Identity IN Christ
Jim O’Brien shares the first word from this new series. Reading from Ephesians 1:3-14.
We are looking at the fact that we are chosen.
v.4 Even as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.
The words chosen or elect, in both old and new testaments are interchangeable. They are part of a collection of words that can bring confusion, doubt and upset if not properly understood.
2 Peter 3:15-17 just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
The doctrine of election is clearly seen in scripture. To be chosen. Our security is based on trust in the character of God. He is good, He is love and He is unchanging.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
One of the teachings/doctrines we need to know and understand is our election, the fact we have been chosen. In the Bible, we have both human and divine choices being made. The word chosen or to choose, means the same in both.
We have a God, who knows and cares about everything in His creation.
But not in the same way that He loves us. We are the apple of His eye, the centre of His every thought. Psalm 8 asks the question ‘What is man…?
God has a plan and those chosen in Him, are part of that plan. Ephesians 1:4, talks of being chosen in a corporate sense. Like the Israelite nation or the Church. The called out ones, from every nation, tribe and tongue.
The term ‘chosen’ is used not only in a corporate sense but also in a personal sense and a past tense;
We can only understand the idea of being chosen, through the lens of God’s Foreknowledge.
1 Peter 1:2.
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit,
It is wholly by grace, apart from human merit. Romans 11:5-6 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
It is by divine choice. John 15:16-17. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
God did not make a mistake when He chose you.
God’s foreknowledge is based on His knowledge of everything, the fact that he is outside time at the beginning and end.
We are chosen in Christ, to be part of His plan for salvation, His purpose.
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, he also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.
We have been chosen in Christ, chosen personally, chosen collectively, and chosen from before time and chosen with a future purpose and destination in mind.