Summary: The first manifestation of God’s grace toward us is not the cross of Jesus Christ, but the eternal choice of God the Father.
Exposition on Ephesians - #5
‘THE GRACE OF PREDESTINATION’
Preached on January 14th 2001 (pm)
Text: Read; Ephesians 1:3-6
Intro: In our last study, we considered what we called the ‘WHY ME?’ question—the question that every true Christian, at one time or another asks—‘Lord, Why me? Why would You want to save me? Who am I that You would send Your Son to be bear away MY filthy sins?’
The more we learn about the unsearchable riches of God in Christ, the more we are made to wonder, ‘WHY?—Why me?’ Let me put it another way—the more we grow in grace, the more amazing grace becomes to us. Something is wrong when we are no longer amazed at God’s grace.
The first manifestation of God’s grace toward us is not the cross of Jesus Christ, but the eternal choice of God the Father. Why does God save any sinner? Because, ‘He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world…’ We saw last time, GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION begins with two pre-world elements of grace:
1st – UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION - God choosing to save sinners; choosing to save the ‘odds and ends of the universe’ not because of anything good in them, but because of the infinite goodness and grace that is in God. But someone asks,
(1) Why did God have to make this pre-world selection anyway? Why doesn’t He just let sinners choose for themselves? – because, left to ourselves, all of us would choose sin. None of us would choose God or grace or holiness.
If there were NO ELECTION, there would be no salvation; no one would believe in Jesus or care about a crucified Savior. For (Rom 3:11> ‘There is none who understands; there is none that seeks after God…’ (Is 53:6> ‘All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned (chosen) everyone his own way…’
(2) But, what happens if a person wants to be saved, but God hasn’t chosen them? – that has never happened—No one ever wants to be saved on their own—unless God first ‘works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’
If a person really wants to be saved, they will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and God will save them according to His promise. And one day, they will find out the real reason why they believed—because God ‘chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world…’
2nd – INFALLIBLE PREDESTINATION – or the certain reality, that what God purposed in eternity, He will infallibly accomplish in time. There is something about the doctrine of predestination and election that cuts across the grain of our egocentric instincts and beliefs. The doctrines of grace have a tendency to ‘rub our Adamic nature the wrong way.’ One of the reasons for this, is that these doctrines don’t seem very democratic…
[Illus: I once heard a pastor attempt to explain-away the biblical doctrine of election by comparing it to a political election. He said, ‘God votes for you; Satan votes against you; and you have to cast the deciding vote.’]
What is it that God has purposed before time to do? God the Father purposed to create a family for Himself—a family, not of angels (not of seraphim and cherubim)—but of sinful, fallen men, women, boys and girls—sinners who are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies!
This evening, I would like for us to consider this doctrine of infallible predestination, as it pertains to our spiritual adoption as the children of God (v.5)…
1st – THE PRIVILEGE OF OUR ADOPTION – from our perspective.
2nd – THE PLEASURE OF OUR ADOPTION – from the God’s perspective.
1ST ... THE PRIVILEGE OF OUR ADOPTION - when we speak of privilege, we are speaking, about what (Web.> defines as ‘a right…or benefit enjoyed only by a person or persons beyond the advantages of most.’
For instance: [Chelsea Clinton has certain privileges that very few (if any) other people have. She has direct access to the President; she can talk to him almost whenever she wants. She is the only one who has the right to call the President -‘Daddy.’ She gets to sleep overnight in the White House—even in the Lincoln Bedroom if she wants. She has bodyguards constantly around her to protect her. She can travel first class on Air Force One. She can get front row seats at the Olympics…almost anything she wants—she can get—all she has to do is ask…]
From the perspective of those whom God the Father has chosen and predestined, the grace of adoption is the greatest blessing and privilege that anyone could ever have—far greater than being the child of any President, of any nation! We are the children of God!
I think that it helps us to appreciate our privilege as the children of God, if we keep in mind what salvation is really all about. Salvation is not merely freedom from the slavery and misery of sin. It is that, but it’s much more...