October 18, 2017

Chosen From Before Creation

Ephesians 1:3-14

He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

—  Ephesians 1:4

Have you heard what the Cal­vinist said after tripping down the stairs? “Boy, I’m glad that’s over with!” he muttered, nursing the bruise on his head.

Jokes like these take aim at the doctrine of predestination, or election: God’s choosing of his people even before he made the world. According to critics, predestination quashes human freedom and free will. But some­how, mysteriously, the Bible shows that there is both election and free will.

God’s sovereignty and our human responsibility may be difficult to explain logically, but in the Bible we see lots of examples of both at work. Just think of Paul’s call on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).

In his letters to churches, Paul insists on election, but nowhere does he fully explain the mystery of God’s choosing and how that works with our own will to receive him as Lord and be saved. Nonetheless, Paul describes election as a teaching of great comfort. In his amazing mercy and grace, God loved us even before he created the world!

What’s more, God’s choosing is also a calling. Out of his grace and mercy he has chosen us for acts of love and service so that we can be a part of bringing his love and mercy to the world.

By grace alone, take comfort today in God’s great love and mercy, and glorify him in all you do.

Our Father, through your grace alone you loved us even before you made the world. Help us to love you and glorify you in our lives today. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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