When I started this series of articles from the Book of Ephesians, I had failed to deal with Eph. 1:4-6 in the proper order. So, I want to say a few words now on the subject of what it means to “be chosen in Christ.”
Wilbur Fields, writing in “The Glorious Church,” wrote these words: “Long ago, even before God created the world, God decided (or predestined) ‘the people who accept My Son Jesus Christ shall be my chosen people.'”
The Bible does teach predestination, but not as John Calvin and those today who teach and practice “Reformed Theology.” Predestination does not negate free will. We still can freely accept Christ as our Savior. When we do and obey the Gospel we are added to the church mentioned in the New Testament, thus becoming one of the elect in Christ.
The passage in Ephesians 1:4-6 that “we should be holy and blameless before Him.” We can never be holy and blameless on our own, but “in Christ,” we can become because of His righteousness, not ours.
We don’t deserve to be saved, but He redeemed us. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, who thought that he was only worthy to be a servant in his father’s house but was received in full familyship, the Heavenly Father adopted us as His children, thus, we become “joint heirs with Christ.”
Only “in Christ,” an we receive the blessings that God has prepared for us who love Him. Why did God adopt us? The text says that it please Him to do so. Verse 6 adds that He did it “to the praise of His glorious grace.” We have been saved so that as we “grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) we can help reach the lost with the saving Gospel and help them get into the marvelous light of the Gospel, and thus become a part of the “elect of God.”
Wilbur Fields writes this about verse 6, “The expression ‘freely bestowed’ comes from the same root word as grace. Rotherham’s translation of verse 6 brings this out clearly: “unto the praise of the glory of His favour (grace), wherewith He favoured us in the Beloved One.”
-February 7, 2019