Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 13. Exposition on Ephesians . Super duper blessed in Christ (Part 3) Election 2

. Super duper blessed in Christ (Part 3) Election 2

Ephesians series Part 3

SUPER DUPER BLESSED IN CHRIST (PART 2) Seen in Election


In my last sermon we turned to verse 4 and started a study on the doctrine of election in the context of Ephesians 1. We stood still at one point only and looked at the method through which God chooses. Today we turn to another 6 parts of this glorious doctrine.

I want to remind us again that one of the issues that confuses people is the fact that some verse talk about human responsibility and others about God exercising His sovereign will with no regard for our choice. We, however saw that human responsibility can only take place where there is a work of the Spirit in our lives. Somebody one day questioned the validity of sharing the Gospel, as he felt that if God was going to save somebody He would, and what if He led somebody to the Lord who is none elect. Another preacher responded and said. ‘However you look at it, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Just get out there and preach the gospel and if you were to win a non-elect for the Lord, surely God will forgive you.’

So, let’s continue to our second point. We are still busy with the doctrine of election which is our first point.

1. The doctrine of election.

1.1 The Method.

The method we saw is sovereign election.

1.2 The object of God’s election.

Verse 4 again. “even as He chose us in Him.”

So what is the object of God’s election, or maybe better, who are the objects of God’s election? It is us. It is the ones who have responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ through faith, which is a gift of God. It is the ones who believed and received. It is the ones who have responded to the message and who confess with their mouths and believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord.

And while it is God who chose us, it does not take us of the hook, or take away our responsibility. Jesus say in John 5:40 (ESV) 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” Let me show you a verse that clearly indicates the dual role. Luke 22:22 (ESV) 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed! This is with reference to the betrayal of Judas. So, here you see God's absolute sovereignty, as it was determined to happen, and yet Judas was responsible for every deed he did. Christian, we need to allow for some mystery in understanding these things. Even when difficult we must relax and take the Bible at face value. It simply allows God to be God and man to be man. He does whatever He wills and we do whatever He tells us.

Just think about it. God says, He chose you, and you cannot figure out why. Why would God choose Paul who was persecuting the church? And yet He did. He does it for His own glory. You were His, for His glory before time began. And Paul is going to excite us with this kind of doctrine for three whole chapters, and then for three whole chapters He is going to tell you to get your life together in the light of your election. We have to walk worthy of this high calling.

1.3 The time of God’s election.

Ephesians 1:4 (ESV)4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world ….”

In theology we call it predestination. Your destiny was determined before time, before creation, before the fall, before you were born.  We read in the teachings of Christ where He talks about the eventual separation of the sheep and the goats, or the saved and the unsaved in Matthew 25:34 (ESV) 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Church family, it was prepared for us, before the foundation of the earth. 1 Peter 1:19-20 (ESV) 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you ….” No wonder Paul can say in Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

1.4 The end purpose of God’s election.

Ephesians 1:4 (ESV) 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”

Now, before you say that you are not holy and blameless, let me remind you that you are holy and blameless in Christ. That is your position. Now experientially you need to align your practice with your position. Christian, never forget that God has imputed on us the righteousness of Christ. In Christ I am holy, in Christ I am blameless. Remember that according to Romans 8:1 (ESV) 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” You do not have one sin that is not covered by the righteousness of Christ. You ‘are’, and now you need to live in a way that matches who you ‘are’. Now, if you don’t believe me, look at Colossians 2:10 (ESV) 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Do you realise, that if you are a true believer that the only way you could ever be lost is if Christ was lost. We are totally secure in Christ, and totally holy and blameless in Christ, and because He is holy, you need to be holy, because He is spotless, you need to be spotless. That is our goal in Christ.

1.5 The motive in God’s election.

Another way to say this, is ‘what drove God to do this?’

4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him, in love”

Some translations actually put the words ‘in love’ earlier and say that ‘in love He predestined us’. With God, love is not an emotion, but an act of His will. Nobody enjoys seeing your son die on a cross for the sins of wicked people, but that was God’s love. John 15:13 (ESV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Love is the act of self-sacrifice which seeks the betterment of someone else. God determined that He would sacrifice Himself for us. In love He set His affection upon us before the world began.

Can we even begin to comprehend it? That God before anything was created already determined to die for us in our sins. We will get to Ephesians 2 sometime, but I have preached on it before. If you study verse 1-3 you will realise that by our nature we are spiritually dead, deviant, demonised, disobedient, deranged and damned. And then we get to that glorious verses: Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV) “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—“

1.6 The result in God’s election.

Ephesians 1:5 (ESV) “5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,…”

This is amazing. In a sense I was a spiritual orphan. And God in Christ visited the orphanage of the world. He did not come to choose who to adopt. He came to pay the price for those who He already decided to adopt even before the orphanage was built.

Now this is marvellous stuff. I know we regard ourselves as servants of Christ, even as bond slaves. We also see ourselves as friends of Christ. But God in Christ calls us what? My sons. God’s love for us was so great that He drew us by His Spirit as close to Him as possible. He drew us to Him as sons, and it is by His Spirit that we cry “Abba Father”. ‘Abba’ was the customary Chaldean usage for God in prayer as ‘our Father’. To this is added the Greek ‘Pater’ which is the Greek word for Father. So Paul tries to envelop not just the Father sense which could be used for any Father, but the nature of the most sacred name which was expressed in prayer in their time. The adage of the Greek title for Father was simply a kind of Greek interpretation to tell you what was meant by ‘Abba’. So God adopted us as sons, and He has this intimate ‘Abba Father’ relationship with us.

Let me share something with you that is so beautiful. When an earthly Father adopts, the adopted child might behave like him, think like him, speak like him in so many ways. But at no point can the adopted father impart his real nature into that child. I had a laugh a few years ago when we stood at a church door and one of our members, a guy, was standing there with his stepmother. Another member walked out and told the stepmother that she could see where the child got his looks and character from. She went further to say that he is such a splitting image of his stepmother, thinking it was his mother.

But did you know that when you were adopted into the family of God, at the moment you believed in Jesus Christ as it was predetermined before the world began you became a partaker of the divine nature? 2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV) 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” You have the very nature of God within you, not only that He granted unto you His Spirit. So when we were adopted, we were given God's nature and God's Spirit.

And so God formed the body in Christ.

1.7 The reason or the why of God’s election?

Why did God do all of this? Did He do it because we were cool, attractive, His kind of people, sinless. No!! What was the end that He had in mind? Why did He want all of us to be His sons? Why did He want to do this? The reason is seen in verse 6. Ephesians 1:5-6 (ESV) 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

I posted a video on our website as the ‘sermon of the week’ last week, preached by Dr Albert Mohler, on the eternal Glory of God. If you have not listened to it and if you are able, please do. God defends God’s Glory and God will glorify Himself. I wish we had lots of time for it. But the word ‘glory’ has been cheapened. We so easily shout ‘glory’ when we are excited about something, but there is something deep about the grace of God which is granted for the sake of His glory, that we need to stand still and think again.

Isaiah 42:8 (ESV) 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” Isaiah 48:11 (ESV) “11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” God will defend His glory, because God’s glory is His. We do know that even the heavens declare the glory of God. The only beings who do not glorify God as they ought to are the fallen angels and the fallen men, and the fallen angels were removed from the presence of God, and fallen men will not enter into the presence of God. What will be left is simply that which glorifies Him. We see it so well in Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV) 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

That is why Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” We see the same reminder in Colossians 3.

So, in summary, and I realise we can say so much more on election.

The reason the Lord chose the body before the foundation of the world, the reason He preordained it, the reason He laid it out, the reason He did it all Himself, with no human will and no help and nothing is that the glory might all be His.

That is one of the reasons I am so frustrated with movements who want to put so much emphasis on man’s part in salvation. As soon as you do that, then we share in God’s glory. And God will not share His glory with any other. His glorious grace is His and it cannot be earned. Salvation is glorious grace from beginning to end as all glory belongs to God.

So we were placed into His body before the world began, by God’s own choice, to be to the praise of His glory and grace or His glorious grace.

Let me end with one of my favourite verses.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 13 March 2016