THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
Chapter
1:4 - The Study
"Blessed by the Father's choosing of every believer in Christ the beloved"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


THE TRIUNE BLESSING 1:3-2:22
Blessed by The Father's Choosing of Every Believer In Christ the Beloved 1:4

04 just as  
    He chose us FATHER CHOSE US
        in Him CHOSEN IN CHRIST
        before the foundation of the world,  
        that we should be holy and blameless  
            before Him, TO BE BLAMELESS BEFORE THE FATHER
                in Love.  

THE COMMENTARY - "Blessed by the Father's choosing of every believer in Christ the beloved," 1:4

(1:4)
Just as
       He chose us
          
in Him
          
before the foundation of the world,
          
that we should be
                    holy
and
                    blameless
                
before Him   ( ... before Him, in love He
... )
In love

Restating:
(For) Just as He choose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him (in love).
I have added the word "for" here, in order to help demonstrate that the following two topics are the reasons that we should "Bless God."  God has done two marvelous works here.  The first:  "The Choosing work of God," and the second:  "The Predestining work of God."

In Love He chose us
There are many areas of scripture that require faith rather than human knowledge and logic.  The relationship of the believer to God is a mystical relationship.  It can be only partly understood with the finite mind.  There is, of course, much real demonstrable knowledge concerning the believer's relationship with God, but there is also much that cannot be demonstrated like a science experiment.  Our current secular philosophers would have us believe that if we can't demonstrate a truth scientifically then it can't be valid or true.  The problem with that mentality is that even in the scientific world there is much that cannot be verified as scientific fact and must also be assumed by faith.  Don't ever let the world lead you to the conclusion that scientifically verifiable truth is the only truth.  Science points to only one way of verification, and then only to those areas which lend themselves to the scientific method.  All cultures, all people, even scientists, take most of the knowable world, let alone all phenomena in the universe, by faith.  The pressure they bear on the believer is only placed upon one area, that of faith in God, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Don't be afraid to turn the tables on them and show them their faith in science.

The area of faith to be explored in the next few verses relates to how God has selected believers.  There has been much to do about this area.  Here are three quick categories:

1.     There are those who would have God play no part in belief ("I am the author of my salvation").
2.     There are those who would have both man and God involved with belief ("We are the authors of my salvation").
3.     Those who would have God alone as the definer of the one who believes ("He alone is the author and finisher of my salvation, and my faith").

I fall into the category three.

The Father chose the Son (1 Peter 2:4-9), and therefore in choosing Him He chose us.  Since God has chosen Christ Jesus as the method of my salvation, I must trust entirely on His efficient death and resurrection.  By efficient I mean that everything that had to be accomplished, in order to bring about my salvation, was accomplished through Christ Jesus and His work at the Cross.  His death was either efficient or not efficient.  If His death is not efficient in God's eyes, then my hope upon Him is in vain, and I have no hope of salvation, either through Him or through my own efforts, or some combination.  If His death is efficient in God's eyes, then there is absolutely nothing I can ever add to make myself worthy of His salvation.  I am either entirely in Him, or there is no point of a savior, or salvation whatsoever.

When, In What Manner, and Why were we chosen?
A quick look at verse four, five, and six (1:4-6) will reveal that there are three areas of God's choosing taught here.  Looking closely you will see that choosing is unconditional, and is a doctrine that concerns persons and destiny, not the actions of those persons.

1.     When:  Verse four (1:4) states that God chose those who believe before the foundation of the world, in and through Christ.  Looking ahead to His completed and efficient work.

2.     In what manner:  Again, verse four (1:4) states that God chose those who believe through the work of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's son.  In Romans 8:30 the Word states that not only were we chosen but also called, predestined, justified, and glorified through His completed and efficient work.

3.     Why we were chosen:  Verse six (1:6) states that we were chosen, by God the Father, in order to be the Praise of His Glory.  In Romans 8:29 the Word states that we are to be "conformed to the image of His Son," because of His completed and efficient work.

Ephesians 3:11 states that because of all this,

"...In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."

Just as He choose us in Him before the foundation of the world
He did indeed chose us.  The Word of God says so.  His choosing of us is based upon His love for us.  He chose us from eternity past because He loves us.  Not because of what we have done for Him, not because of what we are doing for Him, and not for what we might do for Him in the future, but because He loves us.  He has chosen for His own reasons, in His own time, totally apart from any value we might ever present to His kingdom.  John 6:44
says (Jesus speaking), "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him."

While it may appear to some that a loving God would not choose some and not all.  But that is the way the Bible reveals God's plan.  It is not a matter of human fairness or consideration.  The scriptures reveal that God has chosen, for His reasons, through His decrees, to choose some and not all.  He calls and chooses according to His kind intentions.

When I was just a teenager, my very dearest and closest friend was tragically killed in an automobile accident.  At the funeral his father hugged me and with great love in his heart and said, "you are now my son, because you loved him so."  That's just the way God the Father sees each one who freely and willfully chooses to love His son who died, that we would become His "sons and daughters.

Trust in the God of the Bible, a loving God who always does right for He can operate in no other way.  Yield your feelings and ideas and grasp tightly upon His revealed word.  Say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15)."

This matter of choosing is very special in nature.  It is in Him, the beloved, Jesus Christ, that I am chosen (1 Peter 2:9).  I can be found nowhere else but in Him, for God looks nowhere else for His beloved children.  The unbeliever, those outside of Christ, can not be found for choosing for God looks nowhere else than in Christ.  For a further study on being "In Christ," please refer back to our study on Ephesians 1:1-2 under the heading of "The Saints in Ephesus."  You also might want to study John chapter 17, "The real Lord's Prayer."  Jesus prays to His heavenly Father about those who belong to Him.  It's a wonderful study into the mind of Christ and His relationship to His chosen children.

That we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.
This is the manner in which we were chosen, that we might be proclaimed holy and blameless, fit to live forever with Him.  We certainly are not holy and blameless in our daily lives.  If we think we are, then we make God a liar (1 John 1:8).  It is only the efficient work of Christ that allows God the Father to proclaim us holy and blameless.  We can then not only live in the heavenly realms with God but approach Him directly without fear of being undone.  For when He looks upon us He sees only His Son, Jesus Christ.  This verse is not saying that we must become holy and blameless; it is saying that we have become holy and blameless, in God's sight, if we are in Christ Jesus.  It does not teach sinless perfection either.  This verse is indicating the basis upon which God can have a loving relationship with his creation.  We are discussing the work of His son, and His relationship with us on the eternal plane, not our responsibilities before Him.  That will come later in our studies.

In Love
These two words occur in an ambiguous way.  The original Greek text has few marks of punctuation.  This is one of those places where these two words could come at the end of one thought, or at the beginning of the next.  It could be read, "...blameless before Him in love."  It could also be read, "...blameless before Him.  In love He predestined...."  Either way it does not detract from the meaning of either sentence.  We should be aware already that one major emphasis of the past few verses is love.  God the Father's love for us through Christ Jesus, God the son.  So whether we are "chosen in love," or "in love predestined..." makes little difference.  I prefer the latter, but for no particular reason.

VISUALIZED TEXT - "Blessed by the Father's choosing of every believer in Christ the beloved," 1:4

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

(1:4)

Just as
       He chose us
          
in Him
          
before the foundation of the world,
          
that we should be
                    holy
and
                    blameless
                
before Him   ( ... before Him, in love He
... )
In love

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "Blessed by the Father's choosing of every believer in Christ the beloved," 1:4

(1:4)
"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love"
1.     In verse 4, what is the purpose of the phrase "just as?"
        We could say "in the same manner as." He chose us - in the same manner as He predestined us - before the foundation of the world - and through Jesus Christ to Himself (the Father).
2.     What is God's choosing?
        God reveals Himself as a God who chooses (A careful reading of John Chapter 17 would be beneficial to your understanding of God's chosen relationship to believers).
3.     Who did the choosing?
        Specifically God the Father in this verse, does the choosing - again, according to John 17 the Father chose some to give to the Son.
4.     Whom did He choose?
        The scriptures tell us that god chooses those who willingly and freely decide to believe upon His Son, however, it also teaches that His choice of them is not based upon whether or  not they will choose Him. It is a mystical relationship that is beyond common logic.
5.     What does it mean to be "chosen?"
        Picked out, set aside, hand selected.
6.     In what "sphere of operation" were they/we chosen?
        A sphere of operation is a three dimensional area where time, place and responsibility come together. In this case the "Sphere" is "In-Christ." If you are In Christ you are in a specific time, place, and certain responsibilities pertain.
7.     When did this choosing take place?
        Before the foundation of the world.
8.     When were the "foundations of the World?"
        Before the creation of things that we can know, touch, and feel. Before the creation of our known universe.
9.   Why were we chosen?
        That God would have a people who believed in and loved Him by their own free will, that we should be called by Him "Holy and Blameless" being able to stand in His Holy presence.
10.   What does the word "that" refer to?
        Means or Result. He proclaimed us to be His and to be Holy and Blameless before Him.
11.   Who is the "we?"
        Those whom He has chosen, those who have been called, those who have chosen to believe in His Son by their own free wills, believers.
12.   Define the use of "should be" here.
        The word "should" here does not indicate that there is an alternative. A better word choice "would be." Those who are chosen are destined to be Holy (set apart unto God) and blameless (proclaimed blameless).
13.   Define "Holy and Blameless"
        Set apart, like Him, without blame, guiltless, able to be in God's immediate presence without fear, found to be acceptable by God.
14.   How does a person become "Holy and blameless?"
        The believer has been chosen to be proclaimed holy and blameless (just as in a court trial the judge proclaims you innocent of the charges against you - it doesn't mean that you didn't do the crime - the judge proclaims you innocent). By proclamation those whom God chooses are made holy and blameless.
15.   When does a person become "Holy and blameless?"
        Before the Foundation of the World. Made possible by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is applied immediately upon belief.
16.   Where does this "Holy and blameless" take place?
        Before (immediately in front of) God the Father.
17.   How long is it effective?
        As long as God is.

BIBLE REFERENCE - "Blessed by the Father's choosing of every believer in Christ the beloved," 1:4

(1:4)
"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love"
    Ephesians 2:10 - Created and prepared beforehand
    2 Thessalonians 2:13 ff. - Called that you may gain glory
    Matthew 25:34 - Prepared from the foundation of the world
    Ephesians 5:27 - Holy and blameless
    Colossians 1:22 - Holy and blameless
    2 Timothy 1:9 - Called us with a holy calling
    Ephesians 4:2 - Love toward each other
    Ephesians 4:15 - Speaking the truth in love
    Ephesians 4:16 - The building up of the body in love
    Ephesians 5:2 - Walking in love


1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."


The Book of Ephesians, Bible Study, J. Deering, AncientPath.net, study materials are a ministry of AncientPath.net, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them.  No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of AncientPath.net. 2014 AncientPath.net, All rights reserved.


49_eph_1_04_study.htm
2014-09-24 1803