True Blessings #1 – Election (Ephesians 1:3-6)
(For accuracy of this transcript, please refer to the audio file of this sermon)
I’m not very active on social media, but I found this article to be quite interesting from The New York Times. It’s actually a few years old. It’s called, they feel blessed and it’s a discussion of just how common a #blessed is found on places like Twitter and other social media outlets. All sorts of famous people use this phrase, athletes, actresses, some of them religious, many of them not religious. All of them using the phrase and the article actually argues that more often than not, when people post a picture of themselves living the good life with #blessed, they’re basically bragging for the rest of us to notice. I checked currently on Instagram, there’s over 116 million posts with this hashtag subcategories. There’s over 1.5 million hashtag blessed life and almost one million blessed with the best. Everyone wants good things in life. Everyone wants to be blessed, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this. The problem often is this desire is misplaced. We have a misconception of what a blessed life truly is, and so we’re looking in all the wrong places for it. For the next three Sundays, we’re going to talk about true blessings. We’re going to see the good news that in Jesus there are more blessings than we could ever imagine and we’re also going to hear this important reminder that true blessings are very different than the kind of blessings this world is often seeking after.
Listen, as I read the word of God, Ephesians 1:3-6, “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.”. We began a new sermon series last Sunday here in the Book of Ephesians. If you didn’t happen to be with us last week, I do encourage you to go to the website and listen to that message. Because we kind of laid the framework for this series where Lord’ willing we’re going to be for the next several months together. Right after the introduction in the first 2 verses here in Chapter one, Paul just jumps right into a long Hymn of Praise, a long song that goes from verse 3 all the way through verse 14. I mentioned last week that the Book of Ephesians is kind of giving us a beautiful, wide angle picture of God’s eternal plan of salvation. We’re going to work through it, chapter by chapter, but before we get into the details of this great plan of salvation, Paul begins with a powerful song. It’s kind of like the dramatic opening scene of a Disney musical is what we see in these opening verses and what we get in verse 3 is basically a preview of what this whole song is going to be about. Ephesians 1:3, “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.”, and what we’re going to do today and for the next two Sundays, Lord’ willing is unpack several of these, “every spiritual blessings”, that are mentioned here in the first verse of the song. As we work through versus 3 to 14. we’re going to find multiple themes interwoven. In these verses are just filled with rich reflections and truths. Because of that, there are several ways we could see this song organized. But one way, just to keep in mind as we’re working through it the next few weeks is how it’s organized in relation to the “Trinity”, we’re going to look at verse 3 to 6 this morning. Where we see praise being given to the Father for the blessing of election, which has given us in the past. Next week will come to verse 7 through 10 where we see praise given to the Son for the blessing of redemption, which we’re experiencing now in the present. And then, Lord’ willing, two weeks from now, we’ll see praise given to the Holy Spirit for the blessing of our inheritance, which we partially receive now. But we’re waiting for its fullness in the future.
- Praise belongs to God (verse 3a, 6a)
Now again, the contents of this song are not quite as simple as this outline suggests. It’s much more intricate than that, but this will be a helpful outline for us moving forward today. We want to look at blessing given to the father here in verse 3-6, and we want to focus in particularly that we’re praising him for the true blessing of election that he has given to his people. A few considerations, as we work through these opening versus first of all, praise belongs to God, verse 3 begins, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”. To bless, in this verse means to speak well of someone, to speak well of something. Now Blessing is then used in a couple of different ways in verse 3, we as humans bless God. We praise him. We speak well of him. But then, when God speaks and declares favor to his people, that’s when he is blessing us. Both are here in verse 3, but notice the order, before we get into a discussion of how God speaks his blessing to his people. Before we get into that, we see first and foremost that God is blessed that God is praised. In verse 6a, “every spiritual blessing”, says, “to the praise of his glorious grace,” and that’s going to be our main application today in the next two Sundays. As we work through this song as we learn as we celebrate what the true blessings are, that God has given us in Christ. It should lead us to declare God’s goodness to declare the greatness of God together as his people. Having said that, well that’s the main application for us. I think it’s interesting that verse 3 is actually a declaration. It’s not a command, it’s a statement of fact. God is praised. God is blessed. So, whether or not you and I choose to praise God, he is great. He is blessed. Again, my hope throughout this study together is that our eyes will be opened more and more to the greatness of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, God wants to receive all of the praise. But it was interesting as we work through this song. The main reason we’re told in this passage why God is worthy of our praise. Why he is blessed, is because of the marvelous and we could even say shocking ways in which he blesses his people.
- Blessings are given in Christ (verse 3b, 6b)
And so, we consider secondly, the blessings that are given in Christ. Verse 3 continues, he has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. I mentioned last Sunday “in Christ” is a major theme of Ephesians. In fact, we’re using that phrase as the title for this whole sermon series. And we connected this phrase in Christ with the broader theological idea of union with Jesus. Let me remind you of the definition we gave for being in Christ last week. We stated, those who are in Christ are spiritually united to and identified with Christ such that all the blessings and the benefits obtained by Christ belong to them all. All over Ephesians we see we are in Christ in this opening song we can count some 11 times that were told were in him were in Christ. We already saw verse 3, verse 4, God chose us in him. We’ll see at the end of verse 6, we are blessed in the beloved in Christ. So, Christians are blessed God speaks favor. God gives favor to those who are in his son. What Jesus has accomplished When he defeated Sin when he defeated Satan when he defeated death. All that Jesus did is now true. For, those of us who are united with him. Now I know that’s difficult to grasp, I’ve been wrestling with it the last few weeks in my studies, but let’s keep trying to understand this concept of being in Christ. Notice the phrase at the end of verse 6, “God has blessed us in the beloved.”, so, here’s the title for Jesus. Jesus is called the loved one. The one that God the Father loves. The Father loves the Son, and if you are identified with Jesus, if you are in Christ, then the same love God has for Jesus is now given to you. Would we please see them this morning, Theology should not be boring, seeking to meditate and grasp deep truths like these, should ignite a fire in our souls. The favored Son of God makes us the favored children of God Almighty. The love God has for his son is shared with us, when we are closely identified with Jesus when we are in him. Now, don’t forget the phrase. This is true if you are in Christ. So, our passage this morning and my sermon this morning is not saying, it isn’t saying God just such an amazing giver, he just gives blessings to everyone. We just all receive his favor? No, this is for those who are in Christ. The rest of Scripture is crystal clear. We’ve already sung of it this morning and heard of it in our prayer in this morning. In our sin, we’re not receiving the blessings of God in our sin. We are due the curse of God. Each one of us was born into this life with a heart that already had a tendency to sin with a heart that already had a tendency to rebel and dishonor our creator and since then we have each chosen. As we’ve grown up, we’ve chosen to dishonor our God. We’ve chosen to live selfishly for ourselves, not the way our creator tells us to. And so, the Bible warns us that that each of us on this path of selfishness is not walking in the path of a blessing from God. We’re walking down the path of judgment that we deserve from our creator. But then God graciously gives us this good news, we’ve also been singing up this morning that if you’ll look to Jesus, if you’ll look to the perfect son of God, he’ll take that judgment for you. He was crucified in our place. That’s why he came to this earth and so, as I continue explaining this morning for those who are in Christ, as I continue talking about the blessings of being in Jesus, I would urge you this morning if you are not yet united with Jesus, I would appeal to you this morning, make a U turn, turn in the opposite direction of the way you’ve been going and ask God for the forgiveness that’s offered in Jesus when Christ died and rose again on behalf of his people. When God forgives us, we are so closely united to Jesus that what do we read up in Verse three that every spiritual blessing is given to us in Christ. Now, maybe that sounds a little too good to be true. Every spiritual blessing? It’s not exaggerated. Let’s analyze what it might mean. Okay, so first off, we’re told that every spiritual blessing is giving us in Christ, what might that mean? Well, I think first of all, we just need to state that these blessings are given through the spirit, through the Holy Spirit. We just came out of a sermon series learning about the gift of God’s spirit. We learned the Holy Spirit is the one who leads us to Christ, who leads us to faith. We learned now that Jesus is present with us and lives in us because of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit unites us with Christ, and he’s changing us and applying the work of Jesus to our hearts. So, the first way, when we say I’ve got every spiritual blessing, I think we need to say because of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is bringing these blessings. But then, beyond that, I think secondly, it is making a contrast. It is saying we’re not talking primarily now about material or physical blessings, which, let’s be honest, that’s what most of us mean when we use the phrase blessing, good health, more money, high test scores for our kids, promotion at work, physical material blessings. That’s how we think of the word, not what’s being referred to. And that’s how we normally use the word. If we were to go through, some 116 million Instagram post with hashtag blessed and remove everyone that’s referring to physical material blessings. How many posts, do you think would be left, we’re not talking primarily physical material blessings. Now let me just clarify. However, at this point, I’m not saying that God does not give physical blessings. He clearly does. But often we need to realize this. God gives physical blessings to all people, not just to Christians. Jesus himself, said in Matthew 5:45, “God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”. There are many Hindus or Muslims or Buddhists or atheists in our world today who are #blessed in the physical material sense. And so, I think we, as Christians need to be a bit more discerning before we assume that we’ve acquired physical material things because of our faith because we’re followers of Jesus. Especially when Scripture warns us that sometimes physical bounty isn’t a blessing from God, it can actually be a warning of judgment. Jesus’s words again, Luke 6:24, “Woe to you who are rich for you have received your consolation.”, and likewise sometimes lacking physical things, not having material things sometimes that is from God and when that’s the case, lacking is a blessing from God. Jesus, just four verses earlier, Luke 6:20, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.”. See, we forget that physical material blessings are temporary. They pass away, that new dress you were so excited about that you bought three months ago. Maybe you’ll never wear it again. That top of the line watch, sits in a box in your drawer six months later. iPhone five, seriously, you’re still using that? Investments that we thought were performing well have quickly taken a nosedive. Physical material things that their temporal, they pass away and even if you can think of right now and probably some of you are, even if you can think of a physical item that’s going to remain your whole lifetime. It’s not going to go with you into eternity. But spiritually blessings do, spiritually blessings are for the good of our souls and in Christ. Every spiritual blessing has been given to us now, and their significance and these blessings for eternity. Here’s another phrase to help us understand this, back to verse 3, “he has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”. Several times in Ephesians, we’re going to see this phrase “Heavenly places”. It’s not talking only, of let’s say, Heaven, where we think of the throne room, the place of God. I say that because when we get to chapter 6, we’re going to talk about demons and evil spiritual powers that are also said to be in the heavenly places. So, we should probably interpret this up heavenly places as referring to the unseen spiritual dimension where God and other spiritual powers exist. Now, if you come from a scientific, naturalistic background, that just seems silly to talk about an unseen spiritual dimension. But I’m going to guess that most of us in this room, especially of those of us who come from Asian cultures, probably acknowledge there is a spiritual reality. There is a spiritual world surrounding us. It’s real. A few weeks from now, Lord’ willing will be down in verse 20 where we’ll read that God raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. So, after Jesus resurrected from the dead after he ascended to heaven, he returned to his throne and ever since then he has been reigning and his victory has been known in the spiritual realm. I read a quote, “This world is not the only reality. A larger reality exists where Christ is already exalted as Lord, where believers participate in his victory and where spiritually forces are opposed.”. Now, when Jesus returns one day, which he’s going to, he promised he would. When he does, we’ll see a joining of this physical earth with this spiritual realm. Until then, I think much of the spiritual realm remains a mystery for us. It’s difficult for us to grasp but what Ephesians does tell us clearly is that because we are in Christ because we are joined to him right now in the present, Jesus is our representative in the heavenly places, and we are with him because we’re united to him. That’s deep, we’re going to take more time with that as we move forward. But for today, let’s simply stay with this, Spiritual blessings are true because Jesus is reigning right now in the eternal spiritual sphere, and he’s getting blessing to his people that are true. Ephesian 1:3, “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.”. It says, “every”, doesn’t it, it doesn’t say a few doesn’t say a couple every spiritually blessing. We have now in Christ, we lack nothing. If you are in Christ, you have all you need to survive this earthly existence. If you are in Christ, you have everything you need to live the life that you’ve been created for. If you are in Christ, you have everything you need to know your God and help other people follow him as well. So, Christians, do you know these spiritual blessings? Do you believe that this is true for you in Christ? Do you even care about these spiritual blessing? I mean, let’s imagine you were given the choice today. You could either right now have the physical blessing of 10 million Ringgit or every spiritual blessing in Christ. Which one would you pick? And the fact that most of us were kind of in a dilemma right now, the fact that most of us are thinking, well, just shows us how little we understand the true and eternal soul satisfying blessings that are in Christ. Would we ask God, open our eyes, change our desires as we sit underneath his word these next few weeks. In Christ, there is every spiritual blessing.
- The Grace of Being Chosen (verse 4-5)
Now we address one specific blessing for today before looking at more next week. In Christ, there specifically the blessing of election. We have the grace of being chosen. God choose us in him in Christ before the foundation of the world. We find here one of the clearest versus there are many others on the doctrine of election. Now just taking the English language. We understand the word election. Most of our countries that use a similar word when it comes to political events choosing your leaders. Maybe some of you have this with a building association in your condominium you vote you, elect, you choose you, you pick you select individuals for a position for a task. Well, all throughout the New Testament, we’re told this is how salvation works. God chooses, God picks, God selects those who will be his children. God chooses those, He’s going to forgive. God selects those who will live eternally with him, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, “But we are always to give thanks to God for you brothers, beloved by the Lord. Because God chose you from the beginning to be saved.”. Yes, certainly, we have sinners have a responsibility to turn from our sin and by Faith call out to God for forgiveness. I’ve already called each of us to do that here this morning, but this is so important to grasp when we turn and call out in faith to God. We’re responding to God were responding to the initiative that he has already taken towards us. He’s called us first. He’s chosen us to be his own. Jesus, says in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the father who set me draws him.”. You come to Jesus because the father has been drawing you to Christ, the Apostle Paul in the city of Antioch, you’ve been preaching the gospel to non-Jews, to Gentiles, to the nations. Notice, a statement in Acts 13:48, “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”. God chose them, which led to their willful decision to believe in Christ, this is the doctrine of election. It is a very similar meaning to a second theological term, we find in our text the word predestination, verse 5, “In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” as the word predestination sounds, it means to determine or to decide something in advance. Before it’s happened, it’s been decided, God predestined that his people would come to faith in Jesus. Now when did God choose his people? When did God predestined, that his people would come to faith in Christ? Before the foundation of the world verse 4 says. A building analogy, what comes first in the building? A foundation. What was the foundation of the world? Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, God created before Genesis 1:1, before the foundation of the world, God had already planned the cross. God had already planned the resurrection and the glorification of his son Jesus. God wasn’t surprised, when Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, it was within his perfect will for mankind and even before the rebellion in the garden, God had already planned the remedy for sin. There was already a great rescue plan in the works, when Adam and Eve were first created. God had predestined that sinners could be joined and united to Christ, and he had also predestined who those believers would be. Now, even as I say that, we’ve got all sorts of questions in our minds, don’t we? And those of us who have studied this before don’t just have questions, we’ve got disagreements. Perhaps with what we’ve heard. I’m going to address some of these questions, but first, this is a helpful quote from John Stott, “Election is a divine revelation, not human speculation. Election is a divine revelation, not human speculation.”. These words predestination, election, there are fact, there in the Bible we might debate what they mean. But Scripture clearly teaches there is predestination. There is election, again, John Stott, “We must not reject the notion of election as if it were a weird fantasy of men. Rather, he must humbly accept it, even though we do not fully understand it as a truth which God himself has revealed.”. And so, with that acceptance, let me address some of the questions that many of us, myself included, probably have when we talk about these terms.
- not because of merit
A few clarifications, first of all, election is not because of merit. God doesn’t elect those who deserve it, who are worthy of it, and here probably is where we come in the limitation of the analogy I made earlier, often election, when you’re choosing an officer for a certain position, normally, if possible, we vote for the best candidate. We choose someone who is most qualified, most deserving to be in opposition. But that is not how God choose those who would be saved. Remember, we already saw election took place before the world was even created. So, predestination is not God’s response to our effort. It’s not his response to what we deserve to our merits. Remember over in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We were still God’s enemies when we were weak, when we were ungodly in that state, Christ died for us. In that state, God loved us and chose us on his own. So, we need to realize that, that election is not like a beauty pageant. If anything, it’s more like an ugly pageant. Election is not like “The Voice” or some other talent show where the best contestants are selected, it is just so important we grasp this. We did not deserve to be chosen. We did not deserve God’s predestination for our salvation. We didn’t earn it. It’s all in his mercy now. Yes, there’s this huge mystery. We don’t know why God choose us and not others. It’s part of the mystery of his will and his desire. We don’t fully understand that or even come close to understanding that. But we do know this. We were not chosen because we’re deserving. It was not because we earned it. We’re going to come back to this again and again it’s a theme in Ephesians, but 2 Timothy 1:9, properly summarizes this as well. God save us and called us to a holy calling not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. So, if we properly understand election, if we properly understand predestination, there is no room for pride in the heart of a Christian. Instead, there must be humility when we understand this. Charles Spurgeon once said, “God chose me before I came into the world because if he had waited until I got here, he never would have chosen me.”. Election humbles us. It leads us to heart of thanks, the hearts of worship.
- based on relationship
Second clarification. Often when we talk about predestination, when we talk about election, it sounds so impersonal as if we’re discussing fate or chance. But that’s not how the Bible describes it. Rather, election is based on relationship. What we see in verse 5, In love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. So, God chose his people, not randomly, not anonymously. He chose us in love. He chose us because he knew us before we were even born and that’s how this has always worked from the very start of mankind’s existence. We see this model for us in the Old Testament, people of Israel, Moses speaks of them, Deuteronomy 7:6b, “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”. It was not because you were more number than any other people, that the Lord said his love on you and chose you for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it is because the Lord loves you. The descendent of Abraham were not deserving of this. They weren’t better than the other nations. But God loved them and yet a special test for them that through this nation, salvation would be brought to the nations of the world, including the many nations represented here this morning. In love, He called it a sentence of Abraham, his children. And now in Christ. That same language is used for us. We are sons and daughters of God. So, election, predestination, it’s not some cold, fatalistic doctrine. It’s the opposite, election shouts out, God knows his people, God loves his children. Helpful quote from a pastor in India, “The Christian doctrine of predestination is not the same as the South Asian concept of Vidhi or fatalistic determinism. Fate is impersonal. The person who believes in it is trapped in the cycle of Karma Samsara. Birth and rebirth, cause and effect. Nothing one can do can change the fate allotted on the basis of deeds in a previous life. astral forces or the gods. This type of predestination is negative and traumatic. But when Paul talks about predestination, he sets it in the context of a kind and gracious god of love who is determined to bless his people.”. So, when we understand that predestination is about the love of God for his children, well, then the doctrine of election should lead us to love our God in response to worship him. Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is sovereign over salvation God chooses. He predestined, which then leads to another common objection. A common question in this regard.
- includes transformation
If this is true, if this is the right interpretation that what God picks is just going to happen anyway, then it doesn’t really matter how we live, does it? If we have no part to play in any of this, can’t we just do what we want? Because as long as we’re elected, as long as we’re predestined, will still be in heaven. And while that might sound like a logical conclusion, it’s completely wrong. All over the New Testament, we find these clear commands to seek God to believe in him, to obey him, meaning it’s just so clear that God’s sovereignty, God’s election, God’s predestination does not mean that our choices, that are decisions, that how we live are unimportant and it’s actually seen right here in our passage. The election includes transformation. Predestination includes a changed way of living, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him. If you were with us last week. we talked about how Christians are already called saints because we’re in Christ. We said, that’s this positional Holiness. We’re dressed with The Holiness of Christ. God sees Christ’s righteousness when he sees us. But then what we also said is where there is positional holiness, there will always be practical holiness, a transformed way of living that comes out of the standing we have with Christ righteousness. We have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is one who unites us with Christ, and the Holy Spirit is also the one who then starts changing us and this is all a part of election. We were chosen to be holy to be blameless. Predestination wasn’t just picking some people to say you’re forgiven. It wasn’t just choosing some people to say you can go to heaven one day, it was God selecting the people who would then honor him with their lives. Jesus said to his disciples, equally true for us, John 15:16, “You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.” one author writes, “The divine purpose in our election was not simply to repair the damage done by sin, but also to fulfill God’s original intention for humankind, namely to create for himself a people perfectly conformed to the likeness of his son.”. So, anyone who says that on emphasis on predestination or an emphasis on election just leads to abuse or just leads to a lack of obedience. Anyone who says that doesn’t really understand what the doctrine is and what Scripture says about it. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we would live godly lives. And when we’re in Christ, the Holy Spirit makes that happen. He’s changing us. So, I want to give a gentle counsel this morning, if you love reform theology if you love Calvinism. But your life is not being transformed by the Holy Spirit. But you don’t look more like Jesus today than when you started studying the doctrines of grace. Would God’s word be a wake-up call to you this morning, you’re totally missing the point off election. It’s to make you like Jesus. Would you humbly repent this morning?
- encourages evangelism
Another objection people have when we talk about predestination about election, maybe. A biggest question, we, as believers have, doesn’t predestination discourage evangelism? If God’s already got it all taken care of, why do we even bother, speaking of Christ? I understand that question, but I think Scripture actually teaches the opposite. Let me just give this one last clarification. I believe election actually encourages evangelism the opposite of what we sometimes object. Remember, we said that just as clearly as God has predestined, has chosen. So also, just as clearly, people must hear of Jesus and choose to repent and believe in him. In fact, right here in this passage, we read of Christians of Ephesus who had done that down in verse 13. You heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed so. These two aspects speaking So people can hear and choose to believe and God’s predestination they’re not in contradiction with each other as hard as they are for us to balance with one another. And so, since they’re both true, would you see this encouragement for our evangelism? God is calling people to salvation. God has already chosen them from before the foundation of the world, which means with confidence we can go and lovingly speak of Jesus because we know with certainty that in God’s timing some will be saved. There will be fruit from the proclamation of his people. Acts 18:9-10, “And the Lord said to Paul one night in the vision, do not be afraid but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I have many in this city who are my people.”. Do you see the blessing of this doctrine of election? It is freeing for us as Christian messengers. It’s empowering. We realize it’s not up to us to persuade people it’s not up to us to convince them they have to change their minds. People being converted doesn’t ultimately depend on us. God will save his elect and the main way he does that and when is when we his people, when we, the church, faithfully proclaim faithfully speak of him faithfully live like him.
Now with that, I just want to dress one final question. One fear may be that some of us have this morning having heard a message on predestination and election. Perhaps some of us have this fear. Now, what if I’m not among the elect? What if, I’m not predestined? I just want to give you this assurance. If you truly want to be saved, if you want to follow Jesus, you can. We’ve already seen in Scripture that people only desire to come to Christ in true faith. When God, the father is drawing them when God the father is calling them. So, if you’re interested in, if you’re being drawn if you want this Jesus, that itself is evidence that God is at work in your life. Be encouraged, believe in this Jesus. So, predestination is given in Scripture as an assurance to believers that we are safe. It’s not a doctrine that’s used in the Bible to label those who are outside the faith. One last quote the goal of predestination is not to raise questions in unbelievers. It is to bring peace to believers. Predestination is for those who already love Jesus to assure them that their failures do not destroy his love. Do you see them, the spiritual blessing of our election, brothers and sisters? There is a purpose to your existence with a purpose. God has chosen you in Christ before the world was created in Jesus, we were already loved. Do we see the blessing of our election? And when we understand this blessing, do we then see how secure our salvation is. When we grasp our election, we see then how it frees us up, to humbly serve Christ. How it frees us up to forgive those who wrong us how this frees us up to invest our lives in what has eternal value. Do you see the perspective we can and should have of this life? Once we see the blessing of our election. I definitely do not fully understand the doctrines of election and predestination. I sure hope my sermon hasn’t given the impression that I think I do. But I do want to tell you that I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself in this passage this week, my heart has been led to worship. 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 according to his purpose, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved.