. He goes on from there to end the post by saying you are not elect until you are in Christ. The ridiculousness of this argument shouldn't be overlooked and the error needs to be pointed out. First the elect doesn't become elect because they believed, they believe because they are the elect. Also even by this mans logic only the elect are saved, how so? Well if the elect become the elect because they believe and only those who believe will be saved then that would mean that only the elect will be saved.
Let's look at the definition of election from Websters Dictionary 1828.
ELECT', verb transitive [Latin electus, from eligo; e or ex and lego; Gr. to choose.]
1. Properly, to pick out; to select from among two or more, that which is preferred. Hence,
2. To select or take for an office or employment; to choose from among a number; to select or manifest preference by vote or designation; as, to elect a representative by ballot or viva voce; to elect a president or governor.
3. In theology, to designate, choose or select as an object of mercy or favor.
4. To choose; to prefer; to determine in favor of.
ELECT', adjective Chosen, taken by preference from among two or more. Hence,
1. In theology, chosen as the object of mercy; chosen, selected or designated to eternal life; predestinated in the divine counsels.
2. Chosen, but no inaugurated, consecrated or invested with office; as bishop elect; emperor elect; governor or mayor elect But in the scriptures, and in theology, this word is generally used as a noun.
ELECT', noun One chosen or set apart; applied to Christ.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth. Isaiah 42:1.
1. Chosen or designated by God to salvation; predestinated to glory as the end, and to sanctification as the means; usually with a plural signification, the elect
Shall not God avenge his own elect? Luke 18:7.
If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect Matthew 24:24.
He shall send his angels--and they shall gather his elect from the four winds. Matthew 24:24.
2. Chosen; selected; set apart as a peculiar church and people; applied to the Israelites. Isaiah 45:4.
As A.W. Pink is quoted above, election is all throughout the Word of God, the only reason it's argued against is because man wants to say he had a part in his own salvation, again to be fair that may not be what they actually verbalize but when you get down to the root of the issue, that's it, man wants to be in control of his own soul.
If you would like to know more about the doctrines of grace, especially the doctrine of election please visit Monergism here>>
Verse 3 says, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
We who are believers have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places even though we are not yet with Christ we have every spiritual blessing given to us in Christ.
Now for Verse 4 which we have already discussed says, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
This verse ends with In love, which is the beginning of the next verse and this is why the idea that this is not referring to election is absurd because Paul reiterates it here in verse 5 with predestination.
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
God predestined us as sons by adoption through Jesus Christ, He chose us and predestined us before the foundation of the world, scripture is clear, those who continue to deny the clear and plain reading of scripture only continue to prove their ignorance of God's word due to their hatred of the doctrine of election.
Verse 6 says, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
All that God does is to the praise of the glory of His grace, why would we argue that anything that God chooses to do would be anything other than to His glory.
Verse 7-10 says, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him.
Verse 7 says, according to the riches of His grace.
Verse 8 says, He did this in His wisdom and insight.
Verse 9 says, He made known the mystery of His will, which if you are following along closely, Paul is speaking to the saints in Ephesus about this mystery that this is for both Jew and Gentile believers and this was His will which again we see He chose us before the foundation of the world and predestined us to be sons by adoption through Jesus Christ. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get around the clear reading of scripture unless you flat out deny the truth in order to hold tightly to the lies.
Verse 10 says, suitable to the fullness of the times, and summing up of all things in Christ, in heaven and on the earth. Again as I said in the beginning, God elects man to come to salvation and then works it out throughout time at the appointed hour that He decreed it to come to pass.
In Him continuing onto verse 11 says, also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
Once again predestined appears to plainly make it know that this is Gods Sovereign election and it is all to His praise and His glory and He is working it all out after the counsel of His will.
Why would anyone want to find themselves on the opposite side of God's sovereign plan in which He will bring about His purposes. As Romans 8 verses 28-30 so plainly lays out in the order of salvation, it says, 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
To the praise of the glory of His grace
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