Ephesians 1:3-4. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world…in love.
Ephesians 1 stands as possibly the greatest teaching in scripture about our union with Christ. And the opening verse kicks things off with a big, bold, bang – we have every spiritual blessing in Christ!
And from there it gets better and better as Paul begins to lay out what these spiritual blessings are. And what they mean for us.
Do you remember those terrible days as a kid on the school playground when they would pick teams for kickball. The two captains would look out at all the available players (classmates) and one by one choose who they would have on their team. Of course the most gifted athletes were chosen first, and so on and so on down to the last couple kids. At that point the thinking was “which one will hurt my team less?” Do you remember how terrible it felt to not be chosen first, or second, or third? Or even worse to be chosen last? Some of you can relate. Some of you are Gen Z and have no idea what I’m talking about. Others of you have always been winners and never chosen last. Congratulations.
Christian, God chose you.
He chose you before you existed in time and space.
He chose you before you did anything of any worth.
He chose you, not last, but first – before the foundation of the world.
How do I know that God chose you (and me)? First because he chose Christ. God’s free will election first fell upon Christ himself. Jesus was chosen before the foundation of the world to save the world (1 Peter 1:20). Because Christ was chosen, and we are IN CHRIST, we too are chosen.
“Because catching them all starts with one.” Hmmm
Second I know God chose you (and me) because he chose us. The church. The church has been in Christ since before the creation of the world. Like Eve inside of Adam physically, Jesus’ bride was in him spiritually. When he went to sleep the glorious bride was revealed. That’s us. You and me. Are you a Christian? Are you in Christ? Then you are chosen. Just like Jesus and just like his bride.
Knowing this and trusting this is the greatest of spiritual blessings. Why? Because no one can undo what God does of his own will. This is the greatest of assurance. The greatest hope. The greatest peace and joy. The greatest love.
In love. God didn’t have to choose us. The choice didn’t precede the love. The love preceded the choice. God wasn’t obligated to love us because he chose us. He chose us because he loved us. Because he loved Jesus the Son.
He chose us in him. In Christ. Jesus is the cause and the goal of our election. Jesus’ union with us in the incarnation allows us to be chosen in him, and our union with him by the Holy Spirit causes us to be chosen in him. The glorious end of our election is our full and final union with Christ. And the glory of God!
Oh and please don’t let this verse be used to start arguments, even in your own head, about election and predestination and free will and determinism and contingencies and the “hidden will of God.” It is far better for us to focus on the revealed will of God which is that God, in his grace, willed to save humanity in Christ. And by choosing Christ and thus all that are in Christ he has done just as he said he would. He has saved the world.
So rather than letting election drive you crazy, let it remind you that God is crazy about you. However, he did it, he did it. Yes, the theology is important. But right now can you simply accept God’s acceptance of you?
“To live is Christ” is to live from this awesome reality of being loved. Being picked. Being wanted. Not because God had to but because he loved. And he still does. And he always will. Do you believe this?