Summary: Do you know any reason why it is a blessing to be chosen by God?
“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, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6, ESV).
What are the spiritual blessings that we could praise or thank God for?
Do we have any idea of the greatness of the spiritual blessing we received from the Blessed God? Consider, for instance, our topic: “Blessing To Be Chosen.”
While Paul was in a house arrest in Rome, he wrote to the Christians in Ephesus or to the churches around the region. Ephesus was the place where Paul performed extraordinary miracles that handkerchiefs or aprons, which touched his skin, were brought to the sick and demon possessed and healing happened (Acts 9:12). It was also in this place where the temple of the goddess Artemis was located. And those whose were to make idols protested to the teaching of Paul that “gods made with hands are not gods.” They dragged two companions of Paul in the uproar.
In Acts 20:1, we read that before Paul left the place, he encouraged the believers.
While Paul was writing the letter to the Ephesians, his experience and the difficulty that the believers encountered in the place could flash in his mind. And he pointed out to the Christians there the spiritual blessings they could praise God for. One of those blessings: being chosen.
Why is it a blessing?
Realize that it is God Himself who made the choice. Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you..." (John 15:16.) You are chosen not just by a powerful ruler of a certain nation, but by the Great Ruler of the whole creation!
Also, when the phrase says, "...chose us" -- it does not refer to every person on earth. Though some would like to interpret "us" to all persons -- both believers and unbelievers -- the text does not say that.
In fact, we read in verse 19, "...toward us who believe." Going back in verse 13, we also read: "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him..."
And the letter itself was addressed to: "To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus..." Notice that the message was not intended to everyone in the world, but to the "saints" and to the "faithful in Christ Jesus."
Jesus Himself said, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). Though some would try to explain "beautifully" that everyone is chosen in the world, those words of Jesus belied them.
Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica:
"For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction..."
Remember the words in I Corinthians 1:18?
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
Consider: To us who are being saved, to us who believe, or to us who are chosen the message of the gospel -- the word of the cross -- is the power of God. Not everyone is chosen, not everyone is being saved!
Cherish then if you are chosen. It's a wonderful spiritual blessing.
God Himself chose you. And not everyone is chosen.
Now, consider another point why to be chosen is a blessing. Verse 4 starts with these words: “...even as he chose us in him...”
God chose us “in Him” -- or, as we read in the paraphrase of the Good News Translation, "Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his..."
God has chosen us to be His. As Paul wrote that there are people today who "...are called to belong to Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:6).
He also told the Christians in Rome:
"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him" (Romans 8:9).
Notice that we belong to Christ or in Him, if the Spirit of God dwells in us. Unfortunately, some would like us to believe that the Spirit is dwelling in every person and everyone today is in Christ -- believers or non-believers.
However, God's Word is clear: "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him."