GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

09142022

PDF: EPHESIANS-0290-006 NOTES 

EPHESIANS - 0290-006

DIVINE DECREES, PART 3. SELECTION & ELECTION.

LUK 22:21-22; JER 1:5; ACT 1:11-13; EPH 2:10.

 

We are still studying EPH 1:1 which says  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

With the phrase, “by  the will of God,” we have begun the;

 

 The Doctrine of Divine Decrees.

 

 Point 1. Definition and Description.

 

 

 

The decree of God refers to His eternal, holy, wise and sovereign purpose comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions, successions, relations, and determining the certainty of their future.

 

Let me repeat it for you with some additions I would like to bring out.

 

The decree of God refers to;

His eternal (He is always existed),

He is Holy = (perfect integrity),

Wise = the application of omniscience to creation)

 

and sovereign purpose, comprehending simultaneously all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions (status), successions (interaction with others), relations, and determining the certainty of their future.

 

This definition begins by expressing the source of the decrees which who is God "comprehending" all things.

 

Now, we noted on Sunday morning,

 

The divine decrees have nothing to do with God violating the free will of man.

 

One student of the word of God asked the question;

 

If God does not violate “the free of man, then why did  Jeremiah say;

 

JER 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

 

His is true about everyone in the human race!

 

God knew in eternity past who would be a member of the human race, and He knew simultaneously in His omniscience who would choose to believe in Jesus Christ.

 

This is the principle of selection and election,

 

God selected those who would ultimately believe before He elected them.

 

Selection precedes election.

 

Selected = God selected you to have life.

Election = He elected you to have His Highest and best and saw that you would believe in His Son because   He knew who would respond to His calling because of their faith.

 

 

Since God knew in eternity past that you were going to be a member of the human race, and He knew simultaneously in His omniscience that you would believe in Jesus Christ, God selected you before He elected you.  Selection must precede election.

 

Selection is a technical term related to the divine imputation of human life at the point of physical birth.

 

God is the inventor of human life, just as He is the creator.

 

At the moment of physical birth, God imputes human life to the format soul, at which point the individual becomes alive.

 

That is selection.

 

God did not have to impute life to you but He did.

Therefore, life has meaning, purpose, and definition for everyone, regardless of environment or circumstances, historical prosperity or historical adversity.

 

Simultaneously, Adam's original sin was imputed to the genetically-formed old sin nature resulting in spiritual death.

 

So, when we were selected, we are spiritually dead.

 

Our personal sins were never imputed to us for judgment.  Instead, they were collected and imputed to Christ on the cross.

 

Our sins were judged at the cross.

 

Jesus Christ took our place; He is our substitute, and His spiritual death was efficacious.

 

Now, when it comes to Selection and Election, we must realize the difference between them both.

 

  1. Selection is the sovereign decision to impute human life at the point of physical birth.

 

  1. Election is a term relating to the spiritual birth or regeneration.

 

For while God provided election as one of your computer assets in your portfolio of invisible assets in eternity past, you receive election at the point of your salvation.

 

I am using the computer as the computer of the divine decrees because of all the fantastic principles found in the illustration.

 

I summit to you I do not know much about computers, so I must rely on those of you who are doctrinal, to write to me on any suggestions you may have.

 

Under the principle of selection preceding election;

 

The very fact that when a person is born, he receives the imputation of human life from God when he might have been of any lower creation means God selected you be born as true humanity, when He imputed life to you.

 

It means God has a purpose for every member of the human race with no exceptions, for both believers and unbelievers.

 

When God selects, He does so from His perfect decision‑making process, which is called His sovereignty.

 

Selection occurs when the sovereignty of God imputes human life to the soul at birth while clection becomes a reality when any person believes in Christ for salvation.

 

At the moment you receive the imputation of eternal life, you also receive your computer assets, (which are all invisible assets) election and predestination.

 

But awareness that God has a marvelous plan for your life comes gradually through learning doctrine.

 

The fact that any person is born again through faith in Christ when he might have been forever under condemnation is the motivational challenge of election which follows selection; 2Pe 1:11.

 

 

 

The fact that selection at birth and election at regeneration occur for every believer and opens the door for the greatest opportunity ever extended to the human race, an opportunity for invisible but real historical impact, and blessing by association.

 

To name only two.

 

You have the greatest opportunity ever extended by God to any member of the human race!

 

You have a greater opportunity than the greatest rulers and leaders of the past.

 

Potentially, your influence, while invisible, is far, far greater than any success factor in history.

 

This opportunity is described by two words:  election and predestination.

So great is the opportunity of these two computer assets, and so fantastic is the grace principle behind it all, (for we cannot earn or deserve any of it), that it is almost beyond description!

 

God provided everything for you to execute His plan.

 

And He provided it knowing that you would have an old sin nature, knowing its every manifestation and your every failure.

 

Yet He still selected us at birth and He still gave us election at regeneration.

 

None of us earn or deserve our computer assets.

 

None of us are any better than anyone else in the light of grace.

 

Only God can invent equality of opportunity!

Man can't do it!

 

But it belongs to you from your computer assets.

 

So that, and please listen to this statement because I am not making it up but it is what I truly believe;

 

There is no such thing as a handicap, whether environmental, volitional, or genetic; you have the same privileges and opportunities as every other believer, for you are royal family of God.

 

The only distinguishing factor among believers in the Royal Family of God is the personnel assets, i.e., different spiritual gifts.

 

The doctrine of the divine decrees does not mean God choose whoever He desires to be saved without taking into account man’s free will to say “NO.

 

God violating the free will of man comes from John Calvin and is called Hyper-Calvinism which denies the existence of that the FREE WILL OF MAN.

 

Now, what is lapsarianism?

 

Actually, John Calvin did not believe that, Theodore Beza did who succeeded Calvin as a spiritual leader of the Republic of Geneva, which was originally founded by John Calvin himself.

 

Theodore Beza distorted Calvin’s position on the free will of man.

 

All the this is answered by the Angelic Conflict.

 

The point is;

 

Did God violate their free will and make them crucify His Son and then send them to eternal damnation?

No, He did not, in fact, He could not!

 

That would make Him unjust and God cannot be anything but just and righteous.

 

Go to Luk 22:21-22.

 

LUK 22:21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table.

 

LUK 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"

 

Now, there have been those who claim that Judas was saved but because he betrayed our Lord, he felt guilty and ashamed so He committed suicide by hanging Himself.

 

Look at this great passage given to us by Peter.

ACT 1:18 (Now this man (a reference to Judas) acquired a field with the price of his wickedness (his betrayal); and falling headlong (committing suicide), he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.

 

Then in ACT 1:19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

 

ACT 1:20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his homestead be made desolate, And let no man dwell in it'; and, 'His office let another man take.'

 

The other, of course, is Saul of Tarsus, who later on would be called the apostle Paul, who to them at the time was murdering Christians.

 

Little did the apostle Peter realize that he was prophesing about Saul of the apostle Paul

"Did God make Judas betray TLJC and make Herod and Pontius Pilate order His execution or did they do it on their own?"

 

I think that the last half of this verse answers that question;

 

"woe to that man” or that person by whom He is betrayed"

 

Now,

 

It is true that we noted in one of our definitions on the decrees that the decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsels of His own will whereby for His own glory He has foreordained whatever comes to pass.

 

However;

 

Foreordaining something does not mean to violate human volition.

 

The Compact Dictionary of doctrinal words in theology foreordination is the belief that God has set all events before they happen, but not to the extent that He must destroy human freedom, an important part of being created in His image.

 

So, bear in mind those five characteristics as we approach all sorts of things, like the potter and the clay.

 

The decrees of God are;

 

 (1) All comprehensive 

(2) Eternal 

(3) Perfect 

(4) Unchangeable and certain. 

(5) The free choice of God in eternity past.

Look at EPH 2:10 which will look something like this when we get there in our study of Ephesians

 

The NAS says - EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

The corrected translation will look like this;

 

EPH 2:10 "For we are His production [we have invisible assets, election and predestination], having been created a new spiritual species in Christ Jesus for the purpose of performing good works of intrensic value, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

It's amazing of how the divine decrees tells us of so many of the wonderful things that God has done for us billions and billions of years ago.

What a fantastic concept of the grace of God when you think of it in billions and billions of years ago.

 

God actually knew that you would believe in Christ and knowing that He provided this fantastic equal privilege concept under the print-out of predestination.

 

"having been created in Christ Jesus” for divine good works” means that we have momentum inside the PPOG as a part of equal privilege of election.

 

When it says;

 

“which God has prepared in advance,” it is a reference to the divine decree and the divine provision of our portfolio of invisible assets prepared by God in advance in eternity past for every Church-age believer.

 

And then finally a purpose clause;

 

"that we should walk by means of them” referring to the utilization of our fantastic assets that God has provided in the divine decrees."

 

When you stop to think that we as believers should walk by means of our portfolio of invisible assets, then you will realize that it's time that you understood the doctrine of divine decrees.

 

You will understand such passages as;

 

ROM 6:4 "So we too might walk in newness of life".

 

EPH 4:1 "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."

 

And why not?

 

Why not walk in victory now because of what the Lord has done?

PSA 126:3 The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad.

 

Concerning our sins, look at ISA 44:21

 

ISA 44:21 "Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.

 

ISA 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

 

ISA 44:23  Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the Lord has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

 

LAM 2:17 The Lord has done what He purposed; He has accomplished His word Which He commanded from days of old.

 

Maybe MAR 5:19 will be a reality to some as the Lord said, "Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you."

 

Think of it once again;

 

God knew simultaneously in eternity past everything that would ever happen in human history including every thought, every action and every decision of every creature.

 

How every thing would relate to each other.

 

How every person would relate to each other.

 

How you were in the mind of God billions and billions of years ago, you and all of your problems, every single one of them He thought about you personally.

 

What a comfort from the God of all comfort as the apostle Paul tells us in 2CO 1:3.

 

2CO 1:3   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

 

You say, how can he think of billions and billions of people?

 

He can because He lives in another dimension then we do and He is omnipresent and has omniscience and that takes faith on our part to believe it; HEB 11:6; ROM 10:17.

 

He can think of every one personally and He knows about every one of their problems and has a solution for everyone of their problems and He does all this for EVERYONE!

 

MAT 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you

 

MAT 5:45b for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on  the righteous and the unrighteous.

 

PSA 148:6b He has made a decree which will not pass away.

 

Will you believe it?

 

Remember ROM 10:17 "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

 

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

 

 Point 3.  The five characteristics of the decrees.

Remember that the decrees of God are;

 

 (a) All comprehensive 

(b) Eternal 

(c) Perfect 

(d) Unchangeable and certain. 

(e) The free choice of God in eternity past.

 

Look at Eph 2:8-10.

 

EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

When we get to our corrected translation of EPH 2:10, it will look something like in our amplified translation;

 

EPH 2:10 "For we are His production (we have the provision of all those invisible assets or resources) [and then it should say] having been created in Christ Jesus.

 

This is a reference to the formation of the Royal family of God and a new spiritual species resulting in positional sanctification.

 

Of course, we will learn about that doctrine in our Ephesians study by which;

Every believer becomes the heir of God and has equal privileges and equal opportunities under predestination.

 

It's amazing of how the divine decrees tells us of so many of the wonderful things that God has done for us billions and billions of years ago.

 

What a fantastic concept of the grace of God when you think of it being done.

 

Billions and billions of years ago when God loved us so much that they chose one member of the Trinity to reveal God to us, that is TLJC and chose to be the second person of the Trinity.

 

Having been created in Christ Jesus for good works or good achievements” meaning in time having momentum inside the PPOG as a part of the equal privilege of election.

Next, we have the phrase;

 

 “which God prepared beforehand” =  the divine decree and the divine provision of our portfolio of invisible assets prepared by God in advance in eternity past for every Church-age believer.

 

And then finally a purpose clause......

 

"that we should walk by means of them” is the utilization of our fantastic assets."

 

When you stop to think that as believers, we should walk by means of our invisible assets, then you will realize that it's time that you understood the doctrine of divine decrees.

 

Then you will understand such passages as;

 

ROM 6:4 "So we too might walk in newness of life".

EPH 4:1 "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."

 

And why not?

 

Why not walk in victory now because of what the Lord has done?

 

PSA 126:3 The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad.

 

Concerning our sins, look at ISA 44:21-23.

 

ISA 44:21  "Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.

 

ISA 44:22 "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

 

ISA 44:23 Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it [as a part of His divine decree]! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the Lord has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

 

Think of it again;

 

God knew simultaneously in eternity past everything that would ever happen in human history (every thought, every action and every decision of every creature).

 

And how everything would relate to each other in your life.

How every person in your life would relate to you and you to them.

 

How you were in the mind of God billions and billions of years ago, you and all of your problems, every single of them.

 

And as your Father, we are told in MAT 7:11 by our our Lord Jesus Christ’

 

MAT 7:11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

 

And so, we are ready for Point 4 in our doctrine.

 

There is another principle that comes out of this doctrine which is;

 

 Point 4. The logical order of the divine decrees  known as lapsarianism.

 

Now, bear with me, I told you that this doctrine would sound technical at times but it is also really simple to understand if you listen carefully.

 

Remember do not let Satan blind you from the simplicity found in Christ

 

2CO 11:3 But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

 

The Bible presents to us the principle of a pre-creation reality or what happened before creation, including before the angels were created.

 

Inasmuch as the decrees were simultaneously known by the omniscience of God, they were also simultaneously decreed by God.

 

And from this comes the concept of;

 

Lapsarianism is a theological subject dealing with the logical order of the divine decrees.

 

This is the subject of the doctrine of lapsarianism which is a practical as well as a phenomenal doctrine.

 

Lapsarianism provides the logical environment as well as the logical order for the divine decrees or God ordaining every one before the foundation of the world.

 

Remember that all decrees occurred simultaneously in the mind of God.

 

The decrees are the logical order of advents to happen, but although the entire decree is one thought in the mind of God, the principle of cause and effect is involved in human perception and in human understanding.

 

Now,

 

There are five different schools of interpretation in the order and arrangement of these elective decrees which is where we will pick it up on Sunday morning.

 

and we noted them all in detail before.

 

So, let's note the correct order of the elective decrees as it relates to the human race and the angelic race.

First of all;

 

 

  1. God decreed the creation of all mankind with free will in the status of perfection for two reasons: to resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict, and to bring many sons into glory. 

 

As a part of the decrees dealing with the angelic conflict we read;

 

HEB 2:5   For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.

 

HEB 2:6  But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him?

 

HEB 2:7 "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels;  Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands;

 

HEB 2:8  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. "For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

 

HEB 2:9  But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

HEB 2:10  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

 

HEB 2:10 "being brought into glory," means there is a Christian way of life, a way to glorify God after salvation.

 

  1. God decreed to permit the fall of mankind through the function of his own determination, his own volition as the extension of the angelic conflict into human history. 

 

The “sovereignty of God” and the “free will of both angels and man” co-exist by the divine decrees.

 

Angels had a fall, therefore man must have a fall to resolve the conflict.

 

In fact, do you know that the angels had two major falls.

 

In eternity past, where we read;

 

ISA 14:12 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!

 

ISA 14:13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.

 

ISA 14:14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

 

Here is when Satan was as the “anointed Mesaiah’s angel,” whose role was to guard God the throne of God, failed to do so.

 

By the way,

 

Who was He to guard the throne from since the human race had not been created as a species as of yet?

 

 

 

Perhaps he was guarding the throne from the angels angel under his authority, but I believe he was guarding the throne from angels who lived outside of the thorn at the time.

 

His second major fall was when He led one-third of the angels in heaven to rebel against God; REV 12:4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth.

 

This duplicates Satan's fall and the subsequent existence of fallen angels.

 

In the correct order of the elective decrees as it relates to the human race and the angelic race.

 

The third principle is that;

 

  1. God decreed to provide eternal salvation for all mankind under the doctrine of unlimited atonement. 

 

God is fair and provides for all.

 

God doesn't arbitrarily assign creatures to Hell.

 

That’s blasphemous to even think that way.

 

By unlimited atonement is meant that all sins in human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged, so that Christ is the issue and not sins, 2Co 5:14-19; 1Ti 2:6, 4:10; Tit 2:11; Heb 2:9; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jo 2:2.

 

Now, by now, you know I’m going to make you read the passages, so here they are.

 

2CO 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

 

2CO 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

 

2CO 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know   Him thus no longer.

 

2CO 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

 

2CO 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,

 

2CO 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

 

Go forward to 1TI 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

 

1TI 2:6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.

 

Look at 1TI 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

 

TIT 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

 

HEB 2:9b that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

2PE 2:1 they will deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

 

1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

 

The fourth order of  lapsarianism which is;

 

  1. God decreed to leave the reprobate (those who reject Christ as Savior) to their just condemnation.

 

God decreed simultaneously in eternity past both election and predestination for believers only.

 

Under this point we have the decree for historical election includes the election of true Israel--Rom 9:6

 

ROM 9:6   But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all (spiritual) Israel who are descended from Israel;

 

God chose the Jews to be a race but only those who believe in the Christ as their Messiah are the chosen ones because all Israel is not Israel.

 

There is a tremendous difference between spiritual Israel and natural Israel.

 

One speaks of the race the other speaks of the spiritual   Israel which Paul writes.

 

GAL 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

 

GAL 6:16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

 

Who is he talking about?

 

He is talking about “the Israel of God” which refers to “spiritual Israel” because when the Jews become saved,  they are spiritual Israel, just like this passage states.

 

So,

 

The election of the humanity of Christ in the dispensation of the Hypostatic union, and the election of the Church-age believer as Royal Family of God  was known to God in eternity past when the divine decrees were given.

 

 

Remember that election is not a violation of your free-will but that election is the expression of the sovereignty of God Who wills the highest and best for every believer in Jesus Christ; 2PE 1-1-11.

 

This is why we will pick it up next time.

 

 

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