Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Tree of Life for the Week Ending 07/25/10
Election: The highest value in the Universe
EPH 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. (EPH 1:3-4)
We continue in our exegesis of Ephesians.
The Greek phrase just as is kathos = even as, in conformity with the fact. His blessings in verse 3 are in conformity with divine election. God the Father is the author of all blessings and the elector of every believer in Christ. Kathos unites every spiritual blessing with election. This is because our election is an election into union with Christ and He has been given the best that the Father has to offer. God desires to bless His creatures and God found a way through Christ. Believers in the CA are the beneficiaries of all the blessing that was earmarked for Christ.
God the Father is the Author of this amazing plan of grace. The author came before the plan and the author is perfect just as the plan is. It is God’s desire to bless every member of the human race in conformity with election in Christ. Faith from the free will of the creature limits the number of creatures who benefit.
The phrase He chose is the aorist middle indicative of Greek word eklego = to pick out, to choose, or to elect. Middle voice = for Himself. The aorist tense is a gnomic aorist which means that this is the standard of God. Gnomic aorist = God’s election of the believer is absolute without equivocation. The standard of that election is the standard of Christ. The implications are that you cannot lose your salvation and that all the blessings that come from being elected in Christ are given as an absolute standard to every believer. Every believer is the owner of everything that belongs to Christ through election in Christ. The reason why some believers enjoy the fruit of their election while other believers suffer the loss of blessings that come with election is because some tap into the storehouse of blessing and others ignore it.
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (1TI 1:18-19)
God has chosen us, we have not chosen Him. And when we chose something else that God has not chosen for us then we insult God.
Satan would love to fool you into thinking that he has something better for you in his world system than what God has chosen for you under election.
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (MAT 4:8-9)
Having all the blessings and authority of the world sounds a lot better than the suffering that is about to come Christ’s way, but He made the right decision. Satan is going to offer all believers a way that seems easier and seems filled with blessing, but it’s all smoke and mirrors and none of it has any value. There is only one thing in this world that has surpassing value and that is the Father’s election in Christ. God is not a God of confusion. He is going to make it very clear to you what is from Him and what is not from Him if you stay under the tutelage of His doctrines.
Therefore, this is not just any choosing or picking or election, this is a very unique election because it is an election in Christ. When God the Son willingly became a man so that He might humble Himself to the point of death so that God’s justice could be satisfied with the result that God’s love would be open to the human race He was chosen by God to the highest honor, blessing, and privilege.
Now, to not get off track with false doctrine here, you have to understand the hypostatic-union. Jesus Christ is undiminished God and true humanity in one person forever. It is the humanity of Christ that has been elected of God to the highest position of blessing, honor, and authority.
But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (HEB 10:12-14)
He has been given all authority and therefore there is no one over Him who can challenge the believer’s perfection or sanctification.
And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (REV 19:11-16)
This is the third Royal Warrant of Jesus Christ which secures the seat of greatest blessing as well as greatest authority. You possess all that Christ is and has been blessed with.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a Cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (PHI 2:5-11)
And here is introduced His power at the right hand of God. His power has been given to you under election. If you are a believer, you are elected in union with this One, and that brings a whole new dimension to your election - authority, blessing, and power.
Christ on the cross satisfies the justice of the Father and therefore brings that propitiation to the nations (whole world).
“He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.” (ISA 42:2-3)
Jesus Christ is the only elected one of God. The Church and Israel are elected because of the relationship they share to Him. Israel was elected to be the first client nation to God. They were elected to be custodians of the word of God and spread the word to the nations around them. Most importantly they were elected to be the people who would bring forth the Messiah.
“And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice [all the +Volition of Abraham from leaving Ur to this point].” (GEN 22:18)
The election of Israel as a nation has nothing to do with them and everything to do with their relationship to Jesus Christ. The Father called them out to be a new racial species. In the Church election in Christ is for every individual believer, which was never seen before and will never be seen again. Yet again, election of the CA believer has nothing to do with him and everything to do with his relationship to Jesus Christ. The Father has called you out to be a new spiritual species. In this case, for the Church-age believer, this relationship is described as a union. It is described as the union of a wife to her husband, a stone connected by mortar to a cornerstone in a wall, a sitting on the same seat of power, authority, privilege, and blessing; a body that is in relation to the head. In other words, our union with Christ is as intimate as it gets, and in fact more intimate than the greatest intimacy that can occur between two material objects on earth. It is not a union of a group of people to Christ as it was for Israel, this is a union of the individual to Christ and there in lies your election. The believer in the Church has been elected to share in everything that the humanity of Christ is and has been blessed with. There is nothing that has higher value.
And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe. (1PE 2:4-7)
The KJV translates this as, “for you who believe, He is precious.” And while that’s true that is not the correct translation. There is no pronoun, “He.” Christ received honor through election. Believers share in the same election and honor. The cornerstone is the elected one. The stones are in union with the cornerstone so that the honor that Christ receives is shared with them. Election by God the Father of the Church-age believer in eternity past is an election to the honor and privilege that belongs to Christ. Every believer is elected in Christ. This election is the highest priced and most valued promotion in all of angelic and human history and therefore it carries the highest honor. Promotion to the highest position of honor requires a code that produces a lifestyle of royalty that pertains only to the Royal Family of God. In other words, God desires for you to live as an elected one in Christ.
Therefore, having the valued election doesn’t mean that every believer exploits and therefore fulfills their election. This is the difference between the winner believer who takes advantage of this ultimate promotion and the loser believer who ignores it. Election is one of the top, most important doctrinal words that possesses the profoundest and richest truths regarding what God has done for the saints of the Church. Many of these words are listed by Paul in EPH 1:3-14. I wonder if you would slow down the noise in your mind long enough to contemplate enough of the implications of that?
This is why the Lord gave Israel a Sabbath - to slow down and to reflect on the amazing grace of God. They found a way to make even the Sabbath a day of stress. This is also why the Lord gave us the ability to pray as believer priests. In our prayer life, where we give thanksgiving to God is where we can calmly and quietly reflect on the things that God has graciously given us. God so often desires us to rest and reflect on Him and I hope that during this next month or so that you take those times of rest to reflect on God’s calling and electing you in Christ.
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. (EPH 1:4)
We continue in our exegesis.
The Greek word for us is the first person plural pronoun hemas = us, meaning that every believer is elected. The phrese in Himis en autos referring to union with Christ as the celebrity of the universe. He alone is the isolated source of true election. This prepositional phrase always refers to positional truth. You are elected to everything that Christ is and has.
Next we have the phrase before the foundation of the world is pro kataboles kosmou meaning before God made the foundation for the world system, i.e. eternity past. Kosmos now refers to the system that became under the authority of satan after the fall of man, but here it refers to God’s system or divine decree for all of human history. Therefore, before human history, before God set His system into motion, He both blessed you with everything and elected you to have that everything. You were not around to earn it or deserve it. This is God’s desire for His creatures and since blessing can only come to fallen man through the Justice of God, His justice had to be satisfied, and therefore all blessing must come from the grace of God.